SFB 1187 ›Medien der Kooperation‹ an der Universität Siegen
Workshop – “Digital Platforms and Boundary Infrastructures”
Thursday, 02 November 2017 - Friday, 03 November 2017 Organized A01 (Sebastian Gießmann), A03 (Carolin Gerlitz, Hendrik Bender), A05 (Claudia Müller, Marén Schorch), B03 (Sigrid Baringhorst, Mundo Yang) and B07 (Dagmar Hoffmann, Wolfgang Reißmann)

The aim of the workshop is to expand current platform scholarship by asking how platforms operate, enable or are entangled in “boundary infrastructures”, a term first introduced by Susan Leigh Star and Geoffrey Bowker. “Boundary infrastructures” provide the usually invisible categorization schemes, filters, standards and calculative practices, which allow practices to operate across larger levels of scale. Rather than fixing its meaning beforehand, we see “boundary infrastructures” as a term offering creative leeway and opportunities for experimental thought for platform and media studies and our aim is to stimulate an open discussion (for more information see the linked outline paper).

The workshop will follow a discussion intensive format involving a range of scholars from different disciplinary perspectives.


Confirmed Speakers / Discussants

  • Andreas Birkbak
  • Marcus Burkhardt
  • Elizabeth van Couvering
  • Jonathan Gray
  • Anne Helmond
  • Stefania Milan
  • Jean-Christophe Plantin
  • Dave Randall
  • Peter Tolmie


Universität Siegen
Campus Herrengarten
Raum AH 217/18 und AH 210/11
Herrengarten 3
57072 Siegen


Thursday, November 2

All Things Boundary? Objects, Infrastructures, Publics

On Boundary Publics, Mundo Yang/Sebastian Gießmann/Wolfgang Reißmann (Siegen)
Response from a Platform Studies Point of View, Carolin Gerlitz (Siegen):

Accounting for Value(s): Facebook Revisited

Visual Boundary Infrastructures: Audience Visualisations as Platform Co-ordination Mechanisms, Elizabeth van Couvering (Karlstad)
Re-embedded Participation? Inquiring the Political Work of Facebook’s Algorithmic Standardizations, Andreas Birkbak (Copenhagen)

Setting Up Boundary Infrastructures: Practice, Iteration and Reflexivity

Moving to the Digital: Some Problems and Pitfalls, Dave Randall (Siegen)
The Situated Crafting of a Platform for Coordination in Breast Cancer Care, Peter Tolmie (Siegen)

Intersections Between STS and Platform Studies

The Question of Power in Platform Studies and Infrastructure Studies, Jean-Christophe Plantin (LSE London)
Wrapping Up
Conference Dinner

Friday, November 3

Data Activism and Politics

tba, Stefania Milan (Amsterdam)
Between the Worlds: Infrastructures, Standards and Platforms of Fiscal Data, Jonathan Gray (King’s College London)

Databases and Platforms

Databases as/versus Boundary Infrastructures: Reflections from the Early Histories of Digital Information Systems, Marcus Burkhardt (Siegen)
Platform Boundary Resources and Strategic Permeability, Anne Helmond (Amsterdam)/Fernando van der Vlist (Siegen/Amsterdam)
Wrapping Up/Panel Discussion with all Presenters

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