Amanda Lagerkvist is a media phenomenologist and a founder of existential media studies. Theorizing digital-human vulnerabilities in light of existential philosophy, her work probes death online, digital memories, AI for earth, and increased automation. She heads the BioMe project which explores existential and ethical challenges of biometric AI within the human lifeworld. Find out more here: http://www.im.uu.se/research/hub-for-digtal-existence
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Amanda Lagerkvist PhD., is a media phenomenologist and founder of existential media studies. She is an Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies in the Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University. She was appointed Wallenberg Academy Fellow in 2013 and between 2014-2018 she headed the research programme ”Existential Terrains: Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity” (http://et.ims.su.se) in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University, funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation. With a particular but not exclusive focus on death online, she developed a theoretical framework for existential media studies, focusing on digital-human vulnerabilities of online mourning, commemoration, and the digital afterlife. The collaboration between KAW and the five Swedish academies included a leadership training programme for ‘Research Leaders of the Future’. After having successfully headed the programme, her group has made headway in contributing with an existential approach to digital culture in media studies, the young death online field and within digital memory studies.
The programme was the first media studies project in the world that researched the existential dimensions of digitalization, both empirically and theoretically. In a unique way, it problematized ‘what it means to be human’ (and mortal) in an age of digitalisation and automation, by drawing inspiration from the philosophy of existence for approaching digital culture. Lagerkvist’s work and forthcoming book Existential Media, contracted with Oxford University Press, provides for an empirically founded and theoretically original perspective on digital technologies as both resource and risk. It submits that our lives are increasingly digitally “thrown” (to borrow the language of Martin Heidegger and Søren Kierkegaard before him) into a highly connected, fast changing, increasingly automated and quantifying world that threatens to leave us displaced and vulnerable, but also with the fundamental task to navigate these new terrains and make them meaningful.
The Existential Tearrins programme also created the DIGMEX network, which organizes seminars, workshops on digital media ethics. A lecture series and two successful international conferences: ”Digital Existence: Memory, Meaning Vulnerability” October 2015 (http://et.ims.su.se/files/Program-Digital-Existence.pdf ) and ”Digital Existence II: Precarious Media Life” October 2017 (http://et.ims.su.se/activities/#2017-11-01). The main outcome of the conference events is the anthology Digital Existence: Ontology, Ethics and Transcendence in Digital Culture, (Ed. Amanda Lagerkvist, London: Routledge, 2019), which introduces the field. and the editor of Digital Existence: Ontology, Ethics and Transcendence in Digital Culture with a foreword by John Durham Peters from Yale University.
Lagerkvist’s work has also been published in for example New Media & Society, Feminist Media Studies, The New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia, Thanatos, Television & New Media, The Sociological review, The International Journal of Cultural Studies, European Journal of Communication, Journal of Visual Culture, Senses and Society,andSpace & Culture.She is the author of the monograph Media and Memory in New Shanghai: Western Performances of Futures Past (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); the co-editor of Strange Spaces: Explorations into Mediated Obscurity (Ashgate, 2009)
Amanda Lagerkvist is a board member of Fulbright Commission Sweden, and part of the working group for ‘Digital Humanities Uppsala’: http://www.uu.se/en/research/infrastructure/digitalhumaniora/?languageId=1
Lagerkvist's current work and development of “existential media studies” (Lagerkvist 2016, 2017a&b, 2018, 2019 (Ed.), forthcoming; Ess 2018) applies and updates classic phenomenological resources in the philosophy of existence to contemporary stakes of digital media and automated media technologies. The overarching aim is to explore what it means to be human in the digital age, in light of the fact that digital media are both ontologically 'the infrastructures of our being' (as John D. Peters puts it, 2015) and anthropological sites of the limit-situations of human life where groups explore, tackle, and cope existentially (Jaspers 1932/1970). The approach aims to answer questions such as: How do these environmental and increasingly automated and autonomous technologies co-shape and transform our existence? And what are the potential risks of digitalizing deep-felt existential necessities and needs? Hence, the existential approach implies the exploration of classic issues and key concepts within the tradition - such as thrownness, the limit situation and the ethics of ambiguity - in the vital and timely contexts of our current digital age. Lagerkvist has been pursuing this in the context of death online, the digital afterlife, and the transcendence industry. She is now taking existential media studies in new and urgent directions, by heading the research program "BioMe: Existential Challenges and Ethical Imperatives of Biometric AI in Everyday Lifeworlds".
Publications Amanda Lagerkvist
Lagerkvist. A. (contracted/forthcoming) Existential Media,New York: Oxford University Press.
Lagerkvist. A. (2013) Media and Memory in New Shanghai: Western Performances of Futures Past, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (209 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2005) Amerikafantasier. Kön, medier och visualitet i svenska reseskildringar från USA 1945-63, Stockholm: JMK, (diss) (314 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (Ed.) (2019a) Digital Existence: Ontology, Ethics and Transcendence in Digital Culture, London: Routledge. (Routledge Studies in Religion and Digital Culture). Foreword by John D. Peters at Yale University.
