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Books and Articles
New publications from our EU funded research project SPRING coordinator FU Berlin: Prof. Undine Frömming, research associate Dr. Josef Bordat:
- Josef Bordat: Proyecciones de SPRING en el actual contexto Europeo. SPRING en Alemania: Posibilidades para unsistema educativo prosocial. In: Andrés Gamboa y Daniel Avendaño (Comp.): Compilación Estado del Arte. EU Proyecto SPRING Alfa III. pp. 83-94 [download pdf]
Announcement: New Book
Virtual Environments and Cultures. Urte Undine Frömming (ed.) Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang (forthcoming 2012)
Virtual reality is no longer an issue that we can avoid or ignore. It is an essential part of our experience, influencing cultures and individuals all over the world. This book presents a collection of ethnographic research in the virtual world of Second Life, and can be seen as an attempt to discover the challenges and limits of social anthropological research with an avatar in virtual cultures and environments.The contributions in this book demonstrate that the development of “digital codes” has meanwhile gone so far that anthropologists have started to conduct fieldwork inside digital user-generated worlds. This volume investigates the challenges facing a reality that is strongly and maybe irrevocably entangled with virtual reality. This development holds disadvantages and dangers but advantages as well – such as freedom of expressions for minority groups, social online activists, religious communities or artists. All research is based on qualitative methods, with group and single interview situations and participant observation over a period of between three and ten months.
This book is the result of a virtual research experiment conducted in the virtual world Second Life over three semesters from the year 2009 to 2012 at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Over fifty students from the international M.A. Program in Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin participated in the experiment. The aim of the course was to discuss classic and current Virtual Cultures Research theory, including Cyberanthropology and ethnographic audiovisual methods as well as to conduct or “simulate” ethnographic research in virtual cultures and environments. In addition to their independent research, during the winter term 2010-2011 students met together for regular classes, which were run by the editor together with the co-lecturer, Samantha Fox from Columbia University. All weekly classes took place via Avatars and voice-chat within Second Life in the 3D-classrooms of the Freie Universität Berlin on Edunation Island. This book presents a collection of the written research reports that resulted from the research described above, and can be seen as an attempt to discover the challenges and limits of social anthropological research with an avatar in virtual cultures and environments.
Tom Boelsstorff: Virtual Worlds, Pedagogy, and Knowledge
Urte Undine Frömming: "Entangled Realties in Virtuality"
CHAPTER I Appropriation, Construction and Imagination of Landscape, Space and Place in Virtual Worlds
- Christina Voigt: "Form Wilderness to Virtuality. Virtual Nature and Landscape in Second Life"
- Emily Smith: "(Dis)Orientation: Mapping in Second Life
- Josefine Borrmann: "Place and Non-Place in Second Life"
CHAPTER II Gender, Belonging and Motherhood in Virtual Cultures
- Alina Trebbin: "Waiting for Zowie. Notes from the Digital Uterus"
- Sarah Kiani: "Crossing Boundaries or Reinforcing Norms? Gender Performances in Second Life"
- Elena Quintarelli: "The Amazon of Aquarius: an ethnographic journey through gender issues in Second Life"
- Emma Corbett-Ashby: "Queer and Trans experience in Second Life - an experimental dialogue"
- Katharina Frucht: "Virtual Romance: Love Relationships in Second Life"
- Julia Zaremba: Furries
CHAPTER III Religiosity in Virtual Worlds
- Ranty R. Islam: "Cyberspace and the Sacred"
- Thomas John: "Religiosity in a Virtual World. Reasons and Motivations"
- Manizhe Zera Ali: "Muslims and the Virtual"
- Mike Terry: Tabernacle in the Wilderness. Hierophany in Virtual Space
CHAPTER IV: Conflicts and Activism in Virtual Worlds
- Tobias R. Becker: "Virtual Representations of the Middle East Conflict"
- Sara Ferrari and Tiina Kivelä: "Becoming an Activist in Virtual Worlds - Experiences of Social Activism in Second Life"
CHAPTER IV Art Production and Artists in Second Life
- Samantha Fox: "Listen to the Radio: AM Radio, Second Life, and Innovations in an Emerging Medium"
- Lidia Rossner: "Art Production and its Conceptual Systems in Second Life
- Jordana Goldmann: "Exploring Virtual Space and its Creative Possibilities"
- Fidel Devkota: "The story of a Digital Samurai"