RMeS RMa Course: Trending Topics 2016

Shifting Perspectives

When? 19 & 26 February 12.00-17.00 (changed date!)/ 4 & 18 March 12.00-17.00 / 31 March (UU) & 1 April (UvA) presentation day 9.30-17.00 / 15 april deadline paper
Where?  Utrecht University
Course? RMa Course: Trending Topics
Coordinator? dr. Maryn Wilkinson (UvA)
Guest lectures by? See below
Organisation? RMeS
Open to? First and second year RMa students in Media Studies, who are a member of a Dutch Graduate Research School (onderzoekschool). Students who are members of RMeS will have first access. RMeS staff and PhD researchers are welcome to sit in on specific sessions; please send an e-mail to RMeS if you intend to attend one or more seminar sessions: rmes-fgw@uva.nl
Registration  (max number of participants: 25)

Each spring, the Research School for Media Studies offers a Trending Topics course where faculty members from eight participating universities (UvA, UU, VU, EUR, UL, UM, RUG, RUN) present the latest research in their fields of interest, in a series of lectures and workshops. The course invites RMA students to participate in an international, cutting edge research environment, while earning credits towards their degree. It presents a unique opportunity to get to know other students and leading academics from all over The Netherlands, in an open setting of engaging and ambitious exchange that would prove particularly fruitful for students who are aspiring to pursue a future career in academic research or teaching. All eight universities accept the credits earned in this module.

Media studies today is decreasingly tied to specific media types (film, television, or digital media) or practices (e.g. journalism), and is instead turning to the areas of interaction between them. The crossovers between these specific areas of expertise are both theoretically and methodologically challenging. Larger trends such as digitization and convergence prompt researchers to study the complex interrelation of technological changes and media content, users, and producers. Under a different umbrella theme each year, Trending Topics presents four lecture sessions that take a closer look at a major trend in the field, by bringing into dialogue two presentations by guest lecturers, who have just published books and/or articles in their respective areas of expertise. A fifth session revolves around student presentations of their own prospective work. All sessions, assignments, readings and preparatory work are supervised and marked by dr. Maryn Wilkinson (UvA)-the coordinator of the course.

In order to successfully complete the course (and earn the 6ECs), students are required to read assigned texts and prepare select assignments for each session. Students will also have to write and pass a final paper (5000 words, deadline April 15th/resit May) on one of the ‘trending topics’, and give an in-class presentation during the final session. In addition to Trending Topics, three themed tutorials (of 6EC each) are offered in the spring semester with topics closely related to some of the areas of research addressed in the course.


13.00-17.00 on Friday, February 19th, 2016 : “New Perspectives on Film Theory”

  • Dr. Blandine Joret (UvA)
  • Prof. Annie van den Oever (RUG)

13.00-17.00 on Friday, February 26th, 2016: “Shifting Sentiments”

  • Daniël de Zeeuw
  • Dr. Niels van Doorn (UvA)

13.00-17.00 on Friday, March 4th, 2016: “Rethinking Participatory Culture”

  •   Dr. Maarten Michielse (UM)
  •   Dr. Anne Kustritz (UU)

13.00-17.00 on Friday, March 18th, 2016: “Innovation and the Cultural Industries” 

  • Dr. Tamara Witschge (RUG)
  • Dr. Amanda Paz Alancar (EUR)


Masterclass with Shannon Mattern (The New School)

Masterclass with Shannon Mattern (The New School)
“Infrastructural Tourism”

Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis

Date: Friday, May 13, 2016
Time: 10:00-12:00
Place: University Library (Belle van Zuylenzaal), Singel 425
For: Research Master and PhD Students
Organizers: Christoph Lindner and Carolyn Birdsall
Registration: nica-fgw@uva.nl
Contact: C.J.Birdsall@uva.nl

We seem to have come to a sudden recognition that the Internet is a place made of countless material things – cables and data centers and rare earth minerals. We’ve witnessed a dawning realization that our Amazonian consumptive appetites are dependent on similarly heavy logistical systems and exploitative labor practices. We’ve surrendered to the reality of the Anthropocene and its precarious infrastructural, environmental, political, and ethical futures. This emergent infrastructural intelligence has spawned an explosion of infrastructural “literacy” and engagement projects that seek to “make visible the invisible,” to call out the unrecognized, to bore into the “black-boxed.” Grand Tours of nuclear infrastructures and key sites in telecom history have inspired many a recent Bildungsroman, in myriad mediated forms. Apps and data visualizations, soundwalks and speculative design workshops, DIY manuals and field guides, urban dashboards and participatory mappings, hackathons and infrastructural tourism – strategies employed by artists and activists and even some city governments and federal agencies – all seek to “raise awareness” among a broader public about infrastructure’s existence and its politics. They aim, further, to motivate non-specialist communities to contribute to infrastructure’s maintenance and improvement, to inspire citizen-consumers to advocate for more accessible and justly distributed resources, and perhaps even to “engineer” their own DIY networks.

