Dr. Irina Zakharova

Postdoctoral researcher at the Leibniz University Hannover, working group Sociology of Digitalisation since 2023. Earlier, I worked at the University of Bremen and the Institute for Information Management Bremen (ifib) and was associated with ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication and Information Research. I was a visiting scholar at the Department for Media and Communication Studies at Södertörn University Stockhom in 2022.

My research is in the fields of Data Studies and feminist Science and Technology Studies. I am interested in data practices in public service provision in the welfare states, knowledge production in datafied world, and datafication of school education. Since 2018 I have been working in research projects empirically investigating datafication processes in public educational organisations (K-12) in Germany (e.g. MAL, DATAFIED, AiD).

I completed my Master's degree in 2018 in the Media Culture program at the University of Bremen with a thesis on the appropriation of assistive technologies in elder care. Before coming to Bremen, I graduated with an honors degree in public relations from Moscow State Administrative University in 2014. I also worked in areas of public relations and marketing in various companies.

I am YECREA representative of the ECREA section "Digital Culture and Communication".

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Publications and talks

Edited collections

  • Zakharova, Irina &Juliane Jarke. 2024. Care-ful data studies: Or, what do we see, when we look at datafied societies through the lens of care? Information, Communication & Society 27(4). 10.1080/1369118X.2024.2316758 (OA) 

Doctoral Thesis

Zakharova, Irina. 2022. Understanding data studies. A conceptual and methodological inquiry into research on datafication. Doctoral thesis. https://doi.org/10.26092/elib/1675 (OA)

Peer reviewed journal & conference papers

Book chapters and other papers

  • Zakharova, Irina & Annekatrin Bock. 2023. Researching in/visibilities and data practices in education. On Education. Journal for Research and Debate, 6(18). https://doi.org/10.17899/on_ed.2023.18.4 (OA) 
  • Roeske, Adrian, Büntemeyer, Doreen, Zakharova, Irina, & Andreas Breiter. 2023. Digitale Methoden in Bildungsforschung und Bildungspraxis. Ein Chatbot als Untersuchungsinstrument. In Schiefner-Rohs, M., Hofhues, S. & A. Breiter (eds.) Datafizierung (in) der Bildung. Kritische perspektiven auf digitale Vermessung in pädagogischen Kontexten. Transkript-Verlag. https://www.transcript-verlag.de/media/pdf/b0/d7/91/oa9783839465820.pdf (OA)
  • Juliane Jarke, Sigrid Hartong, Tjark Raabe, Vito Dabisch, Angelina Lange, Irina Zakharova, Andreas Breiter. 2023. Zur Erfassung und Modellierung der „Hinterbühne“ von Datenflüssen: Das Beispiel Unterrichtsausfall. In Bock, A., Breiter, A., Hartong, S., Jornitz, S. & F. Macgilchrist (eds.) Die datafizierte Schule. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-38651-1_3 (OA) 
  • Felicitas Macgilchrist, Jasmin Troeger, Irina Zakharova, Juliane Jarke. 2023. Digital ist besser!? - Wie Software das Verständnis von guter Schule neu definiert. In Bock, A., Breiter, A., Hartong, S., Jornitz, S. & F. Macgilchrist (eds.) Die datafizierte Schule. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-38651-1_4 (OA)
  • Ben Mayer, Sieglinde Jornitz, Irina Zakharova, Yan Brick, Juliane Jarke. 2023. Pandemiebedingte Schulschließungen und die Nutzung digitaler Technologien. Welchen Einblick Twitter- und Interviewanalysen geben können. In Bock, A., Breiter, A., Hartong, S., Jornitz, S. & F. Macgilchrist (eds.) Die datafizierte Schule. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-38651-1_6 (OA)
  • Macgilchrist, F., Bock, A., Breiter, A., Dabisch, V., Hartong, S., Jarke, J., Jornitz, S., Mayer, B., Lange, A., Raabe, T., Zakharova, I., & Troeger, J. (2023). Werkstattbericht – Ein Blick auf die Hinterbühne der DATAFIED Forschung. In A. Bock, A. Breiter, S. Hartong, J. Jarke, S. Jornitz, A. Lange, & F. Macgilchrist (Eds.), Die datafizierte Schule (pp. 195–209). Springer Fachmedien. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-38651-1_7 (OA)
  • Zakharova, Irina, Jarke, Juliane, & Breiter, Andreas. (2022). Affinity Spaces as an Analytical Lens for Attending to Temporality in Critical Data Studies: The Case of COVID-19-Related, Educational Twitter Communication. In A. Hepp, J. Jarke, & L. Kramp (Eds.), New Perspectives in Critical Data Studies: The Ambivalences of Data Power (pp. 345–369). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-96180-0_15 (OA)

