WORKSHOP REPORT “FOR AND AGAINST METHOD” — Nina Victoria Ebner, Daniel Gönitzer, Melanie Konrad and Inga Luchs on Methods as Research Practice

Von Nina Victoria Ebner, Daniel Gönitzer, Melanie Konrad und Inga Luchs

“Brocken Inaglory” auf Wikimedia CommonsIn November 2022, Clemens Apprich and Kristina-Pia Hofer organized a two-day event, the Inaugural Forum of the Austrian Media Studies Research School, a kick-off event to initiate regular exchange between young and experienced media scholars in Austria, entitled ‹For and Against Method› at the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Die Angewandte – Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien). Questions of methods and methodology continue to spark lively debate in Media Studies (see, for example, the Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft and the Open Media Studies blog). Central to this debate is the question of whether there should be a firm set of methods in Media Studies that ensures validity and rigor. The increased demands for third-party funding on the one hand and new objects for Media Studies in the realm of digitization on the other hand gave rise to current discussions about the requirements and common grounds of either more interpretative or more scientific research traditions in the field.

Locating oneself in this ongoing debate can be challenging, especially as a PhD student. All of us workshop participants (Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield, Nina Victoria Ebner, Daniel Gönitzer, Melanie Konrad and Inga Luchs) come from different areas of Media Studies and are accordingly situated in different contexts that shape how we deal with and think about our research objects and questions. Film and photography, digital objects, and philosophical writing practices invoke vastly different research traditions. Accordingly, the workshop provided a valuable platform to reflect on how we have been trained in particular theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. On the one hand, reflecting on our trajectories means locating ourselves and our own approach in the many traditions of Media Studies. On the other hand, it also might help us to critically question the epistemological traditions we follow.

In addition to the previously-mentioned hosts, the editorial board of the special issue X | Kein Lagebericht of the Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft (ZfM) (Ömer Alkin, Jiré Emine Gözen and Nelly Y. Pinkrah) was present at the workshop. They introduced us to the issue’s content and ensured fruitful discussions on inclusive research practice, which was followed by the presentations of our PhD projects. Gabriele Jutz from the Media Theory Department and Florian Bettel from the Cultural Science Department of Die Angewandte responded to our presentations. We are very grateful for the opportunity to have exchanged ideas with these experts in such an open and welcoming format!

After the workshop in November 2022, four of us five PhD students stayed in touch to continue the discussions online in a smaller circle.1 This blog post presents the results in the form of a conversation / an interview.

Blog Post Writing Process

Writing down our individual approaches and the challenges we encounter in our own work does not produce a detailed summary about the workshop we attended together. We understand the workshop as a springboard for differentiated reflections that accompany us as young researchers with different CVs and previous experiences.

The workshop gave us the chance to talk about insecurities that are often pushed under the surface because they seem to be secondary to the final research results. We realized how profitable it can be to put not only successes but also ambiguities up for discussion – ambiguities that are especially present at the beginning of an academic career and that can develop our understandings of research further.

Tasks of the Reader

The following text is intended to illustrate our work process and the exchange following the workshop. In repeated, lively online conversations and shared documents we developed four questions. We call on our readers to think about their own situatedness when reading the example answers, to face the interview in the same way and to reflect on their own biographies. In this way we also want to offer a perspective for PhD supervisors to trace the challenges and questions we face on our respective research paths, since it is very likely that others face them too.

Since our backgrounds are quite different and since Media Studies as a young field of research is very interdisciplinary, the concept of situatedness was introduced to provide an integrating term everyone could relate to and describe how they position themselves towards methodological questions. Thus, the first question we discussed in our collective reflection following the workshop, was: What does situatedness mean for your scholarly practice?

