Sommerschule: Digitization and its Impact on Society

Posted on 15th Mai 2013 in Digitale Revolution, Off Topic

An der TU Dresden organisiere ich zusammen mit vielen KollegInnen eine Sommerschule. Über Bewerbungen von Interessierten freue ich mich.

Call for Papers / Travel grants
International summer school „Digitization and its Impact on Society“
Technische Universität Dresden
September 29 – October 5, 2013

The digital revolution is altering the present in many ways not all of which have been sufficiently addressed by research. There are three core aspects to this change:

  1. The digitization of our world: More and more information is being converted into a digital format or is already being produced in this numerical form.
  2. Parallel to the emergence of ‚Big Data‘, digitization allows data from different sources to be combined and analyzed together: The representation of different types of information in a numerical model enables the analysis and combination of this information through the use of algorithms. This, in turn, is the basis for
  3. the growing emancipation of data from the purpose for which they were produced: Digitization allows any kind of query to the data possible in a mathematical model. The result is the user’s freedom from the archive’s structures, coupled with a certain loss of control over one’s own data.

Initiated by the traditional computer-based sciences, the process of digitization also affects Social Sciences and the Humanities. Although each discipline has already developed its own questions and approaches in Digital Humanities, a broader, interdisciplinary discussion about the new technologies’ impact on society is still missing.

The summer school’s aim is to initiate this interdisciplinary discussion. The following disciplines will be included (Please note that the summer school is basically open to all disciplines)

Language, Literature and Cultural Studies

Digitization enables a fresh look at archives (Data-driven History) and poses questions on permanent forms of storage and how digitizing historical collections affects cultural memory. Moreover, digitization also challenges the notions of authenticity and cultural situatedness that are commonly associated with both the everyday and the aesthetic use of language.

Business and Economics

The low costs involved with the trade of digital goods have created new challenges. Markets are no longer dominated by producers of goods, but by providers of infrastructure and platform operators. Digital piracy has become a major economic obstacle in developing new digital products.


Digitization raises fundamental questions with regard to the allocation of rights to information and with regard to the access to information. It is a major challenge to secure an adequate balance between exclusive intellectual property rights on the one hand, and freedom of information on the other. The second focus of the legal perspective lies on the implications for the legal protection of the private sphere. Due to changes of the media landscape, the process of digitization requires to re-examine the equilibrium between data protection and personality rights vis-à-vis the fundamental right to freedom of speech.

Sociology and Political Science

Digital communication calls for the redefining or even the elimination of terms such as ‚private‘ and ‚public‘. Furthermore, digitization creates new possibilities for political participation and draws attention to the cross-cutting issue of network policy.

Communication and Media Science

The exchange of information through the digitization of sound, image and text has led to a radical change of the public sphere. Due to the technical structure of the digital networks anybody can become a sender. As a result, the resource of public attention and the quality of information become central foci for research.


The digitization of learning content and learning environments (virtual classroom) is bringing us closer to the ideal of free and equal access to educational resources. At the same time it is causing changes to teaching methods, assessment and evaluation (based on learning analytics) and even to scientific publishing (e.g. Science-Blog).

The summer school’s key topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Digital archive and cultural memory
  • Online communities of practice and their symbolic forms (e.g. cyber language)
  • Economics of online platforms and platform neutrality
  • Copyright and freedom of information in the digital age
  • Social networks and ubiquitous media / Change of the public sphere
  • Liquid democracy vs. post-democracy
  • Potentials of digitizing university research and teaching

TU Dresden offers travel grants for up to 20 post-docs and PhD students from all nations. The grants will cover travel and accommodation. Preference will be given to interdisciplinary topics.


Please apply with your CV and your abstract (max. 400 words) for a 20-minute presentation on your current research by June 15, 2013 at


Dresden Center for Digital Linguistics, Noah Bubenhofer, Joachim Scharloth, Yvonne Krämer

Scientific Committee:

Noah Bubenhofer, Thomas Bürger, Wolfgang Donsbach, Horst-Peter Götting, Lutz Hagen, Thomas Köhler, Holger Kuße, Claudia Lange, Anne Lauber-Rönsberg, Joachim Scharloth, Eric Schoop, Marcel Thum

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