Lagerkvist A. & A. Jansson (Eds.) (2009) Strange Spaces: Explorations into Mediated Obscurity, Farnham: Ashgate (351 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. & Y. Andersson (2017) “The Grand Interruption: Death Online and Mediated Lifelines of Shared Vulnerability”, Feminist Media Studies (Online First, June 13, 2016, pp. 550-564 (14 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2016a) “Existential Media: Toward a Theorization of Digital Thrownness”, New Media & Society. Online First, June 7, 2016 (15 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2015) “The Netlore of the Infinite: Death (and Beyond) in the Digital Memory Ecology”, The New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia. Vol 21, issue 1-2 (11 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2014) ”A Quest for Communitas: Rethinking Mediated Collective Memory Existentially”, Nordicom ReviewIssue 35, pp. 205-218 (18 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2013a) ”New Memory Cultures and Death: Existential Security in the Digital Memory Ecology”, Thanatos, Vol 2, Issue 2, December 2013 (17 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2013b) “Communicating the Rhythms of Retromodernity: Confused and Mixed Shanghai,” The Sociological Review, September 2013. (Accepted without revisions), pp. 144-161 (16 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2012) “9.11 in Sweden: Commemoration at Electronic Sites of Memory”, Television and New Media. OnlineFirst,September 14, 2012, pp. 350-370 (20 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2010) “A Virtual America: Americans and ‘American’ Spaces in New Shanghai”,American Studies in Scandinavia,June, 42(1), pp. 81-108 (27 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2010) “The Future is Here: Media, Memory and Futurity in Shanghai”, Space & Culture, August 13(3), pp. 220-238 (18 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. with A. Jansson (2009) “The Future Gaze: City Panoramas as Politico-Emotive Geographies” Journal of Visual Culture, 8(1), pp. 25-53 (28 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2008a) “Travels in Thirdspace: Experiential Suspense in Mediaspace – the Case of America (un)known”,European Journal of Communication, 23(3). (Accepted without revisions), pp. 343-363 (20 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2007) “Gazing at Pudong—’With a Drink in Your Hand’: Time Travel, Mediation, and Multisensuous Immersion in the Future City of Shanghai”, Senses and Society,3(2), pp. 155-172 (17 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2004) ”’We SeeAmerica’: Mediatized and Mobile Gazes in Swedish Post-war Travelogues”, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 7:3, pp. 321-342 (21 pages).
Chapters in edited collections
Lagerkvist, A. (2019b) “Digital Existence: An Introduction,” in Digital Existence: Ontology, Ethics and Transcendence in Digital Culture, A. Lagerkvist (Ed.), London: Routledge. (approximately 37 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2019c) “The Internet is Always Awake: Sensations, Sounds and Silences of the Digital Grave” in Digital Existence: Ontology, Ethics and Transcendence in Digital Culture, A. Lagerkvist (Ed.), London: Routledge (approximately 25 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. & K. Linden (2019d) ”Digital Post-scarcity Versus Default Amnesia: Russian Political Existence and the Online Resurrection of Memories of the Dead at the Nord-ost Theatre Siege” in Communicating Memory & History,D.W. Park & N. Maurantonio (eds.), New York: Peter Lang (approximately 34 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2018) “Numerical Being and Non-being: Probing the Ethos of Quantification in Bereavement Online”, in Z. Papacharissi (Ed.) A Networked Self and Birth, Life, Death,New York: Routledge (approximately 25 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2017) “The Media End: Digital Afterlife Agencies and Techno-existential Closure”, in Digital Memory Studies: Media Pasts in Transition, A. Hoskins (Ed.), New York: Routledge, pp. 48-84 (36 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2016b) “Embodiments of Memory: Toward and Existential Approach to the Culture of Connectivity”, Memory Unbound: Tracing the Dynamics of Memory Studies, S. Craps, P. Vermeulen & L. Bond (eds.), New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 173-194 (19 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2013c) “Confused and Mixed Shanghai: På turer i det retromoderna”, Bussen är budskapet: Modernitet, mobilitet, materialitet, L. Gustafsson, S. Jülich & Y. Habel (eds.) Lund: Mediehistoriskt arkiv (overlapping with Lagerkvist 2013b) (15 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2011) “Velvet and Violence: Performing the Mediatized Memory of Shanghai’s Futurity”, P. P. Frassinelli, R. Frenkel, & D. Watson(eds.) Traversing Transnationalism: The Horizons of Literary and Cultural Studies, Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, pp. 33-56 (23 pages). (Overlapping with Lagerkvist 2007)
Lagerkvist, A. (2009) “La Villa Rouge: Replaying Decadence in Shanghai”, A. Jansson & A. Lagerkvist (eds.) Strange Spaces: Explorations into Mediated Obscurity, Farnham: Ashgate, s. pp. 149-168 (19 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2009) with A. Jansson: “What is Strange about Strange Spaces?” André Jansson & Amanda Lagerkvist (eds.) Strange Spaces: Explorations into Mediated Obscurity, Farnham: Ashgate, s 1-28 (28 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2008b) “Mediestadens retorik. Webbkameror i framtidsstaden Shanghai,” Berättande i olika medier, Pelle Snickars & Leif Dahlberg (eds.). Stockholm: Mediehistoriskt Arkiv, pp. 311-338 (27 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (2006): ”Terra (in)cognita: Mediated America as Thirdspace Experience,” Jesper Falkheimer & André Jansson (eds.) Geographies of Communication: The Spatial Turn in Media Studies,Göteborg: Nordicom, pp. 261-278 (17 pages). (Overlapping with Lagerkvist 2008a).
Review articles and editorials
Lagerkvist, A. (2012) Review article of On Media Memory: Collective Memory in a New Media Age, byM. Nieger et al eds. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (2011), in Nordicom Information,Issue 1, 2012, 73-76 (4 pages).
Lagerkvist, A. (ed.) (2010) Themed issue: American Spaces, “American Spaces – Editor’s Note” American Studies in Scandinavia,42(1).
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