The CRC 1187 “Media of Cooperation” members publish their research results in the broadest possible range of publication venues suitable for their respective research and disciplines. You will find a chronological list of CRC-related publications by all members under “All Publications”.

Beyond that, the CRC has various publication formats of its own in which CRC members and other researchers publish. These include the book series Media of Cooperation (Springer), Beiträge zur Praxeologie (Metzler), and Media in Action (open access, Transcript) and the Internet blog series Boasblogs (in cooperation with the Global South Studies Center an der University of Cologne, the Institute for Ethnology and Cultural Studies (IFEK) at the University of Bremen, and the Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften).

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) – Project number 262513311 – SFB 1187 Media of Cooperation

You will find detailed information on the contents of the publications in the following:.


Clemens Eisenmann, Kathrin Englert, Cornelius Schubert, Ehler Voss (eds.)

Varieties of Cooperation. Mutually Making the Conditions of Mutual Making


This volume conceives 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.

Mohn, Bina Elisabeth

Kamera-Ethnographie. Ethnographische Forschung im Modus des Zeigens. Programmatik und Praxis


With numerous examples, the book refers to the testing of the camera-ethnographic approach in the context of collaborative camera ethnography, which has been carried out and methodologically reflected upon in subproject B05 since 2016. The situated notion of data represented in the SFB and the orientation of B05 towards a research-reflexive notion of collaboration are constructively taken up and programmatically elaborated in this book together with a reflexive pragmatics and situated methodology.

Marcus Burkhardt, Daniela van Geenen, Carolin Gerlitz, Sam Hind, Timo Kaerlein, Danny Lämmerhirt, Axel Volmar (eds.)

Interrogating Datafication. Towards a Praxeology of Data


What constitutes a data practice and how do contemporary digital media technologies reconfigure our understanding of practices in general? Autonomously acting media, distributed digital infrastructures, and sensor-based media environments challenge the conditions of accounting for data practices both theoretically and empirically. Which forms of cooperation are constituted in and by data practices? And how are human and nonhuman agencies distributed and interrelated in data-saturated environments? The volume collects theoretical, empirical, and historiographical contributions from a range of international scholars to shed light on the current shift from media to data practices.

Open Access.

Tristan Thielmann, Hendrik Bender und Max Kanderske, Christoph Borbach

Geomedia Histories

New Media & Society 24 (11), November 2022

The new issue of the journal New Media & Society has been published with a special issue on "Geomedia Histories" (Volume 24 Issue 11, November 2022). It is thus addressing a desideratum in Geomedia Studies, where current geopractices and technologies are the focus of interest. The special edition includes research papers by Tristan Thielmann, Hendrik Bender and Max Kanderske, as well as Christoph Borbach, among others.

New Media & Society 24 (11), 2022

Digital network media are designed as cooperative tools, platforms and infrastructures which transform existing publics and give rise to new ones. Digital media can no longer be understood as individual media, but demand a practice-theoretical perspective on media and their history. All media are cooperatively accomplished devices of cooperation. Media practices and techniques evolve from the mutual making of shared resources and joint processes. That’s why the study of digital media disturbs our scientific division of labour and remains a challenge for the intersections between media theory and social theory. The series is edited by Erhard Schüttpelz, University of Siegen & CRC 1187 Media of Cooperation.

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) – Project number 262513311 – SFB 1187 Media of Cooperation.

Kontakt: karina.kirsten[æt]

More information on the publisher’s site: Springer.

Electronic ISSN: 2520-8357 | Print ISSN: 2520-8349


Materiality of Cooperation.

Gießmann, S., Röhl, T., Trischer, R., Zillinger, M., Hrsg. 2023

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-39468-4

The volume investigates the socio-material dimension and media practices of cooperation – before, during and beyond situations. Cooperation is understood as reciprocal interplay operating with or without consensus, in co-presence or absence of the involved actors in distributed situations. Artefacts, bodies, texts and infrastructures are the media that make cooperation possible. They enable and configure reciprocal accomplishments – and are themselves created through media practices in cooperative situations.

Materiality of Cooperation. Gießmann, Röhl, Trischler, Zillinger. 2023


Varieties of Cooperation. Mutually Making the Conditions of Mutual Making

Eisenmann, C., Schubert, C., Voss, E., Hrsg. 2023

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-39037-2

Varieties of Cooperation Media of Cooperation

This volume conceives 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 contributions 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 volume sheds 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.


Digitale Kindheiten

Wiesemann, J., Eisenmann, C., Fürtig, I., Lange, J., Mohn, B.E., Hrsg. 2020

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-31725-6

Die Digitalität der Gesellschaft ist durch einen Strukturwandel in allen gesellschaftlichen Bereichen gekennzeichnet. Wie sind digitale Medien Teil gegenwärtiger Kindheiten? Die Untersuchung von Medien und Medienpraktiken im Alltag der Kinder sind neue Herausforderungen für die Kindheits- und Familienforschung, denen mit einem innovativen methodischen und methodologischen Repertoire begegnet wird. Der Band leistet einen Beitrag dazu, die medialen Formen von Kindsein und Familiesein zu klären und etabliert digitale Kindheiten als ein eigenständiges Forschungsfeld.


Materialität der Kooperation

Sebastian Gießmann, Tobias Röhl und Ronja Trischler, Hrsg. 2019

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-20805-9

Die Autorinnen der „Materialität der Kooperation“ fragen nach materiellen Bedingungen und Medienpraktiken der Kooperation – vor, während und über Situationen hinaus. Kooperation wird als ein wechselseitiges Zusammenwirken verstanden, das mit oder ohne Konsens, mit oder ohne Kopräsenz der beteiligten Akteure in verteilten Situationen vonstattengehen kann. Materielle Bedingung von Kooperation sind Medien als Artefakte, Körper, Texte, Bilder und Infrastrukturen. Sie ermöglichen, bedingen und figurieren wechselseitige Verfertigungen – und entstehen selbst durch Medienpraktiken in kooperativen Situationen.


Infrastructuring Publics

Korn, Matthias, Wolfgang Reißmann, Tobias Röhl, and David Sittler, eds. 2019

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-20725-0

The volume scrutinizes publics and infrastructures not separately but in their constitutive interrelations and resonances. The contributions, originating in a range of disciplinary perspectives, share a praxeological approach, discussing historical and current processes of mediated cooperation in infrastructuring and making public(s) by tracing different forms of the production, design, and historic trajectories of various publics and infrastructures.


Researching Complex Information Infrastructures

Thomas Ludwig, 2017

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-658-16921-3

Thomas Ludwig reveals design characteristics when aiming at researching information infrastructures and their diverse information resources, types of users and systems as well as divergent practices. By conducting empirically-based design case studies in the domain of crisis management, the author uncovers methodological and design challenges in understanding new kinds of interconnected information infrastructures from a praxeological perspective. Based on implemented novel ICT tools, he derives design characteristics that focus on integrating objective and subjective queried insights into situated activities of people as well as emphasizing the subjective nature of information quality.


The Working Paper Series of the Collaborative Research Center 1187 „Media of Cooperation“ promotes inter- and transdisciplinary media research. The CRC Working Paper Series provides an avenue for rapid publication and dissemination of ongoing research at or associated with the CRC. The Working Paper Series aims to circulate in-progress research to the wider research community beyond the CRC. Publication in the Working Paper Series does not preclude publication of a more developed version of the same paper in another journal. Contributions from established academics and postdoctoral researchers are welcome. The articles are published in open access and a limited number of print copies. We ask interested parties to send a paper proposal (max. 300 words) and a short biographical note (max. 50 words). Please follow our style guide for manuscript submission.

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) – Project number 262513311 – SFB 1187 Media of Cooperation.

Series’ editor: Karina Kirsten, University of Siegen & CRC 1187 Media of Cooperation

contact: karina.kirsten[æt]


No 35 (2023) “Kontrapunkte setzen. Digitale Politische Bildung mit ContraPoints”

This text explores the potential of creative civic education formats in digital contexts. Foundations, institutions and vloggers have created new civic education formats in recent years in light of the shift to the right on platforms. These aim to prevent and intervene in right-wing discourse, trolling, fake news and the like. Informal formats of political education in the field of gender and queer studies are discussed on the basis of the YouTube channel ContraPoints. These are video essayistic counter-formats that aim to expose and recognize right-wing meta-politics. They produce educational formats that not only address content and information, but also aesthetics and affect. This text focuses on the format-specific nature of ContraPoints’ political education, which, following Donna Haraway, is understood here as situated knowledge.