Inga: Especially in interdisciplinary fields like Media or Cultural Studies, which are characterized by many different subjects, interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives, I do not always find it easy to situate myself as a PhD student. This became especially clear to me in preparation for the workshop where I tried to explain my methodological approach. The problem was not the illustration of the methodological steps I follow within my project, but with transmitting my specific perspective and research practice. My dissertation project does not necessarily focus on a particular research method that allows me to generate empirical knowledge – for example, with regard to the use and effects of algorithms in society. Rather, my interest lies in a critical perspective on algorithms as cultural objects – tracing what kind of understanding of the world they perpetuate and manifest.

I started to understand that situating myself means reflecting on why I am actually interested in certain research questions in the first place and which research tradition I am working in. In this regard, moving between different contexts is particularly helpful to understand where we are coming from (academically), what is important to us, but also what new perspectives might be interesting to pursue and – as Nelly Y. Pinkrah has emphasized during the workshop – what academic culture we would like to be a part of in the future. Media Studies as a discipline in this regard helps us to connect with others, be it via theoretical frameworks, research objects, methodologies or just a critical viewpoint on our life with and within mediated cultures.

Nina: In Donna Haraway’s essay «Situated Knowledges» from 1988,2 a reflection on the position of the speaker is central. Similar approaches can be found in discussions about the gaze that a person casts and what meaning thereby is created and conveyed: Well-known concepts like the «Male Gaze»3 or the «Oppositional Gaze»4 have sharpened academic perception in this regard. I recently came across Tina M. Campt’s publication, «A Black Gaze: Artists Changing How We See» (2021)5 , in which the author discusses the aesthetics and contents with which artists bring the recipient into an active role of reception and reflection of what is shown. In this case it is about Black lives with all their challenges on the one hand and joy on the other hand. Following that, it is not only about the perspective from which a person looks at something, but also about the positioning media demands from us.

There is not only one way to bring things into being or to read them. Nevertheless, the list of scientific quality criteria is usually headed by the concept of objectivity. Perhaps this overlooks the heart of any research question: the background that drives the interest. There are simple definitions for the concept of situatedness – but in the practice of one’s own writing, many doors open. And they lead to a more structural critique of settings. At least they do in my thinking. As Inga has already indicated, it’s about the academic history that everyone brings, but we should add, also about personal views, the reality of life from which we write, the culture we are part of and so many more little puzzle pieces. So, we should consider the structural and the personal level to get to the root of the effects of situated knowledge production.

Daniel: Thinking about the situatedness of my own writing, I concluded that the decision to focus my research on Walter Benjamin is deeply motivated through my own biography. Benjamin as a Marxist, Jewish thinker had to flee from Nazi Germany, leaving everything behind. His later life in French exile was very precarious until he had to flee again and was thus driven to cross border after border until he couldn’t see a way out and ultimately, like his dear friend Bertolt Brecht puts it, ‹crossed, a passable one.› Growing up in Carinthia, the most southern federated state in Austria, I was drastically confronted with the history and afterlife of National Socialism. The majority of Carinthia was actively involved in the killing, deportation and expulsion of Jewish people, Slovenian people and everyone who did not fit into their fascist concept of Volksgemeinschaft. However, the history of the Austrian involvement in Nazism was something nobody wanted to talk or hear about for a very long time. From 1949 until 1988 the so-called ‹victim theory› (Opferthese), encapsulated in the slogan ‹Austria – the Nazis’ first victim›, was common sense. And even after the abandonment of the victim theory by the Austrian state many people did not change their mindset in this regard. This was shown through the rise of the extreme right-wing party FPÖ (Freedom Party of Austria) which became the second strongest party in the 1999 election under their new Carinthian party leader Jörg Haider. Even though the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) finished first in the popular vote, a right-wing coalition government was formed by the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP). Growing up in Carinthia in the 1990s Haider and his (neo)-fascist, populist ideology was omnipresent. So, reflecting on the development of my own academic interests my engagement with anti-fascist, Marxist art and theory could be understood as a countermeasure against the revisionist, reactionary cultural, political and historical right-wing tradition I was surrounded by since my childhood.

