Skip to content

Digital and Online Ethnography – A Selection of Resources

Digital and Online Ethnography – A Selection of Resources published on 1 Comment on Digital and Online Ethnography – A Selection of Resources

Below you find a selection of resources on digital and online ethnography – with a slight focus on anthropological research – compiled by Philipp Budka.
To add and share your resources and/or references, please use this collaborative document.

Literature:

Baym, N. (2010). Personal connections in the digital age. Cambridge: Polity.

Bell, D., & Kennedy, B. M. (Eds.). (2000) The Cybercultures Reader. London: Routledge.

Boellstorff, T. (2016). For whom the ontology turns: Theorizing the digital real. Current Anthropology, 57(4), 387–407. https://doi.org/10.1086/687362

Boellstorff, T. (2013). Digital anthropology. In Oxford Bibliographies. https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199766567/obo-9780199766567-0087.xml

Boellstorff, T. (2008). Coming of age in Second Life: An anthropologist explores the virtually human. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Boellstorff, et al. (2012). Ethnography and virtual worlds: A handbook of method. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Bräuchler, B. (2013). Cyberidentities at war: The Moluccan conflict on the Internet. New York: Berghahn Books.

Buchanan, E. A. (2004). Readings in virtual research ethics: Issues and controversies. Hershey, PA: Information Science Pub.

Budka, P. (2018). [Review of the book Digital environments: Ethnographic perspectives across global online and offline spaces, by U. U. Frömming, S. Köhn, S. Fox & M. Terry]. Anthropos, 113(1), 303-304. http://www.philbu.net/blog/review-digital-environments-ethnographic-perspectives-across-global-online-and-offline-spaces/

Budka, P. (2015). [Review of the book Cyberidentities at war: The Moluccan conflict on the Internet, by B. Bräuchler]. American Anthropologist, 117(1), 179-180. https://doi.org/10.1111/aman.12197 http://www.philbu.net/blog/review-cyberidentities-at-war-the-moluccan-conflict-on-the-internet/

Budka, P., & Kremser, M. (2004). CyberAnthropology – anthropology of cyberculture. In S. Khittel, B. Plankensteiner & M. Six-Hohenbalken (Eds.), Contemporary issues in socio-cultural anthropology: Perspectives and research activities from Austria (pp. 213-226). Vienna: Loecker Verlag.
http://www.philbu.net/budka_kremser_cyberanthro.pdf

Coleman, G. E. (2010). Ethnographic approaches to digital media. Annual Review of Anthropology 39(1), 487-505. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.012809.104945

Dourish, P., & Bell, G. (2011). Divining a digital future: Mess and mythology in ubiquitous computing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Frömming, U. U. et al. (Eds.). (2017). Digital environments: Ethnographic perspectives across global online and offline spaces. Bielefeld: transcript.

Hakken, D. (1999). Cyborgs@Cyberspace: An ethnographer looks to the future. London: Routledge.

Hine, C. (2015). Ethnography for the internet: Embedded, embodied and everyday. London: Bloomsbury Acad.

Hine, C. (2008). Virtual ethnography: Modes, varieties, affordances. In N. Fielding, R. M. Lee & G. Blank (Eds.), The Sage handbook of online research methods (pp. 257-270). London: Sage.

Hine, C. (2005). Internet research and the sociology of cyber-social-scientific knowledge. Information Society 21(4), 239-248. https://doi.org/10.1080/01972240591007553

Hine, C. (Ed.). (2005). Virtual methods: Issues in social research on the internet. Oxford: Berg.

Hine, C. (2000). Virtual ethnography. London: Sage.

Hjorth, L., et al. (Eds.). (2017). The Routledge Companion to digital ethnography, New York: Routledge.

Horst, H., & Miller, D. (Eds.). (2012). Digital anthropology. London: Berg.

Markham, A. (2011). Internet research. In D. Silverman (Ed.), Qualitative research: Issues of theory, method, and practice (pp. 111-128). 3rd edition. London: Sage.

Markham, A. (2005). The politics, ethics, and methods of representation in online ethnography. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 793-820). 3rd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Markham, A., Baym, N. (Eds.). (2009). Internet inquiry: Conversations about method. Los Angeles: Sage.

Marshall, J. (2010). Ambiguity, oscillation and disorder: Online ethnography and the making of culture. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 2(3), 1-22. https://doi.org/10.5130/ccs.v2i3.1598

Miller, D. & Slater, D. (2000). The internet: An ethnographic approach. Oxford: Berg.

