CFP UPENN 2017 conference –Reading Eastern Europe Digitally: Promises for the New Millennium |

Check out the Romanian Studies Association of America’s Call for Papers

Reading Eastern Europe Digitally: Promises for the New Millennium

Deadline: March 12, 2016.
Contact Email:

Reading Eastern Europe Digitally: Promises for the New Millennium

What does the Digital Age hold in store for Eastern European cultures? In an era dominated by the opening of secret archives, by an intense re-writing of the socialist past, the opportunities offered by a wide dissemination of texts and works of art too long hidden by the Iron Curtain and many other “curtains” point toward a new Guttenberg-like moment.
This panel seeks to explore ongoing projects associated with libraries and academic centers from Eastern European countries which would put these cultures on the worldwide digital map. Our panel will consider the scholarly potential of manuscript curation, of digital mapping of books and art collections, and inter-media readings– among its topics.

Suggested topics:
On-going digitizing projects of Eastern European archives.

The limitations of copyright.

The advantages and shortcomings of digital methodology and of the open source archives.

The new visibility within the European and American context provided by portals like and others.

Please send abstracts and a short CV to Letitia Guran: by March 12, 2016.

Digital Anthropology at 14th EASA Conference

In this post I am going to provide an overview about those panels at the 14th EASA Biennial Conference entitled “Anthropological legacies and human futures” (Milan, Italy, 20-23 July 2016) which deal with digital media technologies and related issues. This also offers some insight into digital anthropology related research in the European context which in many cases is closely connected with visual and media anthropology.
If you are interested to participate to one of those panels, please keep in mind that the deadline for paper abstract submissions is 15 February and that you have to be member of EASA.

Panels are listed in order of appearance on the conference website.

Producing and transmitting knowledge audio- and/or visually [VANEASA]

Beate Engelbrecht (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)
Felicia Hughes-Freeland (SOAS)

Visual anthropologists explore economic, religious and other kinds of social processes audio-visually. They produce audio-visual documents, they analyse subject-generated ones and engage in collaborative projects. What do they contribute to the creation and transmission of anthropological knowledge?

Media anthropology’s legacies and concerns [Media Anthropology Network]

Philipp Budka (University of Vienna)
John Postill (RMIT University)
Elisenda Ardèvol (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

The EASA Media Anthropology Network panel seeks to put fundamental concerns of media anthropology, such as the mediation of power, media related forms of production and consumption, the relationship between media and religion, and the mediation of knowledge, back into the centre of attention.

Technologies, bodies and identities on the move: Migration in the modern electronic technoscape

Karen Fog Olwig (University of Copenhagen)
Heather Horst (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)

Since Appadurai coined the term “technoscape” electronic technologies of communication and information have developed at a rapid pace. The panel examines how this complex technoscape of cell phones, social media, GPS-systems and biometric technologies shapes and is shaped by human movement.

Impact and localization of international knowledge regimes

Birgit Bräuchler (Monash University)
Sabine Mannitz (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt)

The panel looks at international knowledge regimes as they evolved around issues such as human rights, citizenship, indigeneity, peacebuilding, security or new media technologies. It puts a special focus on their national and local adoption and emerging hierarchies of knowledge and power.

Digital Media Cultures and Extreme Speech

Sahana Udupa (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)
Matti Pohjonen (Dublin City University (DCU))

The panel examines the significance of “extreme speech” in digital cultures across the world and its cultural, social and political implications.

Kinship – taking stock in the light of social media

Elisabetta Costa (British Institute at Ankara (BIAA))
Razvan Nicolescu (University College London)

The panel discusses the place of kinship in the light of the ways people create and maintain personal relationships and networks using social media. It explores kinship in direct juxtaposition with other networks such as ‘traditional’ friendship and ‘online’ only friendship.

Reassembling the visual: from visual legacies to digital futures [VANEASA]

Catarina Alves Costa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Roger Canals (University of Barcelona)

Since its beginnings, Anthropology has taken an interest in visuality. Still, this has not produced any unified field of research but rather a multiplicity of areas seen as disconnected. This panel welcomes researches aiming to integrate different aspects of the visual in anthropology.

The art of slowing down

Giulia Battaglia (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)
Jasmin Kashanipour (University of Vienna)

Slowness needs protection” (Eriksen 2001). Yet, does anthropology encourage ‘slowness’ in its own practice? We encourage reflections around the neoliberal politics of speed and the notion of ‘slowing down’ as a useful practice to re-vitalise anthropological legacies towards a more engaging future.

