Dr. Abigail Nieves Delgado


Abigail Nieves Delgado works as a researcher at the Centre for Anthropological Knowledge of Scientific and Technological Cultures (CAST), Ruhr University Bochum. She received her PhD from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 2016 (thesis titled ‘The dominion of the face: A critical and historical analysis of the study of the human face’, Spanish title). Her research focuses on the history of physical anthropology and on the role of race in contemporary forensic sciences and biometric identification. Her current project “Collecting and Categorizing Faces for Security: Facial Recognition in the Era of Big Data” is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation. It investigates how societal threats influence technological development in biometrics. Besides this she is interested in daily security practices of internet users, and in the configurations of identity in human-computer interactions.

Recent academic positions

Since January 2017
Postdoctoral Researcher, Centre for Anthropological Knowledge in Scientific and Technological Cultures (CAST), Ruhr University Bochum

June 2016 - December 2016
Visiting PhD Student and Postdoctoral Researcher (since 10/2016) of Mercator Research Group ‘Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge’, Ruhr University Bochum

October 2016
PhD, Philosophy of Sciende, National Autonomous University of Mexico (graduation with honors¸ ‘Mención Honorífica’) Dissertation: ‘El dominio del rostro: un análisis histórico y crítico del estudio de la cara humana’ [The dominion of the face: A critical and historical analysis of the study of the human face] (Advisor: Carlos López Beltrán).

Selected recent publications

Peer-reviewed articles

  • Science, Politics and the Production of Biological Knowledge: New Trends and Old Challenges. In: Journal of General Philosophy of Science (2018) https://doi.org/10.1007/s10838-018-9406-3.
  • ¿De qué me ves cara? Narrativas de herencia genética e identidad inscritas en la apariencia. [What do I look like? Narratives of origin, heredity and identity written on the face] (co-author: Vivette García Deister, Carlos López Beltrán). In: AIBR, Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana 12(3): 313-337 (2017). http://www.aibr.org/antropologia/netesp/numeros/1203/120303.pdf
  • Life in a neoliberal era: The OECD and the development of bioeconomy in Mexico. In: Metatheoria, 5(1): 187-202 (2014).

Books and editions

  • Special issue ‘Filosofía de las ciencias de la vida: Fronteras difusas’ [Philosophy of the life sciences: Blurred borders] In: Metatheoria, 5(1) (2014). [Co-editors: X. Arteaga-Villamil, X.A. González Grandón].

Book chapters

  • The history of the ‘Red-Man’: William Bollaert and the indigenous people of the Americas. In: Efram Sera-Shriar (ed.): Historicizing Humans: Deep Time, Evolution and Race in Nineteenth Century British sciences, University of Pittsburgh Press (History and Philosophy of Science Series). (Co-author: M. Esposito; 2018).

Reviews and others

  • Facelessness: A relational politics (book review of J. Edkins: Face Politics. Routledge, 2015). In: Cultural Politics, 12(3): 391-393 (2016).


Dr. Olga Galanova


Since April 2016
Lecturer at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum

September 2011 - February 2016
Young Fellow of the research network in the Center of Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) at the University of Bielefeld with the AG Project Distrust

October 2010 - April 2014
PostDoc-Fellowship at the Bielefeld Graduate School of History and Sociology

November 2006 - November 2008
PhD thesis entitled „Unzufriedenheit. Zur Irritierbarkeit sozialer Ordnung“

Research areas

Creative users and visual online-communication multimediality Distrust in police practice historical social research and interpretative methods


Dr. Jan Schank


Jan Schank received his PhD from Ruhr-University Bochum in 2015, with a dissertation on the (textual) practices of knowing media harm in age-rating computer games, supervised by Estrid Sørensen at the Mercator Research Group “Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge”. He has also taught several classes at RUB’s department of social science and worked on political enquiries as well as the making and use of “political positions” by parliamentary groups. His main research areas are ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, studies of regulation practices, practice-based studies of texts, ethnography, and Science and Technology Studies.