Miller, D., et al. (2016). How the world changed social media. London: UCL Press. https://www.uclpress.co.uk/products/83038

Nardi, B. (2010). My life as a night elf priest: An anthropological account of World of Warcraft. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. http://www.digitalculture.org/books/my-life-as-a-night-elf-priest

Pauwels, L. (2005). Websites as visual and multimodal cultural expressions: Opportunities and issues of online hybrid media research. Media Culture & Society 27(4), 604-613. https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443705053979

Pink, S. (2011). Digital visual anthropology: Potentials and challenges. In M. Banks & J. Ruby (Eds.), Made to be seen: Perspectives on the history of visual anthropology (pp. 209-233). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Pink, S., et al. (2016). Digital ethnography: Principles and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Postill, J., & Pink, S. (2012). Social media ethnography: The digital researcher in a messy web. Media International Australia, 145(1), 123-134. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1329878X1214500114

Preece, J., & Maloney-Krichmar, D. (2005). Online communities: Design, theory, and practice. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 10(4). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2005.tb00264.x

Sanjek, R., & Tratner, S. W. (Eds.). (2016). eFieldnotes: The makings of anthropology in the digital world. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Schaap, F. (2002). The words that took us there: Ethnography in a virtual reality. Amsterdam: Aksant Academic Publishers.

Silver, D. (2004). Internet/cyberculture/digital culture/new media/fill-in-the-Blank Studies. New Media & Society 6(1), 55-64. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444804039915

Udupa, S., Costa, E., & Budka, P. (2018). The digital turn: New directions in media anthropology. Discussion Paper for the European Association of Social Anthropologists’ Media Anthropology Network. http://www.media-anthropology.net/file/udupa_costa_budka_digital_turn_discussion_paper.pdf

Uimonen, P. (2015). Internet and social media: Anthropological aspects. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social and behavioral sciences (pp. 600–605). New York: Elsevier.

Walter, F. & Grasseni, C. (Eds.). (2014). Anthrovision. Special issue “Digital visual engagements”. https://anthrovision.revues.org/1077

Whitehead, N. L., & Wesch, M. (Eds.). (2012). Human no more: Digital subjectivities, unhuman subjects, and the end of anthropology. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.

Blog posts:

John Postill about “doing digital ethnography”: https://johnpostill.com/2015/01/16/13-six-ways-of-researching-new-social-worlds/

Wendy Hsu about “ethnography beyond text and print”: http://ethnographymatters.net/blog/2013/12/09/ethnography-beyond-text-and-print-how-the-digital-can-transform-ethnographic-expressions/

Research centres and initiatives:

Digital Ethnography Research Centre at RMIT University: http://digital-ethnography.com/

Digital Ethnography at Kansas State University: http://mediatedcultures.net/

OxDEG: The Oxford Digital Ethnography Group: https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/projects/oxdeg/

Further resources:

e-Seminars of the European Associtation of Social Anthropologists Media Anthropology Network:

The digital turn: New directions in media anthropology: http://www.media-anthropology.net/file/udupa_costa_budka_digital_turn_discussion_paper.pdf

Facebook as research field and research platform: http://www.media-anthropology.net/file/eseminar_facebook.pdf

Researching the internet: http://www.media-anthropology.net/braeuchler_eseminar.pdf

LSE Digital Ethnography Collective reading list: https://zoeglatt.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/LSE-Digital-Ethnography-Collective-Reading-List-March-2020.pdf

Seminar: Digital Technologies as Material Culture 2020

Seminar: Digital Technologies as Material Culture 2020 published on No Comments on Seminar: Digital Technologies as Material Culture 2020

In this MA seminar at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, we explore digital media technologies from an anthropological/ethnographic perspective in the context of material culture.
More info

This course gives an overview about material culture as a conceptual and practical approach to understand digital technologies. In doing so, it focuses on the everyday incorporation and utilization of digital technologies.

Mobile networked digital media technologies, such as smart phones, as well as social media platforms and services, such as Facebook or Instagram, have become important (visual) communication and (re)presentation tools. For social and cultural anthropology it is of particular interest how these digital devices and technologies are integrated and embedded into everyday life, by considering changing sociocultural, political and economic contexts. This course focuses in particular on the material aspects of digital technologies and how they are utilized on a day-to-day basis. Questions about the relevance of a material culture approach for (the understanding of) technology appropriation – on a theoretical and practical level – as well as questions about (culturally) different usage practices are discussed. How does the understanding and conceptualization of digital technology as material culture contribute to the exploration and analyses of contemporary and emerging sociocultural practices and processes in increasingly digital societies?

By working on different case studies, students get a comparative overview about material culture in a digital context.

Literature (Selection)

Dourish, P., & Bell, G. (2011). Divining a digital future: Mess and mythology in ubiquitous computing. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Chapter “A role for ethnography: methodology and theory”).

