Skip to content

CfP: The Digital Turn: New Directions in Media Anthropology

CfP: The Digital Turn: New Directions in Media Anthropology published on No Comments on CfP: The Digital Turn: New Directions in Media Anthropology

The EASA Media Anthropology Network is organising a network panel at the 15th EASA Biennial Conference “Staying, Moving, Settling” in Stockholm, 14-17 August, 2018.
Please find the Call for Papers below.
Deadline: 9 April 2018.


Philipp Budka (University of Vienna)
Elisabetta Costa (University of Groningen)
Sahana Udupa (Ludwig Maximilian University)


The digital turn in media anthropology signals the growing importance of digital media technologies in contemporary sociocultural, political and economic processes. This panel recognizes the digital turn as a paradigm shift in the anthropological study of media, and aims to foreground three important streams of exploration that constitute new directions in the anthropology of media.

The rise of online vitriol against vulnerable communities has punctured euphoric pronouncements about digital media as a radical enabler of grassroots democracy. A significant aspect of digital extreme speech is gender based violence in digital environments. Beyond the specific instances of online violence, gendering media anthropology remains a crucial and broader area of intervention. Similarly, different forms of digital visualities have accentuated the materialities that constitute everyday digital experiences and their varied cultural ramifications. Charting the three directions as gendering digital media, materialities of digital visualities and online extreme speech, this panel aims to push further the ethnographic knowledge into the role that digital media play in people’s everyday life and broader sociopolitical transformations.

We invite ethnographic and/or theoretical papers that focus either on
(1) the gendered dimension of digital practices and introduce innovative theoretical insights into the relationship between gender and the digital;
(2) extreme speech and online vitriol aimed at refugees, migrants, sexual minorities and other vulnerable communities, but online extreme speech as also a means for political contestation;
(3) material dimensions of digital visualities as constituting features of new ways of communication and interaction.

Review: Handbuch der Medienethnographie

Review: Handbuch der Medienethnographie published on No Comments on Review: Handbuch der Medienethnographie

Budka, P. (2017). [Review of the book Handbuch der Medienethnographie, by C. Bender & M. Zillinger]. Paideuma. Mitteilungen zur Kulturkunde, 63, 303-307.

Der Sammelband „Handbuch der Medienethnographie“ bietet einen Einblick in ein aufstrebendes und im deutschen Sprachraum noch zu wenig beachtetes Forschungsfeld. Ethnographie wird in diesem Buch vor allem als Methode in der qualitativen Medienforschung verstanden und die Autorinnen und Autoren, allesamt erfahren in der ethnographischen Feldforschung, wurden von der Herausgeberin Cora Bender und dem Herausgeber Martin Zillinger aufgefordert, individuell zu reflektieren, „wie sie selbst im Feld vorgegangen sind, um Medien und Medienpraktiken zu erforschen“ (xi). Diese Reflexion über die eigene Forschungspraxis ist laut Bender und Zillinger charakteristisch für die Ethnologie als „ethnographische Königsdisziplin“ (xii). Mittels dichter Beschreibungen aus unterschiedlichen ethnographischen Forschungsfeldern will der Band mit seinen Beiträgen auch die Verbindung zwischen Empirie und Theorie in der Ethnologie in den Blick nehmen. Schwerpunkte bleiben dabei die subjektiven Erfahrungen der Feldforscherinnen und Feldforscher als Fremde, die unter spezifischen Bedingungen in bestimmten Lokalitäten in Austausch mit Menschen treten, um die entsprechenden Interaktionsprozesse schließlich zu interpretieren.
Continue reading Review: Handbuch der Medienethnographie

Anthropology & Open Access

Anthropology & Open Access published on No Comments on Anthropology & Open Access
Open Access Logo,

Anthropology and open access or “open anthropology” – selected resources, interviews and comments:

Anthropology Blogs 2017 & Open Anthropology

Anthropology Blogs 2017 & Open Anthropology published on No Comments on Anthropology Blogs 2017 & Open Anthropology

A list of anthropology blogs collected by Jason Antrosio of “Living Anthropologically”:
Including the new anthropology group blog anthro{dendum}, formerly known as Savage Minds.