No 34 (2023) “Co-Teaching Post-digital Ethnography”

Finding innovative, engaging, hierarchy-defying and, above all, precise descriptions of teaching exercises suitable for imparting complex theory and methodological approaches as multi-layered as postdigital ethnography is rare to find. Those that exist are mostly scattered across a few non-specific blogs and private Twitter feeds – finding them is a matter of an obscure combination of serendipity and algorithms. In this working paper we reflect on our co-teaching methods applied in a Masterclass on postdigital ethnography. Our aim is twofold: not only to reflect on teaching methods in postdigital ethnography, but also to present concrete examples of implementation in teaching and co-teaching constellations by means of teaching exercises.


No 33 (2023) “Unboxing Spain’s Colonial Past in the Rif Situating memory work and transborder publics in a Domestic Basement Archive in Madrid”

In the Northern Moroccan city of Al Hoceima, Spanish and Moroccan history of the 20th and twenty-first century converge. The protracted anti-/colonial war fought between parties from both territories gave rise to the bloody Spanish Civil War and Francoist dictatorship and formed a basis for post-independence military oppression in the Rif uprisings 1958/59. A growing body of ethnographic work focuses on memory work on both topics in this area from Moroccan perspectives and with eyes on oppressed subjects (Aixelà-Cabré 2022, Nahhass 2022). Drawing on recent work on ‘implicated subjects’ (Rothberg 2019), I argue that it is also necessary to consider ongoing trans-Mediterranean and Spanish memory activism in order to fully understand the workings and duress of colonialism in Spain and Northern Morocco. To that end, the following paper analyzes archival practices about colonial Alhucemas and postcolonial Hoceima surrounding one private collection among this last generation of Spanish colonizers. It builds on fieldwork I conducted among former Spanish residents of Al Hoceima. As children and young adults, they grew up in relative colonial freedom under the totalitarian Franco regime. As adults, they witnessed two transitions: the transition to Moroccan independence 1956 and the transition to Spanish democracy from 1978 onwards, and many of them engage in collecting practices surrounding these transitions. This paper outlines how objects circulate in and out of one of their archives and how publics congregate around them. Through the objects, Former Residents, Spanish institutions, Spanish and Riffian actors become actors and publics who enter in relationships of co-operation without consensus about a shared narrative of perpetrators, victims and history at large. Three contested issues are made to travel through the analyzed collection: a continuously invoked notion of convivencia, (architectural) traces of a colonial past in the Hoceima cityscape and administrative and social secrets of mutual surveillance. I am interested in how these issues form part of a boundary infrastructure of memory work between Spain and Hoceima (Star and Griesemer 1989, Star and Bowker 2017, Schubert 2017). This working paper will serve as an intermediary step to explore competing and shared notions of victimhood, forms of co-operation and the creation of transborder publics around the entangled histories of life on both shores of the Mediterranean.



No 32 (2023) “Defining Digitalities III: What’s Digital About Digital Media?”

In this working paper we explore an alternative thread in the early development of media and medium as concepts: the origins of the idea of the storage medium in digital computing practices and communities of the 1940s and 1950s. While such practices were obscure at the time, they laid the technological foundation for today’s range of digital media. We discuss digitality as a feature of the practices used to read and write symbols from a medium, not a physical property of the medium itself. We then move on to a discussion of the alphabet as itself digital, grounded in the work of Nelson Goodman. Engaging with the contributions of Matthew Kirschenbaum, we explore the limited interchangeability of representations between different encodings of the same symbols, connecting the purported immateriality of digitality to this actual fungibility of material representations.


No 31 (2023) “Defining Digitalities II: What’s Digital About Digital Communication?”

Although the distinction between digital and analog was first made in the context of automatic computers, the concepts were quickly broadened to apply to media and communication systems of all kinds. This working paper continues work on both fronts by looking at the historical broadening of the concept of digitality to include non-numerical systems of representation such as those used to encode text and pictures. This conception underlies the ability of computers to deal with things other than numbers, but it has its roots in communications theory, most famously in the work of Claude Shannon. In parallel with our historical description of the emergence of nonnumerical conceptions of digitality we broaden our analytical treatment of digitality to encompass more historical technologies and reading practices: not only adding machines and punched cards, but also musical boxes, weaving systems, movable type, and even alphabets and hand gestures.



No 30 (2023) “Defining Digitalities I: What’s Digital about Digits?”

Modern discourses emphasizes electronic immateriality as the defining feature of digital technology. The idea that digits might be digital when punched onto cards, or even written on a piece of paper, is no longer intuitive. Yet by reconstructing the context in which the categories of digital and analog were first distinguished historically in the 1940s, I argue that the concept of digitality is rooted in the mechanical representation of digits in early computers, which contemporary observers immediately recognized was shared with earlier technologies such as telephone switching systems, punched cards, and calculating devices. Digitality is not a feature of an object itself, but of the way that object is read (whether by human or by machine) as encoding symbols chosen from a finite set. In conclusion, digitality is constituted through reading practices.


No 29 (2023) “‘Anything can happen on a smartphone…’ – Mutual explorations of digitalization and social transformation in Morocco’s High Atlas through On/Offline Theatre Ethnography

This paper discusses the use of (online) theatre as an ethnographic research tool in an existing collaborative study on (digital) media use and social transformation in a Moroccan village situated in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Due to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to the ongoing fieldwork there, the project team sought a way to re-establish a regular feedback loop with the village community in a non-physical way. As a solution, the project team, together with the local partners, decided to bring in a theatre maker to conduct online theatre workshops, with the aim to bring the project back to life in a meaningful way and to generate data for the overall goal of the project: to explore and develop socio-technical collaboration infrastructures in Morocco. This working paper describes the process, motivations, design, and outcomes of the project, as well as the controversies, opportunities, and struggles that arose during the theatre work. It also reflects on the added value and objections of such a collaboration between an academic and an artistic discipline and describes the process of ‘negotiating connection’ between researchers and research partners amidst the pandemic. I argue that, despite the necessary challenges, using theatre as a methodological tool for ethnographic research, can, through cooperation, allow researchers to better understand cultural practices, social relations, and power dynamics within a marginalized community.


No 28 (2023) “Testing ‘AI’: Do We Have a Situation? – A Conversation”

This working paper is based on the transcription of a recent conversation between the authors, regarding current instances of the real-world testing of “AI” and the “situations” they have given rise to, or as the case may be, not. The conversation took place online, on the 25th of May 2022, as part of the Lecture Series Testing Infrastructures, organized by the Special Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1187 “Media of Cooperation” at the University of Siegen, Germany. This working paper is an elaborated version of this conversation and is organised as follows. The introduction presents an expanded version of the lecture abstract, which was used to advertise the online conversation. The bulk of the working paper reproduces and extends the transcribed conversation, as well as parts of the ensuing discussion with the audience. In the conclusion, we address the question “do we have a situation?,” when it comes to AI testing in society, in the light of the conversation, and reflect on “what’s next” in social studies of “AI” testing situations, as well as on turntaking in (online) conversation.

No 27 (2023) “Computational Correspondences – Die Software Korsakow als Katalysator für eine Korrespondenz mit digitaler Materialität in medienethnografischer Forschung”

Das Working Paper stellt die vorläufigen Ergebnisse einer Meisterklasse für Medienethnographie dar, die im April 2022 an der Universität Siegen stattgefunden hat und vom SFB 1187 „Medien der Kooperation“ ausgerichtet wurde. Zentral war dabei die Fragestellung, welche Forschungspraktiken entstehen, wenn Ethnograph:innen die digitale Materialität ihrer Forschungsgegenstände, -instrumente und -umgebungen als aktive Partizipient:innen innerhalb des Forschungsprozesses begreifen. Eine Annäherung an solch eine bewusste „Korrespondenz“ mit digitaler Materialität (Weidle 2020) wurde über die Autorensoftware Korsakow initiiert. Das Besondere an Korsakow ist die computergenerierte multilineare Verkettung einzelner Mediendateien. Durch die Arbeit mit Korsakow sollten mögliche neue Zugänge an das eigene Forschungsmaterial exploriert und kritisch diskutiert werden. Exemplarisch stellen zwei Teilnehmer:innen der Meisterklasse ihre Erkenntnisse aus dieser Auseinandersetzung vor. Astrid Vogelpohl betrachtet Korsakow dabei als eine Variante kombinierenden visuellen Forschens, in der Algorithmen als nichtmenschliche Forschungspartner:innen den Analyseprozess unterstützen. Inwieweit sich dabei die Forschungswege von einer Analysearbeit mit vornehmlich menschlichen Partner:innen unterscheiden, steht im Zentrum ihrer Ausführungen. Tobias Leßner hingegen beschreibt zunächst seinen persönlichen Zugang zu Korsakow sowie die damit einhergehenden Irritationen, Fragen und Überlegungen vor dem Hintergrund seiner ethnographischen Arbeit zu demokratischen Schulen und deren Darstellung mittels Virtual Reality.  Daran anschließend fokussiert er, was sich für pragmatische aber auch methodologische Implikationen aus der Verschiebung der Autor:innenschaft des/der Ethnograph:in in Richtung Algorithmus und der Interpretationsmacht in Richtung der Rezipient:innen ergeben. Letztlich sind die vorgestellten Ansätze Ausgangspunkte für weitere Suchbewegungen nach dem Digitalen und seinem (Mit-)Wirken in einer (medien-)ethnographischen Forschungsarbeit, die sich im Sinne des ontologischen Turns diffraktiv rekonfiguriert (Mellander/Wiszmeg 2016). Als Teil der Wissensproduktion geht es dabei auch darum, wie sich die Korrespondenz mit digitaler Materialität in die Vermittlung wissenschaftlicher Ergebnisse einschreibt und transparent gemacht werden kann.

