Today I start as the new Assistant Professor in Digital Religion(s) at the University of Zurich. I’m joining the UZH Faculty of Theology and working directly within the special research group or URPP on Digital Religion(s). Its almost a year to the day since I interviewed for this post, so its been a long time between fretting over what shoes to wear for my interview to fretting over what shoes to wear for my first day (answer, anything smart that I can still walk in with the ankle I sprained falling off my bike almost seven years ago!).
The move to Zurich has been both exciting and complicated. I’ve bitten my tongue alot around any pro-Brexit friends and family, but it would have been simpler (and less expensive) without that choice being made! But the new ‘Swiss Family Singler’ are all here, we have somewhere to live, and my son is back into the school routine (including moaning about homework again!). We’ve found a lovely if eccentric flat in Adliswil, about 20-30 mins by train from the famous Zurich Grossmünster, which my office is next to. Our flat dates back to the 1700s but has been recently renovated by the local architect who owns it, keeping many of its wooden beams and original features like doorways that my 6’2″ husband has to duck under 🙂 But we are all unpacked, and already well known at the bakery next door! We inflict our nascent German on them and they very occasionally give Henry free bread rolls, which hardly seems like a good deal for them!
This morning I walked from the Zurich HB to my office for my first day, passing cows on balconies…
… and I got straight into writing my first To Do list as a new Assistant Professor. There’s a bit on there about sorting out IT and email issues, but there’s also some really exciting projects that I’m still working on or about to launch: book projects like the Religion and AI book I’m witing and the Cambridge Companion on Religion and AI that I’m co-editing with Fraser Watts… notes for the course on Digital Religions I’ll be teaching at UZH from the Spring… travel plans for my speaking event at Princeton in November… notes for the presentation I’ll be making on AI and Religion at the URPP’s Digital Religion conference in just a few weeks… scribbled thoughts about a larger funded project on AI agency and Digital Religions… a reminder about writing a proposal for a pitch for a BBC radio documentary… there’s lots to do! I’m very excited about this new chapter in my career, and thrilled about finding a new home in Zurich where I’ll be surrounded by people enthusiastic about researching the digital world and modern technologies. And this view as I walk towards my office isn’t bad either!