News

07 September 2021
The CRC Winter’s Lecture Series: Learning (in) Digital Media
How are learning and digital media connected? And how are digital media shaping practices of learning?...
The CRC Winter’s Lecture Series: Learning (in) Digital Media

How are learning and digital media connected? And how are digital media shaping practices of learning? Nowadays many aspects of life aren’t imaginable anymore without digital media, including the area of learning. This winter’s lecture series of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) “Media of Cooperation” focuses on “Learning (in) Digital Media”.

Processes of learning are a locus of organization, stabilization as well as perturbation of societal structures. Digital media transformed the parameters of communal practice and participation leading to re-situate practices of learning into settings that are infrastructurally stabilized, yet locally and socially distributed. This established new communities of practice. Furthermore, conventional notions of learning are being challenged by recent interest in machine learning in the field of artificial intelligence. The changing technologies of cooperation, instruction, and learning are also affecting the conditions of collaboration in social and cultural realms, challenging or reinforcing power asymmetries. It becomes more and more difficult to trace hierarchies of knowledge and modes of political power within techniques and technologies of learning and cooperation. Yet the actual process of learning remains a communal practice, in which results of interaction cannot be fully predetermined.

The CRC’s lecture series aims at examining the cooperative production of “learning” as a media and data practice in its different aspects: from the learning subjects, organizations and data practices involved in learning processes to self-learning systems and artificial intelligence. We invited several scholars from different fields of research to inquire the practices and concepts of cooperative learning and learning in cooperation from various perspectives.

 

12.10.2021 Rainer Mühlhoff: “Human-Aided Artificial Intelligence: Machinic capture of human labor in contemporary media culture”

19.10.2021 Katharina Rohlfing: “Scaffolding and monitoring: Aspects of learning in the social design of explainable AI systems”

02.11.2021 Inga Gryl, Helena Atteneder: “Towards a maturity-oriented education on the algorithms behind geomedia technologies”

09.11.2021 Petra Missomelius: “’Digital education” and the IT industry”

16.11.2021 Niels Kerssens: “Governed by edtech? Valuing educational autonomy in a platform society”

23.11.2021 Gabriele Gramelsberger: “Collaborating with machines: Researchers Meet ML-Algorithms”

30.11.2021 Florian Jaton: “On ground truths, biases, and morality in machine learning design and application”

14.12.2021 Jen Ross: “Speculative approaches, cultures of surveillance, and digital futures in higher education”

18.01.2022 Caroline Sinders: “Feminist Data Set”

01.02.2022 M. Beatrice Fazi: “Causality and the Future of Deep Learning”

 

The lecture series takes place as a hybrid event with on-site participation and online access. The zoom link for the lecture will be made available in good time via the SFB’s mailing list. Guests can register with Damaris Lehmann by email. Send an email

 

Lecture Series 2021 (Download)

 

17 August 2021
First Mixing Methods Summer School at the SFB – Researchers explore “Breaching Experiments“
The first Mixing Methods Summer School of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1187) “Media of Cooperation”...
First Mixing Methods Summer School at the SFB – Researchers explore “Breaching Experiments“

The first Mixing Methods Summer School of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1187) “Media of Cooperation” took place online from 26 to 30 July 2021 and focused on “Breaching Digital Media / Respecifying Ethnomethodology”. Situated within the intern graduate school (MGK), the Summer School invited Ph.D candidates from the SFB 1187. Based on the concept of “Research Sprints”, the participants not only explored digital media and data practices in a contrastive and project-oriented way using different methods but also reflected upon the limits and possible combinations of different methodological approaches.

The breaching experiments were accompanied by three keynotes from the fields of digital sociology, media studies, and human-computer interaction. Noortje Marres argued for a situational analytics in her talk about “An interpretative methodology for the study of social life in computational settings”, Anne Rawls spoke about “Revealing Order through Disorder: Garfinkel’s Breaching Tutorials and Studies of Difficulty and Difference” and Kristina Lindström and Åsa Ståhl presented recent work from their project “Un/Making Matters, Practices and Imaginaries”. The SFB’s first Mixing Methods Summer School concluded with a joint presentation of the “Breaching” results.

