Annual Conference 2017

Annual Conference 2017
Varieties of Cooperation.
Mutually Making the Conditions of Mutual Making

University of Siegen | 23-25 November 2017

About the Conference

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The second annual conference of the Collaborative Research Centre “Media of Cooperation” brings together researchers interested in studying the manifold realizations of cooperative practices from a variety of scholarly backgrounds. We understand cooperation in broad terms as any form of mutual making, in which goals, means, and procedures are seen as ongoing accomplishments. From the exchanges of goods or information, to the interactions between bodies or organizations, and the coordination between colleagues, competitors, friends or foes. Mutually making the conditions of mutual making entails translating heterogeneous interests, negotiating conflicting values and articulating distributed activities. On the one hand, the individual papers and sessions of the conference will cover different notions and concepts of cooperation in diverse fields of study: from the mundane cooperation of everyday life to collective endeavors within specific domains. On the other hand, the contributions share a focus on the practices of making cooperation possible through cooperatively creating the conditions for cooperation itself. Seeing cooperative media both as a condition and consequence of cooperation, the conference will shed light on a general feature of media, technologies and instruments that both enable and constrain the collaboration between heterogeneous social worlds, with and without consensus.

In order to connect the broad variety of cooperations in the empirical projects that share the analytic focus on cooperatively creating the conditions of cooperation, the conference aims to map the diversity of cooperative practices along three analytic dimensions: scaling, composing and monitoring. These dimensions do not fix cooperation as a neatly defined unit, but allow for the empirical and conceptual comparisons of diverse and messy, sometimes consensual and sometimes conflicting, occurings of cooperation.

  • SCALING. Cooperation varies depending on its size and duration. Some forms of cooperation occur in short sequences, in physical co-presence and with no more than two entities involved. Others span decades, are performed on a global scale by states and large organizations. Of course, many forms of larger-scale cooperation depend on forms of smaller-scale cooperation – and the other way around. We are interested in which ways such different scales of cooperations require and produce different media of cooperation.
  • COMPOSING. The second dimension touches on the first. Cooperation also varies according to the entities it is composed of and their relations. There are elementary forms of cooperation that lie at the base of every social interaction. They occur whenever two entities come in contact with each other and commence in some form of mutual adjustment. Other forms of cooperation may be strategically planned, involving many heterogeneous entities that need to be aligned along a specific cooperative purpose. Again, naturally occurring cooperation and purposefully created cooperation often run side by side, but we suspect they also differ in the cooperative media being created and used.
  • MONITORING. Cooperation necessarily includes multiple ways of mutual monitoring. The cooperative activities may be open and transparent, but they may also be incidental, unnoticed or clandestine. This extends to the question in how far participating in cooperation is deliberate, unwitting or unwanted. If cooperative media support forms of cooperation that lack shared goals and allow for cooperation without consensus, this requires us to ask questions about control, domination and power inscribed in media as a consequence and condition of cooperation.

The diversity of cooperation will be opened up in seven panels. We will discuss large and small scale cooperation, in different compositions and varying patterns of monitoring cooperation, incidental and volatile as well as planned and durable cooperation in its historical and contemporary forms and how they all can be seen through the lens of mutually making the conditions of mutual making:

  • implementing information systems in enterprises,
  • understanding repositories in cooperation in digital media,
  • cooperating through data in the e-humanities,
  • doing da sein as cooperative accomplishment,
  • being lost in cooperation in social media,
  • addressing cooperating bodies,
  • discussing academics in cooperation.

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Keynote I | Hans‐Jörg Rheinberger (Berlin)
Cooperation in the Sciences: Remarks from the Perspective of an Historical Epistemology of Experimentation

Abstract: The paper looks at forms of cooperation in the sciences from a historical perspective. The life sciences and molecular biology in particular will serve as a case in point. This fundamental area of biological research came into being around the middle of the twentieth century by a massive drive toward cooperation that can be located at least at two levels. One of these levels implies forms of interdisciplinary cooperation within laboratories. The other is constituted by international cooperations between laboratories. I will be looking at particular cases at these two levels or combinations thereof. In so doing, I will also discuss the relation between the local and the global that these forms of cooperation imply.

The main focus of Hans-Jörg Rheinberger’s research lies in the history and epistemology of experimentation in the life sciences. By bridging the gap between the study of history and contemporary cutting-edge sciences, such as molecular biology, his work represents an example of transdisciplinarity as emerging in the present knowledge-based society. The Swiss-born scientist studied philosophy and biology in Tübingen and Berlin, Germany. He received his MA in philosophy in 1973, his PhD in biology in 1982, and his habilitation in molecular biology in 1987. He was Assistant Professor at the University of Lübeck, Germany, and Associate Professor at the University of Salzburg, Austria. Since 1997, he has been a Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and Director at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.Hans Jörg Rheinberger has been a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin and of the Collegium Helveticum in Zürich. He is honorary professor at the Institute for Philosophy and History of Science of the Technical University Berlin, a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of the Sciences, a member of the Leopoldina, the German Academy of Natural Scientists, and a doctor honoris causa at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Keynote II | Alexa Färber (Hamburg)
Temporalising Mutuality: Explorations in the Workings of the Promise

