Prof Dr Felicitas Macgilchrist

Felicitas Macgilchrist is Head of the Media | Transformation department and Professor of Media Research at the Georg-August-University of Goettingen’s Institute of Education. Her current research focuses on the social implications of educational technology, including critical approaches to the policies and practices of digital education.

She studied psychology, education and applied linguistics, gained her PhD in cultural sciences from the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder and her habilitation in educational studies from the Technical University in Braunschweig. She has been a visiting scholar in New York, Ghent and Birmingham and has taught on media, discourse studies, cultural studies and English in Russia, Germany, Vietnam, Belgium, the UK and the USA. In 2009, she joined the Georg Eckert Institute, and has been Department Head since 2015.

Felicitas is a member of the steering group of the DiscourseNet research network, is on the editorial board of Learning, Media and Technology, Zeitschrift für Diskursforschung and Historical Encounters, and tweets @discoursology.

Research interests:

  • Digital education: What kinds of futures are, for instance, imagined by today's edtech, educational policy or school practices?
  • Memory practices: How does, for instance, the mediality of high school history education enact or interrupt a colonial logic of global hierarchies?
  • Post-qualitative inquiry: How do, for instance, discourse studies, ethnography, implementation research, software studies and grounded theory help us to explore educational technology or memory practices?


  • In the joint "DATAFIED: DATA For and In EDucation - The Construction of School in a Datafied Society" research project, the GEI's project investigates the design and development of data-driven learning software, asking which imaginings of good school and good teaching are encoded into these media. 
  • Historical Thinking with Digital Media generates detailed descriptions of classroom practice using digital textbooks. The project explores how the ‘mBook History’ is used in everyday school practice. It investigates the potential of digital textbooks to foster historical reasoning and digital competences in comparison to printed textbooks. 
  • The Discourse of EdTech project analyses the contemporary discourse about digital educational media and student data in Germany and the USA. It aims to tease out which policies and practices are shaping media change in today's schools.
  • The globalDAS project inquires into the role of digital technology in the daily creative appropriation of (soft and critical) global citizenship at selected German Schools Abroad in North and South America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
  • "DigiHan: Digital Schools. Processes, Practices, Potentials" is a pilot study which aims to identify, together with the University of Göttingen, key elements which facilitate and hinder the implementation of digital education in primary and secondary schools.
  • In Reimagining Literacy Education: Being literate in the 21st century, we team up with partners in Canada, Australia, the UK and the USA to comparatively investigate digital literacy practices, with a special look at makerspaces in these countries. 

Selected recent presentations

  • Macgilchrist, F. (2018) Digitality and Education for Sustainable Development. Annual Conference on Sustainability, Göttingen, Germany. (Video here)
  • Macgilchrist, F. (2017) Digitalisierung und Schule. Bildungspolitisches Forum (LERN), Berlin, Germany. (PDF here)
  • Macgilchrist, F. (2017) Datafication and educational technology: On shaping social orders through "the most data-minable industry". ICA Pre-conference on "Data and the Future of Critical Social Research", San Diego, USA. (Prezi here)



Edited volumes

  • Macgilchrist, F., Christophe, B., & Binnenkade, A. (2015). Memory Practices and History Education. Special issue of the Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society (JEMMS), 7(2).
  • Angermuller, J., Herschinger, E., Macgilchrist, F., Nonhoff, M., Reisigl, M., Wedl, J., Wrana, D., & Ziem, A. (2014) Diskursforschung: Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch [Discourse Research: An Interdisciplinary Handbook] (Bielefeld: transcript). Vol. 1: Theorien, Methodologien und Kontroversen, edited by Angermuller, Nonhoff et al.; Vol. 2: Methoden und Analysepraxis. Perspektiven auf Hochschulreformdiskurse, edited by Nonhoff, Herschinger et al.

Articles (peer reviewed)

    Book chapters (on digital education)

    • Macgilchrist, F. (2018). The “digital subject” of 21st century education: On datafication, educational technology and subject formation. In Peter Pericles Trifonas & Susan Jagger (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Cultural Studies in Education. New York: Routledge.
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2018). Die medialen Subjekte des 21. Jahrhunderts: Digitale Kompetenzen und/oder Critical Digital Citizenship. In Heidrun Allert, Christoph Richter & Michael Asmussen (Eds), Digitalität und Selbst: Interdisziplinäre Perspektiven auf Subjektivierungs- und Bildungsprozesse. Bielefeld: transcript, 145-168.
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2017). Digitale Schulbücher: Chancen und Herausforderungen für den politischen Fachunterricht. In Harald Gapski, Monika Oberle & Walter Staufer (Eds), Medienkompetenz als Herausforderung für Politik, politische Bildung und Medienbildung. Bonn: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 226-234. (open access)
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2018). Zur Medialität des Schulbuchs. In Matthias Proske & Kerstin Rabenstein (Eds), Kompendium Qualitative Unterrichtsforschung. Unterricht beobachten – beschreiben – rekonstruieren. Bad Heilbrunn Klinkhardt-Verlag, 281-298.

