Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Institut für Europäische Ethnologie

Media & Digital Anthropology Lab (MeDiA Lab)

MeDiA Lab Berlin


About us

The Media & Digital Anthropology Lab (MeDiA Lab) is based at the Department of European Ethnology of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. It constitutes an open space for ethnologists, cultural anthropologists and other scholars interested in conducting ethnographic research about how ‘old’ and ‘new’ media are enacted in everyday life.

The lab is currently coordinated by Prof. Dr. Christoph Bareither and Dennis Eckhardt. Its members include pre-doc and post-doc scholars, BA and MA students, and practitioners working in media-related fields.

Events and Regular Sessions

We organize events such as round table discussions and hold regular sessions, in which we talk about projects, discuss methodical issues or listen to presentations of empirical work by both students and established anthropologists.

We regularly meet during the semester (between October and February and between April and July), Wednesdays between 16:15 - 17:45 in room 09 (MeDiA Lab) in the Institute for European Ethnology. The dates and contents of each session are announced both through our newsletter and on our Facebook page. If you are interested, feel free to sign up and visit us in one of our sessions! Our regular sessions are usually held both in English and German.

Join us

We warmly welcome fellow media and digital anthropologists and all those interested in our area of research to join the MeDiA Lab. Join us at one of our events or regular sessions or write an email to the lab coordinator:

Sign up for the Newsletter or follow our Facebook page to receive the latest news about upcoming sessions.




Sign up for our mailing list by following this link (since the mailing list is also a space for internal discussions of the group, we will write you an Email and ask you to tell us a bit about yourself and your research before signing you up):

If you are already on the mailing list and want to sign out, please follow this links:

Or find regular news and infos about the lab and its network on Facebook:


Open Lab Space

Starting in October 2017, the MeDiA Lab will have an open lab space in the ground floor of the Department of European Ethnology of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin at its disposal (Room 09, Mohrenstraße 41, 10117 Berlin). During the week the lab will provide a space for students to read, use the computer work stations, or study with others. We will also hold our regular meetings or organize film screenings and game lab sessions there. If you are a student of the department or a member of the MeDiA Lab, you are welcome to use the lab at any time during the department’s opening hours or organize your own events in collaboration with the lab. You can get the access code to the lab from the student assistants in the “machine room” (Room 11 right next to the lab).



Some of the questions we have about media

Theoretical: How can we conceptualize media and media-related practices from an ethnographic perspective? How can we use the specific analytical toolset of (European) ethnology and cultural anthropology to foster our understanding of everyday life in a world that is permeated by media? How can we account for the materiality and digitality of media in ethnographic research?


Methodical: How do we shape and sharpen our analytical toolsets to be able to research media practices in everyday life? What does it mean not only to conduct research about but also with and through media? Which kind of ethical problems need to be considered, for example, when researching online? And finally, which potentials arise through media as alternative ways of presenting ethnographic research and making it more accessible to broader audiences?


Empirical: How do old and new media transform everyday life? What are the particularities of being in a world which is more and more mediated? What do people do with media? Which experiences do they have and make through them? How do old habits persist, or how are they reshaped? And also, how does the infrastructuration of media gain influence and thus power over how everyday lives are led?


Political: Can media and digital anthropology have an impact on societal discourses related to media? Should it? How can we contribute to a more nuanced understanding of media in everyday life beyond utopic or dystopic imaginations? Do politicians, journalists, media practitioners care about that? And if not, how can we exemplify that media anthropological knowledge is indeed valuable in order to build a society that is both reflexive and productive in its use of media technologies?

MA Student Project "Curating the Digital in Everyday Life"

We are happy to announce that the first MA student project in the area of media and digital anthropology at the IfEE will start in 2019. Students of European ethnology will have the opportunity to focus on the topic of "Curating the Digital in Everyday Life" for several semesters of intense reading and ethnographic research both on- and offline. All details: here.