Melanie: I strongly agree with the interconnectedness Nina and also Daniel mention between the realms of training/scholarly practice and personal experience, since situatedness means reflecting on the environments we live in and how they shape our perception and world making on a very basic level. It means to take into account the various lenses we have developed living our lives in different circumstances and roles and how those feed back into our research. As humans we are very adaptable, that defines us as a species, being able to form conventions and break them again, if necessary. In terms of scholarly practice, situatedness shines a spotlight on how we have learned the way we approach questions, on how we think and feel through our materials and data. To think about situatedness means thinking one’s own practices through and be aware of the experiences that shaped it, the people, things and thoughts that are entangled with it as part of the collectives we live and work in.

Learning scholarly practices is often thought of as mimicry – learning from looking at how others have done it, learning from approximation and relating our own thought to the thoughts and works of others. There actually is no step-by-step approach that would explain everything we need to know as scholars to do our work. How we organize our thoughts and our materials is mostly up to ourselves, although scholarly work in general entails many rules and restrictions, many of them unspoken and implicit, attributed to the work culture of the respective field. Regarding what Inga said, this quest for where our research belongs in terms of its placement within the frameworks of our fields certainly seems to be something most PhDs and early career researchers have to undergo.

I think this is also an inherently political process. Knowledge production can be part of and support a system that elevates the few and debases the many, but it can also work against that very system and its ramifications. Stefano Harney and Fred Moten have described in their famous essay «The University and the Undercommons» the complex reality of their academic practice in terms of the tension between radical Black traditions and the system of hegemonic knowledge production they are entangled with – and therefore they seek a space that is radically different.6 I have a similar kind of unease regarding academia, its historic and current forms, its exploitative and extractive aspects, and my place in it. Being part of the system of scientific and scholarly knowledge production, I strongly feel we must see that our practices are part of hegemonic power relations that constitute bourgeois society, that the university is a bourgeois institution, that our practices are part of neoliberalism for that matter, and that we have to find ways to subvert these structures to uncover the emancipatory moments of scientific and scholarly practices wherever possible.

Reflecting on the situatedness of our academic activities, we realized that while currently all of us are working in the field of Media Studies, we actually have rather different academic backgrounds. So, this second question addresses exactly this variety of academic training and focuses on our own biography: Where do you come from in terms of training?

Melanie: I went to senior high school in Graz, Styria, for a program in Graphic and Communication Design, which meant five years of training as well as a high-school diploma. Although I never worked in advertising or became an artist, like many of my classmates, I was hooked by questions around visual culture and politics. After high school I studied Political Science and Environmental and Bioresource Management in Vienna and London. My interests are manifold and I also wanted to get an idea of other disciplines like Business Administration, Economics, Biology and others that will help to fight climate change and environmental degradation.

In terms of my training, I stayed open to different approaches and subfields in the realm of Visual Culture and Political Theory and I am very interested in Critical Theory, the historic German branch as well as the contemporary more international field of critical approaches towards society, politics, history, aesthetics and perception, especially approaches in Feminist and Queer Theory. Although interdisciplinarity is something that is often encouraged in discourses on research, since it is said to produce innovative approaches, it is actually very hard to do for various reasons. Yet, there are certainly fields, like Media Studies, that are more open to interdisciplinarity than others. I like to combine different things and ideas and to find ways to connect them, work through them, but also acknowledge them in their differences – in retrospect an approach that later heavily influenced the research design of my PhD.

Daniel: Like Melanie, my academic training also started in Graz, where I studied Philosophy as my main subject and German Literature as a secondary subject. Since the theoretical focus of the Philosophy Department in Graz was more on Analytic Philosophy whilst my interest lay in the field of Critical Theory, Aesthetics and Political Philosophy I tried to compensate for this through self-organized reading circles and the attendance of courses on other Departments like the Centre of Jewish Studies at the University of Graz. After finishing my bachelor degree, I moved to Vienna and started my Philosophy master’s. Even though the Vienna Philosophy Department offered more interesting courses for me, I still wasn’t really satisfied. So again, I started to attend courses at the Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna and at the University of Applied Arts, where I met my current PhD supervisor Christian Schulte who is an expert in Critical Theory.

