Agency in a Datafied Society: Communication between and across humans, platforms and machines

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We are pleased to welcome you to our website for the International conference at the Centre for Media, Communication & Information Research (ZeMKI) / University of Bremen in cooperation with the Communicative Figurations research network, the Mediated Communication, Public Opinion & Society Section of the International Association of Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) and the Media Sociology Division of the German Communication Association (DGPuK).

The conference on the topic "Agency in a Datafied Society: Communication between and across humans, platforms and machines" will take place from July 29-30, 2021 via

Link for registration:


Thursday, 29th July 2021

8.45–9.00 Welcome address

9.00–10.30 Session 1: Automation and Agency (Chair: Peter Gentzel)

Lisa Waldenburger (U of Augsburg) & Hannes Teutoburg-Weiss (independent scholar) 
Machine agency? Arguing against a dangerous conflation

David Waldecker, Tim Hector & Dagmar Hofmann (U of Siegen)
Intelligent personal assistants, human agency and the multiple forms of cooperation without consensus

Christian Pentzold (U of Leipzig) & Andreas Bischoff (Chemnitz U of Technology) 
Achieving agency within imperfect automation: Working customers and self-service checkout

10.45–12.45 Session 2: Inequality and Agency (Chair: Christian Pentzold)

Elizabeth Prommer (U of Rostock), Christine Linke (University of Applied Sciences Wismar) & Claudia Wegener (Film University Babelsberg)
The participatory culture myth: Gender equality on/of YouTube and the pressure of commercial logic

Olga Usachova (U of Padua)
Apps for the social inclusion: to the question of the agency of mobile application

Franziska Thiele (U of Rostock)
Agency of communication scholars in career-related communication

Sascha Dickel & Miriam Schmidt-Jüngst (U of Mainz)
Egality and servitude. How advertisements stage the agency of humans and artificial companions

12.45–14.15 Coffee Break

14.15–15.45 Session 3: Everyday Practices and Agency (Chair: Franziska Thiele)

Jeffrey Wimmer (U of Augsburg) & Peter Gentzel (U of Erlangen-Nürnberg)
The construction of space through Google Maps – (in)visible economics and the agency of the users

Jessica Kunert, Carl-Jannis Frech, Michael Brüggemann, Volker Lilienthal (U of Hamburg) & Wiebke Loosen (Leibniz Institute for Media Research/HBI)
An (im)perfect match: How digital technologies impact the working routines of investigative journalists

Andreas Schellewald (Goldsmiths, U of London)
Scrolling through TikTok: Notes on the pleasures of ‘passive’ consumption

15.45–16.00 Coffee Break

16.00–17.30 Keynote: Andrea Guzman (Northern Illinois U, Chicago) (Chair: Andreas Hepp)
Reimagining communication in an age of artificial intelligence

19.00–20.30 Dinner & Social Online Event



Friday, 30th July 2021

9.00–10.30 Session 4: User Autonomy and Agency (Chair: Guiliana Sorce)

Katharina Leyrer (U of Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Incapacitated users or powerful gated? Agency of information intermediary users

Johanna Möller (TU Dresden), Judith Möller & Felicia Locherbach (U of Amsterdam)
Civic agency or apathy? Self-determination in news recommendation systems

10.30–11.00 Coffee Break

11.00–12.30 Keynote: Nick Couldry (London School of Economics) (Chair: Stephan O. Görland)
Datafied media and the silent derangement of ethics

12.30–13.30 Lunch Break
Business Meeting ‘Soziologie der Medienkommunikation’/Award ceremony

13.30–15.30 Session 5: Entanglements and Agency (Chair: Johanna Möller)

Thomas Christian Bächle (Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society)
How to interact with robots in Japan – A comparative perspective on the Eurocentric concept of agency

Leif Hemming Pedersen (Roskilde U)
The Struggle for Recognition in Times of Deep Mediatization

Kestas Kirtkilis (Vilnius U) & Lukas Wojtkowski (Nicolaus Copernicus U)
Is mediatization theory a challenge for methodological individualism?

Andreas Hepp (U of Bremen) & Wiebke Loosen (Leibniz Institute for Media Research/HBI)
Communicative robots, hybrid figurations and new forms of agency

15.30–16.00 Coffee Break

16.00–17.15 Session 6: Data and Agency (Chair: Jeffrey Wimmer)

Göran Bolin (Södertörn U)
Value, meaning and agency in a datafied world

Irina Zakharova (U of Bremen) & Ann-Kathrin Bock (Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research)
Research implications of (in)visible data agency

Giuliana Sorce (U of Tübingen) & Delia Dumitrica (Erasmus U Rotterdam)
Maintaining activist agency during the pandemic: Fridays for Future’s new digital repertoire

17.15–17.30 Concluding remarks and greetings




Book of abstracts 



Call for Papers

Submissions are requested by 1 September 2020. 

Call for Papers 


For further questions please contact:

ZeMKI/University of Bremen: Stephan O. Görland, goerlandprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de 

IAMCR Section Mediated Communication, Public Opinion & Society: Susanne Eichner, seichnerprotect me ?!cc.auprotect me ?!.dk 

Media Sociology Division of the DGPuK: Johanna E. Möller, johanna.moellerprotect me ?!uni-mainzprotect me ?!.de


Organizing Committee

Dr. Stephan O. Görland (ZeMKI, University of Bremen), goerlandprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Prof. Dr. Andreas Hepp (ZeMKI, University of Bremen), andreas.heppprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Dr. Cindy Roitsch (ZeMKI, University of Bremen), cindy.roitschprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de