Workshop „Roads less travelled“

Exploring new connections between Media Research and STS
International workshop at the University of Siegen 5th & 6th February 2015

Estrid Sørensen and Cornelius Schubert

A cooperation of the Mercator Research Group Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge
with the DFG Research Training Group Locating Media

Workshop Report in EASST Review (03/15)

Workshop location:
Am Eichenhang 50
57076 Siegen
Overlapping lines of research in Media Research and STS have seen increasing scholarly interest over
the last few years. Driven by a mutual interest in information and communication infrastructures and
in processes of materiality and mediation, researchers from both fields have cut across the established
boundaries of each area and have sketched out conceptual and empirical commonalities on a
number of issues. STS and Media Research have largely converged by studying the messy and heterogeneous assemblages of modern media through ethnography and interviews or by historically
tracing the co‐evolution of media and society. Both areas share a common interest in scientific visualisations or inscriptions and media theorists have not only focused on mass media, but on many
different forms of media and cultural technologies. Likewise, STS scholars have studied musical instruments and have elaborated on concepts of mediation.

However, we also see that the mutual discussions have developed from individual and explorative
tracks into broader and more established paths of interchange. There even seems to be a distinct
pattern of exchange (or division of labour) between Media Research and STS. In particular STS has
changed its empirical focus. Instead of concentrating on scientific instruments or novel technologies
there is a growing interest in information and communication technologies. On the other hand, for
Media Research the encounter with STS has provoked, conceptual discussions in a move from its
emphasis upon analysis of media content towards a consideration of the material and situated aspects
of media production, distribution and appropriation.

Whereas STS has mostly shifted its empirical focus, Media Researchers have reworked their conceptual
orientations. However, there has been very little impact of media theories on STS and Media
Research has made very few studies in traditional STS fields. STS scholars rarely talk about aesthetics
or leisure and media scholars, typically, are less interested in issues of work or regulation. Against
this background we call for papers that attempt to map some of these less explored connections
between STS and Media Research. We would like to discuss to what extend STS can benefit from
media theory and in what ways Media Research can be expanded into other empirical domains. We
hope during the workshop to discover and travel paths less taken and thereby to enrich the mutual
discussion of Media Research and STS.



Thursday 05. Feb.


THEME I: Roads less travelled
 09:30 – 10:00 Welcome & Introduction. Estrid Sørensen, Cornelius Schubert
 10:00 – 10:45 Media culture and assemblage: a critique of some cultural readings of media technology. John Hondros, Matthias Wieser
 10:45 – 11:00 Break

THEME II: Questions of Media or Technology? Theoretical remarks
 11:00 – 11:45 Roadmap for the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Some thoughts about the main differences between STS and German media theory. Judith Willkomm
 11:45 – 12:30 Play in child psychiatry, psychology and therapy: Media or Technology? Katja Rothe
 12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

THEME III: Art & Aesthetics. STS inspirations for Media Research
 14:00 – 14:45 The Artist as Media Archaeologist: Investigating the Morphogenesis of Media Technologies in Contemporary Art Photography. Sergio Minniti
 14:45 – 15:30 Socio-technical transitions framework to study media change in Argentina & Brazil, experimentation with new aesthetics. Maximiliano Vila Seoane
 15:30 – 16:00 Break

THEME IV: Conceptual Correspondences
 16:00 – 16:45 Recovering “enunciation” and “delegation” to account for governance of and through information infrastructures. Annalisa Pelizza, Alvise Mattozzi
 16:45 – 17:30 Implicit crossroads, explicit distances: “Format theory” as a way to negotiate boundaries between media research and STS. Paolo Magaudda
 17:30 – 18:00 Break

 18:00 – 19:00 War and Peace in Science, Technology and Media (Studies). Erhard Schüttpelz

Friday 06. Feb.

THEME V: Web Videos. STS learning from Media Research
 10:00 – 10:45 Credit Card Mobilities. Sebastian Gießmann
 10:45 – 11:30 Science, Pseudoscience and Anti-Science on YouTube: A Pilot Study on Webvideos about Controversial Science. Joachim Allgaier
 11:30 – 12:00 Break

THEME VI: Political implications. Engaging both Media Research and STS
 12:00 – 12:45 Mirroring: Anonymous Videos, Political Mimesis, and the Praxis of Conflict
Adam Fish
 12:45 – 13:30 Monitoring civic environmental interests through new and social media: An analysis of potential surveillance at the intersection of environmental politics, STS and media studies. Diletta Luna Calibeo, Richard Hindmarsh
 13:30 – 14:00 Farewell & Concluding Discussion

The workshop is open to anyone interested in a scientific discussion.
Participation to the workshop is free of charge (including coffee breaks). Lunch and dinner has to be paid by your own.