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Theo Röhle


Journalism Media and Communication
Visiting address
Seminariegatan 1 b
41313 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 710
40530 Göteborg

About Theo Röhle

I am Associate Professor in Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Journalism, Media and Communication.

Background From 2015 to 2019, I was senior lecturer in Media and Communication Studies at Karlstad University and Programme Director for the B.A. programme ”Digital Media and Analysis”. I received my M.A. from Stockholm University in 2003 and my Ph.D. in Media Culture from the University of Hamburg in 2009. Thereafter, I held postdoc positions at the Research Training Group ”Automatisms” in Paderborn and at Braunschweig University of Art, both in Germany.

Research Interests I am primarily interested in developing critical perspectives on digital media, both from a contemporary and historical perspective. My research is situated at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies, digital media studies and historical media studies. In my Ph.D. thesis, I examined the ranking algorithms and tracking mechanisms of the search engine Google and discussed their implications in terms of power relations built into code. During my postdocs positions, my research focused on social media and datafication, as well as software studies based on historical case studies within the areas of Digital Humanities and Gamification.

Current Research Project My current research project focuses on Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against media organisations as a new form of censorship. In media studies, DDoS is often portrayed as a variant of progressive digital activism, but during recent years, these attacks are increasingly used in order to silence reporting on politically inconvenient or controversial issues. Media organisations are thus forced to turn to external providers for protection against IT attacks. Based on current approaches in Infrastructure Studies and on interviews with IT professionals as well as journalists, the project investigates in how far these developments undermine the Internet’s promise to democratise publishing and distribution.

Teaching Right now, I primarily teach introductory courses in Media and Communication Studies.