Report on the Conference “(H)activism and participation? On the political dimension of the digital”

From 29th September to 1st October 2016, approximately 50 scientists of the disciplines cultural anthropology, sociology, philosophy and media studies, met in Marburg to participate in the 5th International Working Conference of the Commission for “Digitization in Every Day Life” in the German Society for Cultural Anthropology and Folklore Studies. The varied topics and presentations stimulated access to a range of different discussions.

A German version of the report can be found here here.

After greetings from Antje van Elsbergen (Marburg) on behalf of the Institute for European Ethnology/Cultural Science of the University of Marburg, Marion Näser-Lather (Marburg) shed light in her opening remarks on different aspects of the controversial discoursivation of the role of digital media for protest and political action. She discussed the possibility of resistant practices and of political judgement in the context of the use of commercial media infrastructures, the question of an empowerment of activists through online-communication, its potential effects on movements and the role of the body for political community building.

Christopher Kelty (Los Angeles) discussed in his keynote on “hacking, leaking, breaching: participation as experience, as risk, and as sabotage” “Hacking” as “a form of political participation aiming at systems which hinder or enable political participation”. Pointing to the various meanings of participation, he showed that the euphorical use of the term “hacking” falls short of the mark. According to Kelty, political participation has developed into cooptation. He described developments within hacker movements such as a shift towards cooptation because hacker knowledge has been made (medially) available, and on the other hand claims for a stronger political and ethical framework and for institutionalization which in turn spurned the critique of succumbing to cooptation. In the discussion the question was raised whether hacking can still be seen as a movement “from below” or whether in parallel there existed control and commercialization “from above”.

In the session 1: surveillance and control, Barbara Frischling (Graz) analyzed in her presentation “KÖRPER_WISSEN_MACHT. Digitale Tracking-Technologien im Alltag. Überwachung und Selbstoptimierung oder Empowerment durch „mindfulness“ the statements of users of tracking technologies of the body. The measurements helped self-control and –surveillance and empowerment through a growing, objectified body consciousness. “Tracking” had a political dimension, too, in sense of self-constitution. The objectification of the body on the other hand ran the risk of a shift of self-perception because wellbeing was measured through numbers and not through subjective feeling. Oliver Leistert´s (Lüneburg) contribution “Protest and Machines: Algorithmic Intrusion On Street Action“ addressed the growing influence of digital technologies within protest culture. He showed the ambivalences of the usage of social networks by activists. On one hand, Facebook contributed to collective identity building, on the other, it pointed to the individual and levered out collective decision making processes. Also, bots posed a danger: they infiltrated or disrupted discussions and even started own fake protests. A problem was the trust of users in platforms and algorithms which could be used by hackers for elicit purposes. Carsten Ochs (Kassel) showed in his presentation “Democracy in the Privacy Arena? Negotiating the Constitution of the Digitized World” the connection between discourses on privacy and political strategies. In the course of the NSA scandal, the trust of the users in privacy was shaken. Privacy was now perceived as a problem around which “arenas of negotiation” were constructed in which the constitution of the digital world was discussed. Taking the example of “national routing”, Ochs showed four (post-)democratic dimensions of discourses within the privacy arena: democratic protectionism, democratic constitutionalism, democratic experientalism and postdemocracy.

Marion Hamm (Klagenfurt) described in her plenary talk „Between ‘Hacktivism’ and Participation: Cultural Perspectives on the Politics of Digital Communication“ the history of hacktivism. She addressed hacker ethics, the contradiction between self- and exernal image of hackers and hacking as an activist practice. Hamm contrasted hacktivism as autonomous, unconventional and humorous practice and participation as institutionalized, conventional political action of citizens. She raised the question whether hacktivism was still feasible as activist practice or whether under the actual political circumstances other forms of action were necessary. Adopting a broader definition of the term hacktivism, Hamm described social hacking and reality hacking as cases in which the “hacker attitude” (genius-simple-quick-beautiful) was used outside of coding. At the end, Hamm raised the question whether hacking as a concept could be seen as an analytic category. In the discussion the differences between hacktivism and practices of appropriation were adressed.