In addition to my academic research, I work as a cultural mediator at the cultural initiative Container 25 which I co-founded ten years ago in Carinthia. There I learned a more practical approach to culture and engaged in a critical examination of contemporary art as well as of topics related to the politics of memory and commemoration. Even though this work differs from the academic training through university, I see it as part of my academic training.

Nina: Isn’t it interesting that training in our setting basically means the university career, which is legitimized by a series of degrees, which proves that we have gone through standard exams and are capable of producing scholarly output that benefits our subject? What if we included the kindergarten and primary school years as valid variables in our CV reflections, the children’s camp on school holidays or the two years of flute lessons that I took, but never enjoyed? What about the jobs we did for economic reasons that were not supposed to feed into our academic thinking, but did nonetheless? Perhaps we should also discuss more often, what has shaped us as personalities even before we entered the academic circle and research.

For me, situatedness also means reflecting on who I had conversations with and when. On the one hand, these are intellectual discussions and discourses that one encounters in university life, on the other hand, they are also everyday moments and experiences. What Stuart Hall intended with his pedagogical idea in the sense of Cultural Studies and The Open University is increasingly important to me.

Inga: Studying Kulturwissenschaften, or more specifically, Digital Culture at Leuphana University in Lüneburg for my B.A. and M.A. has profoundly shaped both my research interests and the way I approach these theoretically and methodologically. At the center of my academic training stood the question of knowledge and its emergence in the context of certain power structures. Studying Media, or, more specifically, Digital Culture, in this regard, meant viewing digital technologies not only as a significant and impactful part of our everyday life – but to acknowledge how these, too, emerge in a certain cultural context, capable of producing meaning and containing their own inner logic. In my research, I hence pursue mostly questions of epistemology: how is technological knowledge generated? What knowledge is included in the development of technology, and what is left out? And how does this shape the way digital technologies operate in and shape our everyday life? At the same time, in my minor of Kulturinformatik (Cultural Informatics), I explored different computational concepts and practices, learning about web development through HTML, CSS and JavaScript, getting acquainted with the basics of programming languages like Java and Python and working with databases. This is also still reflected in my project today, where I try not to shy away from the technical specificity of the research objects I am studying.

Nina: Our joint workshop in Vienna opened my eyes to the variety of methods that the examination of media phenomena produces. While my colleagues are e.g. concerned with the interface between technology and culture, for me it is more philosophical questions that examine the potential of artistic intervention in current states of being. What is the political dimension of art production?

Listening to my colleagues’ answers made me reflect on something else: It is quite fascinating how much one’s own questions are related to and arise from one’s environment. While my school education focused on Economics, the decision to study Humanities led to criticism of the positions I had previously held in the business environment. Every step in my education and every stage of my life has contributed to the way I think today. Knowledge is therefore anchored in one’s own life reality, in the background, in a specific social environment. As soon as we recognize this, also on the base of our own research fields, and thus exchange the idea of the ‹one and only› truth in favor of collaborative thinking in fragments, research gains substance.

After discussing how our (academic) biographies shaped our research interests, we return to the topic of situatedness with a different focus: What does situatedness mean for our particular research projects?

Inga: I see my project at the intersection of Media and Cultural Studies and Computer Science. Here, I try to contribute to Media Studies by particularly looking into the technical side of algorithmic discrimination and machine learning, while, at the same time, confronting the assumptions these technical concepts are founded on with a critical perspective. Specifically, this means not only shedding light on the discriminatory effects of machine learning algorithms, but also examining exactly what kind of knowledge and assumptions are ingrained into the technical concepts they are founded on, how these shape their technical functioning and acknowledging that they could also be designed differently, taking different assumptions and values into account.

