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What is the ZeMKI doctoral program?

The ZeMKI doctoral program deals with media and communication change in the present and past. In profoundly mediatized societies, popular culture, politics, everyday life, education, religion and art are changing. Not only do changing digital infrastructures play a role here, but also innovative practices of media use and datafication. As phenomena in these subject areas are multi-layered, the doctoral program as a whole is based on a broad interdisciplinary approach in order to strengthen the respective disciplinary doctorates. The joint exchange from different perspectives promotes understanding and enables creative approaches to solutions and research, also in each individual discipline.

The aim of the ZeMKI doctoral program at the University of Bremen is to provide cooperative and collegial support for its doctoral candidates. Participants must be enrolled as doctoral candidates at the University of Bremen and be supervised by professors working at the ZeMKI. The doctoral program is based on a binding doctoral agreement, it separates supervision from assessment and gives doctoral candidates broad opportunities to develop and complete their dissertation projects in a constructive environment.

Which disciplines are involved in the doctoral program?

The disciplines involved in the doctoral program are broad. In addition to communication and media studies, they include historyfilm studiesreligious studiessociologypolitical scienceeducation and computer science.

Events of the doctoral program

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Workshop on data visualization

Minds, Media, Machines Integrated Graduate School (MMMIGS) and ZeMKI are hosting a workshop about data visualization for doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers. The workshop takes place on March 15, from 9:00-17:00 at the University of Bremen and will be held in English. The workshop will cover on the one hand general aspects of visualization with (…)

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PhD Writing Retreat 2023

The “Bildungsstätte der Wirtschafts- und Sozialakademie der Arbeitnehmerkammer Bremen” is set to host the Writing Retreat 2023 from September 25th to September 29th. This initiative, aimed at supporting the academic advancement of PhD candidates, provides an environment conducive to focused writing and research. Located at Zum Rosenteich 26, Bad Zwischenahn, the retreat offers a serene (…)

Selected doctoral projects

  • PhD project
Li, Yuru

The Visual Framing of Politicians' Self-Presentation on Instagram and its Influence on Online Political Participation

Political actors use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to influence potential voters and other key audiences such as journalists and civil society actors. This research will examine the self-promotion strategy of politicians from the perspective of visual framing and textual framing on Instagram. For data analysis, supervised deep learning will be used to (…)

  • PhD project
LichtbildSTELTER - Kopie

Value Formations in a Video-Game-Franchise. A Comparison of Value Formations in “The Last of Us” (2013) and “The Last of Us: Part II” (2020) (seit 2020)

The video games “Last of Us” (2013) and “Last of Us 2” (2020) caused heated discussions during their release periods. While the first game prompted players’ to reflect on their moral compass through depictions of difficult decisions in crisis situations, the second instalment, published in the middle of the corona-pandemic, caused a polarizing controversy about (…)

  • PhD project
Schmitz_0

Journalistic Tools as "Boundary Objects" - A Media-Ethnographic Study of their Specifics as well as Dynamics of Development and Appropriation in Journalism

The dissertation focuses on new journalistic tools under the conditions of digital media change. The tools are understood as „boundary objects“ (Star&Griesemer, 1989). Such a socio-technological perspective makes it possible to analyze their (technical) specifics as well as to grasp the negotiation processes in the context of concrete development and appropriation processes. Methodologically, the work (…)

  • PhD project
Kuehn,Hendrik

Journalistic narratives after the audience turn: How new journalistic narratives address their audience

PhD project On the internet, the old business model of mass media is no longer viable and journalism must seek the attention of the audience in the area of conflict between quality reporting and personalized experience. An audience turn has taken place, which is also changing journalistic narrative styles.Hendrik Kühn’s dissertation project examines how this (…)

  • PhD project
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The Aesthetic Dimension of Mental Illness

Films can impressively shape the everyday image of mental disorders (mental illness) and develop complex forms of expression for the representation of mental disorders that go beyond the scientific descriptions (such as the ICD-10 or DSM). In addition, they reflect scientific characterizations of mental disorders and open up new, everyday-based insights for the health sciences. (…)

  • PhD project
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Data Pratice in School Social Work

When looking at the interface between school social work and digitalization, it becomes clear that there is little knowledge and even less insight into the interactions between them. The literature states, among other things, that digitalization “just happens” (Ermel 2020: 42). Nevertheless, it is becoming apparent that digital media affect school social work at different (…)

  • PhD project
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Among Anti-Vaxxers, Esoterics and Right-Wing Radicals: Anti-Covid Communities’ Social Media Activism on Telegram

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, various groups in Germany and other global regions have protested against governmental measures implemented to combat the virus. The Covid-skeptic scene in Germany particularly utilizes the social media platform Telegram for information exchange and the coordination of protest activities. In my PhD project, distinct anti-Covid communities on Telegram (…)

  • PhD project
Vanessa Richter

AI Imaginaries - The Role of (Social Media) Platforms in Shaping (Public) Future Perspectives of Technical Development

Artificial intelligence is considered a key technology today, even if it is interpreted in different and ambiguous ways. As AI products become part of everyday life, new fears of job losses and promises to lighten the workload are emerging, impacting major public investment in research and industry and being reflected in political discourse and legislation. (…)

  • PhD project
Profilfoto_Laura_Liebig

Agenda Setting and Discursive Power in the German AI Discourse

Due to promises of groundbreaking technologies and a considerable hype, the issue of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is receiving increasing attention. Besides the focus on innovation driven by actors in business and research, it is primarily political and media actors who take on ethical and legal considerations, such as human-centredness or discrimination, and thus shape the (…)

  • PhD project
Ghozzi

The Construction of Mental Health among Muslim Influencers on Instagram. A comparative Study between German and Tunisian Actors.

“Can only a Muslim therapist really treat me well? How important is it that the therapist has the same faith?” These questions come from a post on the Instagram page of a German influencer of Muslim faith. Like many other influencers on Instagram, the influencer “psych.beck” deals with questions about mental health, self-care, nutrition, fitness (…)

  • PhD project
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Discourse Power in the (Digital) Public Sphere

The internet is permanently changing the structure and logic of the political public sphere: the former gatekeeping position of traditional media is disappearing and new actors are entering the arena. Jan Rau’s dissertation project investigates how and to what extent German far-right and right-wing populist actors can exploit this transformation of discursive power relations. Specifically, (…)

  • PhD project
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Gender-specific Subjectivation Processes of Young People in the Informal Digital Learning and Educational Space YouTube

YouTube is one of the most popular Internet offerings for young people in Germany and serves many of them as an informal learning and educational space for researching information for leisure interests, school and training (Feierabend et al., 2021; Wolf, 2015). YouTube is a space that is structured along stereotypical notions of gender (Döring, 2019; (…)

  • PhD project
fritzsche

1968 and 1969 as Epochal Years. On the History and Aesthetics of Argentinean and Mexican Documentary Films and Social Movements

“The camera is the inexhaustible expropriator of image-weapons; the projector, a gun that can shoot 24 frames per second.“ The 1960s have gone down in history not only in Latin America as the years of the so-called social movements and the political struggle of left-wing groups. It was about political participation and civil rights, but (…)