AANA18116U Digital Identities

Volume 2021/2022

Digital media and technologies are ubiquitous in our lives today. We socialize, conduct war, construct news, resist, show solidarity, and so on, using the internet and digital devices. This course explores how digital media are adopted, adapted and made use of in different cultural contexts and how digital media practices shape new forms of identification and vice versa. We are looking at the nexus of identities, digital data and technologies, and established and emerging methods, drawing on literature from anthropology, media studies, and related fields. The course considers how identities have creatively flourished, but also provides a critical interrogation of how various forms of difference and inequality, including gender, class, ethnicity and indigeneity, are reproduced in and through digital data and technologies.

This course begins with considering the history of digital (media) anthropology and ethnography and with exploring theories about identity, re/presentation and different ways identities are constructed and performed through media-related practices, such as social media, internet cultures, and virtual worlds. We will explore sociocultural groups as strategic users of digital media technologies and cover topics such as politics of representation, news, nation-building, religion, conflict, gaming, indigeneity and digital activism. Finally, we will consider the political economic contexts of these technologies and the formation of digital identities.

Learning Outcome

At the end of the course students are expected to:



  • Reflect on how an increasing digitalisation plays out in different sociocultural contexts, in particular with regard to identity formation and politics
  • Apply research strategies from digital anthropology
  • Identify and evaluate ethical issues relating to research on and through digital technologies




  • Describe methods and methodological approaches relating to digital anthropology
  • Understand and reflect on different theories and cases relating to the study of identities and digital technologies
  • Recognise and discuss digital media representations as political interventions and their role in political and community advocacy



  • Conduct analyses of digital identities using methods and tools from anthropology and other relevant disciplines
  • Critically reflect on these methods and on the role of anthropology in research on increasing digitalisation of our social worlds
  • Critically examine the relationship between digital technologies, identities, and their broader social contexts, including related power dynamics

BSc students and MSc students: 500 pages obligatory literature

The teacher will publish 200-300 pages of supplementary literature.

Course literature will be available through Absalon.

The course will use a variety of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, discussions, presentations, and exercises.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Exam
  • 64
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Length: Portfolio exam can be written individually or in groups of Max. 4 students. Portfolio exams consist of 2-7 submissions. For MA students, there is a submission more than for BA students, i.e. if the BA student has to submit five submissions, the MA students must submit six submissions. The number of submissions is set by the lecturer. The total length of all of the submissions must be max. 30,000 keystrokes for one student. For groups of two students, Max. 40,000 keystrokes. For groups of three students, Max. 45,000 keystrokes and for groups of four students, Max. 50,000 keystrokes. In the case of group assignments, the contribution of each individual student must be clearly marked in the assignment. For groups with both BA and MA students, the same number of submissions is required as for MA students. The assignments are assessed jointly with a single grade.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

1st re-exam: An essay must be submitted. The new assignment must be submitted by the deadline for the re-exam.


2nd re-exam: A new essay must be submitted. The new assignment must be submitted by the deadline for the re-exam.


Essay length: 21,600–26,400 keystrokes for an individual submission. 6,750–8,250 keystrokes per extra member for group submissions. The maximum number of students who can write an essay in a group is four.

For groups writing together it must be clearly indicated which parts of the assignment each of the students has written.

Criteria for exam assesment

See description of learning outcome. Formalities for Written Works must be fulfilled, read more: MSc Students/ BA students (in Danish)/ exchange and credit students