Nina: Unlike Inga, I am not sure yet what title to give to my research approach. I usually use the attribution Queer & Postcolonial Media Studies, but I would also consider Cultural Media Studies appropriate, as this term encompasses many subfields. This is where the problem of situatedness begins, because categorization means a clear positioning within a discourse. One decides on a tradition of thought that should be a point of reference for people who come into contact with one’s work. The same happens when we assign keywords to an article: A simplification that reduces a complex body of thought to a few linguistic placeholders.

In relation to my writing: It was through an in-depth study of my topic and conversations with colleagues that I became aware of how much my own perspective affects the selection of my research material and subsequently its analysis. Especially when working with image analysis (in my case) that promise objectivity, it is important to consider who does the decoding and who ascribes which meaning to which elements.

Melanie: I agree with Nina. Categorization and attribution are simplifying but they are also necessary due to the logics of research e.g. the publication regime. However, I also really struggle with pitching my research or attributing it with the ‹right› keywords. I hope this will solve itself with more clarity towards the end of the PhD process. However, I think this also speaks to the originality of our research, since it would be relatively easy to position ourselves from the start if we used cookie-cutter approaches and just went through predefined motions.

For instance, I recently ‹discovered› that my project has media theoretical, discourse analytical and historiographic dimensions. It focuses on the works of Walter Benjamin and Alexander Kluge from a (queer-)feminist perspective. One goal of my research is to find points of possible connection between aspects of the materials I put in specific constellations. I do this by pointing out main aspects that are interesting in their works from a (queer-)feminist perspective regarding visual culture and the historic process. In the parts on Benjamin, I focus on the body in the visual field and in the parts on Kluge on forms of intervention in historiographic processes. The themes, terms, figures of thought and poetic and theoretical practices in both their works are worth investigating in this way, since they both radically broke conventions or picked up on very important intellectual developments in their time that resonate with (queer-)feminist forms of inquiry and critique on different levels of analyses. It took me a long time to figure out what I see in this approach and why I am convinced that this has to be done like this.

Situatedness here manifests in the decisions I made choosing my materials, deciding the relevance of the texts, images and films and the goal of looking for materials that resonate with each other. And to achieve that I think of them as similar, so connections can ‹successfully› be made, but similar not in appearance, but in kind. This has to do with mimesis, the process of learning and approximation and it could be contextualized with what Walter Benjamin called unsinnliche Ähnlichkeit (nonsensuous similarity), a likeness, resemblance, correspondence that cannot be found on the surface of things but that is a possible, relational feature between things that become connected in other ways – they do not mirror, it could be said, they become sticky.7

Daniel: In my view Benjamin’s approach actually contains some aspects of Donna Haraway’s concept of ‹situated knowledge›. Like Haraway, Benjamin sees knowledge as partial and locatable rather than transcendent. His demand for a new way of writing and thinking about history – ‹against the grain› – was an attempt to include, resurrect and remember those marginalized, who were erased and forgotten through the hegemonic historical approach. Benjamin defines it as the historian’s as well as the philosopher’s responsibility to work around this limitation and thus create a ‹history from below›, which is no longer written by the ‹victors› and oppressors. This radical critique of the common way of writing history as well as Benjamin’s utopian thoughts for a better future is what makes him so interesting and inspiring to me. Thinking about the way Austria and especially Carinthia approached and, in some aspects, still approaches history gives Benjamin’s works a tremendous actuality.

After intensively discussing questions of situatedness, we finally pondered over what the term ‹method› means to us.

Nina: Research gap, research material and method – the trident of scientific clarity. As soon as one’s own field of interest has been determined, the question of the method becomes urgent. The decision for a clear method is often the base for a confirmation of supervision, for a scholarship, for a job. Therefore, the decision can be quite crucial. In the context of the presentations and discussions in ‹For and Against Method›, I have learned to understand the concept of method more broadly. Seeing the method anchored in my personal approach and seeing it as a building element of a much broader decision-making chain has changed my approach to the term.