Selected Academic Positions:

November 2014 – October 2016

Post-Doc researcher on the project “Media Practice of Parliamentary Discourses: Ethnographic Comparisons of the Production and Use of Political Positions” within the Priority Program 1505 “Mediatized Worlds”, funded by DFG [German Research Foundation]


February 2015

PhD in Social Science, Ruhr University Bochum

Dissertation: „W/wissen in der Alterskennzeichnung von Computerspielen – Eine praxeographische Analyse ausgewählter Entscheidungstexte aus dem Freigabeverfahren bei der Unterhaltungssoftware-Selbkontrolle (USK)“ [„Knowledge and Knowing in Age-Rating Computer Games – A Praxeographic Analysis of Selected Written Decisions from the Rating Procedure at the Entertainment Software Self-Control Agency (USK)“] Supervisor: Estrid Sørensen


January 2011 – February 2015

PhD student in Social Science at Mercator Research Group „Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge“, Ruhr University Bochum (Supervisor: Estrid Sørensen)


2007 – 2009

Research Associate (wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter) at Emmy-Noether Group of Young Researchers “Microsociology of Criminal Proceedings”, Sonderforschungsbereich 447, Free University Berlin (led by Thomas Scheffer)

Selected Publications:

Peer-reviewed articles:

  •  “Procedure Weak or Strong. Understanding the Limits of Political Inquiries”, European Journal of Sociology, vol. 51 (2010), no. 1, pp. 93-128 (with Thomas Scheffer and Matthias Michaeler).
  •  „Wissen was jugendbeeinträchtigend ist – Membership Categorization in der Alterskennzeichnung von Computerspielen“ [“Knowing who’s Harmed – Membership Categorization in Age-Rating Computer Games”], Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie, vol. 22 (2012/13), no. 1, pp. 31-49
  • Monograph:
  • “W/wissen in der Alterskennzeichnung von Computerspielen. Eine praxeographische Analyse ausgewählter Entscheidungstexte aus dem Prüf- und Freigabeverfahren bei der Unterhaltungssoftware-Selbstkontrolle (USK)“ [„Knowing and Knowledge in Age-Rating Computer Games. A Praxeographic Analysis of Selected Written Decisions from the Rating Procedure at the Entertainment Software Self-Control Board (USK)”] Bochum: Westdeutscher Universitätsverlag, 2017.


  • “Soziologie der Parlamente. Neue Wege der politischen Institutionenforschung” [“Sociology of Parliaments. New Avenues for Research on Political Institutions”], Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2018 (with Jenni Brichzin, Damien Krichewsky, and Leopold Ringel).

Contributions to edited volumes:

  • „Gute praktische Gründe für ‚aussichtlose‘ Anträge“ [„Good Practical Reasons for ‚Futile‘ Motions“], in: Reiner Keller; Jürgen Raab (eds.), Wissensforschung – Forschungswissen. Weinheim/Basel: Beltz Juventa.
  • “Praxeographie”, in: Susanne Bauer; Torsten Heinemann; Thomas Lemke (eds.), Science and Technology Studies. Ein Überblick über klassische Positionen und aktuelle Perspektiven. Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp (with Estrid Sørensen).
  • „Medien als Status-Marker in der Fertigung politischer Positionen“ [„Media as Status Markers in Producing Political Positions“], in: Friedrich Krotz; Cathrin Despotovic; Merle Kruse (eds.), Mediatisierung als Metaprozess. Transformationen, Entwicklungen und die Generierung von Neuem, Wiesbaden: VS, 2017 (with Stefan Laube and Thomas Scheffer).
  • „Textual Co-Construction of Game and Player in German Rating Decisions”, in: Estrid Sørensen (ed.), Cultures of Computer Game Concerns. The Child Across Families, Law, Science and Industry. Bielefeld: Transcript, 2018.