Prof Dr Felicitas Macgilchrist

Felicitas Macgilchrist is Head of the Textbook as Media 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 coordinates the English-language DiscourseNet portal, 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?


  • Schools in the Cloud generates detailed descriptions of lesson designs that incorporate digital media and the School Cloud (Schul-Cloud). The project will conclude by drafting a written concept with suggestions for pedagogically beneficial ways to implement this technology in the school day.
  • 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.
  • In digDAS. Digital Media and Deutsche Auslandsschulen, we explore how concepts for digital education are developed and enacted at selected German Schools Abroad in the USA, Bolivia and Singapore.
  • The globalDAS project inquires into 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. 
  • The research group Memory Practices: Enacting and Contesting the Curriculum in Contemporary Classrooms (MeP) explores how collective memory is consolidated, interrupted and transformed in contemporary media-saturated educational practices. The project pays particular attention to conflicts over which knowledges and memories are thought to be of most worth.

Selected recent presentations

  • Macgilchrist, F. (2017) Digitalisierung und Schule. Bildungspolitisches Forum (LERN), Berlin, Germany. (PDF here)
  • Macgilchrist, F. (2017) The 21st Century Media Subject: Policy-Making in Digital Education. ECER, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 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)



  • Macgilchrist, F. (in press). Discourse, digital education and the teacher: Driving change in educational technology. Culture-Society-Education.
  • Macgilchrist, F. (in press). From texts to implementation and practice: Contributions to research on how students use educational media In Tânia Maria F. Braga Garcia  et al. (Ed.), Contributions to Educational Media Research, IARTEM.
  • Macgilchrist, F. (in press). 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. (forthcoming). Praktiken. In Inka Bormann & Inga Truschkat (Eds.), Einführung in die erziehungswissenschaftliche Diskursforschung. Theoretische Konzepte und methodisches Vorgehen. Weinheim: Juventa Verlag.
  • Macgilchrist, F. (under review). Cruel optimism: When the digital data practices of educational technology providers inadvertently hinder educational equity. Learning, Media and Technology (Special issue on Datafication and Education).


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). 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.