Jason also compiled a list of resources in Open Anthropology with U.S./American Anthropological Association focus:

Lecture: Introduction to Cultural & Social Anthropology

Lecture: Introduction to Cultural & Social Anthropology published on No Comments on Lecture: Introduction to Cultural & Social Anthropology

In 2017, the lecture “Introduction to Cultural and Social Anthropology” at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna is organized by Philipp Budka, Wolfgang Kraus & Elke Mader and discusses the following topics:

  • Introduction & Discussion: Why Social & Cultural Anthropology? What is Social & Cultural Anthropology?
  • Colonialism & Post-colonialism (& Cinema/Film)
  • Globalization: Theoretical Discourse
  • Globalization & Migration
  • Tourism
  • Economy & Subsistence
  • Material Culture & Consumption
  • Nature & Environment
  • Social Organization & Kinship (Wolfgang Kraus)
  • Ritual & Mythology (Elke Mader)
  • Religion & World Views
  • Media & Communication Technologies / Visual Culture
  • Film: „Oh, What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me!“ & Discussion

The lecture is connected to the preparatory lecture “Propaedeutic Social & Cultural Anthropology” (Wolfgang Kraus) which includes basics such as:

  • The Cultural and the Social
  • Diversity
  • Ethnocentrism
  • Social & Cultural Anthropology Methodology/Methods
  • Universalism & Relativism
  • History of Social & Cultural Anthropology

Required Reading

  • General: Eriksen, Thomas H. 2010 or 2015. Small Places, Large Issues. An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology. London: Pluto Press.
  • Colonialism: Wolf, Eric R. 1986. Die Völker ohne Geschichte: Europa und die andere Welt seit 1400. Frankfurt: Campus-Verlag, pp. 192-227.
  • Gender: Nöbauer, Herta. 2014. His/Her-Story war einmal: Sex/Gender–Systeme im historischen und regionalen Vergleich. In: Karl R. Wernhart and Werner Zips (Hg.). Ethnohistorie. Rekonstruktion und Kulturkritik. Eine Einführung. 4. überarbeitete und aktualisierte Auflage. Wien: Promedia, pp. 204-218.
  • Media & Visual Culture: Murdock, Graham and Sarah Pink. 2005. Picturing Practices: Visual Anthropology and Media Ethnography. In: Eric W. Rothenbuhler and Mihai Coman (Hg.). Media Anthropology. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE, pp. 149-161.
  • Migration:
    1) Armbruster, Heidi. 2009. Anthropologische Ansätze zu Migration. In: Maria Six-Hohenbalken and Jelena Tosic (Hg.). Anthropologie der Migration: Theoretische Grundlagen und interdisziplinäre Aspekte. Wien: Facultas.WUV, pp. 52-69.
    2) Tošić, Jelena, Kroner, Gudrun and Susanne Binder. 2009. Anthropologische Flüchtlingsforschung. In: Maria Six-Hohenbalken and Jelena Tošić (Hg.). Anthropologie der Migration: Theoretische Grundlagen und interdisziplinäre Aspekte. Wien: Facultas WUV, pp. 110-126.

Paper: Internet for remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario

Paper: Internet for remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario published on No Comments on Paper: Internet for remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario

Budka, P. (2017). Internet for remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario. Paper at “3rd CoRe Workshop – Mobility and Remoteness: What is the Connection?“, Vienna, Austria: University of Vienna, 26-27 May. Full Paper (PDF)


In 1994, the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Kuhkenah Network (KO-KNET) began to develop and provide internet infrastructures and services for the remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Public and private institutions have been reluctant to invest in this “high cost serving area” with no year-round road access, where residents have to travel by plane for medical treatment or to meet with relatives and where people have to move to southern towns to continue their high school education or to find work. In close cooperation with the region’s First Nation communities, KO-KNET has built local broadband internet infrastructures to provide services such as cell phone communication, e-health, online learning, videoconferencing, and personal website hosting. Overall aim of this initiative has been to give people a choice to stay in their remote home communities.