No 26 (2023) “Simulierte Nähe – Über die Reaktionen der „Qualitätszeitungen“ und des öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunks auf die wachsende Macht der digitalen Online-Medien”

Ausgehend von einem Gutachten, das die Kognitionswissenschaftlerin Elisabeth Wehling im Auftrag der ARD 2019 erstellt hat, und das den Anstalten der ARD empfiehlt, ihr angeschlagenes öffentliches Image dadurch zu verbessern, dass sie in allen Verlautbarungen ihre moralische Gemeinschaft mit dem Publikum rhetorisch herausstellen, geht der Text der These nach, dass der öffentlich-rechtliche Rundfunk und die sogenannten Qualitätsmedien sich ohnehin per simulierter Nähe den Kommunikationsbedingungen der Digitalmedien und sozialen Netzwerke anpassen. Diesen letzteren gegenüber versuchen sie aber, ein Tatsachenmonopol für sich zu errichten.

No 25 (2023) “Obsoleszenz statt Transformation im Schienenverkehr – Über die Rolle der Bahn in der ökologischen Verkehrswende, eine Grüne Welle auf der Schiene und Hoffnungen in eine Kupplungsrevolution”

Climate change and environmental issues call for an ecological transformation of production and consumption. In Germany, the transport sector is considered the “troubled child” of the transformation, because emissions in the mobility sector have not fallen in recent decades, in contrast to other sectors. But there are signs of change – the car industry has been criticised since the “diesel scandal” and, alongside electric mobility, e-fuels and cycling, the rail industry is seen as a beacon of hope. The industry emphasises its importance for climate and ecology and can thus establish a stable new reference in the public.

Yet the situation is ambivalent. To better understand this dynamic, the first part of this article works through the transport transition discourse with a focus on rail transport. Extensive data from the social media platform Twitter serve as a basis. This part gives an overview of the actors involved and their positions and shows competing understandings of the transport transition as well as the multiplicity of problem ideas. From a qualitative perspective, the second part discusses two innovative projects in rail transport: the “Green Function of Movement Control”, which brings a kind of green wave to rail, and the “Digital Automatic Coupling”, which is intended to replace a coupling technology in freight transport that is more than 150 years old. However, it becomes apparent that the ecological transformation at the workplace rail is fleeting. The railways themselves are not driving any transformation, because they are instead preoccupied with issues of obsolescence – i.e. issues of ageing – i.e. with repair, maintenance, servicing as well as old technology and entrenched, slowly grown administration. This is not a problem per se, but an adequate description of the work and competences that are necessary to keep a rail network alive – and that need to be appreciated. If there is to be a change in transport by and with the railways, it will only work with less and slower traffic, also on the railways.


No 24 (2022) “Mit Wittgenstein Arbeiten – Ein Methoden Manual”

Das Manual bietet in Form von 10 Einsätzen einen Zugang zur Methodologie in den mittleren Schriften und im Spätwerk Ludwig Wittgenstein. Sowohl Hintergründe, Zitate im Kontext, als auch weiterreichende Fragen und Hinweise werden übersichtlich präsentiert. Dadurch wird eine erste Orientierung hinsichtlich der wesentlichen Eckpunkte einer praxeologisch orientierten Sprachphilosophie ermöglicht. Zentrale Theoreme wie grammatische Untersuchung, Beschreibung, Sprachspiel, Familienähnlichkeit werden vertiefend und in ihrem gedanklichen Zusammenhang dargestellt. In seiner überblickshaften Darstellung zielt dieses Manual auf ein theoretisches und praktisches Verständnis der Philosophie Wittgensteins als Arbeitsform und damit auf eine Erschließung dieser Philosophie als eine ebenso praktikable wie durchgreifende Vorgehensweise im Spektrum wissenschaftlich-kritischer Methodologien


No 23 (2022) “The ‘Conditional Voice Recorder’: Data practices in the co-operative advancement and implementation of data-collection technology

Stationary voice-controlled systems are installed in an increasing number of households. The devices are operated primarily via voice-user interfaces, which evaluate the spoken commands cloud-based, and are aligned to the principles of interpersonal interaction. This raises questions about the integration of the devices into everyday practices carried out in the household: How is use of smart speakers negotiated situationally, embedded in interpersonal interactions, and (how) are aspects of data privacy, data processing and potential exploitation reflected by the users? The project “Un/desired Observation in Interaction: Intelligent Personal Assistants” in the CRC “Media of Cooperation” approaches these questions empirically. However, such an investigation of smart speakers faces the methodologi-cal challenge that this requires voice data documenting not only the use of the smart speaker itself, but also the contexts of the use that go beyond mere “voice commands”. Therefore, a “Conditional Voice Recorder” (CVR), a technology developed in Nottingham by Porcheron and colleagues (2018), was brought to bear to create audio recordings of usage contexts. These include not only the voice command itself, but also a few minutes before and after the smart speaker is addressed. However, the original device required further technical development to be compatible not only with Amazon’s smart speaker model, but also products from other providers (Google and Apple). The paper reflects on this advancement and the implementation of the CVR i.e. our own research practices as data practices. On the one hand, it makes visible which (otherwise opaque) data were collected and processed during the advancement, how the usage of the CVR itself is inscribed in the data recorded with it, and which data practices were carried out in the evaluation. On the other hand, it documents the advancement and application of the CVR to enable other studies with it (or similar technologies).


No 22 (2022) “In den USA ist in alltäglichen Interaktionen ein stillschweigender Rassismus institutionalisiert. Und anderswo?”

In unserem Buch Tacit Racism („Stillschweigender Rassismus“) zeigen wir, dass Rassismus in den Vereinigten Staaten in die „alltäglichen“ Erwartungen an zwischenmenschliche Interaktionen eingeschrieben ist. Dafür gehen wir der Frage nach, wie es auf einer sozialen Ebene, die wir als „Interaktionsordnung von race“ (Interaction Orders of Race) bezeichnen, zur ständigen Produktion und Reproduktion von unbewusstem Rassismus kommt, der sich im Alltag auf „stillschweigende“ und unhinterfragte Weise bemerkbar macht. In den USA sind soziale Konstruktionen von race spätestens seit dem 16. Jahrhundert die wichtigste Kategorie bei der Herstellung der sozialen, professionellen und bürgerschaftlichen Ordnung in den USA, bis heute sind sie tief in den Strukturen sowohl des formalen Rechts als auch informeller Praktiken verankert. In unserem Buch beschreiben wir, wie Menschen in der Begegnung mit anderen kontinuierlich und unbewusst auf eine Reihe von Erwartungen zurückgreifen, die unser Handeln bestimmen und anleiten. Da diese Erwartungen und Voreinstellungen durch einen über Jahrhunderte gewachsenen systemischen Rassismus geprägt sind, sehen wir uns permanent dazu veranlasst, auf der Grundlage rassistischer Vorurteile zu agieren, die unser gesamtes Handeln beeinflussen können: von der Art, wir wir unsere Nachbarn begrüßen, bis hin etwa zur Frage, ob wir einen zweiten Blick auf einen bestimmten Lebenslauf werfen. Bei dem „stillschweigenden Rassismus“, so unsere These, handelt es sich um eine der sich am schnellsten ausbreitenden und gefährlichsten Bedrohungen für die Zukunft der Demokratie. Wir gehen davon aus, dass die US-amerikanische Entwicklung eines binären kategorialen Schemas, das sich an der strikten Opposition von Schwarz und Weiß orientiert, in gewisser Weise singulär ist. Mit der Absicht, Forschungen und Ansätze zu race auch in anderen Ländern zu bereichern, fragen wir in dem Sonderheft der Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 2/2021 darüber hinaus, ob und inwiefern sich auch in anderen Ländern Elemente eines „stillschweigenden Rassismus“ finden lassen. Dabei argumentieren wir, dass die spezifischen Bedingungen, die in den Vereinigten Staaten zur Herausbildung eines binären Systems der Rassen geführt haben, zwar ganz andere sind als in Europa, die US-amerikanische Praxis und Konstruktion von race jedoch in die ganze Welt exportiert wurde, wodurch auch in anderen Gesellschaften die tiefe Verankerung von „stillschweigendem Rassismus“ verschärft werden konnte.


