Apps and Infrastructures – a Research Agenda

We just published a new article (open access🔓): Carolin Gerlitz, Anne Helmond, David Nieborg, and Fernando van der Vlist (alphabetical). “Apps and Infrastructures – a Research Agenda.” Computational Culture 7 (2019).


In this special issue editorial, we introduce a research agenda for empirical app studies. First, we introduce the three main strands of scholarship that have engaged with (mobile) apps and infrastructures so far. This enables us to position the contributions to this special issue at the cutting edge of the research on apps and infrastructures. We present our theoretical perspective on the infrastructural situatedness of apps to foreground how apps are always relational and, therefore, situated in a technological as well as social and cultural sense. From this perspective, we outline the contours of the app/infrastructure stack, which proposes to account for the hierarchical layered structure of apps and infrastructures, including their various interrelations and interdependencies. Finally, we derive six emerging research themes for future app studies based on the eight contributions included in this special issue that we hope will motivate further innovative and critical research into apps and infrastructures specifically as well as into computational culture in general.

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