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The Centre for Media and Interactivity (ZMI)


The Centre for Media and Interactivity (ZMI) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the Justus Liebig University 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 individual, societal, economic, juridical, political, and artistic composition and impact of the media.

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

The ZMI is an institutionalized network of media-related research areas containing a broad range of subject fields within the university. Beyond that, it is 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", which are closely connected 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 Dorothée de Nève, professor of political sciences. Following M.A. Sabine Heymann, Jutta Hergenhan PhD is Secretary General since June 2017.

Two topics have dominated the ZMI’s research interest during the last 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 joint research project Interactive Science – Internal Scholarly Communication via Digital Media. 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. The new research forcus "Literacy and education in the media society" has been established in 2015 as a longer-term theme for individual and bonded reserach at JLU. The subject of the research focus is the impact of media technology on educational concepts and the practices in dealing with writing and literacy.




The ZMI offers advice in the area of "E-Humanities / Digital Humanities" (in particular, computer-based methods for text analysis) for researchers from the disciplines of the Humanities carrying out research at JLU.

The advice and support for 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 provide it specifically and transparently for solution approaches within the area of internet and New Media.



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