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Αρχειοθετημένη Πλατφόρμα Τηλεκπαίδευσης Πανεπιστημίου Θεσσαλίας | 3rd Pelion Summer Lab for Cultur...

3rd Pelion Summer Lab for Cultural Theory and Experimental Humanities

Πηνελόπη Παπαηλία


Τhe 3rd Pelion Summer Lab for Cultural Theory and Experimental Humanities (PSL) (August 21-August 31, 2019) is an initiative of the Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology and the Laboratory of Social Anthropology of the University of Thessaly in Volos, Greece. The aim of this 10-day program (August 21-August 31, 2019), which will take place in Makrinitsa, is to convene an interdisciplinary group of young researchers and cultural producers from fields such as anthropology, history, sociology, arts, political philosophy, gender studies, literature, cultural studies, communication and new media studies for a period of intensive exchange regarding the pressing questions of our research and our worlds. This year’s theme - Data & Power - takes on the critical issue of how the production, mining, and manipulation of data through algorithmic procedures has emerged as an increasingly dominant mode of political regulation, capitalist exploitation, identity formation, cultural

Κωδικός: SEAD488
Κατηγορία: Ιστορίας Αρχαιολογίας και Κοινωνικής Ανθρωπολογίας » Μεταπτυχιακό

Θεματικές Ενότητες

GIF from PSY's 'Gangnam Style" (2012)

This seminar will examine the affective forces and critical events emergent in network culture and their relation to subjectivity, publics, popular culture, and conceptions of the ‘user’.

Our entry point into examining the data/power nexus embodied in contemporary modes of governmentality of network, database and platform is through ‘following’ the viral circulation and memeification of shocking and controversial images in social media, the attendant affective intensities and acts of performative embodiments and contagious replication. We will be particularly interested in the galvanizing role of the image and the place of the dead (or the semi-alive) in these assemblages. This seminar will critique phobic, pathological and classist reactions to the ‘viral’ and the ‘meme’ -- which often characterize not only public discourse but also humanities/ social science readings – as we seek to critically analyze these processes and understand their significant cultural, political and economic impact, as well as examine proposals for strategic acts of antipathy and disconnection.

This seminar will segue organically into the discussion of platform capitalism in seminar 2. 

Some of the topics to be covered include: the shift from archive to database, mesmerized subjectivity and somnabulatory capitalism, spectropolitics and image-events.


  • Sampson, T D (2012). Virality: contagion theory in the age of networks. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Chapters 2 & 5. 
  • Azuma H (2009) Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Chapter 2 "Database Animals"
  • Thacker, E Database/Body: Bioinformatics, Biopolitics, and Totally Connected Media Systems.
  • Pedwell C (2017) Mediated habits: images, networked affect and social change. Subjectivity 10(2): 147-169. 
  • Borch, C (2007) Crowds and economic life: Bringing an old figure back in. Economy and Society 36(4): 549-573, DOI: 10.1080/03085140701589448 
  • Galloway, R A, Thacker, (2009). On Narcolepsy. In J. Parikka & T D Sampson (eds.), The Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies from the Dark Side of Digital Culture. Cresskill, New Jersey: Hampton Press, 251-263

Supplementary bibliography

  • Karppi T (2013) Noopolitics of memorializing dead facebook users. Culture Machine 14: 1-20.
  • Papailias, P (2018) (Un)seeing Dead Refugee Bodies: Mourning Memes, Spectropolitics and the Haunting of Europe. Media, Culture & Society
  • Papailias, P (2016) Witnessing in the Age of the Database: Viral Memorials, Affective Publics and the Assemblage of Mourning, Μemory Studies 9(4): 437 - 454.
  • Bilalis, M (2014) Viral Histories: Historical Culture in Greek Digital Networks. Ricerche Storiche 44, 121–134.


Image Credit: David Robinson

This seminar will analyze how digital technologies have transformed our life and social relationships. How have algorithms changed the way we encounter others or our presentation of self--whether through our interactions on social media platforms or through devices to measure the performance of the self? Powerful algorithmic mechanisms shape our everyday communicative practice, our relations to others, the body, and the self, and in turn our everyday practices can shape algorithmic technologies. How might vernacular (everyday) practices (even inadvertently) undermine the intentions of algorithmic technologies? What are the responses to such deviations? These questions are approached through critical engagement with algorithms as part of our increasingly datafied world. How might we explore the power structures that emerge in and through algorithmic technologies in relation to gender, race, class, and other categorizations? Which critical (and perhaps subversive) practices are possible and feasible in order to evade and resist constant algorithmic evaluation, judgment and nudging?

Primary readings

  • ROBERGE, J & SEYFERT, R (2016): “What are algorithmic cultures?” In: Robert Seyfert and Jonathan Roberge (eds.) Algorithmic Cultures. Essays on meaning, performance and new technologies. London: Routledge, 1-25.
  • ROBINSON, S. 2018. “Databases and Doppelgängers: New Articulations of Power,” Configurations, 2018, 26:411–440.
  • CHUN, W.H.K., 2016. “Big Data as Drama,” ELH, 83(2), pp. 363-382.  
  • BIVENS, R., HAIMSON, O. 2016. “Baking Gender Into Social Media Design: How Platforms Shape Categories for Users and Advertisers,” Social Media + Society October-December, pp. 1–12.
  • BEUSCART, J-S & MELLET, K (2016) “Shaping consumers’ online voices. Algorithmic apparatus or evaluation culture?” In: Robert Seyfert and Jonathan Roberge (eds.) Algorithmic Cultures. Essays on meaning, performance and new technologies. London: Routledge, 76-94.
  • GIBBS, M, MEESE, J, ARNOLD, D, NANSEN, B & CARTER, M (2015): #Funeral and Instagram: death, social media, and platform vernacular. Information, Communication & Society 18(3): 255-268.