Session 2, Citizenship and Participation, was started by Wolfgang Sützl´s (Athens/Ohio) talk on „Teilen und Teilnehmen. Über das Politische im digitalen Medium“. Sützl discusses whether in the context the digital space sharing could be equaled with participation. Parting from Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes und Jaques Derrida, he discussed participation in media as emancipation. However, the possibility for everyone to share, receive and assess content within web 2.0 could not be equaled with participation. Sützl referred to the difference between active political participation within a community and participating in discourses within restrictive commercial digital spaces like Facebook or Youtube (activism without leaving the media space). Clemens Apprich (Lüneburg) argued in his contribution „„Yes, I’m paranoid – but am I paranoid enough?” Digital Media between Participation, Publicity, and Paranoia” that publicity and constant activity in the digital space led to a kind of paranoia of users. The data masses of an increasingly networked society raised the question of political participation anew. While digital media enabled participation, the digital community was fragmented into separate political segments of the public which hindered complete participation, also because of (economical motivated) interests or restrictions on part of the digital platforms themselves. Urmila Goel (Berlin) described in her talk “Lost in the Feed” the development of the portal Founded in 2000, it was the biggest and most important webpage for people with Indian ancestors in German-speaking Europe. With the triumph of social media, the page moved to Facebook. The close relationships of the users lost relevance because the offer became a community among many. Within the discussion the thesis was uttered that in opposition to the “free” internet 1.0, interaction at a personal level and therefore basis democratic participation was not possible within web 2.0 which was characterized by restrictive mechanisms.

In the workshop “Science meets activists” the activist Fiona Krakenbürger spoke about the project open knowledge lab which included different applications for the empowerment of citizens (open data, transparency, participation). The open knowledge lab also cooperates with (political) institutions (e.g., frag-den-staat: the development of citizen participation). In the discussion the question was raised what openness meant in the context of open data and whether it was always desirable. Eva Provedel, member of the Italian women´s movement Se Non Ora Quando, described the usage of digital media by the movement, and referred to the indispensability of direct face-to-face-interaction for protest practices and also for internal processes of communication and decision, to create a strictly defined space for decisions and to guarantee that only people active in the movement were participating in decisions. She also pointed to experiences with the social media platforms Google Groups and Ning. However within time, Facebook prevailed because of its distribution and the related user competence.

Session 3, Discourses and Practices of (H)acktivism, began with Joss Hands´ (Newcastle) contribution “Doing Things with Things: Gadgets and the Thingification of Activism” which addressed the relationship between digital communication technologies, gadgets and their users in the context of activists. Referring to Martin Heidegger, Hands argued that there had to be freedom from a technological imperative meaning maximization of efficiency in order for activism to work. Parting from Heidegger, Hands pointed out that acting with things can lead to community building. Marija Martinovic (Graz) presented in her lecture on “Video Activism as a Performative Political Practice of the Women’s Movement in Postsocialist Serbia” video activism as example for hacktivist practices. Video activism could be read as a form of promotion of offline activities. Instead of direct agitation, esthetic measures and narratives were used to transport everyday life experiences into the political sphere and to create new subjectivities. Ove Sutter (Bonn) described in his talk “Emotionalizing Space: Connections between Online and Offline Activism of Volunteers for Refugees” the aid campaign of volunteers for refugees stranded on a German railway station. The volunteers had redesign the train station hall; the resulting emotionalization of space was created first by on-site offline-practices, and second, by online-practices on Facebook and other social media networks; it led to the emergence of emotionalizing moments and symbols in the political debates of the activists. 

