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Information for Researchers No. 41 | 14 June 2019
4th DFG Symposium in Media Studies on the Topic of “Filters”

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) invites to submit abstracts for the 4th Symposium in Media Studies on the topic of “filters”, which takes place as part of the series of “Symposia in Media Studies” from 30 March to 2 April 2020 in the Villa Vigoni at Lake Como, Italy.

The symposia in this series are research conferences with a programmatic orientation and with a particular form that provide excellent opportunities for common professional self-reflection and positioning; that promote disciplinary self-assurance (also in the context of competing disciplines); and that search for a solid and reflected basis for interdisciplinary exchange.

The Symposia in Media Studies aim at enabling exemplary discussions within German-speaking Media Studies that rarely or never happen during daily work routines at universities due to the increasing specialisation of research in Media Studies.

They address relevant, quite possibly controversial, potentially unsettled and internationally pertinent topics that have a lasting effect on the discipline, that create a possibility for professional positioning, and that can launch further, continuing discussions.

The 4th Symposium in Media Studies is dedicated to the topic of “filters”: media filter. In a society permeated by digital-algorithmic processes, the relevance of filters is evident: Filters regulate access to information (“filter bubbles”), they make huge amounts of data manageable (“big data”), and they control the worldwide transfer of data on a technical level. However, filtering can also be understood as a fundamental condition of media more generally, beyond the networked media and their effects. Filters are not only necessary for media to function in a technical sense; they also create their own aesthetics, for example by determining ranges of visibility or audibility or by shaping the content of media by artefacts. The fundamental medial dimension of filtering leads further to a political dimension, where socio-technical processes mediate access, identities, borders and permissions.

The 4th Symposium in Media Studies addresses the entire range of operations and technologies of filtering within their systematic contexts. The concept of filtering, with its material, aesthetic and political implications, as outlined above, addresses the multifarious approaches and facets of media studies and draws novel connections between them. Further, the concept enables us to take up current public debates regarding digitalisation and to develop robust media studies positions, to be discussed in four sections: (1) the history, materiality and aesthetics of filters, (2) algorithmic filters in digital cultures, (3) the politics of filtering, and (4) media studies as an actor in academic research and the public sphere.

The conference directing team Prof. Dr. Ralf Adelmann and Prof. Dr. Tobias Matzner invites to submit abstracts. The abstracts should comprise 1-2 pages and highlight the most important aspects of the paper as well as its relation to the topic of “filters”. Abstracts can be submitted by 31 August 2019 via e-mail to Link auf E-Mailtobias.matzner@uni-paderborn.de.

If the abstract is accepted, a final written version of the paper should be submitted by 31 January 2020. Contributors should be ready to respond to one of the other contributions at the symposium and to prepare their own text for publication in the conference proceedings in a timely manner.

The submitted final papers of all speakers will be distributed ca. four to six weeks in advance to all participants of the symposium and should be read beforehand. All participants are expected to be present during the entire symposium.

Further Information

A more detailed call for papers can be found here:

Conference Directing Team:

  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Adelmann
    (Universität Paderborn)
  • Prof. Dr. Tobias Matzner
    (Universität Paderborn)

Programme committee:

  • Prof. Dr. Ralf Adelmann,
  • Dr. Christian Köhler,
  • Prof. Dr. Tobias Matzner,
  • Dr. Monique Miggelbrink,
  • Christian Schulz,
  • Prof. Dr. Jutta Weber,
  • Dr. Serjoscha Wiemer


Contact at the DFG:


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