Institut für Medienwissenschaft

Distinguished Visiting Professorship 2021

Dr. Stefania Milan, UVA Amsterdam


Stefania Milan ist Associate Professor für Neue Medien und Digitale Kultur am Department of Media Studies der Universität Amsterdam. Sie ist auch Faculty Associate am Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society der Harvard University. Ihre Arbeit erforscht das Zusammenspiel von digitaler Technologie, Aktivismus und Governance. Stefania ist Principal Investigator des vom Europäischen Forschungsrat finanzierten Projekts DATACTIVE, das die Entwicklung von Aktivismus und politischer Partizipation in der ‚datafizierten Gesellschaft‘ erforscht (, und Co-Principal Investigator im Marie Curie Innovative Training Network „Early language development in the digital age“ ( Sie ist auch die Projektleiterin von „Making the hidden visible: Co-designing for public values in standard-making and governance“ (IN-SIGHT), das von der Niederländischen Organisation für Wissenschaftliche Forschung (NWO) im Rahmen ihres Responsible-Innovation-Programms gefördert wird ( Stefania ist die Autorin von Social Movements and Their Technologies: Wiring Social Change (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013/2016), Mitautorin von Media/Society (Sage, 2011) und Mitherausgeberin von COVID-19 from the Margins: Pandemic Invisibilities, Policies and Resistance in the Datafied Society (Institute of Network Culture, 2021). Sie experimentiert gern mit digitalen und handlungsorientierten Forschungsmethoden und interessiert sich für Wege, Forschung mit politischem Handeln zu verbinden. Jenseits des Arbeitsalltags liebt sie Bergsteigen, Boxen und Radfahren.

Öffentlicher Vortrag am Dienstag, 18. Mai 2021, 18.15 Uhr

Im Rahmen der Tübinger Medientage hält Dr. Stefania Milan am 18. Mai ab 18.15 Uhr den Vortrag „Digital Publics in the Age of Data Capitalism“. Der Vortrag ist öffentlich, alle Interessierten sind herzlich eingeladen.

Digital Publics in the Age of Data Capitalism

Data capitalism has dramatically changed the role of information and technology in the constitution of the social. Its business model—the transformation of human actions, interactions and emotions into data points which can be analyzed and monetized—has accelerated the crisis of liberal democracy. Its global reach has contributed to alter power relations and has introduced novel forms of colonialism and exploitation of resources.

This talks surveys three building blocks of data capitalism and their effects on digital publics, namely: i) personalization algorithms and the polarization of the public sphere they induce, ii) AdTech, or the technological ecosystem supporting targeted advertising, and the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding this market, and iii) facial recognition technology, as one of the most widespread yet most intrusive applications of Artificial Intelligence, and its implications for human rights including privacy. It dissects the environmental costs of data capitalism, and explores potential responses and forms of resistance to intrusive technology from the bottom-up, focusing on data activism as the generator of novel imaginaries and innovative practices of civic engagement.


Dr. Stefania Milan bietet für Studierende der Medienwissenschaft das englischsprachige Seminar „The Datafied Society“ an. Die Anmeldung erfolgt über die Plattform Alma.

The Datafied Society

Today notions like big data, smart city and artificial intelligence (AI) are frequently evoked in the narratives of the industry and policymakers alike. They yield the promise of efficiency, empowerment, and a better life. Yet, they are not free from risks for privacy and citizen agency.

“The Datafied Society” explores the theoretical frameworks that allow us to capture and interpret the technological changes at the core of contemporary society and their societal consequences. The course has four components:

  • Theorizing the datafied society, defining the interdisciplinary theoretical toolbox to study society at the age of AI;
  • Political agency in the datafied society, where we will analyze, e.g., the evolution of contemporary social movements;
  • Decolonizing data studies, investigating non-Western approaches to the study of the datafied society, and
  • Methods for algorithmic accountability, where we will look at innovative methods to study the datafied society and the theory implications of this type of research. 

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to understand the datafied society and critically evaluate its consequences on political agency, describe the opportunities and challenges for citizens on the basis of theory and concrete examples, deconstruct mainstream theoretical approaches, and reflect on the methodological challenges of studying algorithmic-mediated phenomena. This course will be taught in English and engaged participation is expected. Readings will be made available through ILIAS.