Media and Performance Seminar 15/16 – Utrecht University

Performing History in the Age of Digital Technology

Utrecht University Graduate Research Seminar

Dates: The seminar will take place on Wednesdays, 15.00-17.00 on the following dates: September 16, 2015, October 28, 2015, November 18, 2015, December 16, 2015, January 20, 2016, February 17, 2016, March 16, 2016, April 20, 2016, May 18, 2016
Venue: Utrecht University
Open to: First and second year research master students in Media Studies and related fields, registered with RMeS
Offered by: the Research School for Media Studies (RMeS), as part of the RMa curriculum
Credits: 5 ECTS
Registration: Amount of participants is limited
More information:

Although scholars and critics usually discuss technology in terms of the myriad changes to the present and the implications for the future, new technologies not only impact our collective experiences today, but also have a significant effect on how we view the past and how the relationship between past and present takes shape. New technologies afford new modes of archiving as well as accessing and searching what has been archived, thus changing not only the nature of the historical artifact, but also how we engage with these archives as examples of dynamic and performative historiography. We thus need to understand contemporary history and historiography at the nexus of digital technologies, historical records, and interactive performance. This seminar seeks to analyze effects of digital technology (such as mobile phones, computing software, and social media, among others) on contemporary historiography from diverse global, intermedial and performative perspectives.

RMA students can gain 5 EC for attending and participating in this seminar. They are expected to attend all sessions, prepare the readings, contribute to discussions, and to write a 3000-4000 words essay on a topic connected to the seminar series. To register please contact

This seminar is organized by Maaike Bleeker, Frank Kessler and Nanna Verhoeff (Media & Performance Research Group, UU) in collaboration with Sarah Bay Cheng (Bowdoin College, USA, and Fullbright Scholar 2015-16 at UU)


September 16, 2015 (15-17h): New Media, New Methods (Sarah Bay Cheng)

October 28, 2015 (15-17h): Digital History and Experimental Performance (Sarah Bay Cheng)

November 18, 2015 (15-17h): Reenactment: Living Memory and Digital Dreams (Sarah Bay Cheng & Maaike Bleeker)

December 16, 2015 (15-17h): History Museums Perform (Sarah Bay Cheng)

January 20, 2016 (15-17h) At the interface of IT and historiography: “Reflections from the Project A Million Pictures. (Frank Kessler & Sarah Dellman)

February 17, 2016 (15-17h) Cartography and the Materiality of the Digital Humanities (Iris van der Tuin)

March 16, 2016 (15-17h) Layering the City: urban interfaces and the intersections of cartography, archeology and architecture (Nanna Verhoeff)

April 20, 2016 (15-17h): The Archive in Motion (Maaike Bleeker)

May 18, 2016 (15-17h) TBA