[globaloutlookDH-l] CfA Summer School Digital Cultures (Lueneburg, 20-26 Sep 15) via H-Arthist

Dagmar Riedel islamicbookcensus at gmail.com
Sat Sep 27 12:21:07 MDT 2014

From: Florian Sprenger <fsprengerfs at gmx.de>
Date: Sep 27, 2014
Subject: CFP: Summer School Digital Cultures (Lueneburg, 20-26 Sep 15)

Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, September 20 - 26, 2015
Deadline: Nov 10, 2014

Challenging Methods – 1. Lüneburg Summer School for Digital Cultures

Hosted by Digital Cultures Research Lab and the Institute for Advanced
Study on Media Cultures of Computer Simulation; organized by Florian
Sprenger and Christoph Engemann

The inaugural issue of the Lüneburg Summer School for Digital Cultures
explores the question and challenge of methods in media studies and
digital cultures. Hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study Media
Cultures of Computer Simulation (MECS) and the Digital Cultures
Research Lab (DCRL), the Lüneburg Summer School for Digital Cultures
provides advanced training in the study of media, their theory,
aesthetics and history. Focusing on one special topic annually, it
affords a select group of graduate students the opportunity to work
with distinguished international scholars from all fields of media
studies in an intimate and highly focused context and provides a
platform for participants to engage in dialogue with other doctoral
students from around the world working in similar or related fields.

This year’s topic, Challenging Methods, reacts to the demands for a
discussion of methods that recently have become prevalent in the
context of media studies. Historically and institutionally, this field
of research originated when scholars from a variety of fields started
to confront their disciplines and specifically their methodologies with
the questions of media epistemology. From those investigations of the
hitherto overlooked media-theoretical presumptions and media practices
of their original fields, a discourse emerged that was labeled media
studies – “Medienwissenschaften”.

Incorporating heterogeneous approaches ranging from philosophical and
aesthetic via ethnographic and sociological to epistemological and
performative as well as interventionist practices and net criticism,
media studies has not developed an overarching theoretical or
methodological frame and instead privileged object specific approaches.

Nonetheless, it is within this exchange among disciplines, and fostered
by the tasks brought forward by digitalization, that the question of
the relationship between media and methods recently has become a
prominent field of inquiry. This includes demands for a specification
of methods in media studies. Data-driven analysis of large corpora of
texts, visuals or sounds have led to a re-adjustment of the question of
empirical, qualitative and historical research, while at the same time
raising methodological expectations. The stakes of digitalization,
themselves important topics of the field, intervene in the economy of
sources, their circulation and availability, hence in the practices of
research and increasingly turn out to be a challenge of methods for
media studies.

It is this situation between new technical possibilities and an
institutional consolidation that frames the Summer School. Despite
these developments, it seems futile to simply project the longstanding
methodological debates of sociology, history, or ethnography onto the
respective fields of media research. In this regard, the stakes of
media studies lie in the assumption that methodological questions
always question the media of methods: those very technologies and
epistemological presumptions that underlie all methods.

This is the point of departure for the Summer School. Instead of taking
account of different methods, we intend to create an open and
provocative space for the reflection of the technical, epistemological,
historical, and perhaps also methodological conditions of methods,
either under the reign of digitalization or regarding a re-formulation
of specific presuppositions. As a forum, the Summer School "Challenging
Methods" will investigate the historical situation of the current
demand for methods, the importance of technological developments, and
the subsequent transformations of our own research, writing, and

Considering the experience that methodological questions are most
thoroughly addressed in dissertations, the Lüneburg Summer School for
Digital Cultures will bring together a group of around 18 young
international scholars with renowned faculty to investigate the status
and challenge of methods in media studies. Connecting scholars from
different fields, it aims to open up discussions in media studies,
while at the same time offering the chance to investigate the specific
mediality of methods in other fields.

The week long Summer School is structured as a series of shared
seminars, keynote lectures and three streams taught in small groups.
The first stream will investigate the promise of digital tools; the
second stream will tackle the dimensions of a politics of methods; and
the third stream will confront methods as cultural techniques:

1. Tools of Methods – Chaired by Till Heilmann (University of Siegen),
Keynote by David Gugerli (ETH Zürich)

This stream asks how the increased use of digital devices in humanities
research affects methodology. Starting with an introduction to the
different media theoretical conceptions of tools the stream will
investigate the specificity of digital tools and ask if the notion of
the tool changes under digital conditions. In light of this background
the group will investigate the relation between new digital tools like
text editors or database systems and the evocation of new methods as
promoted by the digital humanities. How can such recursive research
into the evolving digital research infrastructures help us to
understand our own changing methods and allow us to shape new types of
methodologies, without methodology becoming an end in itself?

2. Politics of Methods – Chaired by Hanno Pahl (University of Luzern),
Keynote tba,

Methods play a central role in shaping the knowledge regimes of
scientific disciplines. Studying the often contentious history of their
institutionalization within a field allows an investigation of how the
introduction of methods privileges certain epistemological positions.
Via comparing media studies to two established disciplines – economics
and sociology – this stream will explore the history and presence of
the politics of methods in their institutional and epistemological
effects. How can such comparison not only help to profile the specifics
of digital media studies’ methods, but also provide evocative potential
for exchanges between media theory, social theory and theoretical takes
on markets and capitalism?

3. Cultural Techniques – Chaired by Christina Vagt (Technical
University Berlin), Keynote tba,

The three primary registers of cultural techniques (image, writing,
number) can help to understand the role of materiality and technology
within the sciences and humanities. In this respect, cultural
techniques are modern auxiliary sciences (an assemblage of methods and
objects) that can disrupt or stabilize specific objects or methods
within disciplines. The stream will ask its participants to practice
and reflect on their own field of study and their methodological
framework as cultural technicians. It will also question, how the
cultural techniques approach, which so far has gained particular
traction in historical and epistemological research contexts, can be
made fruitful in contexts of ethnographic or interventionist inquiry.

The Lüneburg Summer School on Digital Cultures invites applications
from outstanding doctoral candidates, but also master students at the
end of their exams, throughout the world in media studies and related
fields such as film studies, literary studies, philosophy, art history,
architecture, sociology, politics, the history of science and visual

All application materials should be sent by email to
florian.sprenger at leuphana.de and must be received by November 10, 2014.
Applicants who have been admitted will be notified by the end of

The working language of the Summer School is English. Applications are
accepted in English or German, should be submitted electronically in
PDF format and include the following:

- Letter of Intent indicating academic experience, interest in the
Summer School’s annual topic and the selection of one of the three
streams (max. 300 words);

- Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages);

- Abstract of a possible presentation at the Lüneburg Summer School for
Digital Cultures of no more than 2000 words, double spaced, with
standard margins;

- Contact information (name, institutional address, email) of two
potential references.

Please use the following naming convention for your application files:

Participants will receive a reader with texts and material for the
seminars. There is no participation fee. Accommodation costs will be
covered by the organizers. We have a limited amount of need-based
travel funding available. Please indicate in your application letter if
you wish to apply for travel funding.

For further information on the DCRL and MECS please visit:

Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: Summer School Digital Cultures (Lüneburg, 20-26 Sep 15). In:
H-ArtHist, Sep 27, 2014. <http://arthist.net/archive/8516>.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.uleth.ca/pipermail/globaloutlookdh-l/attachments/20140927/00ed7845/attachment.html>

More information about the globaloutlookdh-l mailing list