Working papers

Workshops and panels

Public Talks & Writing

  • Büchner, Stefanie & Irina Zakharova. Living Infrastructures – Warum Partizipation für eine nachhaltige Digitalisierung zentral ist und nicht für Pilotprojekte reserviert sein sollte. Accessible online: Binaire Magazin
  • OPEN CAMPUS Bremen. Talk: Die digitalisierte Datenwelt kritisch erforschen. Bremen, 24. Juni 2023
  • Zakharova, Irina. Daten und Datenpraktiken in einer digitalisierten Welt. For the project „Digitales Deutschland“ in Online-Magazin „kompetent. Wissen, Fühlen, Handeln im digitalen Wandel“. Accessible online: https://digid.jff.de/magazin/daten/datenpraktiken/ 
  • OPEN CAMPUS Bremen. Project presentation: DATAFIED – Datafication for and in Education. Bremen, 15.6.2019, with Dr. Juliane Jarke. 

Invited talks 

Talks (selection)

  •  Zakharova, Irina. Understanding Data Studies - Rethinking research on datafication methodologically and conceptually. ECREA 2022, 9th European Communication Conference, 19.-22.10.2022, Aarhus, Denmark. 
  • Zakharova, Irina. Understanding Data Studies - A methodological and conceptual inquiry into research on datafication. Data Power Conference: Dialogues in Data Power, 22.-24.06.2022, Bremen, Germany. 
  • Zakharova, Irina. Data Inquiry: Methodological Considerations on Datafication in Social Research. Annual Conference of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) 2021, 13.-15.10.2021. Virtual event.
  • Jarke, Juliane & Irina Zakharova. Data friction: Understanding data management as care work. 4S Conference, 6.-9.10.2021. Toronto, USA (virtual).
  • Zakharova, Irina & Juliane Jarke. “All Data Are Cooked”: Reflecting on Recipes for Researching Educational Data Practices. ECER 2021, 06.-10.09.2021, Geneva, Switzerland (virtual).
  • Zakharova, Irina & Annekatrin Bock. Research implications of (in)visible data agency. Conference “Agency in a Datafied Society: Communication between and across humans, platforms and machines”, 29.-30.7.2021, Bremen, Germany (virtual).
  • Bock, Annekatrin & Irina Zakharova. Researching (in)visible data. Dreiländertagung DACH21. 07.-09.04.2021, Zürich, Switzerland (virtual).
  • Zakharova, Irina & Juliane Jarke. Educational technologies as matters of care. New Materialist Informatics Conference, 23.-25.3.2021, Kassel, Germany (virtual).
  • Zakharova, Irina & Juliane Jarke (2020): Software-as-process: reflecting on the use of network-, process-, and discourse-based research artefacts. 4S / EASST, 18.-21.8.2020. virPrague (digital).


2023. Bremen Thesis Award 2023 for Outstanding Final Theses for the dissertation in the field of social sciences and humanities. Read in English

2021. Berninghausen Award for Outstanding Teaching in "participatory teaching" category for the course "Methods of participatory Software Design", Team-Teaching with  Dr. Juliane Jarke, University of Bremen. Read in German


2023/24                             Digital welfare state & Digital education and inequalities
                                            (Bachelor, U Hannover)

2022                                   Mediatization and Datafication of Society,  
                                            Co-Teaching with Prof. Dr. Göran Bolin (Master, U Södertörn)

2021/22                             Seminar for the lecture "Digitale Gesellschaft" (digital society)
                                            (Lecture by Dr. Juliane Jarke) (Bachelor, U Bremen)

2018, 19, 21, 22, 23          Methods of Participatory Software Design, 2018-2021 
                                             Co-Teaching with Dr. Juliane Jarke; (Master, U Bremen)

2019/20                             Bachelorproject Business models for open educational resources, 
                                            Co-Teaching with Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter (U Bremen)

2018/19                             Empirical Methods for Informatics/Digital Media, 
                                            Co-Teaching with Dr. Juliane Jarke (Bachelor, U Bremen)