NECS Voices

10 Years of NECS – Opening and Round Table

Michael WedelMichael Wedel: The first NECS conference was held in the neighboring city of Berlin – also a nice city.

Vinzenz Hediger: “Inventions happen, when their time has come” – the NECS was one of these ideas.

Malte Hagener on first meeting Alexandra Schneider: We realized (at a conference in another country) we all lived in Berlin and had to travel several thousand miles to find out, we were working on similar topics.

Alexandra Schneider: It feels strange to sit here – because, first of all, it makes me feel very old.

Patrick Vonderau on getting back with his founding colleagues: NECS 2016 Round Table
It feels a little like a Monty Python reunion panel – grumpy old people back together.

Vinzenz Hediger: We weren’t thinking of NECS as the European Union, but more like the Eurovision Song Contest. Just look at the attending Australians.

Patrick Vonderau: NECS has made Europe a small place.

Malte Hagener: We should all sign Erasmus contracts for all universities in this room, right? 


Keynote Sean Cubitt, 29 / 07 / 2016

Sean Cubitt, NECS Conference„Connection is also disconnection“

„Many-to-many constellations cannot take the place of networks. There is need for social events like parties, smaller infrastructures.“

„A network doesn’t distinguish between human-human or machine-machine connection.“

„I find myself thinking we are not dealing with a culture of connectivity but a connectivity against culture.“

„The work of connectivity has been to profilerate differences.“

„The network of networks: The internet“

„All debt must be repaid by each individual, but the lonely hour of the last instance never arrives.“

„Connectivity appears to us in fantasies of longing and belonging.“

„Everything mediates everything else.“


Keynote Deb Verhoeven, 30 / 7 / 2016

Deb Verhoeven of Deakin University at NECS Potsdam 2016 Conference

Deb Verhoeven, also known as “The woman with the beautiful shoes”

“How do we get out of our own heads?”

Talking about film distribution and circulation through the kangooroo-root: “Infrastructure technologies hold a promise: the promise to repair.”

“Big data implicates us.”

 “Role of the media is shaping research, not only communicating it.”

4 Ds of Connectivity:
– Discovery
– Development
– Deliberation
– Delivery

Connectivity is… the research crowdfunding project “HuNI”:

“HuNI´s „social linking“ brings to the fore the pro-sociality of databases – not only as artifacts of human (and non-human) action, imagination, ambition, accomplishment (and failure) – but in terms of bringing into prominence the ethical implications and possibilities of databases.”

Deb Verhoeven’s research band
Deb Verhoeven at NECS Potsdam 2016 Conference

10 Years of NECS – Participants


Bianka ScharmannInterview with Bianka-Isabell Scharmann (Goethe University, Germany)

What does the NECS conference mean to you?
This is my first NECS conference here in Potsdam as I am aspiring an academical career. It is important for me to join the important networks like NECS for instance. As the conference is here in Potsdam, Germany, it’s much more convenient and easier to get to the venue. NECS means to me to get in touch with the people, who are interested in the same fields I am working in – such as fashion theory and media studies.

What does connectivity mean to you?
Connectivity is really important – to have the exchange and discussions with other scholars, get their opinions about your topic, get influenced by them as well as a point of rupture.

Have you attended any panels yet?
I was at “Avant Garde and Early Cinema” (A4) which was really interesting. I actually learned, which I was hoping to do.


Interview with Olivier Ruelle (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China)



Emre CaglayanInterview with Emre Caglayan (University of Brighton / University for the Creative Arts, United Kingdom)

What does connectivity mean to you?
I guess for me exploring the connection between film and media culture and a particular connection with audiences and how we as academics explore this connection.

What is NECS and its conferences to you?
I attended some of the earlier conferences. I haven’t, though, for a while, but I think it’s a fun place to be – quite a relaxed conference, meeting new people, networking, exchanging ideas and seeing what’s emerging in new media studies.


Interview with Tamás Nágypal (York University Toronto, Canada)


Dennis BasaldellaInterview with Dennis Basadella (University of Hamburg, Germany)

What does the NECS conference mean to you?
It’s my first NECS and it’s really interesting, because we can connect with other scientists from Europe, America or Canada. It’s more of a wider context, so it’s good to have an open discussion, because we don’t remain in our national discussion – we gain a different perspective.

What does connectivity mean to you?
It’s a difficult question, because connectivity has so many different meanings. Even though we have such different national perspectives, in the end we find our links together. We find each other working on some topics but from different perspectives, but we have this topic in common – so that is connectivity.

Which panels did you attend and how was it?
I can’t remember the title, but on Thursday there was one panel on how in media, like film, political aspects shine in. It’s tragically funny to see that this NECS is in a political shadow – our Turkish colleagues couldn’t come here. It’s interesting and also scary how politics come into science. One of the topics in the panel was on how nationalism in Poland shines into the media like film. How new traditions were formed in substaining this new nationalism. It’s a brand new aspect.