In session 4, Web communities, Gertraud Koch (Hamburg) analyzed in her contribution „Augmented Realities of Protest“ the intertwining of online- and offline-spaces of protest, based on the example of the Gefahrengebiete protests at Hamburg. Referring to Lev Manowich, Koch described the usage of urban space for protest action as augmented reality, meaning the enrichment of surfaces through symbols and information. Social media became a resource for the creation and dissemination of collective imaginations of protest, and functioned as interfaces for activist participation, thereby facilitating protest dynamics. Roman Knipping-Sorokin´s (Hamburg) talk on „Radikalisierung Jugendlicher über das Internet?“ described the ways of radicalization of youths via internet pages, forums, and merchandize providers of the extreme right. In this context he discussed the phenomenon of filterbubbles in interactive forums. In the discussion, the question of ethical and methodological approaches was raised. The possibility to include information of intelligence information was discussed. Susanne Maurer (Marburg) analyzed in her contribution „(Politische) Bildung im Netz? Schwierigkeiten und besondere Potentiale der Entwicklung kritischen Urteils-vermögens im World Wide Web“ the possibilites of political education within the internet from a philosophical and education-theoretical perspective. She raised the question how under the conditions of the digital world single, collective and connected political subjects could be imagined and how they can develop political power of judgement. In this context she referred critically to an “overflowing of subjectivity” which could be found also in feminist blogs, for example when problems like structural discrimination were reduced to personal narrations.

In the final discussion, the discussants Gertraud Koch (Hamburg), Klaus Schönberger (Klagenfurt) and Bernd Jürgen Warneken (Tübingen) let the conference pass in review together with the other participants. The focusing on users, their daily life experiences and their potentially subversive practices was pointed out as a strength of cultural anthropological approaches on the conference topic. Parting from such a perspective, dynamics and changes of media usage could be analyzed. On the other hand the added value of an exchange with sociological and media studies perspectives was emphasized, among other things because cultural science could be inspired methodologically by those disciplines regarding the analysis of media like Facebook or twitter. In addition, parting from the necessity of the inclusion of mediality into the analysis of political participation and resistance, it was discussed controversially whether the use of new media was promoting political activism through the facilitation of networking and communication, or whether it hindered activism because the new media implied restrictions and undemocratic structural obstacles.

The conference has turned out to be very productive. The anthropological-cultural scientist discussion on the meaning of the digital for activism and political decision-making has been enriched by interdisciplinary perspectives; new textual and methodological perspectives were established.

CfP zur Tagung: Bewegtbilder und Alltagskultur(en)

CfP zur Tagung:

Bewegtbilder und Alltagskultur(en)

Die Tagung ist angesiedelt in der historischen und gegenwärtigen Alltagskulturforschung an den Schnittstellen von Technik- und Medienforschung sowie der Erforschung visueller Kulturen.

Zeitraum: 29.10.2015 – 31.10.2015
Institution: Uni Klagenfurt Alpen-Adria Universität
Unterlagen an: klaus.schoenberger[at]; u.holfelder[at]
Seit Mobiltelefone mit integrierter Kamera verfügbar sind werden mit dem Handy hergestellte Be-wegtbilder zunehmend wichtige Artefakte alltäglichen Handelns und Sich-Verhandelns. Auch als Mittel der Alltagsorganisation  und -kommunikation haben mit mobilen Geräten wie Smartphones oder Go-Pro-Cameras aufgenommene (audio-)visuelle Erzeugnisse mittlerweile eine große Bedeutung in ganz unterschiedlichen soziale Kontexten erlangt, sei es dass beim Möbelhaus- Besuch Fotos als Erinnerungshilfen aufgenommen werden, oder Handyvideos zum Zweck der Selbstrepräsentation  in den sozialen Netzwerke des Internets veröffentlicht werden.

In Bezug auf Jugendliche sind Amateurfilme – insbesondere ‚Handyfilme‘ – allerdings oft negativ konnotiert, da sie mit Pornografie, Cybermobbing oder Gewaltdarstellungen  (dem sogenanntem „Happy Slapping“) in Verbindung gebracht werden. Auch in massenmedialen und gesellschafts- politischen Kontexten wird das jugendkulturelle Medienhandeln auf diese „gefährlichen“ Aspekte reduziert.