Eglash, R. (2006). Technology as material culture. In C. Tilley, W. Keane, S. Küchler, M. Rowlands & P. Spyer (Eds.), Handbook of material culture (pp. 329–240). London: Sage.

Favero, P. (2018). The present image: Visible stories in a digital habitat. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. (Chapter “Material images”).

Miller, D., & Horst, H. (2012). The digital and the human: A prospectus for digital anthropology. In H. Horst & D. Miller (Eds.), Digital anthropology (pp. 3-35). London: Berg.

Miller, D., et al. (2016). How the world changed social media. London: UCL Press. https://www.uclpress.co.uk/products/83038. (Chapters “What is social media?” & “The future”).

Pfaffenberger, B. (1992). Social anthropology of technology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 21, 491-516. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.an.21.100192.002423

Pink, et al. (2016). Digital ethnography: Principles and practice. London: Sage. (Chapter “Introduction”).

Book: Theorising Media and Conflict

Book: Theorising Media and Conflict published on No Comments on Book: Theorising Media and Conflict

Budka, P., & Bräuchler, B. (Eds.). (2020). Theorising media and conflict. Anthropology of Media. New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Theorising Media and Conflict brings together anthropologists as well as media and communication scholars to collectively address the elusive and complex relationship between media and conflict. Through epistemological and methodological reflections and the analyses of various case studies from around the globe, this volume provides evidence for the co-constitutiveness of media and conflict and contributes to their consolidation as a distinct area of scholarship. Practitioners, policymakers, students and scholars who wish to understand the lived realities and dynamics of contemporary conflicts will find this book invaluable.

This is the second “Theorising media and …” book in Berghahn’s Anthropology of Media series. The aim of the series is to place media anthropology at the forefront of theoretical advances in both anthropology and media and communication studies.

Table of Contents

Preface
Philipp Budka

PART I: KEY DEBATES
Introduction. Anthropological Perspectives on Theorising Media and Conflict
Birgit Bräuchler and Philipp Budka
Chapter 1. Transforming Media and Conflict Research
Nicole Stremlau

PART II: WITNESSING CONFLICT
Chapter 2. Just a ‘Stupid Reflex’? Digital Witnessing of the Charlie Hebdo Attacks and the Mediation of Conflict
Johanna Sumiala, Minttu Tikka and Katja Valaskivi
Chapter 3. The Ambivalent Aesthetics and Perception of Mobile Phone Videos: A (De-)Escalating Factor for the Syrian Conflict
Mareike Meis

PART III: EXPERIENCING CONFLICT
Chapter 4. Banal Phenomenologies of Conflict: Professional Media Cultures and Audiences of Distant Suffering
Tim Markham
Chapter 5. Learning to Listen: Theorising the Sounds of Contemporary Media and Conflict
Matthew Sumera

PART IV: MEDIATED CONFLICT LANGUAGE
Chapter 6. Trolling and the Orders and Disorders of Communication in ‘(Dis)Information Society’
Jonathan Paul Marshall
Chapter 7. ‘Your Rockets Are Late. Do We Get a Free Pizza?’: Israeli-Palestinian Twitter Dialogues and Boundary Maintenance in the 2014 Gaza War
Oren Livio

PART V: SITES OF CONFLICT
Chapter 8. What Violent Conflict Tells Us about Media and Place-Making (and Vice Versa): Ethnographic Observations from a Revolutionary Uprising
Nina Grønlykke Mollerup
Chapter 9. An Ayuujk ‘Media War’ over Water and Land: Mediatised Senses of Belonging between Mexico and the United States
Ingrid Kummels

PART VI: CONFLICT ACROSS BORDERS
Chapter 10. Transnationalising the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Media Rituals and Diaspora Activism between California and the South Caucasus
Rik Adriaans
Chapter 11. Stones Thrown Online: The Politics of Insults, Distance and Impunity in Congolese Polémique
Katrien Pype

PART VII: AFTER CONFLICT
Chapter 12. Mending the Wounds of War: A Framework for the Analysis of the Representation of Conflict-Related Trauma and Reconciliation in Cinema
Lennart Soberon, Kevin Smets and Daniel Biltereyst
Chapter 13. Going off the Record? On the Relationship between Media and the Formation of National Identity in Post-Genocide Rwanda
Silke Oldenburg
Chapter 14. From War to Peace in Indonesia: Transforming Media and Society
Birgit Bräuchler

Afterword
John Postill

Seminar: Media Activism

Seminar: Media Activism published on No Comments on Seminar: Media Activism

For the MA Program “Visual and Media Anthropology” at the Free University Berlin, I am organizing a newly developed seminar on media activism.