Anything to add?
Thanks to the entire organisation team for hosting this year’s 10th conference of NECS. I hope there will be 10 more years, so we can move around Europe and see each other. And see you next year in Paris.


Interview with Rebecca Sheehan (California State University, United States)


Deb VerhoevenInterview with Deb Verhoeven (Keynote Speaker – Deakin University, Australia)

What does connectivity mean to you?
The key point I want to make in my presentation tomorrow is that connectivity is not binary. We have certain points set on infrastructure, cultural infrastructure, scholary infrastructure – different kinds – which rely or rest on this idea that there is point A and B and what goes between is somehow mutual and unoletheral, like it moves in one direction. I want to talk about rethinking our assumption about connectivity out of that simplistic kind of approach and start to think about rich connectivity or generative connectivity: connectivity that makes an impact, that’s not just neutral in a way. I want to do that through a series of different case studies.

What does the NECS conference mean to you?
I’ve been to one NECS conference previously. I discovered the NECS conference through HOMER – in fact, at the last NECS conference I was at, I gave a paper at the NECS conference rather than at HOMER. My experience of the NECS conference is that it picks up – especially for me – questions that have a lot of contemporary residence, whereas my work with HOMER network was much more about historical studies, because I do both. It’s a really lovely collaberation between NECS and HOMER, I get to experience both of those things.

Which panels did you attend and how was it?
I’ve been to quite a lot of sessions and panels and they’ve all been great. The great thing for me about going to conferences isn’t necessarily that there are people who are specialists in their own area, so they know more about that than I will ever know. But it’s what they are able to inspire in terms of rethinking assumptions about both my work and the world as well. And it’s a wonderful thing, which I didn’t quite capture in your first question. Ultimately for me connectivity has to be about collaboration and engagement. And if it’s not about those things, it’s not about the people we’re connected to or with, the people who work alongside, that are near to us in some sense consensually, organisationally and personally. There are the connections that we need to actually engage with – meaningfully, as a co-production, not as something that sits outside of us. So ultimately, connectivity is about what we do and what is done to us.


Interview with Charles Acland (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)


AriInterview with Ari Purnama (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

What does the NECS conference mean to you?
It’s a hub of very engaging scholars that I draw into even though it has an European focus, but for my experience it is also quite transnational in a lot of sense – not only from the participants but a lot of the topics of the panels as well as the papers they explore. There is an openness and flexibility and such a tight-knit community and I am very grateful to be part of it. I attended the NECS conferences twice – the one in Milan in 2014 and this is my second time.

What does connectivity mean to you?
I don’t think I can give you a very scholary answer to that, but I believe connectivity means finding that particular point of interest that you share with the people you may perhaps don’t even know personally. But there are always one or two things that you can tune into the wave line of that particular person. And NECS is really good in bringing people together to connect. For instance: I just met a guy and there was one particular thing that connected me to him, which is punk rock and academic research. So without NECS, I don’t think I would have come across people with similar interest. That’s what connectivity means for my experimential dimension.

Which panels did you attend?
I attended two panels, one on working in screen industries in Europe and Germany in particular. And the second one was on Social Media 10 years after YouTube was created. I really liked the first one, because the topic of working in the creative industries after your education, after film school, after having your degree in media or film studies is rarely addressed. We tend to focus more on theoretical ideas about film and media, but rarely think about how, for instance, our students can enter the industry, which in a lot of ways has been democratized in some ways, but it’s also a very closed system. You work through a particular type of networking and you have to go through these quite exclusive, elitist types of schools, which are film schools. I think by addressing these topics we also can examine the problems we can rectify in the future and gender diversity. Because from this panel I had discovered that, you know, women are still underrepresented in the film industry. Even though there are some movements, they are still underrepresented, underpaid. We have to start thinking how we can create future generations and push for change.


Interview with Malte Hagener (Founding Member NECS, University of Marburg, Germany)


Sweta Interview with Sweta Tagliabue (London Film School, UK) 

What does the NECS conference mean to you?
I come from Italy but I’m about to start my Master in Screenwriting at the London Film School in September. The NECS conference is an international meeting, in which scholars from all over the world meet and talk about connectivity in all its different forms this year. I think the most engaging and inspiring thing about the NECS conference is that you are actually able to hear different points of view – about connectivity, media and film studies, which is the field I’m dealing with. They are very different and influenced by the countries and the cultures from which the scholars come from.

What does connectivity mean to you?
The issue about connectivity is a very contemporary one. It also refers to the intertwining of different means of communication: the way media products, such as films and TV productions but also the publishing industry, find a way of linking together and bringing together in different forms of art, forms of expression. The same media product can be featured on different means of communication and I think this is the main issue in finding connectivity nowadays. And this issue is more relevant than it has ever been before because of the technological innovations and the means of communication which we can use nowadays.



Interview with Alena Strohmaier (NECS Steering Committee, University of Marburg, Germany)