Eine (empirisch-) kulturwissenschaftliche  bzw. kulturanthropologische  Perspektive, die verengte kulturkritische Attituden und die technikdeterministischen  Begrenzung einer ausschließlich digitalen Perspektive überschreitet, interessiert sich insbesondere für das Verhältnis von technischen Artefakten, audiovisuellen Repräsentationen sowie den handelnden AkteurInnen. Sie fragt, auf welchen historischen Vorläufern die scheinbar „neuen“ sozialen Praktiken aufsitzen – und wie diese in neuen technischen und medialen Umgebungen angeeignet, aktualisiert oder modifiziert werden.

Insofern ist das Filmen im Alltag sowie die Distribution und die Rezeption der filmischen, audio- visuellen Artefakte in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart mit unterschiedlichen soziokulturellen Praxen (Lebensführungskonzepten, Lebensstile, Habitus) und Bedeutungen verbunden.

Die Tagung zielt auf  die  Praktiken  der  Alltags-  und  Populärkultur,  aber  auch  auf  künstlerische Ausdrucksweisen. Erwartet werden Beiträge zu audiovisuellen Repräsentationen, Produktion, Distribution und Rezeption von Bewegtbildern und den damit verbundenen Praktiken in Vergangenheit (Super 8, Video) und Gegenwart (Handykamera, Fotokamera, DigiCam, GoPro etc.). Es werden Beiträge zum Verhältnis von Technik, Apparatur und AkteurInnen, zu verschiedenen Aspekten des Alltagshandelns sowie zu Fragen der Bild- und Inhaltsanalyse sowie der Audiodimension aber auch zu Diskursen über das Filmen im Alltag erbeten.

Die möglichen Beiträge können im Sinne eines kulturwissenschaftlichen  Verständnisses von Technik und Medien als Querschnittsdimension auf sehr unterschiedliche Themen oder Fragen hinsichtlich der Untersuchung von audio-visuellen Praktiken und Inhalten zielen. Das Themenspektrum reicht von Familie, Reisen, Jugendkultur, Körperinszenierungen,  Fanpraktiken über Arbeit bis zur Protestartikulation sozialer Bewegungen und die Rolle von Bewegtbildpraktiken als Gegenöffentlichkeit.  Es umfasst die ganze Breite der Alltagskultur-Perspektive und der mit ihr verbundenen Alltags-Ästhetik.

Theoretisch lassen sich die alltagskulturellen Bewegtbild-Praktiken  im Kontext einer Tendenz zur gesellschaftlichen Ästhetisierung auf verschiedenen Ebenen rahmen. In Bezug auf die AkteurInnen wie die Inhalte interessieren z.B. die Aneignung von Bewegtbildpraktiken  im Sinne von Technologien des Selbst, des Doing Gender oder als Ausdruck und Katalysator distinkter Konzepte alltäglicher Lebensführung.

Ebenso sind Beiträge erwünscht, die das Thema über einen diskursanalytischen  Fokus (Schmutz- und Schund oder Happy Slapping, Cybermobbing etc) angehen. Beiträge in Bezug auf die Erforschung des soziokulturellen Wandels und der Alltagskultur im Zuge von Überlegungen zu Prozessen der Digitalisierung, Mediatisierung und Miniaturisierung sind gleichermaßen willkommen wie methodische Überlegungen zum Umgang mit audiovisuellen Bewegtbildern und den damit verbundenen Praktiken in den jeweiligen wissenschaftlichen  Disziplinen.

Neben Beiträgen aus den Nachfolgedisziplinen  der Volkskunde (Empirische Kulturwissenschaft, Europäische Ethnologie, Kulturanthropologie,  Populäre Kulturen) und den benachbarten Disziplinen der Cultural Studies, der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie,  Ethnologie, Soziologie, Psychologie wie auch den Kommunikations-, Medien- und Geschichtswissenschaften freuen wir uns auch über Beiträge aus der Filmwissenschaft, der Kunstgeschichte und anderer mit (audio-)visuellen Kultur(en) befassten akademischen Disziplinen, die an interdisziplinärem Austausch interessiert sind und ihren Beitrag auf das Tagungsthema fokussieren.