Abstract: The promise, as a cultural mode of relating to each other, has been studied from diverse perspectives: philosophy, literature, rhetorics, law. Besides its performative nature, its contractual value, and its social bonding capacity, it is its specific temporal structure that makes the promise interesting if we want to understand mutuality – and its conditions. The promise implicates multiple temporalities: it makes a cut with what was before the promise, it creates situations of duress, and makes the future present. How do these temporalities shape mutuality? In this presentation, I will explore these multiple temporal operations within the workings of the promise with reference to literature from urban studies and material from my own fieldwork as an urban anthropologist in Berlin. This exploration of the promise and its related modes of mutuality is a first step towards a more general conceptualisation of the city as promise.

Alexa Färber is Professor of Urban Anthropology and Ethnography at HafenCity University Hamburg. After a specialization on Middle Eastern studies (M.A.) and European Ethnology (Dr. phil. Humboldt University) her research focuses on methodological questions of the study and representation of the city (³Greifbarkeit der Stadt²) and the production of urban space through everyday practices of economizing. In her post-doc DFG-research project Alexa Färber has studied the transformation of ethnic representation and urban culture in Berlin and Moscow after 1989. Between 2006-2007 she has been a research fellow at the Centre Maurice Halbwachs, ENS Paris, studying ethnographic entrepreneurialism. Since 2010 she is part of the franco-german research network on ³the visual in urban studies² and was visiting professor at the Institut d¹urbanisme de Paris (2013). Between 2012-2014 she was speaker of the interdisciplinary research initiative ³Low-budget urbanity² at HafenCity University. Her publications include a monograph on interdisciplinary knowledge practices in the international context of representational work at a world¹s fair (Weltausstellung als Wissensmodus: Ethnographie einer Repräsentationsarbeit, LIT 2006), two edited volumes of Berlin based ethnographic research (Hotel Berlin: Formen urbaner Mobilität und Verortung, LIT 2005; Stoffwechsel Berlin: Urbane Präsenzen und Repräsentationen, Panama Verlag 2010) and several special issues of the Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften (Der Preis der Wissenschaft, forthcoming, transcript). Her articles and book chapters deal with urban issues such as Islam and urban space, religious minorities, consumer culture, activist movements, urban imagineering, low-cost mobility, with the potentials of actor-network theory/assemblage research in urban studies and the anthropology of ethnographic knowledge.


Main conference language will be English.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

from 19:30   Informal Get-together
Restaurant Da Luciano, Koblenzer Str. 29, 57072 Siegen

Thursday, 23 November 2017

from 09:00   Registration
09:30 – 10:00   Opening and Welcome
10:00 – 11:00   Keynote I | Hans‐Jörg Rheinberger (Berlin)
Cooperation in the Sciences: Remarks from the Perspective of an Historical Epistemology of Experimentation
11:00 – 11:30   Coffee Break
11:30 – 13:00  

Panel 1 | Implementing Information Systems

Christian Henrich-Franke (Siegen)
From Dahlbruch to the World: Organizing a Company for International Markets in the 1960s Abstract

Laura Meneghello (Siegen)
Meta-Infrastructure and Cooperation in Enterprises: The Pneumatic Tube System Abstract

Laura Elsner (SFB)
Enterprise Communication in the 1980s based on ISDN Abstract

13:00 – 14:30   Lunch
14:30 – 16:00  

Panel 2 | Repositories in Cooperation

Christine Hanke (Bayreuth)
Tables and Databases – Multiple Infrastructures of Appropriation and Accessibility Abstract

Florian Hoof (Frankfurt/M.)
Standardizing Uncertainty: Digital Streaming Platforms Abstract

Axel Volmar (SFB)
Formats as Media of Cooperation. Some Thoughts on Format Theory Abstract

16:00 – 16:30   Coffee Break
16:30 – 18:30  

Panel 3 | Cooperating through Data

Annette Strauch, Matthias Razum (SFB, Karlsruhe)
Research Data Management for the Collaborative Research Centre 1187 and Research Data Repositories Abstract

Stefan Wesner (kiz Ulm)
Technological Challenges for a Sensible Research Data Management for the Social Sciences and Digital Humanities, Example: Replay‐DH (link to project) Abstract

Francesca Morselli, Timo Gnadt (Den Haag, Göttingen)
Technological Challenges for a Sensible Research Data Management for the Social Sciences and Digital Humanities, Example: DARIAH‐EU Abstract

Matthias Korn, Gaia Mosconi (SFB)
Doing Data. Mundane Ways of Coping with Research Materials Abstract

from 19:30   Conference Dinner
Restaurant Brasserie, Unteres Schloss 1, 57072 Siegen