The impact of images: knowledge, circulation and contested ways of seeing [VANEASA]

Helena Wulff (Stockholm University)
Thomas Fillitz (University of Vienna)

Building on the legacy of visual research in anthropology, this panel explores the explosion of images in social life from photographs to selfies, posters, the arts and hypermedia in relation to knowledge production, circulation and contestation including methods, the market, aesthetics and ethics.

Skilled Engagements [VANEASA]

Cristina Grasseni (Utrecht University)
Rupert Cox (Manchester University)

We explore the notion of ‘engagement’ in terms of the skilled application of the senses and of media, building on the ethnographic study of apprenticeship as a primary mode of ‘enskilment’. Papers should critically investigate technology and the evidential power of media making.

Public and Private Redrawn: Geosocial Sex and the Offline [ENQA]

Matthew McGuire (Cambridge)
Michael Connors Jackman (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

This panel will explore in a global context the reconstitution by geosocial cruising technologies of two sets of oppositions-online/offline and public/private- to deal with the co-constitution of sexual lifeworlds at the interface of geosociality and physicality.

Philipp Budka

My name is Philipp Budka. I am a social and cultural anthropologist interested particularly in digital media technologies, infrastructure, indigenous media, activism, globalization, ethnography, and the production and transfer of knowledge. I am currently completing my PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Vienna, Austria. For my PhD project I did ethnographic fieldwork in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, and in several online environments, working with First Nation organizations and communities on digital media technology related practices. In addition, I have been lecturing at the Viennese Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and the MA program in Media and Visual Anthropology at the Free University Berlin. I am also part of the European Association of Social Anthropologists‘ (EASA) Media Anthropology Network steering group which has been organizing events and meetings for media anthropologists on- and off-line since 2004.
Find more information on me and my work at:

As “International Ambassador” for DANG, I am aiming for (1) collaborative projects which include different associations, organizations, and networks in the field of digital anthropology as well as (2) the internationalization of digital anthropology by sharing and distributing information particularly about European events, projects, and initiatives. There are plans, for instance, to organize a joint e-seminar with DANG and CASTAC of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the EASA Media Anthropology Network. More info on that in another post soon.

Sydney Yeager

Sydney Yeager is a cultural anthropologist and ABD PhD candidate at SMU (Southern Methodist University).  She is currently working on her dissertation pertaining to digital memorials and contemporary grieving practices.

She is a founding member of the AAA’s new Digital Anthropology Interest Group, fondly known as DANG.  As of November 2014, Sydney has taken on the role of DANG Convener over seeing DANG’s official AAA business and convening the annual DANG business meeting at the AAA fall conference. She also occasionally writes for the blog and manages DANG’s G+ and Facebook accounts. She is also overseeing the project to compile a Digital Anthropology Bibliography. Please feel free to contact her at

Research Interests include: digital anthropology in particular its role as a force of change in modern society and the impact it has on social relationships, the anthropology of religion especially as intersects with health and healing, and medical anthropology with special interest in neuroanthropology, consciousness, biocultural medical anthropology, and social well-being.

Occulted Relations and Digital Revelations: Freemasonry and Secrecy in the Information Age

Friday, November 20, 2015: 3:15 PM

Capital Ballroom 6 (Hyatt Regency)

Christopher Neil Butler (Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison)

With a visible architectural footprint in virtually any North American town or city, as well as possessing a broad global reach, Freemasonry is often described by members as the world’s largest secret society. However, many Masons have a seemingly uncomfortable relationship with the secrecy that characterizes their fraternity. Grounded in fieldwork with Masons at all levels of the institution’s hierarchy throughout Oklahoma, this paper explores the various strategies used by Masons to position themselves in relation to secrets that are at once both closely personally held and broadly acknowledged to be perpetually revealed in digital spaces and in the mass media. When asked about ritual or secrecy, members frequently assert that there are no secrets in Masonry, as they can easily be found online. At the same time, Masons also elide the ritual in conversation, often including ritual language published by state Grand Lodges, which are effectively public. One member summarized this position, stating that, although this information is widely available, no one would ever hear the secrets from him. In this context, in which even the revelation of secrets is made banal by digital accessibility, Masonic secrecy is not an instrumental mechanism for concealing information but rather a means to express loyalty to their organization and establish personal connections to fellow Masons. The deeply personal nature of this secrecy reinscribes the power of the ritually conveyed architectural and geometric symbolism that characterizes Freemasonry and endows everyday tools and structures with fraternal meanings for Masons.



