Universität Wien FIND

240527 SE Digital identities (P4) (2020W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!

The lecturer can invite students to a grade-relevant discussion about partial achievements. Partial achievements that are obtained by fraud or plagiarized result in the non-evaluation of the course (entry 'X' in certificate). The plagiarism software 'Turnitin' will be used for courses with continuous assessment.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 20 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Update 11.12.2020: Due to the current Covid-19 Situation the course will change to digital till the end of the semester.

Update 3.11.2020: Due to the current Covid-19 Situation the course will change to digital till the end of the year.

Thursday 08.10. 15:00 - 18:15 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Wednesday 14.10. 15:00 - 18:15 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
Wednesday 28.10. 15:00 - 18:15 Hörsaal C, NIG 4. Stock
Wednesday 11.11. 15:00 - 18:15 Digital
Wednesday 25.11. 15:00 - 18:15 Digital
Thursday 03.12. 15:00 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 12.01. 15:00 - 18:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

‘Who are we’ when we are online? What do we do? How are these activities related to what we do when we are offline? How do the answers to these questions differ across geographical contexts? These are some of the key questions that we will address during the seminar. The question of how we use digital media and this use’s transformative effects are situated within emerging trends from ethnographies of digital media that challenge the idea of a universal and homogenous experience around them. During the seminar, we will discuss identities connected to diverse experiences and practices, across several regions of the world, ranging from those arising through the use of social media, digitally based politics, and governance to gaming among others. We will focus on how difference is produced in the digital spaces under analysis and, within those, users’ agentic formations within the societies in question.

Assessment and permitted materials

1) Regular attendance (up to 1 session may be missed)
2) Active and critical engagement with the assigned readings, and submission of a discussion paper (1-2 pages) prior to each session as well as participation in the course discussions
3) Presentation of a reading (the presentation will last for 10 minutes during which the student will introduce the selected reading’s author as well as her methods, theories and arguments), preparation of questions emerging from the presentation and chairing of the discussion
4) Submission of a term exam paper (8-10 pages)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

For a positive grade, 51 % is required

90-100 %= 1
77-89 %= 2
64-76 %= 3
51-63 %= 4
0-50 % = 5

Written exams will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
-language and style (spelling and grammar)
-thorough understanding of the readings discussed in class
-use of the literature (choice of relevant readings, accuracy of the citations and arguments)
-clarity of arguments
-critical thinking and originality

Active participation in the course discussions will be assessed both in terms of the quantity and the quality of the students’ contributions.

Examination topics

Presentations, written papers, and active participation in discussions

Reading list

Boellstorff T. 2011. Placing the virtual body: Avatar, chora, cypherg. In E.F. Mascia-Lees (ed.) A companion to the anthropology of the body and embodiment. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 504-520

______ 2008. Coming of age in second life: An anthropologist explores the virtually human. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, pp. 3-31

Bonilla Y. and Rosa J. 2015. #Ferguson. Digital protest, hashtag ethnography, and the racial politics of social media in the United States. American Ethnologist 42(1): 4-17

Coleman G. 2011. Hacker politics and publics. Public Culture 23(3): 511-516

_____ 2010. Ethnographic approaches to digital media. Annual Review of Anthropology 39: 48-505

Dandurand G. 2019. When biopolitics turn digital: Transparency, corruption, and erasures from the infrastructure of rationing in Delhi. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 42(2): 268-282

Gershon I. 2014. Selling your self in the United States. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 37(2): 281-295

Juris J.S. 2012. Reflections on #Occupy everywhere: Social media, public space, and emerging logics of aggregation. American Ethnologist 39(2): 259-279

Kusimba S. 2018 "It is easy for women to ask!": Gender and digital finance in Kenya. Economic Anthropology 5: 247-260

Mazzarella W. 2010. Beautiful balloon: The digital divide and the charisma of new media in India. American Ethnologist 37(4): 783-804

Miller D. 2018. Digital anthropology. In F. Stein, S. Lazar, M. Candea, H. Diemberger, J. Robbins, A. Sanchez and R. Stasch (eds.) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Anthropology

Miller D. and Sinanan J. 2017. Visualising Facebook. A comparative perspective. London: University College Press, pp. 1-56

Miller D. et al. 2016. How the world changed social media. London: University College Press, pp. 1-24 and 42-69

Nardi B. 2010. My life as a night elf priest. An anthropological account of World of Warcraft. Ann Arbor: The university of Michigan Press and the University of Michigan Library, pp. 3-26

Noguerón-Liu S. 2016. ¿Usted Va al Capitolio También?: Adult immigrants’ positioning in response to news and digital media about immigration policy. Anthropology & Education Quarterly 47(2): 113-129

Omari J. 2018. Digital access amongst the marginalized: Democracy and internet governance in Rio de Janeiro. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 41(2): 277-289

Poggiali L. 2016. Seeing (from) digital peripheries: Technology and transparency in Kenya's Silicon Savannah. Cultural Anthropologist 31(3): 387411

PohawpatchokoC., ColwellC., PowellJ. and Lassos J. 2017. Developing a native digital voice: Technology and inclusivity in museums. Museum Anthropology 40(1): 52-64

Postill J. and Pink S. 2012. Social media ethnography: The digital researcher in a messy web. Media International Australia 145(1): 123-134

Rea S.C. 2018. Calibrating play: Sociotemporality in South Korean digital gaming culture. American Anthropologist 120(3): 500511

Shirinian T. 2019. Fakeness: Digital inauthenticity and emergent political tactics in Armenia. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 42(2): 347-361

Uimonen P. 2019. #MeToo in Sweden: Museum collections, digital archiving and hashtag visuality. Ethnos 1-18

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:21