Daniel: Like Nina, I also gained a broader perspective on questions of methodology through the workshop. Reflecting on my current research subject, in which I explore Walter Benjamin’s engagement with the artistic avant-garde movements of the early 20th century, I came to the conclusion that also my thoughts on methodology are deeply influenced by his texts. In the «Epistemo-Critical Prologue» (Erkenntniskritische Vorrede) of his failed habilitation thesis The Origin of German Tragic Drama (Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels), which was published 1928, Benjamin gives a rather short, but quite interesting ‹definition› of his approach to methodology. There he writes: «Method is detour» (Methode ist Umweg).8 I think Benjamin succeeds in his attempt to loosen up the rather stiff term ‹method›. His way of thinking is inspired by threshold experience and expresses itself through discontinuity, interruption and metamorphosis. Benjamin himself describes this in a letter to Gretel Adorno in which he says: «My life as well as my thought moves in extreme positions» (mein Leben so gut wie mein Denken bewegt sich in extremen Positionen).9 Like the title of the workshop, which inspired this answer, suggests, Benjamin is therefore neither for nor against methods. In another text he writes «central to any scholarly study which takes itself seriously are questions of method» (im Zentrum einer wissenschaftlichen Arbeit, die sich ernst nimmt, stehen Methodenfragen).10 In the same text however, Benjamin criticizes the «methodological rigor by which scientists seek renown.»11 Methodology in his sense has to encompass «not just the experiment carried out in the seclusion of the laboratory but also the one performed in the public space of history» (nicht nur das im abgeschiedenen Raume des Laboratoriums sondern auch das im freien der Geschichte bewerkstelligte Experiment in ihren Horizont einbezieht).12 In his Arcades Project he also reflects on questions of methodology and makes a comparison between scientific and artistic methods:

Scientific method is distinguished by the fact that, in leading to new objects, it develops new methods. Just as form in art is distinguished by the fact that, opening up new contents, it develops new forms. It is only from without that a work of art has one and only one form, that a treatise has one and only one method. (Wissenschaftliche Methode zeichnet sich dadurch aus, daß sie zu neuen Gegenständen führend, neue Methoden entwickelt. Genau wie Form in der Kunst sich dadurch auszeichnet, daß sie, zu neuen Inhalten führend, neue Formen entwickelt. Eine, nämlich nur eine Form hat ein Kunstwerk, eine, nämlich nur eine Methode hat eine Abhandlung nur von außen.)13

Maybe this thought can inspire future discussions about methods and methodology.

Concluding Remarks

The workshop ‹For and Against Method› at the University of Applied Arts Vienna was a great opportunity to get into a broader discussion on methods and scholarly practices in Media Studies. For us this was the starting point to reflect our thoughts and needs around the topic of positioning and belonging, in terms of where we place our work in the subfields of Media Studies, and what this means for our respective methodologies. Very early on, we came across ‹situatedness› as a term that helped to communicate where we come from in terms of our training, but also as people, and what some of our main obstacles are. One of the biggest challenges is formulating a coherent argument around where we position our research within the established frameworks in academia, since we introduce new approaches and new ideas with our projects. Doing research means working on the margins, and for PhD candidates this also means finding out a lot about how we work best, what motivates us most, what we want to achieve with our work and, with the years that any PhD likely takes, how we can break down certain barriers during this long reflective process.

Since you, dear reader, made it this far, we want to encourage you to follow our lead, reflect for yourself and find like-minded people to discuss the questions mentioned above or come up with new questions around methods and scholarly practice, especially if you are a PhD or supervising PhDs!

Nina Victoria Ebner is a PhD candidate and lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Klagenfurt & works at the Ars Electronica Center in Linz/Austria in the field of media relations. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Vienna (Theatre, Film and Media Studies) and also has a background in German Studies. Nina’s dissertation focuses on art photography in relation to African and Afrodiasporic futurisms. From 2021 to January 2023, she was a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Media and Cultural Theory in Klagenfurt, working closely with Univ.-Prof. Rainer Winter and Assoc.-Prof. Matthias Wieser. In February 2023, she completed a research stay at Aalborg University/Copenhagen with Prof. Bolette Blaagaard, where she dealt with current issues of postcolonial studies in Europe.