No 21 (2021) “From Instruments to Containers, from Containers to Media: The Extensions of the Body

There is a long tradition of conceptualising the ‘extensions of man’ or the ‘extensions of the body’ as devices enabling the emergence of technical instruments and/or of media, a tradition renewed by recent discussions in German media studies (Siegert, Harrasser, Kassung). But most of the earlier protagonists of this tradition focussed exclusively on the extensions of human extremities and the brain (McLuhan, Leroi-Gourhan, Kapp). Only a minor tradition mentioned ‘containers’ as technical and figurative externalisations of the rump and of whole bodies (Mumford). Especially the British archeologist Clive Gamble has recently pointed to a long ‘drift’ from instruments to containers, and to the ambiguities of technical and figurative containers. Gamble’s renewal of Mumford’s intuition gives media theory a unique chance to develop a new prehistory of today’s media and computer interfaces: acknowleding the long-term impact of gender divisions of labour; completing the incomplete matrix of Leroi-Gourhan’s technical extensions by pondering the distributed cognition of traps and work-places; elucidating the spatial intelligence of useful, ritual and aesthetic skills; explicating the cooperative spatial action enabled by media such as maps and cosmograms, Amerindian bundles, Sub-Saharan masks and Siberian drums and many others yet to be explored in the long drift from instruments to containers to media.


No 20 (2021) “The Technicity of Platform Governance: Structure and Evolution of Facebook’s APIs”

Researchers, policymakers, and competition and regulation authorities worldwide recognise application programming interfaces (APIs) for powering the digital economy and driving processes of datafication and platformisation. However, it is unclear how APIs tie into the power of, and governance by, large digital platforms. This article traces the relationality between Facebook’s APIs, platform governance, and data strategy based on an empirical and evolutionary analysis. It examines a large corpus of (archived) developer pages and API reference documentation to determine the technicity of platform governance – the technical dimension and dynamics of how and what platforms like Facebook seek to govern. It traces how Facebook Platform evolved into a complex layered and interconnected governance arrangement, wherein technical API specifications serve to enforce (changes to) platform policy and (data) strategy. Finally, the article discusses the significance of this technicity in specifying the material conditions for app and business development ‘on top of’ platforms and for maintaining infrastructural and evolutive power over their ecosystems.


No 19 (2021) “Lost and found: transforming assistance at digital Deutsche Bahn”

Paying close attention to the intricacies of the episode below, this paper sets out to reflect in situ a shift to digitizing “lost and found” services. Foreshadowing a more extensive study on a contemporary redistribution of assistance at Deutsche Bahn, it refers to a pragmatist tradition concerned with preserving the condition of voice. Following this vein, it faces a purist critical attitude – epitomized in the practice of economics (Orléan 2014), which defends market forces (“exit”) as a way to outperform voice in any situation of decline, decay or dissatisfaction (Hirschman 1970). Anti-elitist suspicions, brought to perfection by another branch of social sciences, have become a powerful ally of this position. Rather than criticizing elitism and privilege, however, the present contribution draws on ethnographic research which displays the ambiguity of privileged users’ encounters with assis- tants. Exploring ambiguous patterns in the practice of assistance, it seeks for a politics of pity which has been largely absent from current appraisals of digital sociality.


No 18 (2021) “In the Spirit of Addition: Taking a ‘Practice + Approach’ to Studying Media”

This collection of articles considers the possibility of taking an “additive” approach to studying media, which the contributors to the collection refer to as a “practice + approach”. In this spirit 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. These additional engagements, it is argued, are intended to augment and supplement (rather than displace or replace) popular practice approaches offered through, and found within, ethnomethodology, organizational studies, workplace studies and similar. The articles explore how practices are variously constituted in, and through, contemporary media such as video platforms, collaborative text editors, enterprise software, social media APIs, automotive navigation systems, and health data apps. In these cases not only does one find a welter of varied, interconnected, multiscalar, differentially located practices but in the process of their articulation, one also discovers new vocabularies with which to document and articulate them. The contributions, thus, gesture towards how relations between media and their practices can be alternatively and fruitfully approached, evidencing new lines of thinking and doing in the study of practice.



No 17 (2020) Sebastian Gießmann: Identifizieren: Theorie und Geschichte einer Medienpraktik

Registrieren, Identifizieren und Klassifizieren sind Praktiken, die in digitalen Kulturen kaum mehr zu trennen sind. Anhand der Mediengeschichte des Passes und der Kreditkarte geht der folgende Text der Frage nach, wie immer neue infrastrukturelle Kaskaden des Identifizierens entstehen und welche öffentliche Brisanz den entsprechenden Datenverarbeitungen innewohnt. Beim Identifizieren handelt es sich um eine kooperative Medien- und Datenpraktik, an der stets mehr als eine Person beteiligt ist. Sie involviert von Anfang an menschliche Körper samt ihrer semiotischen Ressourcen und koppelt diese mit bürokratischen Aufschreibesystemen. Auch die neuesten digitalen Prozeduren greifen bevorzugt auf Gesichter und Fingerabdrücke zu: Biometrie versucht, den für das Identifizieren konstitutiven Abstand zwischen Konten, Körpern und Personen aufzuheben.


No 16 (2020) Asko Lehmuskallio & Airi Lampinen: Material Mediations Complicate Communication Privacy Management

Increasingly, school settings are implementing digital technologies to coordinate teachers’ work. The article examines the role of these technologies in teachers’ boundary regulation processes through the lens of communication privacy management theory, and it provides empirical insight into the renegotiation of being a teacher in the presence of rules formalized in software code. The case of Finnish high school teachers exposed to the use of Wilma, a distributed computing system used to store, process, and transmit student data, revealed experiences of a need to renegotiate formalized and trackable work processes, faster and more colloquial communication, and intensified day-to-day work. These influence modes of accountability and the need to negotiate visibility, along with understandings of rules as a central coordination mechanism for interpersonal boundary regulation. The authors suggest in addition that these technologies inure various social stakeholders to constant technical monitoring and regular accounting, thereby advancing the normalization of surveillance practices. This creates good reason to pay closer attention to how rules of engagement may be coordinated.


No 15 (2020) Julian Genner: To Everything, Turn, Turn, Turn?

This article reviews the “practice turn” (PT) in sociology, social theory, and media studies. In addition, it develops a sociological perspective on turns in general. As other turns, PT presents itself as heterogeneous and interdisciplinary phenomenon lacking clear conceptual and institutional boundaries. In order to grasp this fuzziness inherent to PT, I regard PT as a “sign-post” (Wittgenstein 1984) giving rather vague directions and thus “assembling” (Latour 2005) a heterogeneous research community. Thus, my main question is as follows: How does PT guide research and how do researchers follow PT? Drawing on interviews with researchers involved in PT, I distinguish two major ideal-typical ways of following PT. Revolutionary approaches aim for overcoming existing ways of doing research by turning to practice. In contrast, reformative approaches aim for a renewal of disciplines. Whereas revolutionary approaches mainly arise in interdisciplinary fields and various “studies”, reformative approaches flourish on the margins of sociology. In exploring this pattern, the article develops a sociological way of reflecting PT and turns in general. Thereby the article establishes an institutional perspective drawing on the work of Boltanski and Chiapello (2007).


