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Prof. Dr. Estrid Sørensen

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Thinking through data – a textbook

Thinking through Data will be the first German-language textbook on data research located at the intersection of digital methods and Science & Technology Studies. The CAIS Fellowship will enable the applicant to write this book. Since the demand is great, the book is to be published in English at the same time. Two textbooks (from 2019 and 2022) are already on the market in English. Based on her scientific as well as her teaching experience, the applicant states that digital data, data analyses and data visualisations offer a special potential to process problematizations and to develop new ways of thinking and perspectives. Unlike these two existing textbooks that introduce a reflective application of digital data, Thinking through Data, as the title suggests, aims to teach its readers to apply digital data, data analytics and data visualisations to develop new perspectives on current societal challenges. We live in a time where the coexistence of different practices, lifestyles and epistemologies is a central challenge. Postcolonial research has developed terminologies and concepts that are particularly suited to addressing incommensurable worlds. For the first time, these are made the starting point for digital data research in Thinking through Data. This is because digital data, data analyses and data visualisations offer the possibility to show different models of practices, ways of life and epistemologies, to compare them, to thematise them and to theorise them anew. Especially when such data models are developed in collaboration with those affected by real-world challenges, they can also be renegotiated in practice. With thinking through data, data research becomes a deeply theoretical practice.

Research focus

  • Knowledge Anthropology

Prof. Dr. Estrid Sørensen

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Fellow at CAIS from April until September 2023