Course Description

Activism with/in/through media can be broadly understood as forms of technology mediated activism that intend to spark, create and/or support social and political change. So change (and therefore continuity) is at the heart of media activism, as, for instance, Kidd and Rodriguez (2009: 1) note: “Grassroots media have grown from a set of small and isolated experiments to a complex of networks of participatory communications that are integral to local, national, and transnational projects of social change”. Since media activism is related to a diversity of phenomena – such as power relationships, conflict or globalization – as well as to questions about the conception of time and space, organizational structures, collective identities and different forms of sociality, it has become a broad, interdisciplinary research field. This course gives an overview of media activism from a predominantly anthropological and ethnographic perspective.

When engaging with media activism, a variety of contexts, theoretical conceptualizations and methodological approaches have to be considered. In this course, students learn about these aspects by reviewing relevant literature and by discussing different forms and examples of media activism and related questions, issues and problems:

  • How can we contextualize media activism and related practices in anthropology?
  • What historical developments can we identify? And what does this tell us about contemporary activist processes and practices?
  • What is the role of (sociocultural and technological) change, politics, power, globalization and (de)colonization in an anthropological engagement with media activism?
  • How can we ethnographically describe and analyze media activist processes and practices? What are the possibilities and challenges?
  • How can we understand media activism in digital times and in the age of social media? What has changed?
  • What does it mean to interpret and conceptualize media activism as (a form or a part of) cultural activism?

Reference

Kidd, D., & Rodriguez, C. (2009). Introduction. In C. Rodriguez, D. Kidd, & L. Stein (Eds.), Making our media: Global initiatives toward a democratic public sphere, Volume 1: Creating new communication spaces (pp. 1-22). New York: Hampton Press.

Selected Literature

Barassi, V. (2015). Activism on the web: Everyday struggles against digital capitalism. New York: Routledge.

Budka, P. (2019). Indigenous media technologies in “the digital age”: Cultural articulation, digital practices, and sociopolitical concepts. In S. S. Yu & M. D. Matsaganis (Eds.), Ethnic media in the digital age (pp. 162-172). New York: Routledge.

Couldry, N., & Curran, J. (2003). The paradox of media power. In N. Couldry & J. Curran (Eds.), Contesting media power: Alternative media in a networked world (pp. 3-15). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Edelman, M. (2001). Social movements: Changing paradigms and forms of politics. Annual Review of Anthropology 30(1), 285-317.

Gerbaudo, P. (2012). Tweets and the streets: Social media and contemporary activism. London: Pluto Press.

Ginsburg, F., Abu-Lughod, L., & Larkin, B. (2002). Introduction. In F. Ginsburg, L. Abu-Lughod, & B. Larkin (Eds.), Media worlds: Anthropology on new terrain (pp. 1-36). Berkeley: University of California Press.

Juris, J. S., & Khasnabish, A. (2013). Introduction: Ethnography and activism within networked spaces of transnational encounter. In J. S. Juris & A. Khasnabish (Eds.), Insurgent encounters: Transnational activism, ethnography and the political (pp. 1-36). Durham: Duke University Press.

Mazzarella, W. (2004). Culture, globalization, mediation. Annual Review of Anthropology, 33, 345-367.

Melucci, A. (1996). Challenging codes: Collective action in the information age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Postill, J. (2012). Digital politics and political engagement. In H. A. Horst & D. Miller (Eds.), Digital anthropology (pp. 165-184). London: Berg.

Postill, J. (2018). The rise of nerd politics: Digital activism and political change. London: Pluto Press.

Wolfson, T., Treré, E., Gerbaudo, P., & Funke, P. (2017). From global justice to Occupy and Podemos: Mapping three stages of contemporary activism. Special Issue of tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique 15(2), 390-542. https://doi.org/10.31269/triplec.v15i2.897

Book Chapter: Indigenous Media Technologies in “The Digital Age”

Book Chapter: Indigenous Media Technologies in “The Digital Age” published on No Comments on Book Chapter: Indigenous Media Technologies in “The Digital Age”

Budka, P. (2019). Indigenous media technologies in “the digital age”: Cultural articulation, digital practices, and sociopolitical concepts. In S. S. Yu & M. D. Matsaganis (Eds.), Ethnic media in the digital age (pp. 162-172). New York: Routledge.

