Dr. Anne Kaun ist vom 1. Juli bis zum 1. August 2018 als Distinguished Visiting Professor zu Gast am Institut für Medienwissenschaft.
Anne Kaun ist Associate Professor am Institut für Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft der Södertörn University Stockholm, Schweden. Sie erforscht im Hinblick auf Zeitlichkeit und Räumlichkeit den Einsatz von Medientechnologien bei Aktivisten, wie diese Medientechnologien ihrerseits die Formen von Aktivismus mitgestalten und wie sich dies alles verändert. Dafür recherchiert sie in Archiven und führt Interviews und teilnehmende Beobachtungen durch. In ihrem aktuellen Projekt untersucht sie Medien in Gefängnissen entlang von Medienpraktiken und Medienarbeit seit der Einführung des modernen Gefängnissystems.
Media at the Margins: Studying Media Practices in Heterotopian Contexts
Media are studied through diverse frameworks ranging from large scale changes in specific cultural and political contexts captured by notions such as mediatization to micro-investigations of everyday engagement with media formats such as memes and selfies. A smaller strand of media and communication studies has also always demanded a shift beyond mainstream practices. It pushed for considering forms of mediated identity practices as resistance, social groups that are normally excluded and geographic locations outside of the Western realm. Linking to this strand of research, I suggest to also consider heterotopian spaces such as prisons, detention centers and protest camps more explicitly in our analysis of media. Heterotopian spaces are spaces of otherness that are outside the social world. At the same time, they are crucial for sustaining the idea and realization of “the good society”. They, for example, confine people, behavior, and characteristics that run counter to the utopian ideas of the good society, but they are also places where the rules and norms for good society are negotiated and implemented. Following the spatial turn in media and communication studies and drawing on theoretical notions such as social imaginaries, I argue that we can learn about values, norms and the structure of feeling of society as well as crucial media-related change by considering heterotopian spaces as parts and constitutive of society. The talk draws on six years of my research on protest movements as well as a recently started project on media practices in the context of prisons.
Digital Media and Participation: The Case of Media Activism
With digital media gaining importance in all spheres of society and everyday life, a growing interest in changing dynamics related to media technologies for civic engagement and political participation has emerged.
The seminar discusses the nexus of digital media and participation from the vantage point of media activism that is currently studied within diverse disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, political science, media and communication studies as well as art and design studies. Traditionally media activism research has been considering the engagement with media for mobilization, organization and purposes of identification. Increasingly media practices become forms of protest itself, e.g. data activism performed by Anonymous or the Chaos Computer Club. Hence, media activism increasingly captures media not only as platform or arena, but as political practice as such.
Central notions discussed during the seminar are
- Political agency
- (Media) participation
- Media activism as political activism
- Media criticism
- Time and spatial regimes of media