Lecture series "Internet & Society" 2012/13

The videos from both semesters are  Available here!


The interdisciplinary lecture series "Internet & Society", organised by the Institute of Political Science and the Sociological Research Institute, as part of the Digital Humanities Research Collaboration, explores the social, technological and political interactions of the Internet and society. Here are the links to the lectures that took place the last two semesters:

The Internet, with its many technical innovations, permeates evermore social areas and allows new social and political practices to emerge. Social media like Facebook and Twitter connectt millions of users by offering multiple forms of computer-based communication and explore new business models that commodify both users and their contents.

As users are increasingly able to generate, publish and disseminate their own content (or, at least, re-mix existing content), the space for collaboration and production of common goods has been extended beyond the confines of the market economy. Examples like Wikipedia and Open Source software have led to speculations on the extension of individual autonomy, freedom, and self-determination in the digital age.

However, information, knowledge, and culture – often celebrated as the building blocks of the “knowledge society” – are also increasingly socially and politically contested and controlled by new gatekeepers (e.g. search engines). Researchers and publishers are debating established forms of knowledge communication and referring to alternative possibilities such as Open Access formats; civil rights campaigners and pirates criticise proposed legislation that compromises hard fought-for democratic principles in order to protect pre-digital business models. Instead activists demand radical changes to copyright laws as well as the recognition of access to the Internet as a new fundamental right.

New and old market shareholders are struggling for supremacy over the Internet’s infrastructure, hardware and software. States want to reaffirm their sovereignty in the global and decentralised digital space, be it to preserve order and security, to try out new technological possibilities for surveillance purposes or to counteract the rapid dissemination of illegal and harmful content, such as child pornography, hate speech or illegal gambling sites.

This thematic richness will be the focus of this public lecture series on “Internet & Society”. We have invited selected expert speakers from Göttingen and beyond who will be leading the discussion with a broad audience. The lectures will be in English or German, depending on the speakers.

The lectures took place on Mondays from 12:15 to 2pm at the Oeconomicum, Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3 (rooms are detailed in the programme). For more Information, please come back soon or subscribe to our mailing-list here. The videos of the lectures are available here.

Contact: Yana Breindl (Tel: 0551 39 13511 ; yana.breindl[at]sowi.uni-goettingen.de) or Heidi Hanekop (0551 522050 ; hhaneko[at]gwdg.de)