Das maximal einseitige Exposé sollte folgende Angaben enthalten: Vorläufiger Titel, Vorstellung des Vortragsthemas, Argumentationsgang,  den theoretischen und methodischen Zugriff sowie Angaben zur Person mit Skizzierung des wissenschaftlichen  oder beruflichen Kontexts.

Darüber hinaus sind auch explizit Master-AbsolventInnen  eingeladen, sich für ein studentisches Panel zu bewerben. Ihre Beiträge werden kommentiert.

Schicken Sie Ihr  Abstract  bis  zum  1.2.2015  im  RTF-Format  jeweils an:
klaus.schoenberger[at] sowie an u.holfelder[at]

Weiterführende Links:


Info zur Tagung:


Abstracts should be sent to Michaela Jahrbacher ( )
until *January 15**, 2015* as a *DOC/DOCX-file*.

More information about the conference:

*Michela Cozza, Giusi Orabona, Giacomo Poderi, Maurizio Teli*, Department
of Information Engineering and Computer Sciences (DISI), University of
Trento, Italy

Since nearly a decade, the idea of a ³Smart City² strongly emerged and
rapidly spread in urban planning, political discourse and academia in
general. As any successful term, its widespread adoption has attributed it
many meanings, almost overlapping with the idea of having digital
technologies distributed in the urban environment. On the one hand, such
distribution seems to favour the city management related to the transit,
traffic and provision of localized services. On the other hand, it could
interpreted as a program of control of the population by the big
corporations of the ICT domain (Greenfield 2013).

Nevertheless, we are already witnessing tentative appropriations and
applications of the ³Smart City² ideal into several specific domains which
concern urban life: from transportation to welfare services, from active
ageing to energy management. As already noted in one of the first and
pivotal works on Smart Cities (Hollands, 2008), this concept is usually
vaguely defined, biased towards the ICT dimension of urban developments,
and often portrayed with enthusiastic, uncritical and entrepreneurial
rhetoric. In summary, the concept of ³Smart City² hides urban life behind
the (often physical) screens of technological efficiency and monitoring
social practices.

As described, the picture of the ³Smart City² is signed by technological
determinism, an ideological commitment privileging the private sector,
social polarization as an inevitable by-product, missing concerns with
class inequality, inclusion and social justice, and the almost clear
neo-liberal attempt to incorporate local communities into the
entrepreneurial discourse. Such discourse needs to be de-constructed and
re-assembled in order to leave space for a more socially aware,
effort, that is actually empowering people more than the powerful actor at
the political and economic level.

Therefore, we welcome contributions that critically examines the concept
a ³Smart City² at one or both of the two following levels. At the
theoretical level, where the different dimensions and elements of ³Smart
City² such as ICT, urban planning, societal challenges, are defined,
analysed and discussed in relationship to state-of-the-art developments
their respective domains of application (e.g. energy, mobility). At the
empirical and practical level, where the actual efforts of designing,
implementing and deploying plans for smart cities are critically
reviewed or assessed. In particular, we welcome contributions able to
at how the ³Smart City² can be de-constructed and re-assembled in a more
democratic way, supporting urban life instead of neo-liberal narratives.

Ultimately, we welcome contributions that look at the ³Smart City² from
viewpoints both of the citizens and professionals: reflections that
how citizens¹ identity and professional practices take part in the
construction of the idea of ³smartness² are appreciated.

EASA Media Anthropology Network

For further information please contact:
Dr. John Postill
RMIT University, Melbourne

To manage your subscription to this mailing list, visit:

Promotionsstipendien Medienanthropologie

Diese Info ging kürzlich über den KV-Verteiler:

Ausschreibung von 10 Promotionsstipendien im Bereich Medienanthropologie:

Das mit Mitteln des „Pro-Exzellenz“-Programms des Freistaats Thüringen neu eingerichtete  Kompetenzzentrum Medienanthropologie
der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (Fakultät Medien; Internationales Kolleg für Kulturtechnikforschung und Medienphilosophie-IKKM)
vergibt ab dem 1. April 2015 zehn Promotionsstipendien.

