STS and media studies: Empirical and conceptual encounters?

Cornelius Schubert (Universität Siegen)
Estrid Sørensen (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
C. Humanisticum AB 2.09
Start time:
17 September, 2014 at 10:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Long abstract:

Over the last years, we have seen an increasing interdisciplinary interest in the overlapping areas of STS and media studies. Both fields are inherently concerned with questions of mediation, they ask similar questions concerning related topics. However, they also differ in their empirical and conceptual approaches. Conceptually, media studies centre around, of course, the notion of 'media' and 'machine', while STS more often theorise in terms of 'instruments' and 'apparatus', 'tools', 'devices', and of course 'technology'. Empirically, STS pays little attention to leisure and entertainment media and media content. Media studies, on the other hand, is less interested in how innovations are politically and legally regulated. The notion of 'technology' evokes questions about what this phenomenon 'does', about mechanisms of production and control (Deuber-Mankowsky 2007), while 'media' invites inquiries into what it 'holds', into aesthetics and emotional aspects. In this track, we would like to trace the similarities and differences between empirical and conceptual approaches. We are interested in the characteristics of how the notions of media and technology are applied in such heterogeneous fields like STS and media studies. We want to enable a fruitful discussion which makes possible exchanges between STS and media studies concerning the manifold processes of mediation in current societies. Thus, we call for papers which address, among others, questions about differences in understandings and vocabularies as well explorations of empirical, methodological, and theoretical overlappings which already exist. While the motivation of this call is conceptual, we very much welcome empirically founded papers. The papers will be presented in the order shown and grouped 3-4 between sessions