Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: Nov. 2, 2021, 6:55 a.m. Humanist 35.337 - pubs cfp: digital transformations

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 35, No. 337.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-11-01 14:08:07+00:00
        From: Saner Philippe <>
        Subject: Call for Papers "Digital Academia" (Deadline: November 15, 2021)


Special Issue of the Swiss Journal of Sociology

Deadline for Abstracts: November 15th, 2021


Luca Tratschin (Center for Higher Education and Science Studies,
University of Zurich)
Christian Leder (Center for Higher Education and Science Studies,
University of Zurich)
Philippe Saner (Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and
Training, Zollikofen; Department of Sociology, University of Lucerne)
Katja Rost (Department of Sociology, University of Zurich)

Background: Digital Transformation as a major issue in science and 
higher education

It is widely recognized among practitioners and social scientists that
digital transformation presents a major change process for today’s
society (cf. Schiølin 2020; Schwab 2018; Massen & Passoth 2020; Weyer
2019). Many observers argue that digital change is disrupting
established product markets through “creative disruption”, altering
valued skills in labor markets and goes along with the destruction of
old job profiles and the creation of new knowledge-intensive occupations.

In view of these challenges and opportunities, actors from the economy
and politics expect the university system to address these needs in
research and teaching and to become themselves “modern”, for example
more “digitalized”, organizational actors. Actors in science policy and
research funding formulate specific expectations regarding the digital
transformation of academia through strategies and priorities that are
intended to guarantee competitiveness and adaptivity to the needs of
labor markets (cf. European Economic and Social Committee 2019, SBFI 2020).

This relevance attributed to the university sector in digitalization is
mirrored in the activities of higher education institutions as well as
scientific disciplines (cf. Barton, Müller & Seel; 2019, Hassan 2017;
Henke & Pasternack 2020; Mocquet 2017, Wannemacher 2016): Universities
around the world declare digital transformation as a major strategic and
operational issue (Getto & Kerres 2017; Prinsloo 2020), and we are
currently witnessing the creation of new curricula and research fields
such as data sciences (cf. Dorschel 2020; Saner 2019) or digital
humanities (cf. Antonijević 2015), and of digital teaching platforms
(cf. Williamson 2020). Additionally, we witness how digital technologies
reconfigure key practices of academics in general: They cooperate with
laymen in citizen-science projects via digital platforms (e.g. “galaxy
zoo” or “fold it”), make scientific data and publications widely
available (“open data”, “open science”, “open access”) and – possibly –
evaluate each other more and more strongly via “altmetrics” (cf. Franzen
2018; Franzoni & Sauerman 2013; Plantin, Lagoze & Edwards 2018).
Furthermore, the institutional context that makes research possible –
namely university administrations – is also adopting digital
technologies, opening up new freedoms but also creating new restrictions.

The aim of the special issue: Insights into digital transformation in

Based on these observations, we aim to assemble contributions that
analyze aspects of the digital transformation of science and higher
education and give insights into the preconditions, processes and
consequences of the uptake of the issue of digital transformation in
science and higher education. We welcome conceptual contributions as
well as empirical studies from sociology and related fields such as
science and technology studies, organizational studies and educational
studies. Additionally, we are also open to methodological contributions
that discuss the potential of digital technologies as research tools in
the social sciences in general and in science studies and higher
education research in particular. While we are open to all contributions
that relate to the afore-mentioned observations, we especially welcome
contributions that address the following types of questions:

   *   Digital transformation as a discourse: How is “digitalization”
discursively constructed and what are the involvements and consequences
of the academic field?
   *   Digital transformation of scientific disciplines: Through which
processes do new research fields emerge and how do they affect the
established system of disciplines?
   *   Digital transformation of research practices: How do digital
technologies shape research processes in disciplines such as the
humanities, the social sciences or the natural sciences?
   *   Digital transformation of institutions of higher education: What
are the challenges of digital transformation for institutions of higher
education as contexts of research but also of the transmission of
scientific knowledge and competences?
   *   Digital transformation and the Covid-19 pandemic: How does the
current pandemic and health crisis affect the digital transformation of
university teaching and research? How is the forced shift to distance
education changing the conditions of teaching and learning in the
post-pandemic university?
   *   Comparative perspectives: How is digital transformation as an
issue adopted in different national contexts or in different types of
institutions of higher education?
   *   Historical perspectives: How can the current process of digital
transformation in higher education and research be situated in a larger
historical context?

We particularly welcome contributions that address the issue of digital
transformation in research and higher education in the Swiss higher
education system, for instance in the form of case studies or
comparative studies. However, we are also interested in contributions
that study other institutional contexts and give insights into ways
digital transformation is shaped by pre-existing structures and
processes (and vice versa).

Please send an abstract of your contribution proposal to Luca Tratschin
(, no later than November 15, 2021.

The following documents should be included with the proposed paper:

   *   Name, e-mail address and institutional affiliation of all authors
   *   Title of the paper
   *   Abstract of about 500 words plus short bibliography (topic, main
objective, theoretical perspective, empirical basis, main results/first

The guest editors will decide by December 1, 2021 which authors will be
invited to submit a manuscript.

The selected authors will be invited to submit a paper (of maximum 8'000
words or 50'000 characters including tables, graphs and references). The
deadline for submission of a contribution is June 1, 2022. Contributions
are subject to the usual review process of the Swiss Journal of
Sociology. To promote consistency of the volume and international
visibility, we ask that contributions be submitted in English only. For
more information on the Swiss Journal of Sociology and how to prepare
manuscripts, see

Should you have any questions, please contact Luca Tratschin

Dr. des. Philippe Saner
Senior Lecturer

+41 58 458 27 08
Eidgenössische Hochschule für Berufsbildung EHB
Kirchlindachstrasse 79, CH-3052 Zollikofen
+41 58 458 27 00,<>,<>

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