17. November | 2021

COVID and what next? Methodological Implications for Digitalization Research in Rural-Peripheral Areas

Chairs: Prof. Dr. Heike Mayer | Uni Bern, Dr. Julia Binder | BTU Cottbus, Prof. Dr. Gabriela Christmann | IRS Erkner, Dr. Ariane Sept | IRS Erkner

The pandemic not only confronts political actors with the enormous task of finding answers to the infection processes and how to deal with it in society, but also researchers are confronted with new challenges in adapting their research to the transforming socio-spatial conditions. Former research designs lose their validity, field approaches have to be redefined, and social actors in public space become invisible.

Against this background, digital space is gaining enormous importance. The relevance of digitalization for the shift of everyday practices to the virtual is only one example that reorients digitalization research in perspective. Rural-peripheral areas are also subject to growing attention in terms of urban-rural digital inequalities. Rural and urban migration, multilocality, as well as new forms of working and living are widely discussed in the media and enrich the dynamic debates about the opportunities of digitalization for rural areas.

Our workshop aims to provide a forum to discuss the methodological challenges of the pandemic for digitalization research in rural areas. We address researchers as actors of knowledge production in order to reflect on pitfalls and limitations as well as on new opportunities for research. The digital format is intended to provide a forum to present intermediate and current work, but also to openly discuss uncertainties. Perspectives from the various disciplines of spatial research are welcome. Contributions can be submitted in German or English.

Two keynote presentations
five thematic sessions in virtual subgroup rooms
and a concluding panel discussion are planned.


  • Researching digitalisation in remote rural regions during Covid-19: the case of the Scottish Crofters | Leanne Townsend, The James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK
  • Methods from the margins: from Myanmar's digital villages towards a global research agenda | Hilary Faxon, University of California, Berkeley, USA


About the Event

17 November 2021
2pm - 6.30pm

Online Workshop with Zoom

Link to registration

The number of participants is limited.

Further Information