Topic outline

  • Department of Media Doctoral School


    In earlier times, boundaries of a community might have been defined by the church bells' acoustic reach signifying the rhythm of the communal life.

    Today, communities have become virtually constructed entities bound together by technology and mediated narratives. In the current pandemic, many interpersonal connections are sustained via digital communication means. However, such technology imposes strong constraints on the content, language, and senses and thereby dislodges the community's rhythm. In the never-ending stream of virtual calls, we long for the occasional serendipity.

    Simultaneously, the mobile revolution gave birth to ever-growing networked and non-local communities with nearly instantaneous feedback loops. The sense of presence, the prime promise of virtual realities, may redefine the next generation communal space. Who do you hear? Who do you listen to? Who is hearing from you? What will this virtual market square be like?

    This year's edition of the Doctoral School of the Department of Media explores the commonality of the Doctoral students' research topics through a shared and jointly shaped space in a virtual world.


    The course will take place 16th to 19th February 2021. The topic of the course is "Virtual Communities". Please see below for further details on the preliminary course plan. The course takes partly place in VR and introduces the usage and hands-one work with VR headsets (Oculus Quests). The number of participants is likely to be limited to 10.

    For the registration to be valid, we ask you to submit the  Pre-Course Assignment and the Pre-Course Questionnaire by 15 January 2021.  

    If you have questions regarding this course, please contact Prof Sebastian J. Schlecht (