No 14 (2020) Tim Moritz Hector & Christine Hrncal: Intelligente Persönliche Assistenten im häuslichen Umfeld

Sprachassistenten werden in einer steigenden Zahl von Haushalten in den Alltag eingebunden. Es zeigen sich dabei sprachliche und kulturelle Praktiken, die durch die Integration artifizieller Mündlichkeit in die Interaktion entstehen, wie sie bisher noch nicht beschrieben werden konnten. Diese untersucht der gesprächslinguistisch ausgerichtete Teilbereich des Projekts B06 „Un/erbetene Beobachtung in Interaktion: ,Intelligente Persönliche Assistenten‘ (IPA)“ im Sonderforschungsbereich „Medien der Kooperation“ an der Universität Siegen. Sprachassistenzsysteme sind außerdem für ihre Funktionalität auf die dauerhafte Beobachtung des häuslichen Umfelds angewiesen. Die Reflexion der NutzerInnen über dieses „Mithören“, das im öffentlichen Diskurs teilweise sehr kritisch betrachtet wird, steht ebenfalls im Fokus der im Projekt durchgeführten Untersuchungen. Im Rahmen der hier vorgestellten Pilotstudie werden methodische Prämissen im Hinblick auf das Vorgehen bei der Datenerhebung reflektiert und aus den gewonnenen Daten erste Anhaltspunkte für die sprachwissenschaftlichen Analysekategorien herauskristallisiert. Der Schwerpunkt liegt dabei auf der Identifikation von sprachlich-interaktionalen Praktiken und deren Einbettung in soziokulturelle Praktiken, die in der Hauptstudie ebenfalls näher beleuchtet werden sollen. Unsere Daten zeigen, dass Interagierende ein Sprachassistenzsystem nicht wie einen zusätzlichen Gesprächsteilnehmer in die Interaktion einbeziehen, sondern es durchaus wie ein technisches Gerät behandeln. Gleichzeitig scheint die parallele Nutzung des medial mündlichen Kanals zur Bedienung eines Geräts auf der einen und zum Führen einer Konversation auf der anderen Seite Auswirkungen auf das Repertoire sprachlich-interaktionaler sowie kultureller Praktiken zu haben.


No 13 (2019) Christian Erbacher: Das Drama von Tübingen

Was geschah am Tübinger Wittgenstein Archiv? – Unter Wittgensteinforschern regt diese Frage seit mehr als 30 Jahren zu Spekulationen und Legendenbildung an. Das Archiv war das erste große Projekt zur Herstellung einer maschinenlesbaren Transkription von Ludwig Wittgensteins nachgelassenen philosophischen Schriften (ca. 20.000 Seiten) als Vorbereitung für eine wissenschaftliche Gesamtausgabe. Dieses Projekt begann mit großen Hoffnungen und versprach, eine Sternstunde sowohl für die philosophische Editorik als auch für die frühen Digital Humanities zu werden. Doch die Projektgruppe zerbrach alsbald. Bis heute sind die näheren Umstände des Zusammenbruchs nicht bekannt. Daher stellt dieser Beitrag auf der Grundlage ausführlicher Archivrecherchen und Interviews die Geschichte des Archivs dar. Im Kern erweist sich diese Geschichte als ein sich ausweitender Vertrauensverlust innerhalb einer Forschergruppe und darüber hinaus. Wie etwa bereits Harold Garfinkels breaching Experimente erwarten lassen würden, führt auch in diesem Fall der Verlust von Vertrauen zum Kollaps der Kooperation.


No 12 (2019) Christian Henrich-Franke: The Mickey Mouse Telephone

The 1980s saw the triumph of neoliberal thinking in Western European societies and economies. Referring to neoliberal economists, governments across Europe implemented policies to deregulate (inter)national markets and to privatise national monopolies. One priority were the large postal and telecommunication services monopolies. In terms of media iconography, one icon of this ‘turn of the tides’ in the regulation of German telephone markets was the ‘Mickey Mouse Telephone’. It was a symbol of the American way of life and the freedom of choice, of the firm belief in the power of markets and the deregulation of monopolies. Nevertheless, the Mickey Mouse Telephone was an antagonism in itself. It was a symbol of American (technological) superiority, and yet, when it was introduced in the German market, it was overpriced and featured an outdated technology. Provided by the ‘Deutsche Bundespost’ – the German state-owned postal and telecommunications monopoly business – the Mickey Mouse Telephone was an analogue model equipped with a dial. The price was several times higher than for a standard phone model. This paper places the Mickey Mouse Telephone in the broader historical context of the relationship between the state, the economy and society in 1980s Germany.


No 11 (2019) Harold Garfinkel: Common Sense Knowledge of Social Structures (1959)

The text presented here was written by Harold Garfinkel for the Fourth World Congress of Sociology in Stresa (Italy) in 1959, where Garfinkel participated in the Section on the Sociology of Knowledge organized by Kurt Wolff. The “General Theme” of the Fourth World Congress of Sociology was “Society and Sociological Knowledge / La Société et la Connaissance Sociologique”. Garfinkel’s original Stresa paper had to be “heavily abridged” for publication (Garfinkel 1961).
The present text may be categorized as a “missing link” both in the history of Ethnomethodology and in a crucial period of the history of the Post-War Social Sciences.


No 10 (2019) Mark Priestley & Thomas Haigh: Colossus: The Missing Manual

There has until now been no comprehensive, convenient, and reliable description of the actual capabilities of the Colossus codebreaking machines used at Bletchley Park during World War II, the way they were used, and the jobs they were applied to. This gap in the literature has led to a lack of understanding of the machines’ functionality and hence to exaggerated claims about their capabilities. In this report we remove the Colossi as far as possible from their cryptanalytical context and consider them simply as computational devices. We give an architectural description of the whole family of related machines, including the initial model known as “Heath Robinson”, and a functional description of the major capabilities of the second and final Colossus design. We include detailed examples of how the machines would have been set up to perform a range of typical tasks, and conclude with a discussion of their versatility, examining in particular the question of how useful they would have been once the war had ended. We present several examples of actual Colossus configurations and the historical output they produced, illustrating the cooperation between figures typed automatically by Colossus and text and annotations added by the human operator.


No 9 (2019)  Tristan Thielmann: Sensormedien: Eine medien- und praxistheoretische Annäherung

Da gegenwärtig immer mehr Sensoren in Medien, Gebrauchsgegenständen und Infrastrukturen verbaut und diese so zu mobilen „Smart Devices“ transformiert werden, entstehen neue sozio-technische Bedingungen der Datenerfassung und -verarbeitung, denen nicht mit etablierten Konzepten zur Informations- und Wissensgesellschaft begegnet werden kann. Sie zeichnen sich durch eine entgrenzte Datenerfassung aus, da wir mit Hilfe von Sensoren eine unaufhörliche Verbindung zur Umwelt eingehen. Das Konzept der Sensormedien erlaubt es daher, den Fokus darauf zu richten, was das Beständige medialer Environments ist und was unsere „digitale Gesellschaft“ zusammenhält. Die Grundidee des vorliegenden Working Papers ist, dass Sensormedien einen epistemischen Shift von der Informations- zur Sensorgesellschaft einleiten und nur in der wechselseitigen Verrechnung und Re-Sensibilisierung von Daten, Umwelten und Körpern zu verstehen sind. Sensormedien sind zudem prädestiniert für eine praxistheoretische Auseinandersetzung, da die mediale Erfassung und Darstellung der Körper-Umwelt-Beziehung durch neue Sensortechnologien ein Diversitätsniveau erreicht, welches der Komplexität praxeologischer Beschreibung besser gerecht wird. Umgekehrt lassen sich die kulturellen und gesellschaftlichen Auswirkungen der Sensormedien nur auf Grundlage methodologischer Innovationen wirklich adäquat beschreiben.


No 8 (2019)  Silvia Gherardi: Practice as a collective and knowledgeable doing

This paper explores the relationship between knowledge and practice, knowledgeable practices, knowing in practice and knowledge as a situated activity. It traces a tradition of sociological thought in practice theories that derives from studies of scientific knowledge and that challenges the conventional understanding of the ‘social’ as human-centred. The understanding of practice is grounded in an actor-network approach and in feminist Science and Technology Studies. In fact, the precursors of the empirical study of knowing in situ were the so-called laboratory studies, and section 1 presents their contributions to the study of knowledge practices. Later, section 2 proposes a posthumanist practice theory that joins other post-epistemologies in the project of de-centring the human subject as the main source of action and moving from a formulation of practice theory as ‘humans and their practices’ to a vision of practice as the entanglement of humans, materialities, discourses, knowledges and any other relevant element in the situated activities. The aim of the paper is to interpret practice as an empirical phenomenon; therefore, sections 3, 4 and 5 illustrate the core assumptions: i) the sensory and elusive knowledges embedded in knowing in practice; ii) realities as enacted in practices; and iii) interdependent practices as woven in a texture of practices.


