Media Places

The Media Places research programme is looking at how our places – homes, cafés, offices, towns – change when more and more digital technology, digital communication methods and media set up there.

The physical world and the digital world are converging more and more, in a variety of ways. For example, nowadays a lot of people who feel ill look for explanations of their symptoms on the Internet before contacting a doctor, many libraries maintain digital archives of their book collections, and many people use their smartphones to pay their bus fares.

How does this interweaving of digital and physical structures affect society, and how as humans do we form new structures in interaction with technology and space? How do we build our towns? How do we create groups and feel a sense of belonging? Questions like these are of interest to Media Places researchers.

Moreover, the research programme is interested in how these changes are affecting research and universities, particularly humanistic research. The scientific infrastructure within humanities has traditionally been very physical: libraries, archives, artefacts left behind, and so on. But how can new humanistic knowledge be produced using digital technology? What does it mean if researchers construct databases which not only preserve historical material, but also shape it? What happens if such creations borrow features from artistic installations? What educational gains can be made by digital means? What new research methods for humanities can be created using new technology?

Media Places has three thematic research groups. Please follow the links below to learn more:
- Screenscapes
- Sites of Knowledge Production
- Media Places as Hybrid Practice and Representation


  • A few brief facts:

    Media Places is a collective research programme between Umeå Umeå University and Stanford University and is part of the Wallenberg Network Initiative, which is a partnership between Umeå University, Stanford University and Lund University.

    This programme is being financed in 2011 and 2015 by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

    Some 20 researchers with different backgrounds - ethnology, informatics, design research, biology, English, communication studies, education, Sami studies, linguistics, sociology and history- are taking part in the programme.