Die Laufzeit der Förderung beträgt drei Jahre, ggf. mit einer Verlängerungsoption. Die Höhe des Stipendiums beträgt 1.200 EUR,- monatlich. Gefördert werden Promotionsvorhaben aus Medienwissenschaft, Philosophie, Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften sowie Human- und Gesellschaftswissenschaften, die thematisch dem Forschungsgebiet der Medienanthropologie zugehören und dem wissenschaftlichen Programm des Kompetenzzentrums entsprechen (siehe dazu die Websites der Professur für Philosophie audiovisueller Medien, Prof Dr. Christiane Voss sowie die des IKKM an der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar). Insbesondere werden Projekte in einer sehr frühen Phase der Themen- und Methodenfindung gefördert. Die Auswahl der Stipendiatinnen und Stipendiaten erfolgt durch die am Kompetenzzentrum beteiligten Professorinnen und Professoren aus den verschiedenen Disziplinen unter Leitung der Sprecherin Prof. Dr. Christiane Voss.
Die Betreuung findet an der Bauhaus-Universität Weimar statt. Die Verlagerung des Wohnsitzes nach Weimar ist erwünscht. Die Stipendiatinnen und Stipendiaten nehmen an den wöchentlichen Kolloquia und den ergänzenden Forschungsveranstaltungen des IKKM teil. Sie beteiligen sich im Rahmen interdisziplinärer Diskussionen an der kritischen Entfaltung des Leitkonzepts der „anthropomedialen Relationen“, das im Fokus der interdisziplinären Forschung am „Kompetenzzentrum Medienanthropologie“ steht.
Bewerberinnen und Bewerber sollten über einen weit überdurchschnittlichen, fachlich einschlägigen Masterabschluß verfügen, der nicht länger als zwei Jahre zurückliegen und die besondere Befähigung zur wissenschaftlichen Arbeit (Promotion) erkennen lassen soll. Das Promotionsvorhaben sollte bereits grob umrissen werden und die medienanthropologische Relevanz der Fragestellung erkennbar sein können.
Berufstätigen kann das Stipendium nicht gewährt werden, Nebentätigkeiten sind nach Absprache möglich.

Anfragen und Bewerbungen in elektronischer Form werden bis zum  15. Dezember 2014  entgegengenommen; gefordert sind ein Motivationsschreiben (ca. 1 Seite), ein Lebenslauf mit Studien- und Prüfungsnachweisen sowie eine erste Projektskizze des Vorhabens (2-3 Seiten) Diese Unterlagen sind bitte als PDF-Dokument (1 Datei inkl. aller Anlagen) zu richten an:

Weitere Informationen zum Forschungsprogramm:

CfP ECSCW Oslo 2015

Call for papers for ECSCW 2015 held 19-23 September 2015 in Oslo, Norway

In 2015 the European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work – ECSCW – will be held September 19-23 in Oslo, Norway. ECSCW is a series of international conferences on computer-supported cooperative work located in Europe. The conference website is:
CSCW focuses on enhancing our understanding of the practices of cooperative work aiming to explore and design technological support. The ECSCW conference is an important venue for defining and further develop the agenda of CSCW research. ECSCW addresses themes like:
•    human practice in work and other activities: how can we understand work (the “W”)?
•    cooperation and its characteristics (e.g. the role of awareness): how can we understand “CW”?
•    methods for investigating human practices: the role of ethnography in CSCW
•    digital and other material artefacts in cooperative work: how can we understand “CS”?
•    design of CSCW: challenges and explorations
The ECSCW conferences are single-track conferences that contribute to developing an interdisciplinary ECSCW community. The conference format aims to facilitate critical discussion  across disciplinary and national borders in the field.
ECSCW will offer multiple ways of contributing and discussing research, including full papers, exploratory (short) papers, demos and videos in addition to workshops and master classes. We invite you to submit your research in one or more categories (see important dates in the right column). An overview of earlier ECSCW conferences (and proceedings) are available from
Important dates are:
6. February 2015: papers submissions due
6. March 2015: workshops, tutorials submissions due
13. April 2015: accept/reject notifications sent to authors
4. May 2015: finished papers dues (camera-ready electronic submission)
8. May 2015: demos / videos submissions due
8. June 2015: demos / videos accept/reject notifications sent
19. August 2015: early registration deadline ends
19-23. September 2015: conference in Oslo, Norway
on behalf of ECSCW 2015
Tone Bratteteig  & Margunn Aanestad

