Jahrestagung 2018

Annual Conference 2018
Media in the Wild.
University of Siegen | 25-26 September 2018

About the Conference

We are currently faced with a new generation of media: ‘sensor media’ are taking control across a broad spectrum of our society and societal discourses. The promise of a more general ‘digital sensibility’ is associated with smart environments, social robots, augmented reality, 4D printing, and tactile-visual intersensoriality. As a result, black boxes break and are torn asunder and anthropometric
scaling parameters of the media and social sciences come into play. Since Ed Hutchins famous book ‘Cognition in the Wild’, distributed agency is expanding and is no longer limited to human activity. Media also adapt themselves to their natural surroundings under digital conditions.
However, there is a big chasm between the ambition of media studies to explain the sensitivities of a digital culture and the scientific practices of everyday digital life.

The first generation of practitioners of media theory still believed in an explanation of media-specific practices. When media were separated by technical standardizations and institutional arrangements in the early 1960s, media were indeed specific, and simultaneously promised media-specific practices.
At least there are common sense rules for listening to the radio, watching TV, working with a PC, etc. Conversely, when the internet and digital network media became dominant, at least one important strand of media theory promised ‘the end of media’ or rather a ‘convergence culture’, which implicitly gave rise to the end of media-specific practices. However, media have not disappeared.
Digital mediation is inscribed into all realms of everyday and business life.

Three years after the Collaborative Research Center has started, we aim to reconsider media-specific practices and whether there are still practice-specific media. What kind of specificity characterizes digital practice? Are digital technologies inevitably inscribed into sensoria, mediation, practices and haptic media? What constitutes ‘digitality’ from a historical, esthetic, theoretical, or empirical
perspective? And how can digital sociology, digital STS and digital ethnography contribute toward a more comprehensive description which corresponds to the complexity of media practices? These are the questions we want to discuss. We invite theoretical and/or empirical contributions from either perspective: as practices to be studied, or as part of a theoretical outline and innovative research design.



Keynote I | Arjun Appadurai (New York)

Abstract: …

Arjun Appadurai…

Keynote II | Luc Boltanski (Paris)


Luc Boltanski…

with Contributions by:

• William Uricchio (Cambridge)
• Maria Schreiber (Vienna)
• Georgina Born (Oxford)
• Julia Bee (Weimar)
• Roger Norum
• Shaun Moores (Sunderland)
• Carolin Gerlitz / Anne Helmond
• Mark Paterson (Pittsburgh)
• Jörg Potthast


Main conference language will be English.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

from 13:00 – 15:00  
from 15:00 – 15:30 Break  
from 15:30 – 17:30  
from 17:30 – 18:00 Break  
from 18:00 – 20:00 Keynote I | Arjun Appadurai (New York)

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

from 10:00 – 12:00  
from 12:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break  
from 14:00 – 16:00  
from 16:00- 16:30 Break  
from 16:30 – 17:30  
from 17:30 – 18:00 Break  
from 18:00 – 20:00 Keynote II | Luc Boltanski (Paris)


Attendance of the conference is free of charge.

Please register at .


Main Conference Venue

Campus Herrengarten Raum AH – B 002 (Herrengarten 3, 57072 Siegen

For further information about getting to the conference venue, find directions 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 www.bahn.com.

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.


Concept and Organization: Tristan Thielmann, Marcus Burkhardt, Timo Kaerlein

Any questions? You can contact us via email: EMAIL CONTACT