Introduction
Indigenous engagements with digital media technologies have been analyzed from different angles and by discussing a variety of issues, from technology access and literacy, to language, culture, and politics (e.g., Dyson, Grant, & Hendriks, 2016; Dyson, Hendriks, & Grant, 2007; Landzelius, 2006a). By drawing on a literature review and on an ethnographic case study, I am providing an anthropological perspective on the relationship between indigenous people and digital media technologies that focuses on digital practices related to the mediation of culture and the formation of (cultural) identity. Within this mediation process, cultural elements of the dominant, non-indigenous societies are recombined with elements from indigenous cultures. “Indigenized” media technologies promote thus an open and dynamic understanding of culture in “the digital age.” But when it comes to characterizing and understanding non-Western media phenomena and processes, terms such as “the digital age” or “the network society” have their conceptual weaknesses. These concepts are inherently ethnocentric, that is, Euro-American centered, implying an evolutionary world view that tends to ignore culturally different ascriptions of meaning to digital realities. I am following here Ginsburg (2008), who states that these concepts are rather reinforcing the imaginary of “the other,” existing in “a time not contemporary with our own” (p. 291). Thus, this chapter presents an anthropologically informed approach to the relationship between media technologies, culture, and politics that advocates the significance of non-Western perspectives and realities in conceptualizing and understanding the diversity of digital life.

Digitale Anthropologie

Digitale Anthropologie published on No Comments on Digitale Anthropologie

Dieser Text wurde 2017 für den Blog der Universität Wien geschrieben; für eine überarbeitete und erweiterte Version des Textes siehe
Budka, P. 2019. Von der Cyber Anthropologie zur Digitalen Anthropologie. Über die Rolle der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie im Verstehen soziotechnischer Lebenswelten. In: Luger, M., Graf, F. & Budka, P. (Hg.), Ritualisierung – Mediatisierung – Performance. Göttingen: V&R Unipress/Vienna University Press, 163-188.

Die Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie ist längst nicht mehr nur die Wissenschaft von „einfachen“, außereuropäischen Gesellschaften und Kulturen. Seit Jahrzehnten forscht die Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie kulturvergleichend zu komplexen Prozessen, Entwicklungen und Veränderungen in allen menschlichen Gesellschaften und Kulturen. Da war es nur eine Frage der Zeit bis die ersten Kultur- und SozialanthropologInnen begannen sich auch mit digitalen Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien (IKT), wie dem Internet, Smartphones oder Sozialen Medien, auseinander zu setzen. Die Wiener Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie war dabei – zumindest im deutschen Sprachraum – unter den ersten, die sich mit den Verbindungen und Zusammenhängen zwischen digitalen Medientechnologien und soziokulturellen Phänomenbereichen aus spezifisch anthropologischer/ethnologischer Perspektive befassten.

In diesem Blogbeitrag gehe ich der Frage nach, welche Rolle die Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie in der Untersuchung und in weiterer Folge im Verstehen digitaler Medientechnologien spielt. Andere Aspekte der Digitalisierung dieser Disziplin – wie z.B. computerunterstützte Forschungsprojekte und -methoden, neue Publikationsmöglichkeiten durch Open Access, neue Wege der Präsentation und Kommunikation von Forschung mittels Blogs oder Sozialer Medien sowie neue Methoden und Strategien für Lernen und Lehre – kann ich hier nicht näher diskutieren.

Continue reading Digitale Anthropologie

Paper: The anthropology of digital visuality

Paper: The anthropology of digital visuality published on No Comments on Paper: The anthropology of digital visuality

Budka, P. (2018). The anthropology of digital visuality: Notes on comparison, context and relationality. Paper at Vienna Anthropology Days 2018 (VANDA2018), Vienna, Austria: University of Vienna, 20 September.

Sociocultural anthropology provides theoretical approaches and concepts to comparatively study local life-worlds, to contextualize cultural meaning, and to (re)consider human/non-human and socio-technical relations that have been emerging with digital media technologies (e.g. Horst & Miller 2012, Moore 2012, Whitehead & Wesch 2012). Ethnography and ethnographic fieldwork, as methodological tools, allow for investigating digital practices and processes by considering the above aspects (Pink et al. 2016). For anthropology it is of particular interest how people engage on a day-to-day basis with digital media and technologies, internet-based devices and services, mobile computing as well as software applications and digital platforms.

In this paper, I discuss, from an anthropological perspective and through brief ethnographic examples, digital visuality as a contemporary phenomenon that constitutes emerging patterns of visual communication and culture. In addition, I am briefly discussing digital visuality as a concept to approach and investigate the visual in digital times.

Digital media technologies and mobile networked devices, such as smart phones, have become ubiquitous means of visual production, communication and representation (e.g. Gómez Cruz et al. 2017). Moreover, digital platforms and social media services, such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, are utilized to share and consume visual artefacts. Constituting and changing thus communicative practices and visual culture alike. Consequently, these transformation processes provide new challenges and possibilities for the anthropological and ethnographic study of the visual (e.g. Pink 2011).
Continue reading Paper: The anthropology of digital visuality

E-Seminar: The digital turn: New directions in media anthropology

E-Seminar: The digital turn: New directions in media anthropology published on No Comments on E-Seminar: The digital turn: New directions in media anthropology

Udupa, S., Costa, E., & Budka, P. (2018) The digital turn: New directions in media anthropology.
Discussion Paper for the Follow-Up E-Seminar on the EASA Media Anthropology Network Panel “The Digital Turn” at the 15th European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Biennial Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, 14-17 August 2018.