Info offene Stelle

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen,
am Institut Experimentelle Design- und Medienkulturen der Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst FHNW in Basel ist ab 1. Januar 2015 im SNF-geförderten Forschungsprojekt „Machine Love? Kreativitätskulturen in elektronischer Musik und Softwareentwicklung“ eine Stelle als
Doktorandin/Doktorand (100%)
zu besetzen.
Das Forschungsprojekt „Machine Love? Kreativitätskulturen in der elektronischen Musik und Softwareentwicklung“ wurde entworfen um die Bedeutung des Kreativen in zwei Bereichen der Creative Industries zu problematisieren: der Produktion elektronischer Musik und der Softwareentwicklung im Kontext des Kreativsektors. Ziel ist die empirische Aufarbeitung der Fragestellung und die Entwicklung einer Methodologie zwischen Ethnografie und praxisbasierter Forschung.
Gesucht wird ein/e Doktorandin/Doktorand für das Teilprojekt „Comeback einer Black Art? Dispositive kreativer Praxis in der Softwareentwicklung“. Das Teilprojekt behandelt aus gesellschafts-, kultur- oder medienwissenschaftlicher Perspektive die Produktionspraxis in der Softwareentwicklung im Rahmen der Creative Industries (die Entwicklung von Tools für die „kreative Arbeit“: Social Media, Designtools, Musikproduktionssoftware etc.). Ein besonderes Augenmerk liegt auf den Kulturen kreativer Praxis in diesen Bereichen, durch die der Begriff des Kreativen in den Creative Industries situativ und auf Dauer mit Bedeutung versehen wird.
Ihr Profil:
Studium der Gesellschafts-, Kultur- oder Medienwissenschaft beziehungsweise eines benachbarten Fachs mit Fokus auf der empirischen und theoretischen Erforschung von Populärkultur und aktuellen Produktionszusammenhängen
Ausgezeichneter Studienabschluss (Liz./MA)
Exzellente Analyse- und Schreibfähigkeiten
Gute Englischkenntnisse
Gute Kenntnisse in qualitativen Forschungsmethoden (Ethnographie, qualitative Interviews)
Bereitschaft zu team- und projektorientiertem Arbeiten in einem interdisziplinären Umfeld
Ein explizites Interesse an experimentellen Arbeitsweisen und theoretisch-wissenschaftlichen Fragestellungen sowie an der interdisziplinären Zusammenarbeit an der Schnittstelle von Design, Kunst, Wissenschaft und Technologie.

Die Stelle ist auf 36 Monate befristet.
Eine Version dieser Ausschreibung können sie unter einsehen. Auf der Webseite finden sie zudem weitere Informationen über das Institut, das dazugehörige Critical Media Lab und den neuen Campus der HGK Basel.
Reichen sie ihre Bewerbung mit den üblichen Unterlagen inkl. eines kurzen Exposé zum Projektthema elektronisch bis zum 17. November über die gewünschte Ausschreibung unter, z. H. Regula Hidber, HR-Verantwortliche ein. Für Fragen stehen Ihnen Prof. Claudia Mareis ( oder Johannes Bruder ( zur Verfügung.

Who cares about #Selfies? It’s the #Otherie, stupid!

