Vera Mader, M.A.

Universitätsstr. 105
44789 Bochum
Room: UNI 105, 3/26

Phone: +49 (0) 234/32-27283


Title of the Dissertation

Media Care Practices. (Working Title)

Project Description

Care activities form the material basis of social cohabitation: the question of who cares for whom under which conditions establishes the framework in which participants negotiate experiences of community and selfhood. My project focuses on the politics of care in specific material and media practices of caring and asks to what extent media practices influence the sustained existence of ‘more than human’ environments that include objects and infrastructure as well as living beings while themselves becoming, unusually unnoticed, part of the social networks that are to be preserved, usually unnoticed.

Here I am primarily interested in relationships of visibility and invisibility inherent in latent infrastructures and marginalised work or social positioning. The aim is to investigate how (counter-)documentary practices, from feminist works in film and video since the 1970s to care work in digital ecologies, problematise and politicise care in the sense of a situated ethics or praxis. As practices of critical thinking themselves, these media practices can be understood as forms of caring and communicate care as a threshold between emancipatory efforts and the consolidation of normative demands and inequality in power structures.

While rendering affective relatedness again produces exclusion along the shifting boundaries of political representability, the multilayered interdependencies in constellations of care allow us to consider care as a communicative activity which remains unfettered by the logics of political representation. I ask whether the media practices situated between givers and receivers of care undermine concepts of the allocation of power to act (autonomously) connected to in/visibility and are involved in the re-production of liveable environments.

Scholarly Career

  • Since October 2019: researcher (doctoral candidate) in the DFG post-graduate programme “The Documentary. Excess and Withdrawal”, Ruhr University of Bochum
  • 10/2016 to 9/2019: Master’s degree in Media Culture Research, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg
  • 9/2017 to 5/2018: studies at the Department of Media Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • 10/2013 to 9/2016: Bachelor’s degree in Media Culture Studies and European Ethnology, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg


  • “Morgen, das 22. Jahrhundert. Neue, alte und Andere Zukünfte”, in: zfm 22, April 2020.
  • “The Master’s Tools. Technische Störung und Afrofeministische Differenz bei Janelle Monáe und Erykah Badu”, in: FFK Journal No.5, March 2020.
  • „Der Bunker als Monitor – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt und die Ästhetik der Hysterie im Fernsehen”, in: Scheffer, Bernd; Jahraus, Oliver (eds.), Medienobservationen, 2017.


  • 2020 “Rewind. Queer Asynchronicity and Afrofeminist Chronopolitics in the audiovisual works of FKA twigs and Kelela”, Queer Pop. Academic Symposium at theCenter for Popular Culture and Music, Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg.
  • 2020 “Katzen knutschen. Gemeinsam-Werden in Tiervideos”, 33. Film- und Fernsehwissenschaftliches Kolloquium, Braunschweig University of Art.
  • 2019 „The Master’s Tools. Ästhetiken der Störung im Afrofuturismus von Janelle Monáe und Erykah Badu“, 32. Film- und Fernsehwissenschaftliches Kolloquium, Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, Potsdam.
  • 2018 “Attack the Rack – Performing emotional labor and consumer personhood in thrift haul videos”, Graduate Student Conference “Performance and Labor in the Contemporary World”, Duke University, Durham, NC.


  • Member of the Society for Media Studies (GfM)
  • Research assistant at the Institute of Media Culture and Theatre, University of Cologne
  • Member of the editorial board of the journals Medienobservationen and Mediale Kontrolle unter Beobachtung