Friday, 24 November 2017

from 09:30   Registration
10:00 – 12:00  

Panel 4 | Doing Da Sein

Simone Pfeifer (Mainz)
Mediating Absence and Presence in Transnational Social Relationships Abstract

Ehler Voss (SFB)
“It Sounds Like at Least Three People Here.” Practices of Sensory Evidence Among Ghost Hunters in the US Abstract

Ivan Tchalakov (Plovdiv)
The “Scar Tissues” of Research Experience: Tracing Back the Intercorporealities that Bring in the ‘Not Yet’ There Abstract

Bina Mohn, Pip Hare, Astrid Vogelpohl, Erik Wittbusch (SFB)
Sometimes There, Sometimes Not: Children in Families with Smartphones vis-à-vis Ethnographers with Cameras Abstract

12:00 – 13:30   Lunch
13:30 – 15:00  

Panel 5 | Lost in Cooperation

Thilo Hagendorff (Tübingen)
Information Control and Trust in the Context of Digital Technologies Abstract

Niklas Barth, Martin Stempfhuber (München, Würzburg)
Facebook’s Secretaries. (Un‐)Desired Practices of Order Abstract

Kathrin Englert, Wolfgang Ludwig‐Mayerhofer, Oliver Schmidtke, David Waldecker (SFB)
On (Not) Being Lost in Cooperation. Perspectives of Young Adults Abstract

15:00 – 15:30   Coffee Break
15:30 – 17:00  

Panel 6 | Cooperating Bodies

Asta Cekaite (Linköping)
Social Touch and ‘Carnal Subjectivity’: Coordinationof Affection and Control in Embodied Social Interaction Abstract

Marén Schorch, Claudia Müller (SFB)
Negotiation and Presentation of Bodily Perception and Performance in the Design of Supportive Technologies for Older Adults Abstract

Larissa Schindler (Mainz)
Entangling Bodies and Things in the Air Abstract

17:00 – 17:30
  Coffee Break
17:30 – 18:30   Keynote II | Alexa Färber (Hamburg)
Temporalising Mutuality: Explorations in the Workings of the Promise
from 19:30   Conference Dinner
Restaurant Münzwerk, Morleystraße 4, 57072 Siegen

Saturday, 25 November 2017

from 09:00   Registration
09:30 – 11:00  

Panel 7 | Academics in Cooperation

Albert Müller (Wien)
Cooperation among Cyberneticians Abstract

Natascha Gruver (Wien, Berkeley)
Interdisciplinary Cooperation in Philosophy: a Case Study and some Reflections Abstract

Thomas Wallgren (Helsinki)
Socratic-Wittgensteinian Philosophy as True Politics Abstract

11:00 – 11:15   Break
11:15 – 12:15   Panel Discussion | Talking Cooperation
with principal investigators and open to participants of the conference Alexa Färber (Hamburg), Christian Henrich-Franke (Siegen), Sebastian Gießmann (Siegen), Claudia Müller (Siegen), Erhard Schüttpelz (Siegen), Volker Wulf (Siegen), Martin Zillinger (Siegen)
12:15 – 12:45   Closing and Refreshments


Attendance of the conference is free of charge.

Please register at annualconference2017[æt]


We have reserved a limited number of rooms in the City Hotel Siegen (Koblenzer Straße 135, 57072 Siegen) at a discounted rate of 75 EUR per night (breakfast and VAT included). The City Hotel is a centrally located 3-star hotel, only a few minutes’ walk from the city center and historic old part of town.

Please contact us at annualconference2017[æt] if you would like to book a room.

Other accommodation options in Siegen can be found here:


Getting to Siegen

For general information about getting to Siegen, find directions here.

By air. The airports closest to Siegen are Cologne/Bonn (CGN), Düsseldorf (DUS), and Frankfurt (FRA) as a major hub. They all have good train connections to Siegen (ca. 2 hours). Train schedules can be found at

Getting around
Public transport in Siegen is organized by bus. Cabs can be booked, e.g., by calling Funk Taxi GmbH at +49 (0)271 33 50 11. Most destinations within the city centre, however, are also easily accessible by foot.

For going out, check the Siegen Guide and ask a local for recommendations.

Main Conference Venue

Hörsaalgebäude Evangelischer Gemeinschaftsverband, Bethausweg 2, 57072 Siegen

For further information about getting to the conference venue, find directions here.


City Hotel Siegen, Koblenzer Straße 135, 57072 Siegen

Social Program
Venues for all social events are conveniently located in the center of Siegen.

  • Informal Get-together
      Restaurant Da Luciano, Koblenzer Str. 29, 57072 Siegen
  • Conference Dinner on Thursday
    Restaurant Brasserie, Unteres Schloss 1, 57072 Siegen 
  • Conference Dinner on Friday
    Restaurant Münzwerk, Morleystraße 4, 57072 Siegen



Concept and Organization: Clemens Eisenmann, Laura Elsner, Kathrin Englert, Christian Erbacher, Bina Mohn, Cornelius Schubert, Ehler Voss

Any questions? You can contact us via email: annualconference2017[æt]