Just imagine your phone rings. One sentence. Then the person hangs up on you. The tragedy starts. Just a few minutes later someone – or better: something – knocks on your house. Not on your door, on your house! It`s a small rocket hitting the top of your home. No explosion. Not yet. ROOF KNOCKING. From now on you have about two minutes to get the f… out of here. 

Or, as this video from Gaza shows, maybe only 35 SECONDS. BOOM.

When you look at this from a social anthropological perspective, it also tells you a lot about power. People take #Selfies, but armies and states in war rely on #Otheries: the one-dimensional focus on the Other, as a target, as an object of war. Here`s a fieldnote from Andreas Hackl on Othering in the current Israeli military operation in Gaza:

Not #Selfies, but #Otheries.

“It is this perspective from far outside the reality on the ground, from above the sky, looking only through a one-dimensional frame with a cross-hair in the middle, which inspired me to introduce a new mechanism in our increasingly self-righteous world: not the #Selfie, but the #Otherie.” (Andreas Hackl)

Great read!

Should Auschwitz be a site for a “selfie”? It already is!!

I just read an interesting, yet also disturbing piece at the “New Yorker”. A quote from there:

The Instagram era has now brought us the selfie in a concentration camp. Or, as the phenomenon was identified in the title of a new Israeli Facebook page (translated here loosely), With My Besties in Auschwitz. The page culled from real-life photos—most of them also taken down recently—that had been posted on social-media sites by Israeli kids on school trips to Poland.” (from

My immediate question was: What are WE – being social anthropologists – to do with these new social media phenomena?

When I take a picture, let`s say a “selfie”, and put it on my personal Facebook page, or share it in a FB group: whose picture is this (selfie)? Am I still able to control my images today? How much privacy does there exist in a socially media(ted) world? 

It reminded me on the keynote theme from Nishant Shah, as well as on the post-privacy lecture from Carsten Ochs last year. If anyone wanted to pick up on such arguments —  contributing an analysis for our blog  — feel encouraged to share your insights, and/or forward this call to whoever you think might be interested, and qualified to do this.

@Carsten Ochs: Of course, we`d love to read something from you if you were interested! :-)

And just to make it clear, This “call for analysis” is not about moralizing at all — of course, from a personal point of view I find these things disgusting — , it is rather about a changing image culture, and how this change affects other things such as (in this example) the “culture of memories”. Excited to read from you…


Computational Anthropology???

Supposedly, there is a new science called “computational anthropology”: But what does it tell us about the cultural meanings and practices of people? How is it critical? How is it context driven? Let`s make social anthropology out of it, and look at the power of algorithms instead! We urgently need this perspective.

Anyone who might be interested to organize a panel on this one (let`s say “medium-term style”) feel free to get in touch with me.

Going public?

Dear fellow social anthropologists,
cultural anthropologists,
European ethnographers
or however you might call yourself,

“TRANSFORMATIONS – A new voice on culture, politics, and change” takes the idea of “an engaging anthropology” seriously by adding our anthropological voice to public discourse. We, five post graduate social anthropologists, started this project with one simple question: Why are we doing research? We belief that our very ethnographic perspective has quite a lot to offer (critical potential, deep analysis, etc.). But in order to be heard, we need to write in a way that goes beyond the classical academic jargon. The idea of our blog is to translate our social anthropological research (or parts of this research) into a language that will be read and understood not only by our fellow colleagues. If we don`t do this translation work, economists and political scientists will (and are doing so right now).

How does your researched theme, field or phenomenon change our societies, and what might be its political, social, economic and cultural consequences when we look at it from a social anthropological point of view? We are pretty sure all of you have quite a lot to say!

…if you do like the idea of the blog,
…if you think that taking a stand within public discourse is a value for itself,
…if you would like to publish in a shorter, more open and creative way than a scientific article allows you to do,

…get in touch with us. This is our call for contributions!

TRANSFORMATIONS – A new voice on culture, politics, and change:


And feel free to spread the word to your colleagues, docs, post-docs and students as well.

Kind regards,
The Team
(Andreas, Angela, Daniel, Miriam and Seraina)