No 7 (2019)  Luc Boltanski: Reality and its twin:
The thematic of conspiracy in political metaphysics

This paper will focus on the thematics of mystery, conspiracy and inquiry, a subject area explored in one of my more recent books, where I sought to un- derstand the prominent place these thematics have occupied in the representation of reality since around the turn of the 20th century. It has also long been my aim to analyse the role that these thematics may have played in the formation of political metaphys- ics. Although not necessarily one of the canonical forms of political philosophy, political metaphysics left its mark on the last century and, in all probability, continues to haunt the present one. It can be seen as a kind of mythology that is equipped with a for- midable practical e ectiveness, which gives it the power to shape the contours of reality. The thematics of mystery, conspiracy and inquiry have constantly ipped back and forth between the representation of reality in literature, particularly in so-called ‘popular’ literature, and the most disturbing and sometimes most dramatic aspects of reality itself.


No 6 (2019)  Arjun Appadurai: Mediants and the Making of Narrative Assemblages

In this lecture, I will highlight the ways in which the current world of nancial markets, mechanisms, and risk-taking is saturated with linguistic and literary forms. These include the promissory language of derivatives, the public pronouncements of central bankers, and the internal narratives of financial analysts. Finance today has a deep literary infrastructure that needs to be recognized and demystized. When we think about finance, our main association is with an ocean of numbers: stock prices, interest rates, currency exchange values, pro t-earnings ratios, mortgage costs, credit ratings, and many other elements in the nancial world are numerically expressed. We are also led to believe that nancial managers and entrepreneurs are mathematics whizzes and that their work is inscrutable to the rest of us because it is too numerically complex for us. Yet, nance itself is deeply saturated with narrative and linguistic forms to which numbers are entirely subordinate or marginal. What are the forms and functions of the literature of global nance? I will use this question to combine my interest in derivative nance with my interest in mediants and mediation, on both of which I have published some work.


No 5 (2018)  Kjeld Schmidt, Ina Wagner: Writ Large: On the logics of the spatial ordering of coordinate artefacts in cooperative work

Enter a modern workplace, look around and look carefully, and you will notice a profusion of inscriptions of the most modest and unassuming kind. We are not here primarily referring to the mountains of text produced and perused as part of everyday work (such as letters, emails, reports, contracts), which naturally typically are the center of practitioners’ attention, but to an assortment of inconspicuous and mundane artifacts, such as fault report forms, folders, binder labels, part routing schemes, kanban cards, identification codes, that have been specially designed to facilitate the coordination and integration of cooperative activities. We call this vast and heterogeneous family of specialized artifacts ‘coordinative artifacts’. Though unremarkable, such artifacts play an essential role in enabling workers in modern work settings to get the work done in a reasonably orderly fashion. They provide a manifold latticework of signs by means of which distributed cooperative work activities are coordinated and integrated. Based on a series of ethnographic and similar studies of cooperative work in different domains of work (manufacturing, software engineering, architectural design, oncology treatment, ICD pacemaker treatment), the paper will attempt to show that we can begin to identify and describe the logics of the practices of designing and using such coordinative artifacts.


No 4 (2018)  Michael Dieter, Carolin Gerlitz, Anne Helmond, Nathaniel Tkacz, Fernando van der Vlist, Esther Weltevrede: Store, interface, package, connection: Methods and propositions for multi-situated app studies

This paper discusses methodological approaches to app studies, focussing on their embeddedness and situatedness within multiple infrastructural settings. Our approach arises by paying close attention to the multivalent affordances of apps as software packages, particularly their capacity to enter into diverse groupings and relations depending on different infrastructural situations. The changing situations they evoke and participate in, accordingly, makes apps visible and accountable in a variety of unique ways. Engaging with and even staging these situations, therefore, allows for political-economic, social and cultural dynamics associated with apps and their infrastructures can be investigated through a style of research we describe as multi-situated app studies. The piece offers an overview of four different entry points of enquiry that are exemplary of this overarching framework, focussing on app stores, app interfaces, app packages and app connections. We conclude with nine propositions that develop out of these studies as prompts for further research.


No 3 (2018)  Thomas Haigh: Finding a Story for the History of Computing

Thomas Haigh is working with Paul Ceruzzi of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., on an expanded and completely reorganized version of Ceruzzi’s classic monograph A History of Modern Computing. Haigh discusses the challenges involved in producing a one volume history of a uniquely flexible technology. Since the first edition of the book was published twenty years ago our sense of what the computer is for has shifted utterly, to encompass media consumption, personal communication, and shopping as well as the traditional activities of business administration and scientific number crunching. To reflect this, Ceruzzi and Haigh are adopting a new structure, in which each chapter of the book tells the story of how “the computer” becomes something different through its interaction with a particular set of users and applications. Haigh connects this structure to the work of historian Michael S. Mahoney, and his discussion of the “Histories of Computing(s).” He ponders the particular difficulty of avoiding a simplistic narrative of historical progress, often called a “whig history,” in summarizing the evolution of a technology whose spectacular technical improvement has come to define our idea of modernity. Haigh also discusses Ceruzzi’s text in relation to other comprehensive histories of computing, the production process of the new edition, and some of the editorial choices involved in a project of this kind.


No 2 (2017)  Sebastian Gießmann: Drawing the Social: Jacob Levy Moreno, Sociometry, and the Rise of Network Diagrammatics

The following article discusses the combination of graphical methods and network thought in early sociology. It combines a case study of Jacob Levy Moreno’s sociometric work and diagrammatic practice with media-theoretical thoughts about the characteristics of network diagrams. These are understood as inscriptions that perform both an act of drawing and writing at the same time. Moreno’s mappings, as well as other early visual techniques of social research, are understood along Michel Serres’ understanding of the network diagram as a topo­logical narration. Seen from the vantage point of a history of knowledge, Moreno’s sociometric and performative practices can not only be understood as a contribution to social network thought, but as actual research on the cooperative character of human interaction.


No 1 (2017)  Erhard Schüttpelz: Hunter into Prey: Trying to Make Sense of the »Media Revolution« at Göbekli Tepe

The essay tries to make sense of the iconography and monumentalism of Göbekli Tepe by way of a comparison with recent ›hunting ideologies‹ in forager situations of abundance or ›super-abundance‹. The article refers to two North American situations of super-abundance (North-West Coast societies based on seasonal aquafaunal abundance; and the seasonal congregations of large-scale Bison hunting groups on the Plains) to demonstrate how foragers coping with a situation of seasonal super-abundance are still able to ritually perform the reversibility of prey and predator inherent in hunting ideologies. The radical iconography of predators at Göbekli Tepe may likewise point to the ritual function of turning ›hunter into prey‹, and the monumentalism of Göbekli Tepe may be interpreted as a ritual setting celebrating the unity of a hunting congregation quite foreign to – and even deliberately pitted against – later regional developments.






The “Beiträge zur Praxeologie / Contributions to Praxeology” book series aims to prioritise practice over all other explanatory variables and to gain, clarify, or correct the basic theoretical concepts. Wittgenstein’s works and those of Schütz and Garfinkel refer to a common Central European genealogy of “praxeology”, which has, however, remained largely unknown to this day. The series, therefore, seeks to develop in three directions: through philosophical theory work, through empirical contributions to theory formation and through contributions to the revision of the history of science.

The volumes of the series are published in German or English. 

More information on publisher’s site: Metzler.

Electronic ISSN2946-0166 |  Print ISSN2946-0158

Editorial board:
Bruno Karsenti, Soziologe und Philosoph, ist Directeur d’Études an der École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)
Erhard Schüttpelz, Professor für Medientheorie an der Universität Siegen
Tristan Thielmann, Professor für Science, Technology and Media Studies an der Universität Siegen und ist stellvertretender Sprecher des DFG-Sonderforschungsbereichs „Medien der Kooperation“


Sprechen mit einem Talker. Eine praxistheoretische Rekonstruktion technisch unterstützter Kommunikation.

Wagenknecht, Andreas 2024 (forthcoming, June 2024)

ISSN: 978-3-476-05510-1 

Spricht jemand vermittelt durch einen Sprachcomputer, so entstehen komplexe soziale Praktiken, die den Alltag und das Leben der Nutzerinnen und Nutzer maßgeblich prägen. Am Beispiel der medientechnisch strukturierten Kommunikation mittels Sprachcomputer von Menschen ohne Lautsprache wird gezeigt, wie Technik und Medien den Alltag und das Leben mit einer körperlichen Behinderung bestimmen und gestalten. Auf der Basis soziologischer Praxistheorien werden zwei Themen verhandelt: Erstens geht es grundsätzlich um die Bedeutung von verkörpertem Wissen für die Teilhabe an medientechnologisch strukturierten Praktiken. Zweitens zeigt sich am Gebrauch einer Kommunikationstechnologie wie Assistenz, Kooperation und Handlungsmacht im Vollzug alltäglicher Praktiken verteilt und verhandelt werden. Die zentralen Fragen lauten: Wie kann das Verhältnis von Körper, Geräten/Dingen und Medien innerhalb sozialer Praktiken beschrieben und verstanden werden? Welche Theorien sind in welcher Kombination geeignet, die Problematik adäquat zu erfassen und die soziale Konstruktion einer Behinderung unter den Bedingungen moderner Medientechnik zu begreifen?



