Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
In the early 1920s, commercial radio presented many possibilities, including the nationalization of the listening audience, professional opportunities for women, the ability for ministers to spread the gospel, and access to the world for geographically isolated listeners. The media ministry of the Rev. Edythe Elem Swartz Stirlen operated outside the confines of a brick-and-mortar church and created an imagined religious community of congregants. Through the Shenandoah, Iowa, based Radio Church of the Air program, the Send Out Sunshine magazine, and the Send Out Sunshine Clubs, Stirlen and her virtual parishioners created images of communion they interpreted and used to maintain their community. This project examines the cultural work and the community building function of early American radio.
Copyright 2009 Arlecia Deandra Simmons
Simmons, Arlecia Deandra. ""Serving sinners, comforting saints and increasing faith": the Reverend Edythe Stirlen's imagined radio church community." PhD diss., University of Iowa, 2009.