Raphael Hemme


Universitätsstr. 150
44801 Bochum
GD 1/177 / Postfach 80
+49 (0)234 32 19815

Office hours: by arrangement

I am interested in the development of "algorithmic empathy" (Bajohr 2015) in the context of Affective Computing.

Affective Computing is "computing that relates to, arises from, or deliberately influences emotions." (Picard 2000:3). Within this field, I focus on the development and application of automatic emotion recognition technologies and standards. In my empirical investigation, I use a praxiographic approach to analyse the involved chains of translation (Latour 1999) which transform formerly elusive phenomena (feeling, affect, emotion) into measurable objects which, in turn, become the foundation for a system's successive behaviour or re-actions. These computational processes of tracing a person‘s moods and feelings, and the automatic reaction to such measurements, are analysed in analogy to "empathy" in human-to-human interactions.
The research aims to contribute to an understanding of emotion and empathy as relational practices, enacted and situated in specific socio-material configurations. A theoretical goal of this work is to analyse the ways in which such "Affective Arrangements" (Slaby, Mühlhoff, and Wüschner 2019) enact specific forms of experience, knowledge, mutual understanding and therefore the specific subjectivities that emerge from those processes and in turn reconfigure those same processes.


Bajohr, Hannes
2015 Algorithmic Empathy: Nick Montfort’s ‘Megawatt.’ 0x0a., accessed October 25, 2018.

Latour, Bruno
1999 Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Picard, Rosalind W.
2000 Affective Computing. First paperback edition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Slaby, Jan, Rainer Mühlhoff, and Philipp Wüschner
2019 Affective Arrangements. Emotion Review 11(1): 3–12.

Research Areas

Affective Computing • Empathy and Theory of Mind • Science and Technology Studies • Actor-Network Theory • Standards and Standardisation • Anthropology of Knowledge • Cognitive Anthropology


Since July 2017:
Research associate and doctoral student - Faculty of Social Science at Ruhr-Universität Bochum

  • Chair of Cultural Psychology and the Anthropology of Knowledge (Prof. Dr. Sørensen)
  • Center for Anthropological Knowledge in Scientific and Technological Cultures (CAST).

January 2017:
Master of Arts - Social- and Cultural Anthropology - Freie Universität Berlin

November 2011:
Bachelor of Arts - Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies - Georg-August-Universität Göttingen


Hemme, Raphael
2018 Metakognitionsanthropologie: Kulturelle Modelle von “Wissen” und “Lernen” im Psychologiestudium. Berliner Beiträge zur Ethnologie, 43. Berlin: Weißensee.