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[ecrea] call for papers merzWissenschaft 2017

Tue Jan 17 09:54:53 GMT 2017

I’d like to call your attention for the following call for papers for merzWissenschaft which is the scientific edition of the journal merz – media and education (

We’re looking forward to many interesting articles.

Best regards,
Susanne Eggert


/merzWissenschaft /| medien + erziehung

call for papers 2017

*Media Education between Digital Humanities and Subject Orientation*

Responsible Editors: Prof. Dr. Heidrun Allert (Kiel University) and the /merzWissenschaft /editorial team (JFF)


/merzWissenschaft /2017 is working to stimulate scientific reflection on the challenges and consequences associated with the application of computer-based procedures in social science research and to anchor such reflection in media-educational discourse. The objective is to formulate a position regarding the application of digital procedures in scientific activities and in doing so to address the question of how digital and computer-based media-educational research is, can be and should be. The spectrum to be considered ranges from new data collection methods (e. g. integrated in apps) to the use of Big Data Analytics to evaluate large and small and possibly personalized data inventories in order to derive findings, up to and including the question of knowledge exchange and availability. The focus is on both original media-educational research and research in the relevant involved disciplines (Communication Sciences, Education, Sociology, Psychology, Information Science, etc.).

According to Schrape (2016) the term 'Big Data' refers generally to projected expectations of both utopias and dystopias. Given this tension between expectation and apprehension, existing publications in the field of media education are concerned primarily with the question of what conclusions are to be drawn for media-educational practice.

However, Big Data Analytics are being attributed a new epistemological access to social process. It is postulated that Data Mining approaches are able to represent and analyze societal processes objectively and independent of theoretical presuppositions, and that these approaches can thus be considered superior to established methods of social science research. This highlights the differences between 'data-driven' and 'theory-driven' scientific approaches, also marking a threshold beyond which digital processes are not solely aids or tools for scientific activities. The question is much more to what extent these procedures conflict with central principles of media-educational research such as the subject orientation and unique adequacy of data collection methods. Correspondingly, media education as a scientific discipline must confront such approaches in a critical-reflective manner in order to confirm its theoretical and methodological repertoire and when necessary to adopt data-driven approaches or to reject them with sufficient justification.

Such critical reflection is a necessary concern when investigating the extent to which central concepts of formulating media-educational theory (e. g. normative orientation towards subject self-determination) are compatible with the implications of the digital procedures and/or where conflicts occur in this context. Here an important foundation is the encounter with human images and the subjectivization processes in the relationships between people, digital (media) systems and institutions as well as companies. The opposing poles of this current discourse are evident on the one hand in the prospect of computer-assisted humans as human-machine hybrids (or cyborgs), in which the technologies employed expand the abilities of the human to act. Such concepts contrast with theoretical traditions that regard computerized evaluation and decision-making procedures as limiting the human being's scope of action. Between these poles is the position of the co-constitutive intermeshing of humans and technology, where the qualities of both humans and technologies are emergent in practice. In this view, the ability to act is not (only) expanded, but rather qualitatively transformed. Thus representation of and reflection on the question of which theoretical approaches and basic assumptions are to be employed is an absolute prerequisite for the determination of a media-educational position. This is in particular the case since the platforms and technologies themselves already create or contribute to the creation of reality and are never neutral with respect to the objects relevant for media-educational research. This also has an impact on the associated discussion and helps determine which questions and processes are at the focus of media-educational observations.

At the same time the question arises in media-educational research as to who has access to relevant data inventories and to what extent independent research is possible using such data, since precisely that data generated in day-to-day media activity is not freely accessible (for good reason). Nevertheless digital service providers can accumulate an extensive amount of data that they can then evaluate using the appropriate methods. The inherent questions of disparate conditions and prerequisites for commercial and academic research require particular reflection and critical consideration in the societally relevant area of media education and media education.

In addition to the application areas and key questions already mentioned, a widely diverse range of approaches to integrating digital technologies in scientific activities is currently emerging under the label of Digital Humanities. Papers dealing with this type of approach, addressing the question of how digital (media-educational) research is, can or should be, are of interest.

/merzWissenschaft /2017 would like to call for theoretical or empirical articles that address the topic areas outlined above from the point of view of social science research and which can thus be instructive for media education. Here topics may cover the following possible areas:

·What challenges are associated with media-educational issues in scientific activities with respect to digitalization?

·What theoretical and normative questions arise in connection with the relationships among humans – media – society with respect to digitalization as a basis for media-educational research and practice?

·How does the current development of continuing digitalization impact the concept of being human in media-educational approaches?

·What new digital practices and methods are developing in media-educational research and/or in related disciplines? How are these related to central premises of the formation of media-educational theory such as orientation of actions, subject orientation, etc.? How are they to be regarded in terms of normative concepts such as media literacy and media education?

·What current empirical findings have already been made through the novel use of digital technologies in media-educational research and/or in related scientific areas?

·What consequences are to be expected from the scientific encounter with the relationships among humans – digital media – society for the development of media-educational models?

/merzWissenschaft /provides a forum advancing scientific analysis in media education and promoting progress in the theoretical foundation of the discipline. In this capacity /merzWissenschaft/ is calling for qualified papers from various relevant disciplines for the continuing development of expert media-educational discussions.

Of interest are original papers:

·With an empirical or theoretical foundation

·That present new findings, aspects or approaches to the topic

·That are also explicitly related to one of the subareas or topics outlined above or that explore a separate topic within the scope of the overall context of the Call.

Abstracts with a maximum length of 6,000 characters (including blank spaces) can be submitted to the /merz/- editorial team ((merz /at/ until no later than February 13, 2017. Submissions should follow the /merzWissenschaft /layout specifications, available at (at merz >für autoren und autorinnen > style guide merz). Please contact Susanne Eggert, tel. +49 89 68 989 152, e-mail: (susanne.eggert /at/ with any questions.


*Summary of Deadlines*

February 13, 2017: Submission of abstracts to (merz /at/

March 10, 2017: Final decision on acceptance/rejection of the abstracts

June 12, 2017: Submission of papers

June 12 to July 24, 2017: Assessment phase

August/September 2017: Revision phase (with multiple cycles, when appropriate)

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