Led by Loup Cellard, one of two facilitators of the Summer School, and Robin de Mourat, the first group with Daniela van Geenen, Stefan Laser, Fernando van der Vlist, Jason Chao and Danny Lämmerhirt examined the fitness app Strava and its tracking conditions for sports activities such as jogging, swimming and cycling. With the use of breaching experiments, they were able to uncover leaks and limitations of the app while revealing its digital functionality. A second research group, consisting of Tim Hector, Niklas Strüber, Yarden Skop, Marcus Burkhardt, Susanne Förster, and Tatjana Seitz, focused on breaching the chatbot Replika, which revealed a number of linguistic inconsistencies, technical problems, and political incorrectnesses. The third research group by Max Kanderske, Hendrik Bender, Regina Wuzella, Benedikt Merkle and Timo Kaerlein, led by Philippe Sormani, the second faciltator of the Summer School, dealt with questions of ethnomethodology. Their breaching focused on the Google AIY Vision Kit and its image recognition software which was pushed to its limits.

The next Mixing Methods Summer School is scheduled for 2023.

 

28 July 2021
New CRC Working Paper on the technicity of platform governance published
    How are application programming interfaces (APIs) tied into the power of and the governance...
New CRC Working Paper on the technicity of platform governance published

 

 

How are application programming interfaces (APIs) tied into the power of and the governance by large digital platforms? Based on empirical and evolutionary analysis, the authors of the new publication “The Technicity of Platform Governance – Structure and Evolution of Facebook’s APIs“  (Working Paper Series No. 20, July 2021) trace the relationality between Facebook’s APIs, platform governance and data strategy. They provide an insight into the technicity of Facebook as one of the largest digital platforms, consisting of a ‘family of apps’, like WhatsApp or Instagram. The exchange of data and services between the platform is facilitated by the use of APIs, which can also be utilized for changes to platform policy or data strategy. The paper emphasizes the significance of the technicity of these platforms for maintaining infrastructural and evolutive power over their ecosystems.

The authors are members of the Collaborative Research Centers “Media of Cooperation” (SFB 1187) and „Transformationen des Populären“ (SFB 1472) which are both locates at Siegen University. Marcus Burkhardt leads the project B08 „Agentic Media: Formations of Semi-Autonomy“ which examines how agentic media are created cooperatively as actors in various fields of practice – chatbots, drones, and the academic development of algorithms – and asks which interactions orders as well as modes of cooperation emerge between human and synthetic actors. Tatjana Seitz and Fernando Van der Vlist are research associates at the projects A01 “Digital Network Technologies between Specialization and Generalization” and A03 „Navigation in Online/Offline Spaces“. Anne Helmond is assistant professor of New Media and Digital Culture at University of Amsterdam and principal investigator at the SFB 1472.

Their paper „The Technicity of Platform Governance – Structure and Evolution of Facebook’s APIs“ is published as part of the Working Paper Series of the SFB 1187, which promotes inter- and transdisciplinary media research and provides an avenue for rapid publication and dissemination of ongoing research located at or associated with the CRC. The purpose of the series is to circulate in‑progress research to the wider research community beyond the CRC. All Working Papers are accessible via the website or can be ordered in print by sending an email to: karina.kirsten@uni-siegen.de

 

30 June 2021
Lost and found: transforming assistance at digital Deutsche Bahn
How does digitization relate to assistance? A mishap sparked a profound study on contemporary redistribution...
Lost and found: transforming assistance at digital Deutsche Bahn

How does digitization relate to assistance? A mishap sparked a profound study on contemporary redistribution of assistance at Deutsche Bahn.

When sociology professor Jörg Potthast lost his phone and wallet on a train in 2015, he found himself in the stressful situation of not being able to block his credit card. Without a phone of his own he had to rely on the train conducter’s kindness and contact his bank over a borrowed one. To make matters worse the connection was insufficient. This unfortunate event prompted the author to take a closer look at the lost and found services of the Deutsche Bahn.

Noticing a shift towards digitization within the “lost and found” services of the deutsche Bahn, the author explores the effects that come with digital practices. Leaving the train, the publication “Lost and found: transforming assistance at digital Deutsche Bahn” further contemplates the general digital practices of the individual consumer, when seeking assistance.