63rd EASA Media Anthropology Network E-Seminar: 16-30 October 2018, via the network’s Mailing List.

With the advent of digital media technologies, internet-based devices and services, mobile computing as well as software applications and digital platforms new opportunities and challenges have come to the forefront in the anthropological study of media. For media anthropology and related fields, such as digital and visual anthropology, it is of particular interest how people engage with digital media and technologies; how digital devices and tools are integrated and embedded in everyday life; and how they are entangled with different social practices and cultural processes. The digital turn in media anthropology signals the growing importance of digital media technologies in contemporary sociocultural, political and economic processes. This panel suggested that the digital turn could be seen a paradigm shift in the anthropological study of media, and foregrounded three important streams of exploration that might indicate new directions in the anthropology of media.

More (PDF)

Panel: “Digital Visuality” @ VANDA 2018

Panel: “Digital Visuality” @ VANDA 2018 published on No Comments on Panel: “Digital Visuality” @ VANDA 2018

PANEL “DIGITAL VISUALITY” @ Vienna Anthropology Days (VANDA) 2018 (September 19-22, 2018)

Convenors:
Elke Mader & Philipp Budka

Thursday, 20 September
11:00-17:00
Room 4 (New Institute Building (NIG) of the University of Vienna, Universitätsstraße 7)

Paper Presentations:
(Timetable)

Philipp Budka: The Anthropology of Digital Visuality: Notes on Comparison, Context and Relationality

Harjant Gill: Introduction to Multimodal Anthropologies

Petr Nuska: “Changing the Equipment or Changing the Perspective?” – Exploring Film and Video Approach in Visual Ethnography

Katja Müller: Contemporary Photography in India – Post-media Aesthetics, Traditional Art and Economic Professionalism

Uschi Klein: What Does a Photograph Really Tell Us? The Photography of Young Male Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Fatma Sagir: “We Can See Your Hair, Dina!” – Muslim Female Embodiments of Digital Visibilities

Nadia Molek: Argentinian Slovenians Online: Facebook Groups of Slovenian Descendants in Argentina as Mediators of Identity Performances and Rituals
(via Skype)

Daria Radchenko: Digital Anthropology and/or Digital Traces: Seeing the City Through the Eyes of Locals

Elke Mader: Mediating the Krampus: Digital Visuality, Ritual and Cultural Performance

VANDA 2018 Full Program

Review: Digital environments: Ethnographic perspectives across global online and offline spaces

Review: Digital environments: Ethnographic perspectives across global online and offline spaces published on 1 Comment on Review: Digital environments: Ethnographic perspectives across global online and offline spaces

Budka, P. (2018). [Review of the book Digital environments: Ethnographic perspectives across global online and offline spaces, by U. U. Frömming, S. Köhn, S. Fox & M. Terry]. Anthropos, 113(1), 303-304.

The edited volume “Digital Environments: Ethnographic Perspectives Across Global Online and Offline Spaces” is a collection of 16 essays by students and graduates of the M.A. Programme in Visual and Media Anthropology at the Free University Berlin. This is the first special feature of the book. The second is the anthropological and ethnographic perspective from which the individual texts discuss a diversity of digital technologies, platforms, services as well as related sociocultural phenomena, events and practices. As Sarah Pink in the book’s foreword notes, these texts and the underlying projects “focus on central issues of the discipline … through the prism of visual and media anthropology” (p. 10). Being not part of the anthropological mainstream, this visual and media anthropology perspective holds the potential of providing exiting new insights in digital culture and our increasingly digitalised societies. The digital ethnography perspective, on the other hand, focuses on “the ways in which technologies have become inseparable from other materialities and human activities” including ethnographic fieldwork, as Urte Undine Frömming, Steffen Köhn, Samantha Fox and Mike Terry note in the introduction chapter (p. 15).
Continue reading Review: Digital environments: Ethnographic perspectives across global online and offline spaces

Paper: Indigenous articulations in the digital age

Paper: Indigenous articulations in the digital age published on No Comments on Paper: Indigenous articulations in the digital age

Budka, P. (2018). Indigenous articulations in the digital age: Reflections on historical developments, activist engagements and mundane practices. Paper at International Communication Association 2018 Pre-Conference “Articulating Voice. The Expressivity and Performativity of Media Practice”, Prague, Czech Republic: Hilton, 24 May. Full Paper (PDF)

The relationship between indigenous people and digital media technologies is ambivalent and enthusiastic at the same time; reflecting individual experiences and expectations as well as collective sociocultural contexts and developments. Considering indigenous people’s colonial history and colonization’s continuing effects on indigenous communities, it is not surprising that many indigenous representatives are particularly concerned about issues of power, control, and ownership related to digital technologies and new ways of knowledge production, circulation, and representation (e.g., Ginsburg, 2008).

