Philipp Budka was and still is involved in several projects in and outside university. These projects cover a range of topics, from digital technology appropriation, internet infrastructure development and media practices in an indigenous context and the relationship between media and conflict to the entanglement of mediatization, ritualization and performativity as well as strategies and models in digital technology enhanced learning.
Completed Projects (Selection)
With Martin Luger and Franz Graf, Philipp edited the volume Ritualization - Mediatization - Performance (Ritualisierung - Mediatisierung - Performance, V&R Unipress/Vienna University Press). Ritualization, mediatization and performance are conceptual tools to situate sociocultural change and continuity in everyday life and in specific contexts. By building on ethnographic case studies, this volume demonstrates that ritual, media and performative processes and practices are best explored in relation to each other. In addition to a general focus on transformation, this book includes contributions on selected aspects of the theory, methodology and history of social and cultural anthropology. Chapters about the history and ethnography of the Caribbean that discuss social status, religious practices and cultural remembrance, as well as texts that explore the connections between political, media and cultural spheres complement the volume.
Philipp's dissertation project at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna investigated the creation, development, and utilization of broadband internet infrastructures, technologies, and services by indigenous people and communities in Northwestern Ontario, Canada.
(Budka, P. (2017). Indigenizing the Internet: Socio-technical change, technology appropriation and digital practices in remote First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of Vienna.)
Research focused on
(a) the geographical, historical, and sociocultural contexts,
(b) the socio-technical infrastructures and relationships, and
(c) the digital practices and activities related to the local everyday appropriation of internet technologies. Grounded in ethnographic fieldwork and framed by media and digital anthropology, the project discussed the case of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Kuhkenah Network (KO-KNET) and its most mundane internet service MyKnet.org.
KO-KNET is a First Nations owned and controlled internet organization and network which was established by a regional tribal council. Its main objective has been to connect the remote indigenous communities in Northwestern Ontario to the internet and with each other. Moreover, the network provides indigenous people with digital services, such as online education and e-health, with the aim to improve living conditions in the remote communities. MyKnet.org is a youth-based homepage system that has been built and developed around communities' need to maintain social ties and networks across great distance.
The project demonstrated how digital infrastructures contributed to the connecting and networking of First Nations people and communities, and how this also enabled and strengthened social relationships between local communities and non-indigenous institutions. The analysis of digital practices that are closely related to the online social environment MyKnet.org emphasized the cultural and historical uniqueness of processes of technology appropriation in a remote and isolated area. As a community-based and community-focused service exclusively for First Nations people, MyKnet.org contributed to inter- and intra-community communication and interaction. Since the communities had no adequate telecommunications infrastructure until the middle of the 1990s, these developments can also be understood as processes of socio-technical change. By consistently including local populations in processes of infrastructure and technology development, KO-KNET also managed to localize the control over the construction, distribution, and use of digital infrastructures, technologies, and services. This, on the other hand, contributed to the socio-technical empowerment of First Nation communities in Northwestern Ontario. Thus, indigenous people and communities are able to participate in a self-determined manner to regional, national, and even global digital connectivity processes.
Ethnographic research for this project was generously supported by grants from the University of Vienna (Research Scholarship and Academic Research Abroad), the German Foundation for Canadian Studies and the Keewaytinook Okimakanak Tribal Council / KO-KNET.
Results of this project are discussed in different publications.
eSOWI-STEP - Gemeinsame Studieneingangsphase der Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaften (Joint Introduction Phase for Students in the Social Sciences), conducted at the eLearning Centre of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Vienna developed, implemented and evaluated a technology enhanced learning environment and best practice learning models for student beginners in the social sciences (funded by the University of Vienna).
The project Strategien für vernetztes Lernen (Strategies for Networked Learning) was conducted at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Vienna and resulted in
a) the production of learning material for undergraduate students;
b) teaching concepts and models developed with the support of different online learning systems, digital tools and environments;
c) the development of blended learning scenarios and strategies for social and cultural anthropology students;
d) the evaluation of e-learning tools and blended learning scenarios (funded by the University of Vienna).
OEKU-ONLINE - Interdisciplinary Content Pool for Economy, Culture and Environment: digital learning and teaching material on the interconnections between economy, ecology and culture; created at the Austrian Latin America Institute with a grant of the OeNB Anniversary Fundy.
Latin American Studies Online (LASON), an interdisciplinary online learning system that provides didactically structured content about Latin America for students and teachers alike. The learning system contributes to a virtual learning space, counterbalancing the lack of a Department of Latin American Studies at Austrian universities. The project was funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research.
For more information about the projects, please contact Philipp Budka.