Alison Renna is a PhD candidate studying the history of ideas. In her dissertation, “The Symbiotic Mind: A History of Religion, Ecology, and the Microbial World,” she writes about the ways religion, social theory, philosophy, ecology, neuroscience, and psychology shaped one another through the twentieth century, beginning with the birth of information theory in the 1940s and ending with research into the human microbiome-brain connection in the 2010s. Alison’s dissertation is co-directed by Noreen Khawaja and Joanna Radin.
Alison earned a Masters of Philosophy in Religious Studies at Yale in 2021, a Masters of Arts in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale in 2020, and a Bachelor of Arts in Science, Technology, and Society and Religious Studies from Franklin and Marshall College in 2018, summa cum laude. Her work at Yale has been funded by a Stephen and Clara A. Condict Fellowship and by the National Science Foundation.
At Yale, Alison assists in teaching courses on the philosophy of science and religion, phenomenology in existentialist philosophy and science studies, the fate of metaphysics, Roman Catholicism, and the problem of the “neighbor” and the “other” in the history of philosophy. She has given talks and led discussions on science and religion for environmental organizations and university science departments. She currently serves as the co-director of the undergraduate science and technology studies reading group at Yale and on the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture’s Board of Directors. In the past, she has served as chair of Facilities and Healthcare for the Yale Graduate Student Assembly and as the head graduate affiliate of Pierson College.
Science and Technology Studies; History of Philosophy; History of Ecology; American Religion; Consciousness Studies; Metaphysics.