Between 20-25th of August a Summer School called ‘The Everyday Appropriation of Technology – Spatial and Sensorial Approach – takes place. The Summer School is organized by a collaboration of Maastricht University and TU Darmstadt. Location: Waldemar Peterson House in Riezlern, Austria.
The present diffusion of so-called smart phones illustrates the main topic of the Summer School. When users adopt iPhones or Androids, they do so on at least two levels: spatially and bodily. The domestication of these “gadgets” requires the development of new sensory skills (tactual, visual, auditory) and goes hand in hand with new routines of mobility and social interaction.
The aim of the Summer School is to improve our understanding of such processes—or, in more general terms, to get a better grasp of the everyday appropriation of technology. By providing an interdisciplinary and international setting, the organizers hope to provide a common platform from which to discuss the spatial and sensorial dimension of domestication. The Summer School investigates the specific role and importance of the senses in the spatial adoption of technologies in everyday environments, bringing together expertise based on the disciplinary and thematic profile of the two graduate schools.
Different disciplines study domestication processes, ranging from cultural studies to history of technology, media studies to philosophy, cultural anthropology to sociology. Computer sciences, engineering, and sports sciences presently develop sensory technologies to investigate movement and interaction between humans and objects. The mobile use of many current technologies creates new media geographies and topologies and therefore challenges classical concepts of “domestication.” Building on the variety of PhD projects in Darmstadt and Maastricht, the participants of the Summer School will be given the opportunity to reflect upon theoretical concepts and methodological approaches that problematize the notion of “appropriation.”
Next to key-note lectures by invited professors, the Summer School will provide a number of creative platforms aiming at facilitating an intense and critical exchange of knowledge and expertise between the participants, such as small group “brainteaser walks” through the mountains and viewing and listening experiments. The event will also offer a critical environment for the presentation and discussion of ongoing PhD projects.
The following professors will be participating throughout the week:
- Dr. Michael Bull, Centre for Material Digital Culture, University of Sussex
- Dr. Carolyn Birdsall, Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam
- Dr. Andreas Fickers, Department of Arts & Culture, Maastricht University
- Prof. dr. Petra Gehring, Department of Philosophy, TU Darmstadt
- Prof. dr. Mikael Hård, Department of History, TU Darmstadt
- Dr. Jo Wachelder, Department of History, Maastricht University
- Prof. dr. Josef Wiemeyer Institute for Sport Sciences, TU Darmstadt
For more information about the Summer School, please contact Dr. Andreas Fickers.