Institute of Media Studies

Prof. Dr. Tanja Thomas

Prof. Dr. Tanja Thomas holds a professorship in Media Studies with a focus on Transformations in Media Cultures.

» Chair for Transformations in Media Cultures

University of Tübingen
Institute of Media Studies
Wilhelmstr. 50
72074 Tübingen

Room 217
+49 (0) 7071 29-76816

Current Activities and News

  • Out now: Media & Participation in Post-Migrant Societies, edited by Tanja Thomas, Merle-Marie Kruse, and Miriam Stehling. more.
  • The VW Foundation funds the project “Doing Memory” as a perspective for a pluralistic society. more
  • The project „Agonistic Engagement in Post-Migrant Societies“ will be conducted beginning in 2018 thanks to a three-year funding of the German Israeli Foundation für Scientific Research and Development (GIF). The project analyses protests in urban areas in Israel and Germany that argue for and against immigration as well as its discourse in the mediated public. more
  • The research training group “Rechtspopulismus und exkludierende Solidarität” (Right-wing populism and excluding solidarity) has been granted by the Hans Böckler Foundation. more
  • MA-Students of Tanja Thomas in cooperation with the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft (LAG) Mädchen*politik have produced the video clip „Schön und Sicher feiern!?“ (party nice and safe) as an activity against sexism and everyday racism.
  • More information: Critical & Cultural Media Studies


Tanja Thomas' main research interests are (critical) media theory, communication theory and cultural theory, feminist theory and Gender (Media) Studies, Cultural (Media) Studies, transcultural media communication and media research. In her current projects, Tanja Thomas works on the advancement of culturally and socially informed media and communication theory and dedicates herself especially to the analysis of processes of transmediatization and transculturalisation of contemporary media cultures. Her research aims at discussing potentials of decentralized communication and the translocal - or rather transcultural - capacity to act, as far as media and media actions are concerned.

Thereby, Tanja Thomas deals with questions of how transcultural public spheres are produced in such configurations, how recognition can be achieved, and how processes of solidarity are triggered and thus contributes to the debate around social transformation with her work.

Tanja Thomas is the head of an Early Career Researchers Group called „Transcultural Public Spheres and Solidarity in Media Cultures“, which is funded by the Hans-Böckler-Foundation.

Curriculum Vitae

Tanja Thomas studied Art and its pedagogy as well as German Studies in Saarbruecken; Media Studies / Applied Media Research in Tuebingen (as a fellow of the Fazit-Foundation) as well as migration in the framework of the International Women's University. Having been awarded a PhD scholarship by the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, she completed her PhD in Tuebingen entitled "Deutsch-Stunden. Zur Konstruktion nationaler Identität im Fernsehtalk."

After that, she worked as a research fellow at the Applied University of Ilmenau and was assistant professor of communication studies and media cultures at the University of Lueneburg from 2004 to 2010. During that period, she was awarded two prices for exceptional teaching and one as an Early Career Researcher. After substituting a professorship for media sociology in Gießen, she held a professorship for communication and media studies with a focus on comparative cultural analysis at the University of Bremen. In line with several fellowships and residencies, Tanja Thomas was a visiting researcher in Salzburg, Klagenfurt, Beijing, and New York.

Other activities in media studies

Tanja Thomas acts as a consultant and reviewer for several third-party funds as well as university research funding, research associations (e.g. IAMCR, ECREA, DGPuK), and magazines (e.g. Communications - The European Journal of Communication Research, Feminist Media Studies, Celebrity Studies)

Most important publications

Entire list of publications as  PDF

Completed third-party projects

„Das Unwort erklärt die Untat“. Die Berichterstattung über die NSU-Morde – eine Medienkritik ["The Un-Word explains the Mistet." Media Coverage of the NSU Cremes - a Media Critique] (2015, the German download is available here:

Recipients of the sponsorship:
Tanja Thomas, Fabian Virchow (FH Düsseldorf), Elke Grittmann (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg)

Ronja Röckemann, Dr. Derya Gür-Şeker

Sponsored by:
Otto Brenner Stiftung

Exploration project „Right-wing Violence and Practices of Commemoration in Germany"

For many years, right-wing violence is a problem in German society. It happens in different forms - in the shape of racist pogroms like in Rostock and Hoyerswerda in the early 1990s; as systematic serial killings like the NSU (National Socialist Underground); as a consciously used means of terror; or as situative escalation.

Central to the first phase of the Starter Project, funded by the DFG (ZUK 63), is the formation of an interdisciplinary group of researchers:

The proposed focus will lie on the analysis of: firstly, the forms (narrating, problematizing, making it subject of discussion, etc.) of dealing with the experience of right-wing violence; secondly, the production of this range of forms (structures of participation, resources, ways of producing images, texts and political presence, etc.); thirdly, the reception of such possible interpretations in order to reconstruct the negotiations of meaning, regarding their potential to support a democratically carried migration society.

The intended project and its contributors approach participatory research and broach the issue of suppressed memories of right-wing violence - of a multitude of people - as part of political culture. This shall contribute to the present rehabilitation of history and lived realities in Germany.

The project is based on the cooperation with Prof. Dr. Fabian Virchow. Interest shown in this project can be directed to tanja.thomasspam or fabian.virchowspam