There is a strong sense of sociopolitical activism and agency in indigenous people’s collective engagements with digital media technologies which are closely connected to the (re)construction and mediation of cultural identity, cultural articulation, social intervention, and self-determination. At the same time, indigenous people’s digital practices are related to mundane necessities of everyday communication, social networking, family bonding, or self-expression. To understand indigenous articulations in the digital age, the collective and the individual dimension need to be considered.

Idle No More Twitter Account
Screenshot: Idle No More Twitter Account, 2018

Continue reading Paper: Indigenous articulations in the digital age

Panel: The Digital Turn: New Directions in Media Anthropology [Media Anthropology Network]

Panel: The Digital Turn: New Directions in Media Anthropology [Media Anthropology Network] published on No Comments on Panel: The Digital Turn: New Directions in Media Anthropology [Media Anthropology Network]

The EASA Media Media Anthropology Network is organizing a panel at the 15th European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference in Stockholm, 14-17 August 2018.

The Digital Turn: New Directions in Media Anthropology [Media Anthropology Network]”
Convenors:
Philipp Budka (University of Vienna)
Elisabetta Costa (University of Groningen)
Sahana Udupa (Ludwig Maximilian University)

This panel recognizes the digital turn as a paradigm shift in the anthropological study of media, and aims to push further the ethnographic knowledge into the role that digital media play in people’s everyday life and broader sociopolitical transformations.

  • What’s New? Turns, Re-turns in Digitalization of Danish Right-wing Online Vitriol Language
    Peter Hervik (Aalborg University)
  • Extreme Speech: Online Media Cultures as a Context for Right-Wing Politics
    Sahana Udupa (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich)
  • Populist Masculine Domination in the Moments of Trump and Brexit: On the importance of Big <-> Thick Description
    Bryce Peake (University of Maryland)
  • Rethinking Women’s Agency and Digital Media in the Middle East
    Elisabetta Costa (University of Groningen)
  • Gendering Chinese Digital Media Politics
    Samuel Lengen (Anglia Ruskin University)
  • Gender, Kinship and Mediation in Rural West Bengal, India
    Sirpa Tenhunen (University of Helsinki)
  • An Ethnography of Young People`s Gender Negotiations in Everyday Digital (Sexual) Peer Cultures
    Irene Arends (University of Amsterdam)
  • The Material Dimension of Digital Visuality: Anthropological Possibilities, Challenges and Futures
    Philipp Budka (University of Vienna)
  • Matters of Similarity: Affordances of Digital Visualities
    Christoph Bareither (Humboldt-University Berlin)
  • Digital Visualities Disrupted – Local Photographers in Aleppo and the Shifting Infrastructures of War
    Nina Grønlykke Mollerup (University of Copenhagen)

Seminar: Indigenous Media 2018

Seminar: Indigenous Media 2018 published on No Comments on Seminar: Indigenous Media 2018

For the 4th time I am organizing the seminar “Indigenous Media” for the MA Program Visual and Media Anthropology at the Free University Berlin.

In this course, students are introduced to indigenous media technologies by actively discussing in 10 units/sessions different questions, issues and problems:

  • How do indigenous people produce, distribute and utilize audiovisual media?
  • How has ethnographic and anthropological film making changed through indigenous media?
  • What role do politics, power, globalization and (post-)colonialism play in the production, distribution and consumption of indigenous media?
  • How do indigenous people utilize media to construct and negotiate their individual and collective identities?
  • How are indigenous cultures and languages represented through media?
  • How do indigenous people appropriate and (co-)develop digital media technologies?

We start our seminar with the contextualization of indigenous media within an anthropology of media. In the second unit students are introduced to selected debates about the meaning and relevance of (mass) media for indigenous people and their sociocultural life worlds. We then discuss ethnographic film making and visual anthropology in the context of indigenous people’s changing role from “objects” for ethnographic films to partners in (collaborative) media projects. The fourth unit deals with (post-)colonialism and decolonization and their implications for indigenous media. This discussion leads us to the self-controlled production of indigenous media and its relevance for issues such as (self-)representation, appropriation, control and empowerment. Globalization, modernity and related questions of collective indigenous identity construction are the topics of the sixth unit. The following three sessions are closely connected, discussing aspects of identity, community, networking, ownership, activism, empowerment, aesthetics, poetics and popular culture in relation to indigenous media. In the final unit, students learn about the significance of digital technologies and infrastructures for indigenous people.