The publication intends to seek for a politics of pity – which have been largely absent from the current appraisals of digital sociality – in exploring the ambiguous patterns in the practice of assistance.

Jörg Potthast is a principal investigator at the Collaborative Research Center (SFB 1187) „Media of Cooperation“ in Siegen, leading the project A04 – Normal Interruptions of Service. Structure and Change of Public Infrastructures, which explores the sociological aspects of public transport.

His paper is published as part of the Working Paper Series of the SFB 1187 (No. 19, July 2021) which promotes inter- and transdisciplinary media research and provides an avenue for rapid publication and dissemination of ongoing research located at or associated with the CRC. The purpose of the series is to circulate in-progress research to the wider research community beyond the CRC. All Working Papers are accessible via the website or can be ordered in print by sending an email to: karina.kirsten@uni-siegen.de

 

 

 

 

22 June 2021
In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a ‘Practice + Approach’ to Studying Media
Are there limits to thinking with, and through, practice? Scholars across media studies talk variously...
In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a ‘Practice + Approach’ to Studying Media

Are there limits to thinking with, and through, practice? Scholars across media studies talk variously of ‘everyday’, ‘situated’, ‘digital’, and ‘media’ practices as well as, increasingly, ‘app’ and ‘data’ practices. But what do we gain from thinking about practice, or through the lens of praxeology? Alternatively, what might we lose from thinking only about practice, or only through praxeology?

The publication «In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a ‘Practice + Approach’ to Studying Media» started as a dialogue between media scholars wrestling with these questions, in which the value of practice and praxeology is explored. The aim of the publication is to discuss how the limits to practice might be, and indeed are being, studied, and potentially redrawn especially by those working with, in, and beyond, media studies.

The publication project was initiated by scholars of the Graduate School «Locating Media». It is published as part of the Working Paper Series edited by the Collaborative Research Centre «Media of Cooperation». The collection attempts to establish novel connections that potentially bring new life to the study of practice, by exploring new concepts, thinkers, energies, methodologies and disciplinary traditions. The articles explore how practices are variously constituted in, and through, contemporary media such as video platforms, collaborative text editors, enterprise software, socialmedia APIs, automotive navigation systems and health data apps.

The publication does not intend to cast doubt on the value of studying practice – long an interest of media scholars based in Siegen. Instead, it discusses how everyday, situated, digital, media, app, and data practices – as identifiable phenomena – are nonetheless modified by other things they meet, from bodily affects that ‘pre-code’ or modulate practices, to broader technical, material and social infrastructures that likewise facilitate or constrain how practices are performed.

As a provocation, the publication offers what might be productively referred to as a ‘practice+ approach’. In doing so, the authors emphasize how practices (as phenomena) and praxeological approaches (as lenses) can be engaged with materially, discursively, and affectively. The contributions discuss how practice+ approaches are enhanced by a supporting cast drawn from aesthetics, political discourses, technical representations or cognitive concepts. Moreover, the discussion draws attention to alternative theories that define practice differently such as queer and feminist studies, computer science or theatre studies.

Authors:

Christoph Borbach (Locating Media) | media studies

Magdalena Götz (Locating Media) | art, media, and gender studies

Sam Hind (Media of Cooperation, former: Locating Media)| media studies

Danny Lämmerhirt (Media of Cooperation, former: Locating Media) | critical data studies

Hannah Neumann (Locating Media) | theatre & cultural studies

Ana Och (Locating Media) | media linguistics

Sebastian Randerath (University of Bonn, former: University of Siegen) | design and media studies

Tatjana Seitz (Locating Media) | platform studies

The edited collection “In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a ‘Practice + Approach’ to Studying Media”, is published as part of the Working Paper Series of the Collaborative Research Center 1187 „Media of Cooperation“  (No. 18, June 2021). This collection is (guest-) edited by Magdalena Götz, Sam Hind, Danny Lämmerhirt, Hannah Neumann, Anastasia-Patricia Och, Sebastian Randerath, and Tatjana Seitz. For a printed version of this edited collection, please contact: karina.kirsten@uni-siegen.de