    Book chapters (on memory practices)

    • Macgilchrist, F. (2017) Psychologie. In: Roth, Kersten/Wengeler, Martin/Ziem, Alexander (Eds): Handbuch Sprache in Politik und Gesellschaft. Berlin: de Gruyter, 568-587.
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2017) History education and memory practices: On curricula, classrooms and media. In: Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Eds): European Commemoration: Conference Proceedings. Berlin. (available online)
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2015) Geschichte und Dissens: Diskursives Ringen um Demokratie in der Schulbuchproduktion. In Susann Fegter, Fabian Kessl, Antje Langer, Marion Ott, Daniela Rothe & Daniel Wrana (Eds), Erziehungswissenschaftliche Diskursforschung: Empirische Analysen zu Bildungs- und Erziehungsverhältnissen. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 193-209.
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2015) Memory Practices: On What Counts as Worth Remembering in History Education. In: THEN|HiER Bulletin.
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2014) Media discourse and de/coloniality: A post-foundational approach. In C. Hart, P. Cap  (Hrsg.), Contemporary Studies in Critical Discourse Analysis, London: Continuum, p. 387-407.
    • Macgilchrist, F. & Müller, L. (2012) Kolonialismus und Modernisierung: Das diskursive Ringen um Afrika bei der Schulbuchentwicklung. In Manuel Aßner, Jessica Breidbach, Abdel-Amine Mohammed, David Schommer & Katja Voss (Hrsg.), AfrikaBilder im Wandel? Frankfurt a.M.: Peter Lang, 195-208. (pdf)
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2011) Schulbücher und Postkolonialisms: Die Praxis der Schulbuchentwicklung. In Karl. W. Hoffmann & Philippe Kersting (Hrsg.), "Afrikaspiegelbilder" - Was erzählen uns europäische Afrikabilder über Europa? Mainz: Mainzer Kontaktstudium Geographie.

    Other book chapters (on discourse and media)

    • Macgilchrist, F. (2017/in press) Textbooks. In John Flowerdew & John Richardson. Routledge Handbook of Critical Discourse Studies. London: Routledge.
    • Angermuller, J. & Macgilchrist, F. (2014) Einleitung: Konzepte und Kontroversen der Diskurstheorie. In: J. Angermuller, E. Herschinger, F. Macgilchrist, M. Nonhoff, M. Reisigl, J. Wedl, D. Wrana & A. Ziem (Hrsg.): Diskursforschung: Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch, Band 1: Theorien, Methodologien und Kontroversen. Bielefeld: transcript, p. 343-346.
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2014) Several entries, including ethnographische Diskursanalyse, positive Diskursanalyse, thematische Diskuranalyse, Systemisch-Funktionale Linguistik, Lexikogrammatik. In: Daniel Wrana, Alexander Ziem, Martin Reisigl, Martin Nonhoff, Johannes Angermüller (Eds), DiskursNetz: Wörterbuch der interdisziplinären Diskursforschung. Berlin: Suhkamp.
    • Macgilchrist, F. & Otto, M. (2014) Schulbücher für den Geschichtsunterricht, Version 1.0. In Docupedia-Zeitgeschichtea, 18. 2.2014, URL:
    • Macgilchrist, F. & Porsché, Y. (2014) Diskursforschung in der Psychologie. In: J. Angermuller, E. Herschinger, F. Macgilchrist, M. Nonhoff, M. Reisigl, J. Wedl, D. Wrana & A. Ziem (Hrsg.): Diskursforschung: Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch, Band 1: Theorien, Methodologien und Kontroversen. Bielefeld: transcript, 239-260.
    • van Dyk, S., Langer, A., Macgilchrist, F., Wrana, D. & Ziem, A. (2014) Discourse and beyond? Zum Verhältnis von Sprache, Materialität und Praxis. In: J. Angermuller, E. Herschinger, F. Macgilchrist, M. Nonhoff, M. Reisigl, J. Wedl, D. Wrana & A. Ziem (Hrsg.): Diskursforschung: Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch, Band 1: Theorien, Methodologien und Kontroversen. Bielefeld: transcript, p. 347-363.
    • Macgilchrist, F., Ott, M. & Langer, A. (2014) Der praktische Vollzug von „Bologna“: Eine ethnographische Diskursanalyse. In: M. Nonhoff, E. Herschinger, J. Angermüller, F. Macgilchrist, M. Reisigl, J. Wedl, D. Wrana & A. Ziem (Hrsg.): Diskursforschung: Ein interdisziplinäres Handbuch. Band II. Bielefeld: transcript, p. 37-57.
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2013) Is ‘empowerment’ still a useful concept? Rethinking media practice with Rancière and the ‘emancipated spectator’. In R. Gerodimos, D. Jackson, D. Lilleker & R. Scullion (Eds.), The Media, Political Participation and Empowerment. London: Routledge, 91-102.
    • Macgilchrist, F. & Christophe, B. (2011) Shaping the global: Theory and methods for exploring the production of globalization with educational media. In Susanne Knudsen, Jesus Rodriguez & Mike Horsley (Hrsg.), Local, National, and Transnational Identities in Textbooks and Educational Media, 101-111. (With Barbara Christophe).
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2010) Publish or Perish? A genre approach to getting published in leading English-language journals. In Katrin Girgensohn (Hrsg.) Kompetent zum Doktortitel: Konzepte zur Förderung Promovierender. (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag), 155-168.
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2009) The view from elsewhere: Western mediation of potential sources of Russian dislocation. In Philipp Casula & Jeronim Perovic (Hrsg.), Identities and Politics During Putin's Presidency. (Stuttgart: ibidem), 334-354.
    • Macgilchrist, F. (2007) Metaphorical Politics – Is Russia ‘western’ or not in the UK, US and German press coverage of the Russian-Chechen conflict? In C. Baker, C. Gerry, B. Madaj, E. Mellish & J. Nahodilova (Hrsg.), Nation in Formation: Inclusion and Exclusion in Central and Eastern Europe(London: SSEES Occasional Papers), 73-90.