Mag. Sophie Wagner, MA

Research Fellow
Member of Research Group Health Matters

Contact Details

Institut für Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien
NIG, 4. Stock


Research Focus Areas

  • Anthropology of Health and Illness
  • Visual Anthropology
  • Sensors and sense-making / More-than-human futures
  • Memory, Imagination, and Embodiment
  • Technology and Care
  • AI and Data Studies

Short Biography

Sophie Wagner is PhD student at the Institute of Social Anthropology in Bern, working with Prof. Dr. Michaela Schäuble in the SNF-funded project “Big Data Lives. Anthropological Perspectives on Tech-Imaginaries and Human Transformations”. In 2023 she joined the Health Matters research group in Vienna as a research fellow. In her current work, Sophie is interested in the impact of automated decision-making technologies on the lives of chronically ill patients and medical professionals. Against the backdrop of persisting imaginaries of tech-solutionism, and in the light of the ongoing datafication of patients’ lives through sensors, she focuses on re-negotiations of “evidence”, “expertise” and “good care”.

As a trained visual anthropologist and documentary filmmaker, multimodal practices are central to Sophie’s work. Her research with type 1 diabetes patients and health care workers involves creative elicitation processes and audiovisual storytelling. Previously, she studied at the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology in Manchester, conducted fieldwork and made films in Israel, Australia and Austria, worked as a researcher for documentaries, taught ethnographic filmmaking and held school workshops on media literacy. Sophie is also a curator for the ethnocineca – International Documentary Film Festival Vienna and organizes the festival’s own filmmaking workshop Filmwerkstatt.

Selected Publications


Imagined Aboriginality. The instrumentalisation of ‚culture’ in the struggles of legitimising and exercising power in multicultural Australia. (Diploma Thesis, University of Vienna, 2012)

On Common Ground. (MA diploma film & thesis, University of Manchester, 2013)

Book Chapter

2013. Eurozentrische Narrative der Authentizität in ihrem rezenten Kontext. In: Australien. 18. Bis 21. Jahrhundert. Geschichte und Gesellschaft. Hrsg. Mückler, Weichart, Edelmayer. ProMedia

Public Speaking

November 2022: “Visualizing Data Bodies. A critical approach to techno-solutionism by allowing for multiple understandings of the chronically ill body.” GSAH Interdisciplinary Cultures Studies – Colloquium “Mediality” with Kate Hennessy

October 2022: “Always ON. More-than-human assemblages of care of people living with type 1 diabetes in Austria.” Colloquium Talk. Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Bern.

July 2022: “Transforming vulnerabilities. Imaginaries and epistemologies of emerging assemblages of care”. EASA conference (Belfast) – Transformation, Hope and the Commons. Panel: Imagining alternative data futures (Alexandra, Schäuble, Verstappen, Wagner).

June 2022: “Negotiating techno-imaginaries in the clinic: the future of ‘good lives’”. RAI conference – Anthropology, AI and the Future of Human Society. Panel: AI and interdisciplinary Futures Anthropology (Pink, Quilty, Lanzeni, Dahlgren)

April 2022: “Entangled Practices. Vom Sehen, Vorstellen, Erinnern und Filmen.“ Workshop at the ethnocincea Filmwerkstatt