[WebCultures] Reminder: Digital Methods Winter School 2018 -- Call for Participation

Fernando van der Vlist fernando.vandervlist at gmail.com
Tue Nov 14 12:51:19 CET 2017

Dear all,

The Digital Methods Initiative (DMI) will host its 10th annual Digital
Methods Winter School from January 8-12, 2018 at the University of
Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Below please find the call for participation.

This year's theme is: "The Social Lives of Digital Methods: Encounters,
Experiments, Interventions". The deadline for application is December 7,
2017. More information is available at https://bit.ly/dmi18-ws-call or
email to winterschool at digitalmethods.net .

Best regards,

Fernando van der Vlist


# JANUARY 8-12, 2018




The Digital Methods Initiative (DMI), Amsterdam, is holding its annual
Winter School on 'the Social Lives of Digital Methods: Encounters,
Experiments, Interventions.' The format is that of a (social media and web)
data sprint, with hands-on work for telling stories with data, together
with a programme of keynote speakers and a Mini-conference, where PhD
candidates, motivated scholars and advanced graduate students present short
papers on digital methods and new media related topics, and receive
feedback from the Amsterdam DMI researchers and international participants.
Participants need not give a paper at the Mini-conference to attend the
Winter School. For a preview of what the event is like, please view short
video clips from a previous edition of the Summer School,

Over the past decade digital methods of various kinds have been put to use
by data journalists, national ministries, non-governmental organisations,
city governments, media artists, police departments, international
organisations, philanthropic funding agencies in the service of a wide
variety of projects and objectives. Within the academy digital methods have
spread from researchers of the internet, new media and computational
culture, leading to encounters and experiments with a wide range of
disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, working with their own
publics, partners, questions, concerns and modes of inquiry with and about
the digital. That one may intervene with digital methods is clear, but the
question concerns the positioning.

Extremism and counter-terrorism units may wish to map online networks of
groups and individuals. Under which circumstances and with which ethics to
act? City governments may be interested in how to use platform data to
inform their responses to emerging "gig" and "sharing" economies said to be
changing the character of housing, transport and work. When an analyst
finds concrete instances of over-renting properties, does one share the
findings and if so how? Non-governmental organisations would like to know
whether their anti-fossil fuel campaigns are reaching audiences outside of
their own bubbles. How to make such questions relevant for academic
research? Funders would like an issue area and the stakeholders mapped, but
what if one finds that the funders are overdetermining the agenda of the
field? How might the style of digital methods work on secure messaging apps
vary, depending on whether the audience is critical media scholars, privacy
advocates or public institutions?

Researchers in fields such as science and technology studies and
ethnomethodology have long pointed out that methods are not only used by
researchers to study social life, they are also a part of social life (see,
e.g. Garfinkel, 1984). This notion has been further elaborated and explored
through a more recent agenda on the "social life of methods" (Ruppert, Law,
& Savage, 2013). Digital methods and data projects can be used to create
not only novel styles of analysis, but also different kinds of
"interactivity" (Marres, 2017) -- from involving those who are researched
in the research process, to different forms of participatory design, public
involvement and experimentation. Such encounters may produce changes in the
analytical interests and approaches of both researchers and practitioners,
and may be considered a substantive part of the research process, rather
than a communicative afterthought.

At the 2018 Digital Methods Winter School we would like to put forward
positioning practices that address working with practitioners together with
the projects (and data sets) they bring along. The Winter School has as its
goal to take stock and tell stories of interventions and the positionings
one was able to take up. How to navigate the space between scholarly
research, practitioner expectation and critical output? Additionally the
Winter School will make interventions, working together with 'publics with
an ask'.


The annual Digital Methods Mini-Conference at the Winter School, normally a
one-day affair, provides the opportunity for digital methods and allied
researchers to present short yet complete papers (5,000-7,500 words) and
serve as respondents, providing feedback. Often the work presented follows
from previous Digital Methods Summer Schools. The mini-conference accepts
papers in the general digital methods and allied areas: the hyperlink and
other natively digital objects, the website as archived object, web
historiographies, search engine critique, Google as globalizing machine,
cross-spherical analysis and other approaches to comparative media studies,
device cultures, national web studies, Wikipedia as cultural reference, the
technicity of (networked) content, post-demographics, platform studies,
crawling and scraping, graphing and clouding, and similar.


The deadline for application is 7 December 2017. To apply please send along
a letter of motivation, your CV (including postal address), a headshot
photo, 100-word bio as well as a copy of your passport (details page only).
Notifications of acceptance will be sent on 8 December. If you are
participating in the mini-conference the deadline for submission of your
paper is 2 January. The mini-conference takes place on Friday 12 January
2018. Please send your mini-conference paper to winterschool@
digitalmethods.net . To attend the Winter School, you need not participate
in the mini-conference. The full program and schedule of the Winter School
and Mini-conference are available on 4 January 2018.


## More information: https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/WinterSchool2018

Fernando N. van der Vlist
Research Associate, Collaborative Research Centre "Media of Cooperation",
University of Siegen
Research Associate, Digital Methods Initiative, University of Amsterdam
Lecturer, New Media and Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam


App Studies Initiative
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