In this masterclass we’ll explore various pedagogical strategies, representational techniques, and modeling methods that have been employed to promote “infrastructural intelligence” — and we’ll consider what epistemologies, ontologies, ethics, affects, and politics are embedded in those approaches.

Short Bio
Shannon Mattern is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at The New School. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She is author of The New Downtown Library: Designing with Communities and Deep Mapping the Media City (both published by University of Minnesota Press), and she writes a regular column about urban data and mediated infrastructures for Places, a journal focusing on architecture, urbanism, and landscape. You can find her at www.wordsinspace.net

Visit our website: www.cities.humanities.uva.nl

Worlding the Brain. Patterns, Rhythms, Narratives in Neuroscience and the Humanities

Date: March 17-19, 2016
Location: University of Amsterdam 

Preliminary program WORLDING THE BRAIN_040216
CONFERENCE READER Worlding the Brain

RMeS RMa students can obtain 2 EC by preparing for and attending the international conference “Worlding the Brain: Patterns, Rhythms, Narrative in Neuroscience and the Humanities” in Amsterdam on March 17-19, 2016. This conference explores the ‘worldings’ of the brain in various discursive, cultural and technological environments and reflects upon the entanglements of neuronal processes with cultural practices. Confirmed keynote speakers are Prof. N. Katherine Hayles (Duke University), Prof. Jean Pierre Changeux (Collège de France, Institut Pasteur) and Prof. Andreas Roepstorff (Aarhus University). In order to obtain credits, students have to attend the conference, study the conference reader (ca. 170 pp.) and write a brief report. In order to register please send an e-mail with your name, university and research school to rmes-fgw@uva.nl before March 7, 2016. (RMeS RMa students are eligible for a fee waiver).

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

  • Prof. N. Katherine Hayles (Duke University)
  • Prof. Jean Pierre Changeux (Collège de France, Institut Pasteur)
  • Prof. Andreas Roepstorff (Aarhus University)

The human brain is ubiquitous in contemporary science and culture. Knowledge of the brain has made the journey from the labs of cognitive neuroscientists out into the world, where it has taken on a life of its own in various social fields and artistic and intellectual discourses, including the humanities. This interest in the brain and its influence on culture at large are likely to continue, with the recent multi-billion US Brain initiative and EU Human Brain Project now being in place. At the same time, in a parallel development to the cultural dissemination of brain research, cognitive neuroscientists are increasingly interested in how the brain’s functional and structural properties are partly determined by its material, social and cultural environments. New research has begun to address how the brain responds to specific social and discursive practices or cultural information and how it is influenced by art, technology and social exchanges. This interest in the interaction between brains and their environments has led to fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations between neuroscientists, social scientists and humanities scholars.

The ‘worlding’ of the brain occurs when we place the brain in worldly contexts, study its interaction with various environments and reflect upon its entanglements with cultural practices and processes. It is our aim to bring together scholars from different backgrounds in an interdisciplinary setting that stimulates a productive exchange of different views of the mutual influence of the extra-cerebral world on the brain and the brain on the world. In order to study these processes, we will focus on patterns, rhythms and narratives as central themes of the symposium. On the one hand, patterns, rhythms, and narratives are used to sort, integrate, abstract and contextualize information in the brain. On the other hand, they are found in historical, social and cultural processes that provide the brain with environmentally specific information. Combining these perspectives can yield wide-ranging insights. This symposium will therefore bring together neuroscientific, social scientific and humanities perspectives on the role of patterns, rhythms and narratives in worldings of the brain.

Conference website: www.worldingthebrain2016.com

This symposium is organized by the ASCA research group Neuroaesthetics and Neurocultures, and in collaboration with the following partners:

Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, the Amsterdam Centre for Globalization Studies, the Koninklijke Nederlandse Academie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam Brain and Cognition, the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), and Art of Neuroscience

RMeS PhD & RMa Network Event

How Do You…Advance?: Career Paths in and Beyond Media Studies

Friday February 26, 13:00-17:30
Utrecht University, Drift 23 – Room 1.13

RMeS is proud to present the next installment of our annual RMA and PhD network event, this year focusing on career development and branching out into the field of media studies.

In the last two years, the RMeS council has organized a series of “How do you…” network events: the 2014 event addressed methodology (How Do You… Work?) and last year’s event focused on the process of writing and rewriting (How Do You… (Re)Write?). This year’s event will examine the challenges and opportunities of pursuing a career in, and beyond, academic media studies. How to decide whether an academic career in media studies is for you? How do you prepare and plan a career in or outside academia? How can you improve your chances of career progression, and develop yourself in or beyond the field of media studies?

Whether you are a RMA student contemplating the next move or a PhD candidate considering future employment in academia or beyond academia, this event is for you!