Through several case studies, students are introduced to the similarities and differences of indigenous media projects throughout the world. These case studies take us to different regions, countries and continents: from Nunavut, Canada and the United States to the Caribbean, Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil, to Nigeria, Myanmar, Australia and Finland. The seminar’s assignments include the preparation of an essay at the end of the seminar and short weekly literature and film reviews/critiques as well as an active contribution to discussions during the online sessions, which are organized with the online conference tool Adobe Connect.

Call for Papers: “Digital Visuality” – Vienna Anthropology Days (VANDA 2018)

Call for Papers: “Digital Visuality” – Vienna Anthropology Days (VANDA 2018) published on No Comments on Call for Papers: “Digital Visuality” – Vienna Anthropology Days (VANDA 2018)

VIENNA ANTHROPOLOGY DAYS (VANDA 2018)
September 19-22, 2018

Call for Papers
Session “Digital Visuality”

Prof. Dr. Elke Mader and Dr. Philipp Budka
(Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna)

Presentations in English or German, max. 15 min.
Abstract of 350 words: https://vanda.univie.ac.at/call-for-papers/
Deadline: 1 June 2018
Venue: New Institute Building (NIG) of the University of Vienna
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna, Austria

Abstract

Visual communication and visual culture have been a research focus in social and cultural anthropology for quite some time (e.g. Banks & Ruby, 2011). With the advent of digital media and technologies, internet-based devices and services, mobile computing as well as software applications and digital platforms new opportunities and challenges have come to the forefront in anthropological research, education and communication of visuality (e.g. Pink, 2011). Digital media technologies have become ubiquitous means of visual communication, interaction and representation. For anthropology and its subdisciplines, such as digital, media and visual anthropology, it is of particular interest how people engage with digital media and technologies, how “the digital“ is embedded in everyday life and how it relates to different social practices and cultural processes in human societies. By considering changing sociocultural, political and economic contexts and through ethnographic fieldwork, a continuously growing number of anthropological projects is aiming for a better understanding of contemporary digital phenomena (e.g. Horst & Miller, 2012).
This session contributes to these endeavours by inviting papers that focus on the visuality and visual aspects of digital life and culture. Papers could present ethnographic studies and discuss some of the following questions:

  • What does “the digital” mean for visual anthropology and/or the (interdisciplinary) relationship between anthropological subdisciplines and other visual research fields?
  • How does visual anthropology provide new perspectives on digital visuality?
  • How do specific conceptual approaches contribute to the analysis and understanding of digital visuality (e.g. ritualization, performativity, representation, material culture, practice theory)?
  • What theoretical concepts and analytical categories of sociality can be used to study (differences of) visual culture?
  • How does digital visuality co-constitute and mediate cultural performances and rituals?
  • How do digital platforms and social media services, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, and related practices constitute and change (visual) communication?
  • How does digital visuality impact and redefine ethnographic research (e.g. research techniques, tools, ethics)?
  • What are possible futures for digital visual anthropology and ethnography?

For questions concerning this session, please contact philipp.budka@univie.ac.at
For questions concerning registration, abstract submission and hotel reservation, please contact congress@univie.ac.at

Conference: ICA 2018 Pre-Conference “Articulating Voice. The Expressivity and Performativity of Media Practices”

Conference: ICA 2018 Pre-Conference “Articulating Voice. The Expressivity and Performativity of Media Practices” published on No Comments on Conference: ICA 2018 Pre-Conference “Articulating Voice. The Expressivity and Performativity of Media Practices”

International Communication Association (ICA) 2018 Pre-Conference “Articulating Voice. The Expressivity and Performativity of Media Practices”
May 24, 2018, Prague, Czech Republic

Conference Program
Book of Abstracts (PDF)

At this interdisciplinary conference, several papers in the field of media & digital anthropology are presented by researcher who are actively involved in the European Association of Social Anthropologists Media Anthropology Network:

  • Sahana Udupa, U of Munich, Germany: “Enterprise as practice: Fun and aggression in online political discourse”
  • Philipp Budka, U of Vienna, Austria: “Indigenous Articulations in the Digital Age: Reflections on Historical Developments, Activist Engagements and Mundane Practices”
  • Nina Grønlykke Mollerup & Mette Mortensen, U of Copenhagen, Denmark: “The Contested Visibility of War: Actors on the Ground Taking and Distributing Images from the War in Syria”