’23 workshop electives

The ECREA Summer School offers different workshops that focus on both general competencies and topic-specific challenges. The topic-specific workshops are structured as electives, meaning you get to choose which are the most relevant for you. Below are description of the workshop electives offered in 2023.

Introduction to Visual MethodsThe workshop will introduce students to basic concepts and methods of studying visual communication: How can the production, reception and circulation of images and images themselves be studied? What are challenges and opportunities as opposed to analyzing text and discourse? Which ethical and practical implications does studying visuals on social media have? After a brief introduction and mapping of the field, we will discuss how different layers and aspects of visual phenomena can be approached methodologically. Students will get an overview of a variety of methods and their possible applications, and they will have the chance to try one out with provided material.

Lecturer: Maria Schreiber
Digital Methods for BeginnersThe workshop offers an introduction to the methodological principles of digital methods. Digital methods use data from the web, especially from social media, for social research in a way that involves simultaneously studying the digital media themselves. The purpose is to ground the data in their sites of production and situate the results in relation to platform cultures and platform affordances. The workshop will prioritize time for a brief exercise in obtaining online data from an API through a user-friendly digital methods tool, so as to offer a hands-on experience with how the methodology of digital methods can be applied in practice.

Lecturer: Andreas Birkbak
Mind scripting 101This workshop introduces students to mind scripting as a method to explore underlying expectations, dominant imaginaries and doxa of sociotechnical systems – a way to map and analyze the lived experiences of actors who are exposed to algorithmic automation, e.g., within health care, welfare services, customer management). Through creative engagement with data from a large-scale project on algorithmic automation of welfare services, this workshop seeks to connect participants’ socio-technical ideas of digital welfare with hands on testing of mind scripting as a creative and participatory method for the study of technology development and implementation in general.

Lecturer: Anne Kaun
Activist research:
challenges and opportunities
The starting point for the workshop is that while society is politicised, we are witnessing a depoliticization of academia. But a politicised society requires research that addresses questions about democracy, also from normative perspectives.
Media and communication are key to democracy. This workshop discusses how we as researchers can address normative questions about the role of media and communication to democracy and prosper. The latter is no less relevant for junior scholars such as PhD students, because they are in precarious positions. The workshop looks at both possibilities and challenges, e.g., in relation to impact, repercussions, and citations. It will include student centred elements, inviting participants to identify possibilities and challenges in their own research, and I will provide examples from my own research on activism as well as relations between social movements and multinational companies.

Lecturer: Julie Uldam
Interview research:
challenges and opportunities
Interview research may sometimes seem increasingly challenging, surrounded by ever more obstacles, red flags and lines. This makes it a very insecure territory for a junior, and indeed, any researcher. How do I gather rich, unique material without risking an ethical transgression? How do I recruit my informants? And what about Zoom interviews?
This workshop will consider the latest trends, challenges and their solutions based on extensive and cutting-edge experience of interview research with very sensitive and hardly accessible groups of informants: diplomats and political journalists (Narratives of Europe project, 2012-2017), military personnel (Connecting Soldiers project, 2020-2022) and influencers (Algorithmic Solidarity project, 2023-present). We will try to find answers but above all – in the spirit of the interview method – formulate the right questions that will lead to best answers, beyond the traps and magic circles that streak this trail.

Lecturer: Roman Horbyk

Information about how and when to pick your preferred electives, will be shared via email and the ECREA Summer School Teams platform.