The CRC Working Paper Series promotes inter- and transdisciplinary media research and provides an avenue for rapid publication and dissemination of ongoing research located at or associated with the CRC. The purpose is to circulate in-progress research to the wider research community beyond the CRC. All Working Papers are accessible via the website or can be ordered in print by sending an email to: karina.kirsten@uni-siegen.de

 

 

 

05 June 2021
New episode of our podcast series “History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences“
How and why does language change? Linguist and language historian James McElvenny, together...
New episode of our podcast series “History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences“

How and why does language change?
Linguist and language historian James McElvenny, together with other language scientists, tackles this question on his blog hiphilangsci.net. Showing and encouraging the diversity of lingistic subjects, McElvenny and his guests explore key developments in language and communication sciences from the perspective of intellectual history: from the grammar in the works of Franz Bopp and Jacob Grimm to Ferdinand de Saussures’ structuralism.
 
James McElvenny is a researcher at the Collaborative Research Center (SFB 1187) „Media of Cooperation“ in Siegen, working in the project„P02 – Media of Praxeology II: History of audio-visual sequence analysis as a methodology“. The podcast is associated with this project which investigates the history of audio-visual sequence analysis across sociology linguistics and allied fields.
 
In the new episode from the 1st of June 2021, McElvenny enters the age of classical structuralism by exploring the phonological research of Roman Jakobson and his colleague Nikolai Trubetzkoy undertaken within the Prague Linguistic Circle.
The podcast series consists currently of 15 episodes which are available online on hiphilangsci.net.
Contact: James McElvenny (james.mcelvenny@mailbox.org)
01 March 2021
Call for Papers: International Anthology and Authors’ Workshop “Video Conferencing: Practices, Politics, Aesthetics”
University of Siegen, March 10 and 11, 2022 (abstracts submission deadline: April 15, 2021) Editors:...
Call for Papers: International Anthology and Authors’ Workshop “Video Conferencing: Practices, Politics, Aesthetics”

University of Siegen, March 10 and 11, 2022 (abstracts submission deadline: April 15, 2021) Editors: Axel Volmar, Olga Moskatova, Jan Distelmeyer

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has reorganized existing methods of exchange, transforming comparatively marginal technologies into the new normal. Video conferencing in particular has become a favored means for spatially distributed forms of communication and collaboration without physical copresence. Corresponding apps and their infrastructures proliferate, leading to a widespread adoption of video conferencing in various societal domains, such as work, education, leisure, friends and family. This sudden omnipresence of video conferencing has already provoked a burst of reactions in recent months, with the rise of Zoom coming to stand for new practices of networked, synchronous online sociality. Scholars have discussed, for instance, Zoom’s physical effects (e.g., “zoom fatigue”), privacy issues, malicious practices (e.g., “zoom bombing”), and split-screen aesthetics. Despite this attention, however, video conferencing remains relatively understudied in media studies. The “Video Conferencing: Practices, Politics, Aesthetics” anthology therefore takes the current situation as a point of departure for examining the mediality of video conferencing, while expanding the scope of the examination beyond the context of the pandemic to address video conferencing as a medium more broadly.

Video conferencing establishes connections and mediations whose analysis requires the consideration of different levels and their interrelation. Its mediality prompts to interrogate the complex interplay of materiality and software, platform structures and economies, education and society, and the aesthetics of encounters and their associated practices and technical procedures. The focus on the conditions, procedures, and effects of mediation raises questions both technical and cultural, political and aesthetic, and historical and topical. What socio-technical and practical needs does video conferencing respond to, and which practices and conditions, conversely, are produced by video conferencing in the first place? What political, socioeconomic, and cultural contexts are operative or altered in the process? To what extent are new opportunities of access, participation, and spanning distances opened up, or the conditions of being-with narrowed? And finally, what aesthetic forms are being generated, passed on, or modified?