Daniel Gönitzer is a university assistant in training (Prae Doc) at the tfm | Department for Theatre, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna. He studied Philosophy and German Literature in Graz and Vienna. His dissertation deals with Walter Benjamin’s relationship to the historical avant-garde. Last publication: Die “tausendkerzige Lampe”. Walter Benjamin und die Fotografie der Avantgarde. In: ffk Journal, Nr. 8 (2023)

Melanie Konrad (she/her) is a PhD candidate in Media Studies and currently a visiting scholar at the Department of Germanic & Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her research stay is funded through the Marietta Blau mobility scholarship by the Austrian Agency of Education and Internationalisation (OeAD). Before she came to Chapel Hill, she spent nine months in Germany at the University of the Arts Berlin (06/2022–02/2023). From 2017 to 2022 she held a PhD position as an assistant to Univ.-Prof. Christian Schulte at the Department of Theater, Film and Media Studies at the University of Vienna. Her research interests include Media Theory, Critical and Visual Theory (esp. Walter Benjamin, Alexander Kluge), Feminist and Queer Theory, and amateur / DIY film and photo practices. In her PhD she works on deviant forms of relationality in photographic media with Walter Benjamin and Alexander Kluge.

Inga Luchs is a PhD candidate in Media Studies at the University of Groningen. Inga has a background in Cultural Studies and Digital Culture at Leuphana University, Lüneburg. Departing from the problem of algorithmic discrimination, she seeks to investigate the key technical principles of machine learning to uncover underlying assumptions and beliefs. In her latest paper, she investigated corporate machine learning online courses, demonstrating how these consolidate big tech’s position of power within the AI industry which was published with Big Data & Society.

  1. With great thanks to Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield for initiating this discussion. []
  2. Donna Haraway: Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective, in: Feminist Studies, 14 (3), 1988, pp. 575-599, []
  3. Laura Mulvey: Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, in: Screen, 16 (3), 1975, pp. 6-18. []
  4. bell hooks: The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators, in: Black Looks: Race and Representation, Boston 1992, pp. 115-131. []
  5. Tina M. Campt: A Black Gaze. Artists Changing How We See, Cambridge, Massachusetts 2021. []
  6. Stefano Harney, Fred Moten: The Undercommons. Fugitive Planning & Black Study, Wivenhoe / New York / Port Watson: Minor Compositions 2013. []
  7. Cf. Walter Benjamin «Lehre vom Ähnlichen» bzw. «Über das mimetische Vermögen», in: Gesammelte Schriften Band II, Frankfurt am Main 1991, pp. 204–210, pp. 210–213. []
  8. Walter Benjamin: Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels, in: Gesammelte Schriften Band I, Frankfurt am Main 1991, pp. 203-430, here: p. 208. []
  9. Walter Benjamin: Brief an Gretel Adorno, in: Gesammelte Briefe Band IV. 1931-1934, Frankfurt am Main 1996, pp. 440-441, here: p. 440. []
  10. Walter Benjamin, Ein deutsches Institut freier Forschung, in: Gesammelte Schriften Band III, Frankfurt am Main 1991, pp. 518-526, here: p. 525. []
  11. ibid., p. 519. []
  12. ibid., p. 525. []
  13. Walter Benjamin, Das Passagen-Werk, in: Gesammelte Schriften Band V, Frankfurt am Main 1991, pp. 1-1350, here: p. 591. []

OpenEdition schlägt Ihnen vor, diesen Beitrag wie folgt zu zitieren:
Open Media Studies (23. Juni 2023). WORKSHOP REPORT “FOR AND AGAINST METHOD” — Nina Victoria Ebner, Daniel Gönitzer, Melanie Konrad and Inga Luchs on Methods as Research Practice. Open Media Studies Blog. Abgerufen am 18. Juli 2024 von

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