For my first field trip to Northwestern Ontario in 2006, I decided not to fly but to take the train from Toronto to Sioux Lookout, Northwestern Ontario’s transportation hub. This ride with “The Canadian”, which connects Toronto and Vancouver, took about 26 hours and demonstrated very vividly the vastness of Ontario. I could not believe that I had spent more than an entire day on a train without even leaving the province. Finally, I arrived at Sioux Lookout, where I would be working with KO-KNET, one of the world’s leading indigenous internet organizations.

After my first day at the office, KO-KNET’s coordinator wanted to show me something. We jumped in his car and drove to the outskirts of the town where he stopped in front of a big satellite dish. Only through this dish, he explained, the remote First Nation communities in the North can be connected to the internet. I was pretty impressed, but had no idea how this should really work.

While the satellite dish was physically visible to me, the underlying infrastructure of interconnected digital information and communication systems was not. In the weeks and months to follow, I learned about the technical aspects of internet networks and broadband connectivity, about hubs, switches, and cables, about towers, points of presence, and loops. And I found out that internet via satellite might look impressive, but is actually the last resort and a very expensive way to establish and maintain internet connectivity for remote and isolated communities.

KO-KNET satellite dish, Sioux Lookout
KO-KNET satellite dish, Sioux Lookout

Continue reading Paper: Internet for remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario

Seminar: Indigenous Media 2017

Seminar: Indigenous Media 2017 published on No Comments on Seminar: Indigenous Media 2017

Seminar “Indigenous Media” for the MA Program in Visual and Media Anthropology at the Free University Berlin.

Course Description

“Indigenous media matters because indigenous people do.”
(Wortham 2013: 218)

Indigenous media can be broadly defined as media and forms of media expression conceptualized and produced by indigenous people. From an anthropological perspective, indigenous media can be understood as cultural product and process that are both closely connected to the construction, expression and transmission of identity. Reflecting thus indigenous people’s history as well as contemporary sociocultural and political situations. By (strategically) inserting their own narratives in the dominant media landscape – may this be accomplished through films, TV and radio programs, or websites – indigenous people also utilize media technologies as means for social change and political transformation. Indigenous media-making practices have thus become part of the “ongoing struggles for Indigenous recognition and self-determination” and can therefore be understood as a form of cultural activism (e.g., Ginsburg 2000: 30).

Continue reading Seminar: Indigenous Media 2017

Vortrag: Medien und Literalität in der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie

Vortrag: Medien und Literalität in der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie published on No Comments on Vortrag: Medien und Literalität in der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie

Budka, P. 2017. Medien und Literalität in der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie: (Digitale) Medienpraktiken aus kulturvergleichender Perspektive. Vortrag im Workshop “Dark Side of Literacy” am Bundesinstitut für Erwachsenenbildung, Strobl, Salzburg, 20. April 2017. (PDF)

Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie (KSA)
Medien in der KSA
Literalität in der KSA
„Moderne Oralität“
Digitale & Soziale Medien in der KSA

Free video analysis tools

Free video analysis tools published on No Comments on Free video analysis tools

Free video (& audio) analysis and transcription tools, partly collected via the VISCOM list serv.