To address these questions, the anthology puts emphasis on media processes and configurations that constitute video conferencing and structure its practices, politics, and aesthetics. As an umbrella term, “video conferencing” includes diverse and historical applications, such as image and video telephony, telepresence, and visual communications, and thus demands attention to the specific meanings and media practices it acquires in different contexts. Although the anthology is broadly conceived, it especially encourages proposals that engage approaches in media studies and related disciplines, such as media theory, film and television studies, critical infrastructure studies, science and technology studies, software and platform studies, critical theory, cultural studies, and interface studies. These diverse approaches share an interest in issues of mediation and together enable a comprehensive account of the complexity of video conferencing as a media phenomenon. In this respect, the use of the gerund is also programmatic: in contrast to the noun “video conference,” the progressive form “video conferencing” deliberately stresses the procedural, praxeological, and agential aspects of the subject.

The collection seeks proposals that engage with the mediality of video conferencing by connecting material from case studies to fundamental theoretical questions. Of particular interest are media theoretical perspectives that can shed light on how the current boom in video conferencing challenges the prevalent understandings of digitally networked media,

possibly by interrelating different areas, ecologies and scales. Therefore, we particularly look forward to discussions regarding the role and significance of video conferencing in relation to other media and media practices. We also welcome proposals focusing on the impact of video conferencing on social and cultural stratifications, reflecting on the nonnormative or artistic uses of video conferencing or intertwining the aesthetical issues of video conferencing with issues of privacy and data-driven economies. In addition, papers may explore the ways in which video conferencing systems alter or influence the relations and tensions between technologies and modes of use, circulations and infrastructures, public and private spheres, individuals and collectives, proximity and distance of encounters, and audiovisual and other data practices.

Given that video conferencing represents a global phenomenon designed to cross borders yet bound to specific territorial conditions and local contexts, the anthology aims to gather international perspectives that may expose the different conditions prevailing in different regions of the world. Therefore, we particularly look forward to proposals from colleagues based outside Europe and North America.

Please send your abstract in the range of 500 to 700 words (including a short bibliography of three to five items) and short biography by April 15, 2021, to videoconferencing-anthology@sfb1187.uni-siegen.de. (Authors who are unable to keep the submission deadline due to COVID-19-related problems may however arrange an individual extension with the editors.)

The selected contributors are invited to submit draft chapters, which will be discussed at an authors’ workshop. Depending on the global pandemic situation, the event will either take place at the Collaborative Research Center Media of Cooperation at the University of Siegen, Germany, on March 10 and 11, 2022, or will be held online. The anthology will be published by the German Transcript Publishing and distributed in the United States by Columbia University Press.

Timeline and Submission Deadlines:

  • Initial abstracts due: April 15, 2021
  • Author notification due: May 15, 2021
  • Draft chapters (5,500–7,000 words) due: December 15, 2021
  • Authors’ workshop (incl. feedback and internal review of draft chapters): March 10–11, 202

 

Detailed information (PDF): Download

03 February 2021
Job Advertisement: Postdoc Media of Cooperation (University of Siegen)
  We are looking for: In Faculty I – Faculty of Philosophy, Media Studies, the German...
Job Advertisement: Postdoc Media of Cooperation (University of Siegen)

 

We are looking for:

In Faculty I – Faculty of Philosophy, Media Studies, the German Research Foundation (DFG) Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) „Media of Cooperation“ is looking for a postdoc at the earliest possible date under the following conditions:
    •    100% = 39,83 hours
    •    Salary category 13 TV-L
    •    fixed-term period until 31.12.2023

CRC 1187 “Media of Cooperation”:

The CRC is an interdisciplinary research association consisting of 15 projects and more than 60 researchers from the fields of media studies, science and technology studies, anthropology, sociology, German language and literature studies, computer sciences, and medicine, as well as history, education, and engineering. It is receiving funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) since 2016.

Within the subproject A01 „Digital Network Technologies between Specialization and Generalization“, we jointly investigate histories of digital media since 1989. We aim for a theory of digitality that encompasses practices, infrastructures, and publics.

