‘Charles M. Ess is our Visiting Professor during 2017!’

Charles Ess (PhD, Pennsylvania State University, USA) is Professor in Media Studies, Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo. He has received awards for teaching and scholarship. His research and publications emphasize cross-cultural and ethical perspectives in Internet Studies, and Information and Computing Ethics.

Recent books include Digital Media Ethics (Polity Press, 2nd edition in 2013), and (with Mia Consalvo), The Handbook of Internet Studies (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). Recent book chapters include: What’s “culture” got to do with it? A (personal) review of CATaC (Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication), 1998-2014. In Routledge Companion to Global Internet Histories (Gerard Goggin, Mark McLelland, eds.), 34-48; and (forthcoming), God Out of the Machine?: The Politics and Economics of Technological Development, in A. Beavers (ed.), Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Philosophy (MIHP) 10. Macmillan. Recent journal special issues include “Communication and Technology,” a special double issue of The Annals of the International Communication Association: Volume 1, Issues 3, 4 (September, December 2017) 2017).

Ess serves as an ethics advisor for a number of research projects, such as: Responsible Ethical Learning with Robotics – REELER (H2020). Ess has held guest professorships in Norway, Germany, Denmark, and France, and is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Drury University (Springfield, Missouri, USA). Ess is a founding member of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP); he has served as Vice-President and then President of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR), and as President (2012-2016) of the International Society for Ethics in Information Technology (INSEIT).​

September 28, 2017

Being human in the digital age – a meeting between Media Studies and Computer Science

The Existential Terrains programme at JMK/IMS and the Department of Computer Science at Stockholm University are announcing a one-day seminar where scholars will present ongoing research, in order to initiate a new dialogue across faculties. The first part of this event will be open to the public: we would like to invite students and SU employees to participate in a cross-faculty discussion. Charles Ess  will participate in this meeting.

When: September 28, 2017. 9:30-18:00
Venue: at DSV in Kista.

March 30, 2017

Digital Media Ethics: Origins, Resources, Cases

The Research  Support Office and the Existential Terrains Programme at the Department of Media Studies are happy to invite you to a seminar with Professor Charles Ess on "Digital Media Ethics: Origins, Resources, Cases​". The seminar  aims to (a) introduce participants to the backgrounds of Digital Media Ethics and the primary ethical frameworks in play; (b) show how these frameworks apply in several real-world cases and examples, including Internet Research Ethics; so as to (c) provide  participants with resources and experience in analyses and strategies for resolving ethical issues that confront them as both "everyday" users of digital media and as researchers within their given disciplines.

Charles Ess  is Professor in Media Studies, Dept of Media and Communication, and Director, Center for Research in Media Innovation (CeRMI), University of Oslo. His research and publications emphasize cross-cultural and ethical perspectives in Internet Studies, and Information  and Computing Ethics.

During the  month of March 2017, Professor Charles Ess will be a Guest Professor in the research programme ’Existential Terrains: Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity’, headed by Wallenberg Academy Fellow and Associate Professor Amanda Lagerkvist at the Department  of Media Studies, Stockholm University.

When: March 30, 2017. 10:00-12:00.

March 16, 2017

DIGMEX Seminar: Digital Media Ethics

During the  month of March 2017, Charles Ess, Professor of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo, will be a Guest Professor in the research programme ’Existential Terrains: Memory and Meaning in Cultures of Connectivity’.

Charles Ess,  Professor of Media and Communication at the University of Oslo. Amanda Todd,  a 15-year-old Canadian teenager, killed herself after enduring some three years of cyberstalking and bullying. Death – and life – online manifest themselves in a thousand other ways as well, evoking a range of ethical challenges and questions. How ought we  best respond to such increasingly common forms of harassment of women, whether as directed against young girls or female journalists who investigate “gamergate” or “alt-right” movements, thereby making themselves easy targets for attack? Where ought we limit  rights to freedom of expression online, e.g., vis-à-vis hate speech? What ought we do about threats to privacy, whether from criminal or state-sponsored hackers, and/or our own governments struggling to combat terrorism? And so on.

As our lives  are more and more entangled in digital technologies, we inevitably face such major and more pedestrian, “everyday” ought (i.e., ethical) questions. Digital Media Ethics (DME), as an ethics “for the rest of us” outside of professional philosophy, seeks to address  these issues in accessible and practical ways, drawing on the insights and approaches from an extensive array of disciplines in both technical (e.g., ICT design, AI, Big Data, etc.) and philosophical fields (including applied ethics). Charles Ess will use  two or three examples that illustrate how DME takes up both ancient ethical philosophies (e.g., virtue ethics), and modern frameworks of utilitarianism, deontology, feminist ethics, and ethics of care, to resolve such common ethical challenges.

Prof. Ess’  research explores the intersections between philosophy, computational technologies, applied ethics, comparative philosophy and religion, and media studies, with particular focus on: research ethics, Digital Religion, and virtue ethics in media and communication,  specifically social robots.

When: JMK, 16 March 2017. 10:00-12:00.
Venue: Bangsalen, Karlavägen 104, Stockholm.


  • Stockholm university
  • Knut och Alice Wallenbergs Stiftelse
  • Wallenberg Academy Fellows
  • Stiftelsen Marcus och Amalia Wallenbergs Minnesfond

EXISTENTIAL TERRAINS is a research programme funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (2014-2018) and by the Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Foundation (2015-2017) headed by Amanda Lagerkvist, PhD., Associate Professor and Wallenberg Academy Fellow at the Department of Media Studies, Stockholm University.