pludes's picture

Prof. Dr. Peter Ludes, Ph.D. (USA)

Professor of Mass Communication
Mailing Address:
Jacobs University Bremen
Campus Ring 1
D-28759 Bremen
Telephone: +49 421 200-3476
Fax: +49 421 200-3303
Office: Research IV, Room 127
Office Hours:
by appointment
Research Interests:
Mass media and network communication; multiple modernizations, globalizations, and civilizing processes; intercultural comparisons; global visual communication; classical and modern social theories; digital humanities. In the process of multimedia globalization, a pool of culturally specific, transcultural and global "Key Visuals" has been established. Especially in TV annual reviews, at global media events like the Olympic Games or spread within their crises coverage, eminent and usually often repeated broadcast, web, and mobile media images, in their specific multimodal compositions, create collective (audio-) visual memories. Thereby they enhance mutual expectations and the coordination of social actions. By contrasting screen media from Brazil, China, Germany, India, and the United States, these media cultures are analyzed and compared with respect to key audio-visual narratives of economic, political, social crises and natural catastrophes, in cooperation with Professors John Bateman, University of Bremen, and Kathrin Fahlenbrach, University of Hamburg, as well as Professor Otthein Herzog, Jacobs University Bremen and University of Bremen. To allow for the analysis of large amounts of audio-visual data, the cooperation with the Center for Computing and Communication Technologies of the University of Bremen focuses on new software for the semi-automatic picture retrievals of candidates for Key Visuals in specified domains. The book series "The World Language of Key Visuals", edited by Professors Ludes and Herzog, documents first results of the cooperation between the computer sciences, humanities and social sciences: The first volume, also translated into Portuguese and Chinese, was published in 2005, the second and third volume were published in 2010 and 2011.Member of the research center Visual Communication and Expertise . As co-chair of the European Sociological Association’s research network "Sociology of Communications and Media Research" from 2008 to 2011, Ludes co-organized several international meetings. Complementary to the inquiries into Key Visuals are analyses of media neglects and "Key Invisibles". The German initiative on news enlightenment, which Ludes founded in 1997 discusses these issues each year and publishes the most neglected news ( ). A further major research project focuses on semantic tagging for classical social theories, in cooperation with Prof. Herzog, Jacobs University, and Prof. Frank Welz, Innsbruck University.

Extended CV and Complete List of Publications

University Education:
Fall 2002 Entry at Jacobs University Bremen
1987 Habilitation, Wuppertal University
1983 Ph.D., (USA)
1978 Dr. Phil.
1973-1975 Fulbright Scholar, Brandeis University, Mass., USA
1971-1973 Studies in Sociology, Political Science, and Philosophy, Trier University, Germany
Fellowships and Awards:

With Prof. Dr. Otthein Herzog, Computer  Sciences, Universität Bremen: Ernst A. C. Lange-Preis 2004 for innovative Cooperation of Research projects at universities in Bremen on "key visuals and semi-automatic picture retrieval: Brazil, China, Germany, and the United States": "Visuelle Hegemonien: Modellierung und Entschlüsselung von key visuals im interkulturellen Vergleich" constituted by 10 Professors at Jacobs University Bremen (formerly International University Bremen), 3 colleagues from the Center for Computing Technologies,  University of Bremen, und colleagues from universities in Kassel, Constanze, Loughborough, at MIT, in Salvador-Bahia, Sao Paulo and Shanghai

Research and Teaching Positions:
1994-2002 Associate Professor of Culture and Media Studies
1995-2000 Vice-head of the Collaborative Research Center "Screen Media," Siegen University.
Visiting Positions at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, (1981/82) and at the University of Amsterdam (1987); Research Fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University (1989); Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies at Mannheim University (1994-96); Visiting Professor at the University of Constance (2001).

