Kick-Off Meeting: Scientific Network Dis-/Abilities and Digital Media (10-11 Dec 2020)

Our DFG scientific network #DisAbilities & #DigitalMedia has started its activities. I am very excited and look forward to this great kick-off meeting with some public lectures. You can find details about the meeting below. For information about our network please visit our website: .

Agency – Participation – Cooperation

The Praxeological Production of Dis-/Abilities by Heterogeneous Entities


Natalie Geese (Siegen)
Christian Meier zu Verl (Konstanz)
Markus Spöhrer (Konstanz)
Robert Stock (Konstanz)


The first meeting is intended as a kick-off session for the network and is supposed to provide a forum for the discussion of the collective paper together with our guest researchers. Central to the discussion will be theoretical approaches to agency (Passoth/Peuker/Schillmeier 2012; Spöhrer 2019) as well as situated productions of dis-/abilities by heterogonous entities (Callon 2005; Winance 2006, 2016). Concepts of dis-/abilities will be discussed from an Actor-Network Theory and Ethnomethodology perspective and related to materiality and socio-technical practices. In that, media theoretical, praxeological and qualitative empirical framings will be taken into critical consideration and examined from the point of view of the concepts “participation (Teilhabe)” (Ochsner 2017) and “cooperation” (Goodwin 2018; Gießmann et al 2019).

ASL-interpretation and Live Captions will be provided during the public talks.

Please let us know about any further accessibility requirements. Email to robert . stock at uni – konstanz . de


Please contact Ramona Schön to receive the link for the Zoom video conference to join the public lectures.

Email: ramona . schoen at uni – konstanz . de

December 10, 2020

2:00–2:30pm (CET)
Robert Stock & Christian Meier zu Verl – Introduction
// ASL Interpretation provided //

2:30–3:30pm (CET)
Myriam Winance (INSERM, CERMES3, Villejuif): Crossing Actor-Network Theory and the Ethics of Care to Think about Relational Differences
Chair: Natalie Geese
// ASL Interpretation provided //

 Break (@ Wonder)

4:15–5:15pm (CET)
Beate Ochsner (University of Konstanz): Rethinking the Relationship between Media and Disability Studies
Chair: Christian Meier zu Verl
// ASL Interpretation provided //


6:00–7:00pm (CET)
Michael Schillmeier (University of Exeter): The Cosmopolitics of Dis/ability Experience – A Manifesto
Chair: Markus Spöhrer
// ASL Interpretation provided //

December 11, 2020

2:00–3:00pm (CET)

Natalie Geese & Christian Meier zu Verl: Reading Goffman, Goodwin
Network Discussion

Break (@ Wonder)

3:45–4:45pm (CET)
Christian Meyer (University of Konstanz): Dis-/Ability – An Ethnomethodological Perspective
Chair: Natalie Geese
// ASL Interpretation provided //

Break (@ Wonder)

5:30–6:30pm (CET)
Markus Spöhrer & Andreas Wagenknecht: Reading Parisi, Zidjaly
Network Discussion


Brainstorming for the Publication
Network Discussion

Guest Speakers

Since 2016, Christian Meyer has been working at the Department of History and Sociology at the University of Konstanz as Professor of General Sociology with a focus on cultural sociology. He deals with social orders and their production in a cultural context. Thus, his research interests range from the sociology of interaction and the body to communication and media sociology, cultural differences and qualitative methods. He is the author of An Intercorporeality. Emerging Socialities in Interaction (2017) or the current publication with Jürgen Streeck Taktile, haptische und interkorporale Interaktion. Diesseits und jenseits der Grenzen der Kommunikation, in: Grenzen der Kommunikation – Kommunikation an den Grenzen (2020).

Beate Ochsner is spokesperson of the DFG research unit “Medial Participation. Participation between Demand and Utilization” and PI of the project “Technosensory Participation Processes. App Practices and Dis/Ability”. Since 2008 she is professor of Media Studies at the University of Konstanz, among other things with the research focus on audiovisual production of disability, practices of not/hearing and not/seeing, participation research, media/culture/production, auditory ecologies and smart hearing practices. She is the author of “Talking about Associations and Descriptions or a Short Story about Associology”, in: Applying the Actor-Network Theory in Media Studies (2017) and Documenting Neuropolitics: Cochlear Implant Activation Videos, in: Documentary and Disability (2017).

