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About us

The Centre for Media and Interactivity (ZMI) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Giessen (JLU) , which focuses on the concepts of “interactivity” and on the various aspects of interactive “digital media” in science, society, politics, economy, and culture examined from a media-cultural scientific perspective. The ZMI conducts applied and practical research on media-related issues; in particular on the individual, societal, economic, juridical, political, and artistic composition and impact of the media.

pic: Martin Kaltwasser
Since its founding in 2001, the ZMI has been organized into five sections , which work together in cooperative research projects, as well as in separate, group-related research. The ZMI as a whole offers a variety of activities, including public lectures and lecture series, workshops, film series, conferences, and publications. Individual sections also support student-created festivals, theater and film productions.

The ZMI is an institutionalized network of media-related research areas that encompasses a broad range of subject fields within the university. Beyond that, it is also a meeting place for scholars, artists, and the interested public. In addition to individual publications, the ZMI edits the book series, Interaktiva , published by Campus Verlag. Twelve volumes have been published so far (collections of papers and monographs), addressing topics in the research areas “Media" and “Interactivity” that are closely related to research projects, workshops, and conferences of the ZMI. Katrin Lehnen, Professor of German Media and Language Didactics, is currently Executive Director of the ZMI. Her representative is Greta Olson, Professor of English and American Literary and Cultural Studies. Dr. Jutta Hergenhan is the Secretary General.

Two topics have dominated the ZMI’s research interest in recent years: the impact of “mediatization” on communicative cultural techniques in the project Cultural Techniques and Their Mediatization , and the effects of digitization on scholarly communication in the collaborative research project Interactive Science – Internal Scholarly Communication via Digital Media . Since 2012, the research focus has shifted to the projects GeoBib and news to use since 2012. For the project GeoBib , an online bibliography of early German and Polish Holocaust and concentration camp literature (1933-1949) has been compiled. In the recently finished project news to use , the influence of reading daily newspaper columns by young people in vocational training was investigated.

In 2015, the research focus literacy and education in the media society” has been established as a long-term composite research.

The ZMI offers advice in the area of “E-Humanities / Digital Humanities” (in particular, computer-based methods for text analysis) to researchers in the humanities who are conducting research at JLU.

The advice and support of science project teams, educational institutions, companies, and organizations in their digital and web-based activities is implemented by the entrepreneurial network ZMI Transfer ; an association of researchers who bundle their scientific expertise and make it available in a targeted and transparent manner for solution approaches in the area of internet and New Media.

The ZMI mainatins cooperative partnerships with university-related and non-university research facilities and educational institutions, with foundations, political and administrative institutions, as well as with media and other companies in Germany and abroad.