Sandra Plontke

Sandra Plontke studied Modern German Literature, Linguistics, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology at the Ruhr University Bochum and completed her Master's degree with a thesis on epistemological aspects of communication and self-articulation in Hugo von Hofmannsthal's work from a literary-systems theory perspective.

After completing her studies, she worked as a lecturer, first at the RUB's Institute of German Studies and later at the Chair of Social Theory and Social Psychology. Here, the focus of her teaching is particularly on methodology and methods of analyzing iconic material in qualitative social research. In 2012, Sandra Plontke led a project funded by the Kulturwissenschaftliche Stiftung Essen to promote and implement cultural-psychological methods of image analysis in the social sciences, as part of which she and her students organized the exhibition "Inside out. Images of the Self and the Other" (Oct. 18 - Nov. 18, 2012, Ruhr University Bochum). She also co-organized an exhibition of Romain Finke's works "2753 To the People of New York City" together with students and colleagues as part of the teaching research project "Suffering and Pain in Science and Art. Ways of Understanding - Forms of Representation" (2018) at the Cubus of Situation Kunst in Bochum.

From 2013 to 2016, Sandra Plontke was a fellow of the Mercator Research Group "Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge" in AG 4: "Cultural Psychology and Anthropological Knowledge" led by Prof. Estrid Sørensen, where she conducted an empirical project on the co-construction of images, technology and knowledge in the development of computer game images. Since 2017, she has been an associate member of the Center for Anthropological Knowledge in Scientific and Technological Cultures (formerly Mercator Research Group).

In her doctoral thesis supervised by Jürgen Straub with the working title "Image Theory and Image Analysis: Cultural Psychological and Microsociological Perspectives", she is working on a synopsis, exploration and cultural psychological reflection of image hermeneutic approaches in (interpretative) psychology and qualitative social research with the aim of developing her own methodological approach to images on the basis of relational hermeneutics. In doing so, she pursues an integrative and interdisciplinary approach that attempts to combine approaches from art studies, art history and visual studies with cultural psychology.


Her research interests lie in the fields of qualitative methods of social research, visual studies, visual culture studies, art history, art psychology and cultural psychology.

Since 2017, Sandra Plontke has been a research associate at the Chair of Social Theory and Social Psychology and the affiliated Hans Kilian and Lotte Köhler Center for Social and Cultural Psychology and Historical Anthropology (KKC).

Until 2018, Sandra Plontke was also a lecturer for intercultural communication and competence at the RUB International Office.

From 2017 to 2019, she was coordinator of the project line "Forschendes Lernen3" at inSTUDIESplus.

Since the winter semester 2021, she has been a member of the KKC junior research group "Image Hermeneutics".

Publications and Lectures

A list of publications can be found here.

A list of lectures by Sandra Plontke can be found here.

Office hours

By appointment.

Pre-registration by e-mail at is requested.


Sandra Plontke
Ruhr-University Bochum
Faculty of Social Science
Chair of Social Theory and Social Psychology
Universitätsstr. 150
Building GD, Raum E1.231
D-44801 Bochum