Digital Channeling of the Political

CAS SEE Fellowship application: Spring/Summer 2019 -Autumn/Winter 2019-2020

Following the implementation of the previous generations of CAS SEE Fellows starting in 2014, CAS SEE is announcing a new annual Call for Fellowships for Spring/Summer 2019 and Autumn/Winter 2019/2020. This call is organized along selected thematic foci, and the applicants are expected to explicitly select the focus which would fit their research among the presented topics.

The CAS SEE Fellowship Program for Spring/Summer 2019 – Autumn/Winter 2019-2020 will host 14 Junior Fellows.

The Call for Applications closes on December 1st, 2018.

The ninth generation of fellows will assume their positions by February 15th 2019, while the tenth generation will assume their positions by September 15th, 2019.

Inspired by the excellent cooperation of the previous generations of CAS SEE Fellows and their work that has created thematic synergies among researchers, CAS SEE Fellowship Spring and Autumn 2019 will stimulate fellows to work on similar topics or different aspects of one particular topic.

Fellows will present their work in Rijeka or other regional centers and will engage more intensively in research in the wider region of South East Europe. They will participate in specific events according to their research interests, while also attending the regular CAS SEE regional conferences and seminars. By implementing flexible regional approach while maintaining the spirit of CAS SEE Collegium, Fellows will be able to pursue their research within wide networks of other scholars and partner institutions in the region perfectly designed to enrich their work.

This Call is inviting applicants to focus on three particular topics:

Cultures of Rejection: Conditions of Acceptability in Socio-Spatial and Digital Environments in Contemporary Europe

“Cultures of Rejections” aims at a deeper understanding of processes of social polarisation, radicalisation and transformation of everyday life that underpin recent surges in nationalism and right-wing populism in Europe. We term these processes cultures of rejection: practices, discourses and cultural formations based on values, norms and affects which reject immigration, domestic political elites, institutions of civil society and the media, shifting gender relations, and European integration. The working hypothesis of the project posits that cultures of rejection emerge from experiences of change and crisis, and fuel rejection of both the EU and national democratic systems as well as institutions of civil society, threatening social cohesion and peaceful coexistence. The project seeks to test this hypothesis and analyse which dimensions of transformation and crisis are processed in cultures of rejection, and how meaning is ascribed to them inter-subjectively in different environments. The researchers will assess the situation along the 2015 migration route across Sweden, Germany, Austria, Croatia and Serbia, thoroughly examining work places, digital and socio-spatial environments. The socio-cultural research conducted will be complemented with elements of digital ethnography.

We invite scholars in social sciences and humanities whose research interests are related to the topic to submit proposals addressing one or any combination of the following issues:

  • How do workers in two industries affected by economic and technological transformation (logistics/transport and retail) reproduce, justify or contradict cultures of rejection in their everyday lives?
  • To which experiences of routines, transformation and crisis do employees ascribe meaning via reference to cultures of rejection?
  • Which online and offline environments are relevant to the reproduction of cultures of rejection?
  • What similarities and differences can account the composition of cultures of rejection in different spaces and places?

Digital Channeling of the Political

It has become commonplace to observe that the digital world has overtaken a majority of social dynamics – it, for instance, appears to be fundamentally transforming the labour market, remaking the protocols of establishing social bonds, empowering the uncanny forces of algorithmic decision-making, and instituting novel and unpredictable forms of public reason-exchange and collective action. In doing this, the digital future presents us with a political reality seemingly unmoored from the traditions according to which we were used to interpret it. Dubious political technologies unsurveyably flourish – the image of reality considered to be required for the establishment of deliberative efforts concerning the shared (and thus political) problems is destabilized, and facts, arguments and persuasion appear somewhat ill-equipped to nurture the common understandings in the environment of memes, deep fakes, doxxing, machinic bias and total informational noise. On top of this new state of our political world, as if in a fever dream, we move towards an environmental crisis of unprecedented gravity.

Researchers are invited to offer analyses and investigations of the ways in which the digital has reshaped the political, and especially of the ways in which the digital can be utilized for the upgrade of the emancipatory capacities of the political in the face of contemporary threats of climate change, totalitarian impulses and deepening social inequalities.

  • How could new digital platforms enable collective action in Anthropocene?
  • Could we claim that data technologies are disrupting democratic processes, and if so, in which ways?
  • The role of coding and algorithms, search engines providing biased information: is Internet influencing our political preferences?
  • How to properly understand Facebook as information-exchange system – how to tackle issues of the formation of the echo chamber and the novel forms of news platforms?
  • How can we build an information ethics adequate to our growing dependence on data?
  • What kind of legal regulations do we need to adequately face the new digital environment?
  • What is the right strategy for raising citizens’ awareness of these issues?

Rijeka in Flux

“Rijeka in Flux” is an interdisciplinary research project, combining history, geography, and digital humanities, that seeks to analyze urban change in Rijeka after the Second World War, when it changed sovereignty from Italy to Yugoslavia. The objective of the project is to better understand the impact of the caesura of 1945 on the city, which included border changes as well as the imposition of a new political, ideological and economic system.

Scholars involved in the project are pursuing inquiries into different aspects of urban life in Rijeka, including the relations between the Italian minority and the new authorities and population; the flows of goods, capital, people and information in and out of the city; and urban planning, architecture and memorialization. Scholars employ diverse methodologies, including archival research, oral history, and participant observation. Participating scholars will be sharing the results of their research on an interactive crowd-sourced map: https://rijekafiume.geolive.ca/themap. This map makes it possible to visualize change in the city, and also enables network analysis of the map data. The project is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Applicants should submit a research proposal that would contribute to the broader “Rijeka in Flux” project research agenda. In addition to carrying out research (32 hours/week), the Fellow will assist with the mapping component of the project, including building relationships with local community organizations, promoting participation by citizen scientists, and assisting in the organization of a symposium in July 2019 (8 hours/week). In the case of a five-month extension of the postdoctoral fellowship, responsibilities may evolve. The Fellow is expected to submit an article to a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal at the end of their five-month fellowship. Applicants should have a PhD in History or in cognate disciplines, and experience working on historical material. They should have working knowledge of either Italian or Croatian.

This Fellowship lasts for five months with the option of renewal for additional five months.

Further information and details about the application procedure: FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION 2019-2020