Peter Ludes' Publication List


More than 150 publications, e.g., "Multimedia and Many Modernities: Key Pictures." With an Introduction by Wolfgang Langenbucher. Book: Television News and World Wide Web - Civilizing Media in the European Monetary Union. CD-ROM: Key Pictures: Science, Politicians and Common People, Economy, the Military and Media. Press Photos, Movies, Television News and Information on the World Wide Web (Multimedia und Multi-Moderne: Schlüsselbilder. Mit einer Einleitung von Wolfgang Langenbucher. Buch: Fernsehnachrichten und World Wide Web - Medienzivilisierung in der Europäischen Währungsunion. CD-ROM: Schlüsselbilder: Wissenschaft, Politiker und einfache Leute, Wirtschaft, Militär und Medien. Pressefotos, Spielfilme, Fernsehnachrichtensendungen und Informationsangebote im World Wide Web. Wiesbaden: Westdeutscher Verlag, 2001); the DVD-ROM "Media and Symbols: European Media Education" (Medien und Symbole: Europäische MedienBILDung.) Mit zwei Beiträgen zur Medienzivilisierung von Jürgen Zinnecker. Technik, Gestaltung, Realisation: Medienzentrum der Universität Siegen, Siegen: UniVerSi 2002; "An Introduction to Media Studies" (Einführung in die Medienwissenschaft), Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 1998, 2nd updated edition 2003."Existential Truths as Prerequisites for a Globalizing Discourse Theory", in: Gary Backhaus and George Psathas (Eds.): The Sociology of Radical Commitment: Kurt H. Wolff's Existential Turn, Lexington Books, pp. 115-136 (2007); (Editor), Visual Hegemonies: An Outline = Volume 1 of The World Language of Key Visuals. Computer Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, edited by Peter Ludes and Otthein Herzog Münster, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Wien: LIT, 2005. 145 Pages (Translation into Portuguese by Leonardo Boccia, with an Introduction by Paulo César Alves,  "Hegemonias Visuais - Uma Introdução", Salvador Bahia: Hexis 2007, 154 Pages. Translation into Chinese by Zhimin Liu, with an Introduction by Stefan Kramer, Beijing: China Radio and Television Press 2008); (Editor) Convergence and Fragmentation: Media Technology and the Information Society = Volume 5 of "Changing Media, Changing Europe Series" (edited by Ib Bondebjerg and Peter Golding). Bristol: Intellect 2008, 256 pages; (with Stefan Kramer, eds.) Networks of Culture = Volume 2 of “The World Language of Key Visuals” (edited by Peter Ludes and Otthein Herzog). Munster: Lit 2010.

Other Professional Activities:


Member of the core group and head of team 3 of the European Science Foundation program „Changing Media – Changing Europe“ (until December 2004); co-chair of the Research Network "Mass Media and Communication" of the European Sociological Association (2008-2011); speaker of an international group of researchers on Key Visuals (since 2003). In 2006, Ludes was chosen as a member of the task force of the International Communication Association on quality assessment, chaired by then president-Elect Sonia Livingstone and external expert for the proposal for a Centre of Excellence in the Study of Democracy and the Digitization of Audiovisual Culture (DIGICULT) of the University of Bergen. He is a referee for national and international science organizations and journals in the fields of media and communication.


Funded Projects:

With Prof. Dr. Otthein Herzog, Center for Computing and Communication Technologies, Bremen University, and Wisdom Professor of Visual Information Technologies at Jacobs University Bremen on the Automatic Identification and Classification of Persons as Key-Visual-Candidates (2008-2012, funded by the DFG): We focus on the domains of state heads and common people, top sportspeople and spectators in German and US TV Annual reviews from 1999-2010. Through mutual learning from detailed manual coding and improved automatic identification, we intend to reduce the semantic gap for these domains of video analyses.
A previous DFG-funded project, with Prof. Dr. Keval J. Kumar, Pune, India, in 2008, focused on Key Visuals in Indian and German TV Annual reviews, analysing TV annual reviews of the two major Indian TV channels, Doordarshan (the public service government-run channel) and NDTV (one of the major private commercial news channels).
With Prof. Dr. Luo Quing, Communication University of China, Beijing, and a network of media scholars from ten countries (2008, authorized by the IOC) we focused on: Communication on the Olympics: The Challenge and Opportunity for Beijing 2008 in Intercultural Exchange.