Digital Truth-Making: Ethnographic Perspectives on Practices, Infrastructures and Affordances of Truth-Making in Digital Societies

The conference “Digital Truth Making: Ethnographic Perspectives on Practices, Infrastructures and Affordances of Truth-Making in Digital Societies”, funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), is the 7th conference of the Section “Digitization in Everyday Life” of the German Association of Cultural Anthropology and Folklore Studies (dgv), hosted by the Institute for European Ethnology & the Centre for Anthropological Research on Museums and Heritage (CARMAH) at the Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany). The conference organizers are: Christoph Bareither, Dennis Eckhardt, Alexander Harder, Julia Molin, Antonia Sladek and Vanessa Zallot.

The conference addresses the fact that the ubiquity of digital infrastructures has brought about numerous drastic changes to a globalized world. One of the most pressing socio-political questions in this context is how digitisation has changed the ways in which particular truths are enacted and established in everyday life. While the vague concept of “post-truth” has played a major role in public discussions on political and societal meaning-making throughout the last years, there is a lack of analytical contributions offering insights into the everyday information and knowledge practices in the “post-truth” era, especially when it comes to the particular role that digital technologies play in this context. Thus, the core objective of the international conference “Digital Truth-Making” is to provide empirical insights, conceptual approaches and theoretical reflections on how the making of truths is increasingly entangled in complex digital infrastructures and dependent on the relation between human activities and programmed algorithms.

Today, these digital infrastructures and algorithms and the policies inscribed in them decisively contribute to and shape everyday truths. Taking this into account, the event aims for a discussion of the particular role of algorithmic affordances in relation to everyday practices and how truths are constituted in-between these dimensions. In so doing, the conference does not follow one coherent definition or conceptualisation of “truth”, “post-truth” or “digital truth-making”, but instead allows for exploring the potentials of such concepts through approaching relevant practices inductively and in situ. A particular strength of the conference, making the in situ approach to digital truth-making especially productive, is its focus on ethnographic perspectives. While questions of truth-making related to digital media are often approached through large quantitative data sets, we argue that it is the how of digital truth-making that requires particular attention. This means that ethnographic approaches, combining “online” and “offline” analysis, as well as interdisciplinary approaches that rethink the relationship between the digital and non-digital, are well-suited to address this question.

Our Online Conference Concept: How it Works
The conference “Digital Truth-Making” will take place online. As digital anthropologists, we hope to have created an ambitious conference concept that goes beyond established (non-digital) conference structures. Our aim is to explore new means of conference participation and interaction online by combining pre-produced audio-visual presentations, in-depth live discussions and online socializing.

Bareither, Christoph Prof. Dr. (Details) (Europäische Ethnologie mit dem Schwerpunkt Medienanthropologie (J))

Beteiligte Organisationseinheiten der HU

DFG: Sonstiges

Projektstart: 10/2020
Projektende: 10/2020

Ethnologie und Europäische Ethnologie

Digitalanthropologie, Medienanthropologie

Zuletzt aktualisiert 2023-25-04 um 06:30