Mirko Tobias Schäfer / Assistant Professor
University of Utrecht Department for Media and Culture Studies


Featured Blog Entries

Date November 2018 / Category News

Eef Masson and Karin van Es interviewed me for their special issue Big Data Histories in the  Journal for Media History TMG (Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis). 

Date March 2018 / Category News

As the campaign for the referendum on the so-called dragnet (sleepwet), the law for the intelligence and security services, is in full swing, it might be worth to have a look at the infographic used by the government to communicate the need for the amended law.

More Blog Entries


Date November 2018

Bruno Latour has spent his academic life researching how scientists generate knowledge. This article tells about his efforts to help science suceed in a world where people reject expertise and prefer fake over facts.


Date October 2018

Negligence, ignorance and unintended consequences of their algorithms have brought public outrrage and political pressure onto the tech industry. While they sucessfully evade questioning their activities in parliamentary hearings, they now also try to hijack 'digital ethics'. Natasha Lomas at TechCrunch argues critically against this shallow attempt to channel the debate and evade regulation.


Date September 2018

For two decades, Alan Rusbridger stood at the helm of the Guardian as its editor-in-chief. He steered the paper into the profoundly transformative digital era, he broke the news on Edward Snowden and experienced the full backlash of the state aparatus. This is an extract from the book Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now.


Date September 2018

This informative report by Theo Bass, Emma Sutherland and Tom Symons  addresses the shortcomings of so-called Smart City projects in safeguarding citizens' data or including residents in the efforts and objectives of developing technology and data infrastructures. Highlighting a number of cities and their distinctive dat practices, the report shows alternatives to corporate technological solutionism and top-down technology implementation.


Date August 2018

The NYT has an interesting article on a recent study (carried out by University of Warwick researchers Karsten Müller and Carlo Schwarz). Reviewing the 3335 antirefugee attacks which took place over the past two years, they found that cities displaying a high use and diffusion of Facebook significantly experienced more attacks.


Date August 2018

Paul Blumenthal and Gopal Sathe at Huffington Post describe how U.S. technology companies help India installing a comprehensive biometric database (the so-called Aadhaar program) which constitutes the possibility for vast state surveillance. It also makes surveillance a persuasive business case for Western technology companies.


Date June 2018

Together with my colleagues Karin van Es and Maranke Wieringa, I have penned a brief but programmatic post on 'tool criticism'. As researchers employ increasingly digital methods, software applications for data analysis and data visualization, the more we must inquire how these affect the process of knwoledge production and results. How can scholars avoid a mere instrumental use of their tools, but develop an informed and critical approach to them.


Date May 2018

My colleagues Karin van Es and Maranke Wieringa and I have written a programmatic post on the need to consider the epistemological impact of knowledge technologies on research processes and results.



Mirko Tobias Schaefer is a researcher in the field of digital culture.

This website provides information on his research interests and teaching activities.




Mirko Tobias Schaefer

Department for Media and Culture Studies

Utrecht University

Kromme Nieuwegr. 20
NL-3512 HH Utrecht

2000 - 2019 Mirko Tobias Schäfer

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