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ZAK | Occasional Papers

Caroline Y. Robertson-von Trotha (ed.)

Die ZAK | Occasional Papers versammeln Beiträge aus dem wissenschaftlichen Umfeld des Zentrums für Angewandte Kulturwissenschaft und Studium Generale am KIT. Sie verhandeln Themen der Globalisierung, der Inter- und Transkulturalität, der Diversität und des gesellschaftlichen Wandels. Ihr Ansatz entspricht dem Selbstverständnis des Zentrums: Sie sind transdisziplinär ausgerichtet, beziehen auch Ergebnisse außerhalb tradierter wissenschaftlicher Richtungen mit ein und haben einen internationalen Fokus. Damit leisten sie einen Beitrag zu anwendungsorientierten Fragestellungen und gesellschaftlichen Handlungsfeldern und geben Impulse für weitere Forschung und Diskussion. 

The ZAK | Occasional Papers bring together contributions from the scholarly and scientific environment of the ZAK | Centre for Cultural and General Studies at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). These papers negotiate topics of globalisation, inter- and transculturality, diversity, and social change. Their approach corresponds to the Centre’s understanding of itself in its mission to connect research, teaching and public science: implementing a transdisciplinary orientation, they incorporate working papers and results from outside of traditional scholarly approaches. They aim at an intercultural and international focus. The ZAK | Occasional Papers contribute to ongoing intellectual reflection and debate on contemporary and emerging themes. Concentrating on application-oriented questions and social fields of action, they provide impetus for further research and discussion, and enhance the broadening of horizons within a comprehensive conceptualisation of public science.


No. 1: Leo Hollis

Who Owns the Intelligent City? The Democratic Threat of Platform Urbanism (No. 1)


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In this first issue of ZAK’s new publication series, Leo Hollis presents a highly differentiated view of our cities as socio-technical spaces, as ‘urban platforms’ in which space and time, data and algorithms, and our own perceptions, possibilities and responsibilities as citizens are closely interwoven. The author critically questions how this ‘platform urbanism’ works and asks whether we as data producers and consumers can still know and decide which of our data is used and evaluated according to which criteria, for which purposes and by whom.



No. 2: Mirjam van Reisen et al.

The (Un)intended Role of Gatekeepers of Information in Human Trafficking (No. 2)


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In this second issue of the ZAK I Occasional Papers, Mirjam van Reisen, Klara Smits, Mia Stokmans and Munyaradzi Mawere address an underestimated global reality that highlights the growth of well-known unresolved human rights problems: human trafficking. In their contribution, the authors focus on a new form of human trafficking in the context of restricted freedoms of access to and exchange of information, an unequally digitally connected world and monopolised digital architectures owned and ruled by ‘gatekeepers of information’. The article is based on a review of reports and communication with resource persons and Eritrean refugees as victims of trafficking.