Jens Schröter Former Senior Fellow

Jens Schröter
October 2017 - March 2018


Jens Schröter, Prof. Dr., is chair for media studies at the University of Bonn since 2015. He was Professor for Multimedial Systems at the University of Siegen 2008-2015. He was director of the graduate school “Locating Media” at the University of Siegen from 2008-2012. He is member of the DFG-graduate research center “Locating Media” at the University of Siegen since 2012. He was (together with Prof. Dr. Lorenz Engell, Weimar) director of the research project “TV Series as Reflection and Projection of Change” from 2010-2014. He is speaker of the research project (VW foundation; together with Dr. Stefan Meretz; Dr. Hanno Pahl and Dr. Manuel Scholz-Wäckerle) “Society after Money”, started in 2016. April/May 2014: „John von Neumann“-fellowship at the University of Szeged, Hungary. September 2014: Guest Professor, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China. Winter semester 2014/15: Senior-fellowship at the research group „Media Cultures of Computer Simulation“, Summer Semester 2017: Senior-fellowship IFK Vienna, Austria. Winter 2018: Senior-fellowship IKKM Weimar.

Dated from 2018

Field of research

Theory and History of Digital Media, Theory and History of Photography, Intermediality, 3D-Images, Media Theory and the Critique of Value, Money as a Medium

IKKM Research Project

Operative Ontology of the Individual

The description of the 2017/18 annual topic, “Showing/Causing,” stresses at the outset that ‘showing’ and ‘causing’ are to be considered as “operations that do not relate random and collective elements to one another, but isolated elements, in selective and individualizing ways. They are ontological operations, insofar as they are what brings about the isolation of the element in the first place, by positioning the element in relation to another element.” One of the key ‘elements’ that is produced through operations of addressing and processes in which indexical operations are “connected, bundled and interlinked” is the individual. As the term itself indicates, the latter is paradigmatic of operations that effect the ‘individualising isolation’ of elements. It cannot simply be taken as given, on the basis of a highly problematic ‘methodological individualism,’ which, for historical reasons that are ultimately rooted in specific power structures, now dominates the social and economic sciences. The individual and its correlate, the person, are rather produced through a series of media-based operations. An example of such an operation that will play an important role in the project is the presentation, the showing of a document—a passport or ID card—containing a standardised photo and other information. This operation constitutes a basic identification procedure. The photo forms an indexical link between the document containing one’s name, place of residence, and other essential details (in the form of an abstract addresses), and the body assigned to this addresses. Contrary to the (usual) assumptions of methodological individualism, an individual person cannot be posited as a basic underlying element, for the individual is an ensemble comprised of a body and various addresses, along with indexical relations between the two and operations and practices in which these relations are continually tested, modified, and stabilised. The project will investigate the media history of modern personalising operations. This will also involve research at the German Bundesdruckerei, which is responsible for producing personal identity cards and other identity documents. Through this enquiry into the operations that constitute individual persons, “it will […] be possible to examine basic problems of agency and control over one’s actions, i.e. questions of causation, causality, and, to take it further, intentionality—questions that arise in complex operational fields or are ascribed to them in and through operations of showing and causing.”

Recent publications

Verdrahtet. The Wire und der Kampf um die Medien, Berlin: Bertz + Fischer 2012.
3D. History, Theory and Aesthetics of the Technical-transplane Image, New York et al.: Bloomsbury 2014.
[zusammen mit Benjamin Beil, Lorenz Engell, Dominik Maeder, Herbert Schwaab, Daniela Wentz]: Die Fernsehserie als Agent des Wandels, Münster: LIT 2017.

Edited Books/Journals
Handbuch Medienwissenschaft, Stuttgart: Verlag J.B. Metzler, 2014.
[zusammen mit Till A. Heilmann]: Medienwissenschaft und Kapitalismuskritik (= Navigationen. Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturwissenschaften, Jg. 16, H. 2, 2016), 2016.

Complete list of publications