Your tasks:

  • Cutting-edge research in media history and theory
  • Further qualification with a second book or Habilitation
  • Organizing international conferences and publications along with other subprojects of the CRC
  • Developing new ideas for grant extension
  • Participating in the general program of the CRC (research forum, workshops, conferences)
  • Contributing to the core topics of the CRC (infrastructures, publics, praxeology)

Your profile:

  • Excellent PhD in Media Studies, Cultural Studies, Science and Technology Studies or History
  • Experience in microhistory and openness towards digital methods
  • An international and interdisciplinary research profile
  • Excellent proficiency in English, further languages are highly welcome

Our offer:

  • This position aims to promote the candidate’s scientific qualification (according to the Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contracts; Wissenschaftszeitvertrags­gesetz), for which the ongoing media research in Siegen offers a supportive environment (Habilitation)
  • Responsibility for a field with great creative potential
  • An agile environment that supports engagement with innovative educational work
  • The opportunity to make a visible contribution towards modern accounts of leadership, cooperation and diversity culture
  • Numerous offers such as flexible working hours, company pension scheme, dual career service, coaching/mentoring and a comprehensive personnel development program

We look forward to receiving your application by 02.03.2021.

Please apply exclusively via our application portal (https://jobs.uni-siegen.de or https://u-si.de/WhZUm respectively). Unfortunately, we cannot consider applications in paper form or by email.

Contact:

Dr. Sebastian Gießmann
0271 / 740 – 2586
sebastian.giessmann@uni-siegen.de 

The University of Siegen is an equal opportunity employer. The call for applications is explicitly aimed at people of all genders (m/f/d); applications from women are given preference in accordance with the North Rhine-Westphalian Equal Opportunities Act (Landesgleichstellungsgesetz). We also welcome applications from people with different personal, social and cultural backgrounds, people with severe disabilities and people of equal status.

19 January 2021
CfP: Navigationen. Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturwissenschaften 1/2022, published by Christoph Borbach and Max Kanderske
Taking a literal approach towards the journal’s name, the call addresses current research on the topic...
CfP: Navigationen. Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturwissenschaften 1/2022, published by Christoph Borbach and Max Kanderske

Taking a literal approach towards the journal’s name, the call addresses current research on the topic of navigation from a media & cultural studies perspective. Our goal is to provide an overview of the field, its researchers and their approaches, methods and theories. Taking the ubiquity of so-called smart devices in the post-digital as a starting point, the issue will ask about current media practices and techniques of civilian and military navigation as well as their methodological investigation and (re-)modelling. We welcome epistemological perspectives that examine current navigational practices and techniques in their historical development, taking into account the variable, sometimes divergent conditions and historically marginal designs of the navigational – i.e. successful as well as failed media, infrastructures, practices and standards.

Abstracts (max. 7,000 characters) can be sent to max.kanderske@uni-siegen.de and christoph.borbach@medienkomm.uni-halle.de until February 28th 2021. They should include a short biographical note. Should the circumstances allow it, the participating authors are invited to present their texts for discussion at an author workshop in July 2021. It will be funded by CRC 1187 “Media of Cooperation” and held at the University of Siegen. Further information on the journal Navigationen. Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturiwssenschaften are available at https://www.universi.uni-siegen.de/katalog/zeitschriften/navigationen/.

 

Detailed information (PDF): deutsch / english.

06 November 2020
Launched ‘Interface’-Blog opens debate about societal relevance and impact of the CRC’s work
We are excited to launch Interface, a new online platform for debate about the societal relevance...
Launched ‘Interface’-Blog opens debate about societal relevance and impact of the CRC’s work
We are excited to launch Interface, a new online platform for debate about the societal relevance and impacts of our work, as well as for wider discussion of related themes and issues. Entitled Interface, this platform aims to facilitate the collective exploration of how the diverse research areas studied by Collaborative Research Centre ‘Media of Cooperation‘ members and associates may connect to – or interface with – current issues and broader societal debates, both within and beyond academia. We welcome contributions that explore themes and issues addressed by our research centre as well as innovative ideas for the blog. We particularly look forward to receiving submissions from academics, civil society, and practitioners in the field. Visit Interface at: https://interface.mediacoop.uni-siegen.de/ For further details on submissions, see: https://interface.mediacoop.uni-siegen.de/2020/10/16/launching-the-interface/ 

Newer Entries 1 / 4 Older Entries