CfP: Anthropologies of media and mobility

CfP: Anthropologies of media and mobility published on No Comments on CfP: Anthropologies of media and mobility

Anthropologies of Media and Mobility: Theorizing movement and circulations across entangled fields

An International Workshop organized by the Anthropology and Mobility Network and the Media Anthropology Network (EASA) in collaboration with Locating Media (University Siegen) and a.r.t.e.s. Graduate School (University of Cologne)

University of Cologne, Germany
14-16 September 2017

This international workshop seeks to theorize the relationship between media and mobility. While mobility has been defined as movement ascribed with meaning, one might in similar fashion define media as meaning ascribed with movement. Interrogating the linkages between media and mobility can enable more thorough understandings of how various power structures produce, transform and reproduce social, material and discursive orders. People, devices, and data are increasingly on the move – movements that may transgress borders and boundaries, but which are also integral to the constitution and regulation of the barriers themselves. The movement of people triggers new imaginaries of territories and social spaces, which circulate through media, questioning and forging new ties between people, signs and things. More broadly, the mobilisation of tangible and intangible things demands a reconceptualization of what a ‘thing’ is, what constitutes the human, and what defines human collectivity. In such circumstances, reimagining circulations through the lens of media and mobility becomes an important step towards understanding current socio-cultural and political changes. While this lens has been applied broadly within anthropological research, its theoretical consequences merit further investigation and discussion. 

Continue reading CfP: Anthropologies of media and mobility

Digital visual anthropology

Digital visual anthropology published on No Comments on Digital visual anthropology

This is a selection of digital visual anthropology resources which were collected via the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) Visual Anthropology Network’s (VANEASA) mailing list.

Online resources & projects:


  • Aston, J., Gaudenzi, S., & Rose, M. (Eds.). (2017). I-Docs: The evolving practices of interactive documentary. New York: Wallflower Press. Forthcoming.
  • Menzies, C. R. (2015). In our grandmothers’ garden: An indigenous approach to collaborative film. In A. Gubrium, A., K. Harper, & M. Ortanzez (Eds.), Participatory visual and digital research in action. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
  • 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. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Walter, F. & Grasseni, C. (Eds.). (2014). Anthrovision. Special issue “Digital visual engagements”, available at

Digital ethnography

Digital ethnography published on No Comments on Digital ethnography

Digital ethnography – a selection of resources

e-Seminars of the EASA Media Anthropology Network:


Ethnography in virtual worlds:

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

Ethnography and digital and social media:

  • Hjorth, L., et al. (Eds.). (2017). The Routledge Companion to digital ethnography, New York: Routledge. Forthcoming.
  • Miller, D., et al. (2016). How the world changed social media. London: UCL 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.
  • Sanjek, R., & Tratner, S. W. (Eds.). (2016). eFieldnotes: The makings of anthropology in the digital world. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Blog posts:

Research centres:

The value of comparison (in anthropology)

The value of comparison (in anthropology) published on No Comments on The value of comparison (in anthropology)

Peter van der Veer (2013: 11) on the “comparative advantage of anthropology”:

1) anthropology offers a critique of the universalization of Western models
2) holistic approach to social life offers a greater potential for social science than the analysis of large data
3) anthropological holism implies the drawing of larger inferences from the intensive study of fragments of social life
4) anthropological contribution to the study of embodied practice emphasizes the social and provides a critique of sociobiological determinism

Van der Veer, P. (2013). The value of comparison. Transcript of the Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture given on November 13,

Barack Obama names two new National Monuments important to Native Americans

Barack Obama names two new National Monuments important to Native Americans published on No Comments on Barack Obama names two new National Monuments important to Native Americans

from The Huffington Post:

The White House designated two new national monuments on Wednesday, one in Utah and the other in Nevada, that will protect important Native American cultural sites and continue the president’s legacy of environmental stewardship far beyond the end of his term. …

“Our connection with this land is deeply tied to our identities, traditional knowledge, histories, and cultures, …”

Internet Archive builds archive copy in Canada

Internet Archive builds archive copy in Canada published on No Comments on Internet Archive builds archive copy in Canada

From by B. Kahle:

… On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change.

For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions.

It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase.

Throughout history, libraries have fought against terrible violations of privacy—where people have been rounded up simply for what they read.  At the Internet Archive, we are fighting to protect our readers’ privacy in the digital world. …

Internet Archive Canada and National Security Letter in the news: roundup

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more: