John Modern is a Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin & Marshall College. Modern is the author of Secularism in Antebellum America (2011) and The Bop Apocalypse: The Religious Visions of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs (2001). Neuromatic; or, a particular history of religion and the brain is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. Modern co-curated Frequencies and co-edits Class 200: New Studies in Religion (both with Kathryn Lofton). An ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellow and former member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, Modern is currently working on a long-term project that explores the end of the world through the history of Akron, OH.
According to Burroughs and Gysin, the power of language was the thing. There was something queer, indeed, about the capacity of any language to channel all manner of patterns and directives that had nothing, essentially, to do with the words that comprised that language.