Anthropologie der Praxis

Girke, F., Mexer, C., Ramella, A.L., Zillinger, M. Hrsg. 2024 (forthcoming, Sept. 2024)

ISBN: 978-3-476-04609-3

Dieser Band bringt Autorinnen und Autoren aus der Ethnologie und Soziologie in ein Gespräch, um ein umfassendes praxistheoretisches Programm zu entwickeln. Während in der Ethnologie der praxistheoretische Einsatz der Feldforschung begrifflich und theoretisch oft uneingelöst bleibt, finden die praxistheoretischen Diskussionen in der Soziologie nur zögerlich Eingang in die Forschungspraxis. Eine interdisziplinäre Anthropologie der Praxis ist daher überfällig, um die Voraussetzungen, Methoden und feldspezifischen Dimensionen einer konsequent praxistheoretischen Sozial- und Kulturwissenschaft zu klären.


The Happy Afterlife of Ludwig W. The People that Made Wittgenstein’s Book and Turned Him into the World’s Most Popular Philosopher

Erbacher, Christian 2023

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-66155-0

This book tells a great philosophical tale. The backstory of this tale is simple: the famous philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein published only one philosophical book during his lifetime: theTractatus Logico-Philosophicus. He left the lion’s share of his philosophical writings to posterity in the form of unpublished manuscripts and typescripts amounting to more than 18,000 pages. In his will, Wittgenstein entrusted three of his former students – Elizabeth Anscombe, Rush Rhees and Georg Henrik von Wright – with the task of publishing from his writings what they thought fit. During the subsequent decades, these literary heirs edited the volumes that the learned world has come to know as the influential works of Wittgenstein. Now, the essays in this book tell about Wittgenstein’s literary heirs in their ambition to publish the writings of their beloved teacher. This history of the posthumous publication processes for Wittgenstein’s writings will extinguish the genius cult that still exists in some historiographies of philosophy. This cult is partly responsible for the impression that great philosophical works fall from the window of an ivory tower, in completed form, printed and bound, just in order to hit and inspire the next genius philosopher walking by. In actual fact, in the history of philosophy, there are a number of cases in which it takes the great philosophers’ pupils and followers to bring their teachers’ thought into a publishable form. Indeed, this is how literary tradition of Western philosophy begins. In the case of Wittgenstein’s writings, this book opens, at least to some extent, the black box of the discipulary production processes of the making of a classic philosopher.

The Happy Afterlife of Ludwig W. Erbacher


Leibliche Präsenz. Eine Soziologie holistischer Erfahrung

Antony, Alexander 2023

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-66784-2

Leibliche Präsenz. Antony Alexander

In welcher Hinsicht können körperlich-leibliche Erfahrungen als Teil sozialer Aktivitäten verstanden werden und wie kann man sie sozialwissenschaftlich untersuchen? Unter Rückgriff auf den klassischen Pragmatismus, insbesondere John Dewey, und soziologische Praxistheorien leistet Alexander Antony einen Beitrag zur Beantwortung dieser Fragen. Er entwickelt eine Soziologie leiblicher Praxis, welche Sozialtheorie, methodologische Reflexion und die Erforschung der Produktion ge- und erlebter Körperlichkeit miteinander verschränkt. Empirisch widmet sich das Buch aus einer diskursanalytischen und ethnographischen Perspektive der Praktik der Atemarbeit, einem „ganzheitlichen“ Therapie- und Selbsterfahrungsangebot. Die Atemarbeit zielt darauf, eine bewusst erlebte leibliche Selbstbezüglichkeit zu etablieren, um derart körperliches, psychisches und seelisch-spirituelles Wohlbefinden zu befördern. Auf unterschiedlichen Analyseebenen spürt der Autor der Frage nach, wie individuelles leibliches Erleben und die diskursive und soziomaterielle Produktion von Erfahrungssituationen zusammenspielen. Die zentrale Einsicht: Sozialität geht buchstäblich unter die Haut.

Dies ist ein Open-Access-Buch.


Tiere – Medien – Sinne

Willkomm, Judith 2022

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-476-04827-1

Wieso braucht man ein Schlauchboot, um Vögel aufzunehmen? Warum muss ein Lautsprecher wie eine Nachtigall klingen? Wie kann man Fledermaus-Laute gleichzeitig sehen und hören? Im Feld werden die Dinge erforscht, wo sie sind, wie sie sind und wenn sie stattfinden. Da sie dadurch nicht so leicht zu kontrollieren sind wie im Labor, müssen für die Datenerhebung andere Strategien gefunden werden. Dabei kommt es zu einem besonderen Wechselspiel zwischen menschlichen Sinnen und technischen Medien. Diese Verflechtung macht Judith Willkomm in ihrer Technographie über bioakustische Feldstudien beschreibbar.


Harold Garfinkel: Parson’s Primer 

Rawls, Anne Warfield (Ed.) 2019

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-476-04815-8

Harold Garfinkel was one of the most important American sociologists. A student of Talcott Parsons who also worked with Alfred Schutz and Kenneth Burke, he sought to craft an empirical and theoretical approach that would combine Parsons’ focus on social systems of interaction with the focus on practices in their course of Burke and Schutz. This previously unpublished manuscript titled Parsons Primer in which Garfinkel explains Parsons’ position on systems of social interaction and how it relates to Garfinkel’s own position is an important missing piece of Garfinkel’s argument.

The original manuscript from 1962/63 has been edited and a new introduction written for it by Anne W. Rawls and Jason Turowetz.


Fighting As Real As It Gets. A Micro-Sociological Encounter

Staack, Michael 2019

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-476-04991-9

Michael Staack’s multi-year ethnography is the first and only comprehensive social-scientific analysis of the combat sport ‘Mixed Martial Arts’. Based on systematic training observations, the author meticulously analyses how Mixed Martial Arts practitioners conjointly create and immerse themselves into their own world of ultimate bodily combat. With his examination of concentrative technique demonstrations, cooperative technique train-ings, and chaotic sparring practices, Staack not only provides a sociological illumination of Mixed Martial Arts culture’s defining theme – the quest of ‘Fighting As Real As It Gets’. Rather further-more, he provides a compelling cultural-sociological case study on practical social constructions of ‘authenticity’.


Daten-Karrieren und epistemische Materialität. Eine wissenschaftssoziologische Studie zur methodologischen Praxis der Ethnografie

Meier zu Verl, Christian 2018

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-476-04604-8

Dieses Buch rekonstruiert konkrete ethnografische Daten-Karrieren von der Beobachtung im Feld bis zur Publikation wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisse über das Feld. Die beobachteten ethnografischen Arbeiten an den einzelnen Karriereschritten machen methodologische Probleme einer adäquaten Beschreibung sozialer Wirklichkeit als Probleme des ethnografischen Alltags sichtbar. Diese Probleme werden u.a. praktisch gelöst, indem implizite kooperative Praktiken des Reinszenierens, des De- und Rekontextualisierens ethnografische Erfahrungen in sozialwissenschaftlich relevante Beschreibungen transformieren.


Culture, Practice and the Body. Conversational Organization and Embodied Culture in Northwestern Senegal

Meyer, Christian 2018

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-476-04606-2

Human sociality is shaped and realized most notably in embodied practices of interpersonal interaction. At the same time, the social nature of human beings is open for cultural influences. This book inspects the foundations of human sociality theoretically drawing on recent debates in sociology, anthropology, and linguistics, and empirically by the example of interactions on the central square of a Wolof village in Northwestern Senegal.

Menschliche Sozialität gestaltet und realisiert sich zuallererst in den vielfältigen verkörperten Praktiken zwischenmenschlicher Interaktionen. Die Sozialnatur des Menschen ist dabei offen für kulturelle Einflüsse. Dieses Buch inspiziert die Grundlagen menschlicher Sozialität theoretisch anhand jüngerer Diskussionen in der Soziologie, Ethnologie, Anthropologie und Linguistik und empirisch am Beispiel von Interaktionen auf dem zentralen Platz eines Dorfes der Wolof Nordwestsenegals.

