Cataloging Logistics. Migration, Digitisation, Forms of Life

June 16th and 17th, 2016

The workshop »Cataloging Logistics 2« departs from the premise that logistics poses both a decisive terrain for contemporary transformations in social and everyday life and a critical theoretical lens for understanding the present. Beyond matters of timely concern, the workshop’s focus on migration, digitization, and forms of life in relation to logistics presents diverse ethnographic research and multiple and open-ended approaches to broadly understood questions of work, play, and survival, the mutual blurring and distinction as well as entanglements of which can be examined so as to develop an analysis that moves between the »everyday« and the »social.«

With these points in mind, the workshop is set up to facilitate a conversation between several existing research and teaching platforms situated between cultural studies and the social sciences: firstly, two working groups on »logistics and migration« at the Berlin Institute for Migration and Integration Research as well as the University of Kassel created to prepare for the »Investigating Logistics« summer university that will take place as part of the KOSMOS initiative at Humboldt University of Berlin in September; secondly, a BA seminar at Leuphana University of Lüneburg’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; thirdly, the Digital Cultures Research Lab (DCRL) at Leuphana University Lüneburg; and fourthly, a one-year MA-level research seminar organized around the ethnographic study of logistics and migration at Humboldt University Berlin’s Institute for European Ethnology.

The workshop’s trans- and inter-disciplinary composition and the fact that it convenes scholars engaged in ethnographic research at various stages of academic formation furthermore provides an occasion to discuss project design and methods. To this end, the workshop contains a special discussion block facilitated around a »methods brochure«, created in a research seminar by MA students from Humboldt University of Berlin.

The workshop will continue and extend conversations that developed around the related workshop, »Cataloging Logistics: Migration, Humanitarianism, Borders«, which took place from May 25 to May 27, 2016 at Humboldt University of Berlin.

Thursday, June 16th, 2016


Panel 1 »Life Logistics?«, Moderation: Kelly Mulvaney
Katharina Mahrt »Booking a cleaner in 60 seconds« – Online-Cleaning plattforms and the logistical transformation of precarity
Christian Beeck »Becoming the Perfect Cleaner - Digital(ized) Labour and Subjectification«
Sabine Kayser »You can only optimize what you can measure«. Ethnographic insights into the usage of lifestyle apps
Discussants: Clemens Apprich, Lisa Conrad, Laura Hille

Panel 2 »Clicks and Containers?«, Moderation: Manuela Bojadzijev
Sabrina Apicella »1-Click Ordering at Amazon: on logistical backgrounds of consumer behaviour«
Moritz Altenried »The Container and the Algorithm: Standardization between Cooperation and Competition«
Discussants: Marcell Mars, Ned Rossiter

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Panel 3: »Act, dress, play – logistical desires«, Moderation: Sina Arnold
Lina Ewert »SEARCHING. RESCUING. LEGALISING.« – Chances and limits of new forms of trans-local activism by way of the organization Sea Watch
Leoni Meyer »Logistified acquisition of housing space: Matching »them« and »us« in the »Refugee Crisis««
Fabian Stark »Marketization practices of Berlin-based garment collectors and logistics of the European used clothing trade«
Carmen Grimm »Playing Logistics (in the procurement of professional football players«
Discussants: Nishant Shah, Paula Bialski, Armin Beverungen

Panel 4 »Methods and Research Design«
Structured discussion of the Methods Broschure developed by the Humboldt University MA research seminar »Mein Feld ist die Welt«

Closing Reflections, with view to future research

organized by Manuela Bojadzijev, Sabrina Apicella, Katharina Platzer, Kelly Mulvaney, Clemens Apprich, and Armin Beverungen (all Leuphana University Lüneburg)