As a professor in the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Exeter, Michael Schillmeier‘s research interests include Disability and care practices and human/non-human relations, combining empirical philosophy with process-oriented sociology and science and technology studies. He devotes a great part of his publications to the focus on non-disability/disability, care and illness. He is author of Rethinking Disability: Bodies, Senses, and Things (2010), How does thinking with dementing bodies and AN Whitehead reassemble central propositions of ANT?, in: Routledge Companion to Actor Network Theory (2019). Recently, he co-edited the issue “6 feet apart: Spaces and cultures of quarantine”, Space and Culture (2020).

Myriam Winance is a sociologist at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research at the Centre for Research in Medicine, Sciences, Health, Mental Health and Society in Paris and works on the question of social definitions of disability in an institutional and political context. She thus addresses the issues of non-disability/disability, the relationship between subject and object, accessibility and, in this context, the use of technical aids. Her current article “Introduction of a new rubric. Crises and Disability: Issues, debates, experiences” in: European journal of disability research (2020), is preceded by publications such as “’Don’t touch/push me!’ From disruption to intimacy in relations with one’s wheelchair: An analysis of relational modalities between persons and objects”, in: Sociological Review (2019).



To create a common basis for a vivid discussion, we have gathered here six texts on the topic of our meeting:

Goffman, Erving (1956): Teams. In: The presentation of self in everyday life. Edinburgh, pp. 47-65.

Goodwin, Charles. 2004. “A Competent Speaker Who Can’t Speak. The Social Life of Aphasia.” Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 14 (2):151-170.

Parisi, David. 2017. “Game Interfaces as Disabling Infrastructures.” Analog Game Studies 5.

Zidjaly, Najma Al. 2009. “Agency as an Interactive Achievement.” Language in Society 38 (2):177-200

Optional Reading

Schillmeier, Michael (2019): How does thinking with dementing bodies and A. N. Whitehead reassemble central propositions of ANT? In: The Routledge Companion to Actor-Network Theory.

Winance, Myriam (2016): Rethinking disability. Lessons from the past, questions for the future. Contributions and limits of the social model, the sociology of science and technology, and the ethics of care. In: ALTER – European Journal of Disability Research 10 (2), S. 99–110.


Callon, Michel (2005): Disabled Persons of All Countries, Unite! In: Bruno Latour, Peter Weibel und Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Hg.): Making things public. Atmospheres of democracy. Karlsruhe: ZKM, S. 308–313.

Gießmann, Sebastian; Röhl, Tobias; Trischler, Ronja (eds.) (2019): Materialität der Kooperation. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Goodwin, Charles (2018): Co-Operative Action. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ochsner, Beate (2017): Documenting neuropolitics. Cochlear implant activation videos. In: Catalin Brylla und Helen Hughes (Hg.): Documentary and Disability. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 259–274.

Ochsner, Beate (2017): Talking about Associations and Descriptions or a Short Story about Associology. In: Markus Spöhrer and Beate Ochsner (eds.): Applying the actor-network theory in media studies. Hershey: IGI Global (Advances in media, entertainment, and the arts, pp. 220–233.

Passoth, Jan-Hendrik; Peuker, Birgit; Schillmeier, Michael W. J. (eds.) (2012): Agency without actors?. New approaches to collective action. London: Routledge, pp. 1–10.

Spöhrer, Markus (2019): Applying Actor-Network Theory in Media Studies. In: Analytical frameworks, applications, and impacts of ICT and actor-network theory. Hershey, Pennsylvania, pp. 1–27.

Winance, Myriam (2006): Trying out the wheelchair. The mutual shaping of people and devices through adjustment. In: Science, Technology, & Human Values 31 (1), S. 52–72.

Scientific Network
Dis/Abilities and Digital Media
Robert Stock and Christian Meier zu Verl
Box 157
University of Konstanz
78457 Konstanz

Funded by DFG – Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft / German Research Foundation