Friday, November 20, 2015: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM

Capital Ballroom 1 (Hyatt Regency)

As digital technologies become ever more ubiquitous as artefacts and infrastructures via which human relations are conducted, this panel explores an approach to digital relations that asks not whether the digital is virtual or real, but just what kind of reality the digital is. Rather than taming digital technologies by incorporating them into standard anthropological accounts of either technology design or technology use, we approach the digital real as a specific space of alterity with rich implications for anthropological theory. From the sensory infrastructures which feed data streams that are analysed by algorithms, to the distributed networks of programmers and players that make gaming environments, digital technologies do not simply provide representations of an external world, but participate in the organisation of relations through which new worlds are brought into being. Moving beyond a dialectic of human/technologyPMr virtual/real, this panel aims to both explore the epistemological dynamics by which such separations and boundaries are reproduced, and to push towards an approach to digital technologies that allows for the relational specificity of a variety of digital forms (e.g. computer models, social media platforms, digital devices, and online games) to be interrogated as active and often unfamiliar(/Other) participants in human social worlds. Looking to the disruptive, unsettling, or transformative effects of digital technologies, this panel aims to explore how they raise new questions about the role of difference, identity, simulation, fakery, newness, automation, unpredictability, invisibility, authenticity and agency for anthropological accounts of social relations. To explore these ideas, we invite papers from a wide range of ethnographic settings to address such issues as the semiotics of algorithms, the phenomenology of number, the materiality of digital infrastructure, the relational extensions of networks and the ontological cuts that such technologies effect. In drawing attention to ontology, we are interested in the question of how digital technologies not only perform and produce the boundaries of the ‘real’ as we know it, but are also active in defining new, strange spaces beyond those boundaries; and what implications this might have for reframing what we might call a ‘digital’ form of anthropology.

This session would be of particular interest to:
Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students

Organizers:  Antonia Caitlin Walford (It University of Copenhagen) and Hannah C Knox (University College London)

Chairs:  Antonia Caitlin Walford (Open University and University College London)

Discussants:  Patricia G. Lange (California College of the Arts)

4:00 PM
Making Air Pollution Visible: Negotiating Data and Their Visual Forms in Scientific Practice
Emma Garnett (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

4:15 PM
Internet Sexual Offending and the Construction of Less Disciplined Online Space
Jonah Rimer (Oxford University)

4:30 PM
The Gender of the Interface: Are Men to Hardware As Women Are to Software?
Jordan H Kraemer (Wesleyan University)

4:45 PM
‘Being Deaf’ at Work – Technology, Identity and Belonging in Sweden
Rebekah Cupitt (Royal Swedish Institute of Technology)

5:00 PM
Reading Invisible Infrastructures, Revealing Ethnography’s Invisible Work
Lindsay Poirier (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)

5:15 PM
Patricia G. Lange (California College of the Arts)

5:30 PM

DANG Business Meeting at #AAA2015

DANG: Digital Anthropology Group Business Meeting

Saturday 12:15 to 1:30 in room 405 at the Colorado convention center

(Open to All Interested Parties)

Business Meeting Agenda
We have completed our first three years as an interest group. The American Anthropological Association has approved our reauthorization for another three years. In this time we have successfully introduced the DANG brand to the AAAs. At our last meeting we pondered the purpose of DANG. As an organization dedicated to promoting digital anthropologists and digital anthropology in all its wide variety, DANG is a resource for scholars. Now it is time for us to began to formulate our plan for making our dreams a reality.

DANG will only be as great as the people who are willing to invest their time, ideas, and effort in making building it as an organization we can all be proud of and come to rely on. This directly leads to our next point. A call for volunteers who are willing to participant in DANG in a leadership capacity. These can be as formal or informal as we want, but I definitely know I cannot do this on my own. Matt Thompson has done an amazing job bringing this idea to fruition as he passes the torch, I want to make sure his legacy continues to shine and that we grow and mature as an organization.

DANG Leadership
As our growing young organization enters its 4th year, it needs a strong group of dedicated scholars to lead it. We will discuss new informal leadership roles with DANG. Rather than the formal elected positions of societies, the roles will instead be more practical positions which will distribute the workload of promoting digital anthropology in all its variation and digital anthropologists. Here I imagining titles like DANG blog editor, DANG social media coordinator, and topic based chairs: Online Comminemunities Chair, Social Media Chair, Digital Methods Chair, Digital Ethics Chair. These roles and their titles are still up for discussion and will be shaped by those willing to lead.

Advisory Board
An idea suggested to me by Heather Horst, is that DANG might consider inviting distinguished senior scholars to serve as a board of advisers for DANG. The advisory board serves two purposes. First and foremost, it is designed to be an honor for senior scholars working in digital anthropology. Secondly, the advisory board would be a resource. Consulting with DANG leadership. The details for this advisory board still need to be nailed down, but the first I want feedback on the concept. Is this something we want to pursue?

DANG collaboration
Finally, I will conclude with a discussion of future collaboration with EASA Media Anthropology Network and CASTAC.