Supplemental explorations

  • BROOKER, P, DUTTON, W, GREIFFENHAGEN, C (2017): What would Wittgenstein say about social media? Qualitative Research 17(6): 610–626.
  • BRUNS, A & BURGESS, J. (2011). The use of twitter hashtags in the formation of adhoc publics. Sixth European consortium for political research general conference, Iceland (25–27 August), University of Iceland, Reykjavik.
  • DIDZIOKAITE, G, SAUKKO P & GREIFFENHAGEN C (2017) The mundane experience of everyday calorie trackers: Beyond the metaphor of Quantified Self. New Media & Society. Online first publication (March 24, 2017): 1–18.
  • INTRONA, L D (2011): The enframing of code: Agency, originality and the plagiarist. Theory, Culture & Society 28(6): 113-141.
  • LICOPPE, C, RIVIERE, C.A. & MOREL, J (2016) Grindr casual hook-ups as interactional achievements. New Media & Society 18(11): 2540–2558.
  • LUPTON, D. 2018. “How do data come to matter? Living and becoming with personal data,” Big Data & Society July–December, pp. 1–11.
  • ROBINSON, S. 2016. “The Vital Network: An Algorithmic Milieu of Communication and Control,” Communication +1, vol. 5, available at < >
  • SCHÄFER, M., VAN ES, K. 2017, ‘Introduction,’ in The Datafied Society: Studying Culture through Data (Amsterdam University Press); if interested, see other chapters in this open access e-book, available at <>
  • SEYFERT, R (forthcoming): Algorithms as regulatory objects.
  • VAN DIJCK, J. 2014. “Datafication, dataism and dataveillance: Big Data between scientific paradigm and ideology,” Surveillance & Society 12(2): 197-208.

Image from Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media (Critical Art Ensemble), 2001

This seminar will explore new economic and political regimes, practices and subjectivities that emerge in the context of platform capitalism. We will discuss topics and concepts such as the sharing economy, platform, digital activism, digital surveillance, virtual currencies, gamification, quantification, allegorithm, soft biopolitics, fan labor, and creationist capitalism.  Our analysis will be based on a combination of critical media theory and ethnographic research.


  • Karatzogianni, A. & Matthews, J. (2018). Platform Ideologies: Ideological Production in Digital Intermediation Platforms and Structural Effectivity in the “Sharing Economy”. Television & New Media 00(0), 1-20. SAGE Publications.
  • Karatzogianni, A. (2015). Firebrand Waves of Digital Activism 1994–2014 (Chapter 3, pages 66- 121).
  • Galloway A. (2006). Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (Chapter 4, Allegories of Control).
  • Ruckenstein M. & Granroth J. (2019). Algorithms, advertising and the intimacy of surveillance, Journal of Cultural Economy.
  • Ruckenstein M. (2010). Currencies and Capitalisms on the Internet. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research 2(4), Virtual Economies, Virtual Goods and Service Delivery in Virtual Worlds.

Supplementary bibliography: Please, check the two docx files in the folder "platform capitalism".


Still from 'Oil God' (source: Persuasive Games)

Over the course of the lab, participants will participate in a methodologically focused, experimental workshop dedicated to making and multi-place staging of a serious game related to this year's theme. This workshop will culminate in the staging of the experiment in a public event on the final day of the lab (August 30, 2019). 

Drawing inspiration from open source movement, user listservs, music and video file sharing, social networking, and especially online and offline gaming subcultures, the workshop aims to be user-driven and part-user-designed. Considered as an experiment in problem-based research, the workshop aspires to involve players as gamers whose embodied interactions within a gamespace generate real-time feedback that actively shapes the parameters of that space as a domain of collaborative knowledge production.

This workshop will explore the implications of moving from content orientation to problem orientation in research design and knowledge production. Along these lines, the working hypothesis of this workshop is that collaborative laboratory-oriented research, centered around an open-ended and re-enactable public experiment, can interface theory and practice in and as the development of an interactive game space.

Among the topics we will consider are: Anthropology of games and gaming,  Procedural Rhetoric,  Gamification,  Gamespace.



  • Bogost, Ian. 2008. "The Rhetoric of Video Games." The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning. Katie Salen, ed. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Pp. 117-140. 
  • Fuchs, Mathias et al., Eds. 2014. "Introduction." Rethinking Gamification. meson press. Pp. 7-20. 
  • Scharpe, Niklas. 2014. "Gamification and Governmentality." Rethinking Gamification. Mathias Fuchs et al., Eds. meson press. Pp. 21-46. 
  • Sicart, Miguel. 2011. Against Procedurality.The International Journal of Computer Game Reserach. 11 (3). 

Supplemental Reading:

  • Wark, McKenzie. 2007. Gamer Theory. Cambridge; London:  Harvard University Press. 



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