The open-access book series “Media in Action”, conceived by the DFG Collaborative Research Centre “Media of Cooperation”, examines the history and contemporary state of networked, data-intensive media and their social implications at the interdisciplinary interface of social and media sciences. In the tradition of science and technology studies and actor-network theory, the German and English-language monographs, anthologies, and dissertations in the series focus on the practices, (co-)operations and procedures in the use, production and analysis of old and new media. A central challenge facing the series is the development of appropriate ethnographic, digital, sensor-based, and design-orientated methods for a new conception of the description of distributed ‘agency’ between people, computers, bodies and environments.

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) – Project number 262513311 – SFB 1187 Media of Cooperation.

Kontakt: karina.kirsten[æt]

More information on the publisher’s site: Transcript.

Series’ editors:
Timo Kaerlein, Kustos at University of Bochum
Isabell Otto, Professor for Media Studies at the University of Konstanz
Tristan Thielmann, Professor for Science, Technology and Media Studies at the University of Siegen and deputy spokesperson of the DFG Collaborative Research Center “Media of Cooperation”


An Ethnography of Publicness, Transnational Cooperation and Mountain Tourism in Morocco

How do digital media technologies shape or restructure social practice? And which transitions and demarcations of different forms of publicness arise in this context? Simon Holdermann examines this question in his ethnography of everyday life in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. In order to approach the ongoing, historically situated social transformations of the region, he analyses a variety of media practices concerning the organizational work and transnational cooperation that take place there – in particular at the intersection of mountain tourism, NGO work, and local self-government.


Mit Adorno im Tonstudio: Zur Soziologie der Musikproduktion

Adorno and the Recording Studio: On the Sociology of Music Production

Recording music is rarely understood as a autonomous form of music making. In this theoretical and empirical study of the recording process, David Waldecker combines Theodor W. Adorno’s critical music sociology, themes from praxeology, and ethnographic research of hardcore and jazz recording sessions. This book demonstrates how the technical and spatial particularities of the recording studio shape production processes as a particular way of making music. Also, current music sociology and the relation of Adorno’s Negative Dialectics to ethnography as a research methodology are discussed.


Digitale Materialität: Eine Ethnografie arbeitsteiliger Visual-Effects-Produktion

Digital Materiality: An Ethnography of Visual Effects Production based on the Division of Labour

Das Digitale gilt als artifiziell, synthetisch, fluid. Was, wenn sich derart jede Stofflichkeit gestaltet, die es zu bearbeiten gilt? In der arbeitsteiligen, teilautomatisierten Herstellung von Filmbildern stellt digitale Materialität Projektteams vor allerlei praktische Probleme, die diese zu bewältigen wissen. Ronja Trischler beobachtet die schrittweise Entstehung medialer Bilder in Visual-Effects-Firmen in Deutschland und England und zeichnet grundlegende Praktiken des gemeinsamen digitalen Gestaltens nach. Ihr Fokus auf Alltagsvollzüge digitaler Arbeit eröffnet eine gehaltvolle Perspektive auf digitale Kreativarbeit — und deren Materialisierung ganzer Bilderwelten.


Interrogating Datafication: Towards a Praxeology of Data

What constitutes a data practice and how do contemporary digital media technologies reconfigure our understanding of practices in general? Autonomously acting media, distributed digital infrastructures, and sensor-based media environments challenge the conditions of accounting for data practices both theoretically and empirically. Which forms of cooperation are constituted in and by data practices? And how are human and nonhuman agencies distributed and interrelated in data-saturated environments? The volume collects theoretical, empirical, and historiographical contributions from a range of international scholars to shed light on the current shift from media to data practices.


Ethnomethodologie reloaded: Neue Werkinterpretationen und Theoriebeiträge zu Harold Garfinkels Programm

Ethnomethodology reloaded: New Work Interpretations and Theoretical Contributions to Harold Garfinkel’s Programme

Harold Garfinkels 1967 erschienene »Studies in Ethnomethodology« gelten als Gründungsdokument der Ethnomethodologie und haben längst den Status eines soziologischen Klassikers. Doch so bekannt dieses Buch ist, so wenig wurde es tatsächlich gelesen. Angesichts radikaler Veränderungen der Lebenswelt unterziehen die Beiträger*innen des Bandes die »Studies« gut 50 Jahre nach ihrer Ersterscheinung einer Relektüre. Sie decken bisher verborgene Bezüge auf, rekapitulieren methodologische und empirische Anschlüsse an Garfinkel, diskutieren Parallelen und Differenzen zu anderen soziologischen und kulturwissenschaftlichen Forschungsprogrammen und demonstrieren das kritische Potenzial der Ethnomethodologie.

The journal series Media in action: interdisciplinary journal on cooperative media was transferred to the book series ‘Media in action’ (Transcript) in 2020 after 35 issues. All issues and individual papers are open-access and can be accessed here.

The DFG Collaborative Research Centre (SFB 1187) “Media of Cooperation” engages in a number of blog projects. Each blog (series) serves as a cooperative tool and public outreach for scientific and social debates, aiming at a broader public.

Boasblogs -A cooperative platform in the spirit of public anthropology

The boasblogs (founded in 2016) are a series of topic-related blogs that take up current issues relating to the anthropological sciences, discuss them in their controversiality in a wide circle of contributors, and at the same time ask about the public role and social relevance of anthropological knowledge.

All boasblogs, as public anthropology, aim to make scientific findings accessible to a broader public in order to make a critical-constructive contribution to current social debates and to help shape social relations on various political, social, and everyday levels.

Every boasblog is curated, published and organized by different and independent editors and international researchers. There are blogs on the restitution and decentering of ethnological museums, on the Covid-19 pandemic, examined from different perspectives (Witnessing Corona, Curare Corona Diaries, Fieldwork meets crisis), on the renaming of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde (German Society for Ethnology) to Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie (German Society for Social and Cultural Anthropology).

The name boasblogs refers to the German-born ethnologist Franz Boas (1858-1942), who is considered one of the founders of US cultural anthropology and was a ‘public anthropologist’ avant la lettre. He is well-known for his cultural relativist thesis that every culture forms its own history and development, making a hierarchisation of cultures impossible. This thesis was the occasion for the first boasblog, which took the article “Dschungelmärchen” (“Jungle Tales”), published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, as a starting point to discuss the relationship between “cultural relativism and enlightenment”.

In the wake of this controversy, the boasblogs have since taken up other topics related to cultural studies and made them accessible for a broader public. Selected discussions on a particular topic are also made available online and in print in the form of boasblogs papers.

The blog series is funded and co-produced by the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) Media of Cooperation at the University of Siegen, the interdisciplinary and collaborative research platform Worlds of Contradiction (WoC) at the University of Bremen and the Global South Studies Center (GSSC) at the University of Cologne.

The boasblogs have been a central part of the research program of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1187 “Media of Cooperation” since the first funding phase (2016-2020). The blog series is funded and co-produced by the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) “Media of Cooperation” at the University of Siegen, the interdisciplinary and collaborative research platform Worlds of Contradiction (WoC) at the University of Bremen and the Global South Studies Center (GSSC) at the University of Cologne. Editors are Christoph Antweiler (Bonn), Michi Knecht (Bremen), Ehler Voss (Bremen/Siegen) and Martin Zillinger (Cologne).

History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences (HiPhiLangSci)

A podcast on linguistic diversity: How and why does language change? This is the question that linguist and language historian James McElvenny of the Collaborative Research Center (CRC 1187) “Media of Cooperation” and other linguists address in his blog Their aim is to highlight and promote the diversity of linguistic topics and issues. Part of the blog is the podcast series History and Philosophy of the Language Sciences, in which McElvenny and his guests discuss the history of linguistics and communication studies, from grammar in the works of Franz Bopp and Jacob Grimm to Ferdinand de Saussure’s structuralism.

James McElvenny is a researcher at the CRC “Media of Cooperation” at the University of Siegen and works in subproject P02 “Media of Praxeology II: History of audio-visual sequence analysis as a methodology”. The goal of this research project is to reconstruct the prehistory and early history of sequence analytical data practices, as well as their consolidation, reception, adaptation, and methodification. This history is connected to different disciplines like linguistics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and cultural studies, but also the history of documentary film. James McElvenny’s podcast is an integral part of the project, each new episode explores a new topic.

Former Projects

Interface Blog

The interface blog was part of the Collaborative Research Center “Media of Cooperation“. It explored a variety of topics and issues that emerge at the intersection of digital media technology and society, such as the normative, technological, legal and political foundations of digital culture and publics. The editorial team consisted of Asli Telli Aydemir, Jason Chao, Pip Hare, Sarah Rüller and Fernando van der Vlist former and current researchers at the CRC 1187.