Prospect of 3 Professorships for the Critical Reflection and/or Governance of Computational Technologies at the Center for Critical Computational Studies (C³S)

Exploratory Workshop | October 8th-10th, 2024, Frankfurt am Main

Goethe University Frankfurt is one of Germany's prominent universities, and steadfast in its commitment to foster equal opportunities. [Learn more ⟶]

Goethe University is a founding member of German U15, the association of Germany's leading research universities. Goethe University thrives in the dynamic and cosmopolitan environment of Frankfurt and the Rhein-Main region, acclaimed for its economic vitality and cultural diversity, and renowned for its eminent quality of life. This backdrop provides an ideal setting for academic pursuits, research innovation, intellectual exploration, and inspiring teaching. Covering a wide range of disciplines, Goethe University is committed to academic excellence, which is evident in our robust research programs, diverse range of disciplines, and a strong network of international collaborations.

At Goethe University, we pride ourselves on being a family-friendly institution. We understand the challenges of balancing academic and family life, especially in the dynamic and demanding environment of academia. To support our staff and students in this regard, we offer a range of initiatives and services designed to facilitate a healthy work-life balance. These include flexible working arrangements, childcare facilities, and family support services. Additionally, we recognize the importance of supporting dual-career couples and have specific services to assist partners of newly appointed faculty in finding suitable employment opportunities in the region. Our goal is to create an inclusive and supportive environment where all members of the Goethe University community, regardless of their family situation, can thrive both professionally and personally.

Goethe University is steadfast in its commitment to foster equal opportunities, embracing diversity, and ensuring inclusion in all its endeavors. We particularly encourage applications from qualified women and individuals with a background of migration, as we place significant emphasis on cultivating a family-friendly university work environment. Furthermore, candidates with severe disabilities, or those with equivalent status, will receive preferential consideration when qualifications are equal. This inclusive approach also extends to supporting women in fields where they are currently underrepresented, underscoring our dedication to promoting a balanced and diverse academic community.

The Center for Critical Computational Studies (C³S) is Goethe University’s latest innovation hub of inter- and transdisciplinary exploration. C³S is located at Campus Westend, and will move to a new Campus for Critical Computational Studies in the future. [Learn more ⟶]

C³S is dedicated to coupling diverse academic fields, encompassing computer sciences, natural and life science, and social sciences, as well as health, economics, law, and the humanities. This unique cross-disciplinarity will define and foster Critical Computational Studies. Our goals are threefold: To deepen our understanding of complex systems through a critical-computational lens; to scrutinize the impact of computational technologies in shaping societal realities; and to craft strategies for the responsible design and utilization of these technologies, emphasizing sustainability, trustworthiness, and justifiability. For more, see our website at www.c3s-frankfurt.de.

C³S is looking for candidates for

  • Three Prospective Professorships for the Critical Reflection and/or Governance of Computational Technologies Learn more

Calls will be open discipline and open rank (W1 to W2 Tenure Track; W2 to W3 Tenure Track; W3).

C³S seeks candidates, both national and international, who demonstrate a robust academic background, high profile publications and/or corresponding potential, a track record of interdisciplinary collaborations, a profound interest in the intersection of technological and normative approaches, and a strong interest in socially and politically relevant topics, including in stakeholder engagement, tech transfer and/or policy impact. As regards researchers in the early stage of their career, we are looking for corresponding potentials.

Workshop and Recruitment Process

From October 8th-10th, 2024, we are conducting an Exploratory Workshop to allow candidates to showcase their expertise and interdisciplinary interests in a dynamic, engaging and collaborative environment. In this regard, we encourage interested and qualified candidates to submit their respective applications using the form below up until July 4th, 2024. By the end of July 2024, the successfully selected candidates will receive their respective invitations to the workshop. Travel and accommodation costs will the covered by C³S accordingly.

The workshop will pave the way for the formal hiring process, which will be conducted by extraordinary recruitment committees (“Findungskommissionen” in German) pursuant to the Rules of Recruitment (“Berufungssatzung” in German) of Goethe University.

The professors will be recruited into C³S and given all opportunities to affiliate into their pertinent department(s) at Goethe University.

If you have any questions, e.g. about teaching, please do not hesitate to contact us. There are also two explanatory videos available that sketch the setup and the recruitment process of C³S.


Critical Data Studies

Prospect of Three Professorships for the Critical Reflection and/or Governance of Computational Technologies

At C³S, we aim to analyze, reflect and/or govern/regulate computational (algorithmic, data driven etc.) technologies, and how they intersect (transform and are driven by) with society, politics, the economy, etc. The aim is to assess and design sustainable, trustworthy, and justifiable computational methods.  

Candidates are encouraged to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries. Key disciplinary backgrounds include, but are not limited to: Digital Anthropology, Digital Geography, Digital Sociology, IT Law, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Political Theory, Ethics in Computation, Philosophy of Media, Science, and Technology.

Candidates are expected to demonstrate a strong and genuine commitment to interdisciplinary research and teaching. [Learn more ⟶]

Candidates should showcase innovative approaches to understanding and navigating the complex interplay between technology, data, media, and society. They demonstrate robust knowledge of or a keen interest in the underlying technologies that they study. This entails proficiency, or a strong willingness to engage deeply with the technical foundations of areas such as machine learning algorithms, data mining or network science. Dual competency will ensure that the research and teaching contributions of the candidates are both technologically informed and critically engaged, fostering a holistic approach to the study of digital and technological advancements in society.

Ideal candidates possess the foresight and expertise to anticipate and critically address the challenges and implications presented by emerging computational technologies. This includes, but is not limited to, quantum computing and augmented reality. A deep understanding of how these technologies might reshape ethical considerations, social dynamics, and human identity, including trans- and posthuman constellations, is essential. Candidates are expected to contribute innovative research that navigates these complex issues, proposing ethical frameworks and/or regulatory solutions that are responsive to the rapid evolution of computational technologies.

Possible approaches include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessing and critically reflecting upon, including by computational means, the (political, financial, planetary, gender etc.) power dynamics of and in algorithms and computational systems, acknowledging how these structures can perpetuate or challenge existing hierarchies.
  • Examining the social (political, economic, cultural etc.) consequences of data-driven decision-making, exploring how computational approaches shape policy, norms, and public discourse, and how they (re)produce, reinforce, destabilize, or mitigate relations of inequality.
  • Investigating the potential of computational methods in addressing and mitigating social inequalities, particularly in the context of digital access and information distribution.
  • Reflecting on the role of individual and collective human agency (including democratic control and oversight) in the context of computational systems, acknowledging the need for a nuanced understanding of the relationship between technology, individuals, society, data responsibility and data maturity.
  • Exploring the epistemological and ontological assumptions that underpin the development of digital technologies and computational models, discussing how these assumptions influence the design, implementation, and societal impact of computational systems, and proposing alternative perspectives that foster more inclusive and ethical technological landscape.
  • Evaluating digital infrastructure and data governance practices, including the regulation of data use, privacy, property rights, and the management of digital resources.