The network event exists of two types of activities:

  1. Several media scholars will speak about the challenges and opportunities they faced while building a career in and beyond academia. Speakers: Nicolle Lamerichs (Lecturer International Communication & Media, Hogeschool Utrecht), Martijn Kleppe (Advisor/Project leader International Collaboration and Digital Scholarship, Koninklijke Bibliotheek) and Koen Leurs, (Assistant Professor in Gender and Postcolonial studies at the Graduate Gender Program, Utrecht University and grant recipient of NWO-Veni research project ‘Young connected migrants. Comparing digital practices of young asylum seekers and expatriates in the Netherlands’).
  2. Participants will meet and exchange ideas with other PhD or RMA students in the field, and jointly reflect on the current and future possibilities for a career in or beyond media studies.

For the latter part of the program, we will compile a list of useful resources for media students/scholars. Therefore, we ask you to please send us your suggestions on:

  • Exchange programs
  • Relevant grants, award programs or scholarships
  • Training programs
  • Media studies related communities, platforms, institutes, or networks
  • Databases
  • Work placement or internship websites for employment in or outside academia
  • Any other resources you found useful in your experience as media students/scholars

Registration: Please register no later than February 19 via http://goo.gl/forms/VXp8x2qvXR.

The event will take place on Friday February 26, 13:00 – 17:30 in Utrecht with drinks afterwards.

For questions of any kind please contact us by email at phdcouncil.rmes@gmail.com.

We are looking forward to meeting you there!

The RMeS PhD Council (Simone Driessen, Alex Gekker, Tim Groot Kormelink, Birte Schohaus, Rik Spanjers, Lianne Toussaint)

Masterclass: Prof. Charlie Beckett (LSE) & Prof. Mark Deuze (UvA)

Emotion and the Future of Journalism

Date: Saturday, 20 February 2016
Time: 10 – 13 hrs
Venue: University Library – Doelenzaal. Singel 425, Amsterdam
Speakers: Prof. Charlie Beckett, London School of Economics and Prof. dr. Mark Deuze, University of Amsterdam
Open to: Masterclass: PhD researchers and Research Master students who are a member of RMeS or another National Graduate Research School | Public Lecture: Open to all
Credits: 1 ECTS
Coordination: RMeS/prof. Deuze
Registration: Maximum participants in the event: 10 / Register before: 8 February 2016
Registration for RMa students & PhD Candidates
Registration public lecture: please send an e-mail to rmes-fgw@uva.nl

RMeS is proud to host Professor Charlie Beckett, founding director of POLIS, the think-tank for research and debate in to international journalism and society in the Media and Communications Department of the London School of Economics. Before academia Charlie Beckett was senior producer and programme editor at the BBC and ITN’s Channel 4. He will speak about the role of emotion in the future of journalism.


10:00 Doors open; coffee, tea

10.15 Welcome by Prof. dr. Mark Deuze, Director RMeS

10.30 – 11.30 Public Lecture – Prof. Charlie Beckett
(Open to all)

How is emotion animating new narratives and relationships with audiences? What are the opportunities and challenges emotion throws up for journalism? These questions are put in the broader context of the state of journalism and the central paradox at the moment that journalists have never had more powerful tools to create content and connect to the public, and yet, journalism has never been more vulnerable in terms of its ability to sustain itself, to command attention and to maintain qualities.

11.30 – 13.00 Masterclass- Prof. Charlie Beckett
Discussion chaired by Prof. Deuze
(for RMa and PhD only)

Preparation and readings:

Each registered participant has to prepare two well-argued questions or propositions for Professor Beckett, grounded in the readings for the masterclass. These questions need to be submitted (as a PDF attachment) to: mdeuze [at] uva.nl by 5pm on Friday, February 19. ECTS will be conferred based on meeting this deadline, the quality of the questions/propositions submitted, attendance to the masterclass, and active participation in the discussion.

Set Readings to prepare

Beckett, Charlie (2010) The value of networked journalism. POLIS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. http://www.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/POLIS/documents/Polis%20papers/ValueofnetworkedJournalism.pdf.

Beckett, Charlie (2015) How journalism is turning emotional and what that might mean for news. POLIS. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/polis/2015/09/10/how-journalism-is-turning-emotional-and-what-that-might-mean-for-news.

Deuze, M. (2014). Journalism, Media Life, and the Entrepreneurial Society. In: Australian Journalism Review 36(2), 119-130. http://deuze.blogspot.nl/2014/10/journalism-media-life-and.html.

Background readings

Beckett, Charlie (2012) Communicating for change: media and agency in the networked public sphere POLIS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

Beckett, Charlie (2011) WikiLeaks: news in the networked era Polity Press, Cambridge, UK.

Deuze, M. (2008). The Changing Context of News Work: Liquid Journalism for a Monitorial Citizenry [online]. In: International Journal of Communication 2. Available: ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/290.

Credits & certificate

Certificates of participation and credits are available upon request after the event. Event coordinators will decide whether the participant has fulfilled all requirements for the ECTS. Please direct your request to RMeS-fgw@uva.nl and include the postal address you want the certificate send to. Note: the certificate itself is not valid as ECTS, you need to validate it yourself at your local Graduate School.