Research master course – Trending Topics

Research master course – Trending Topics

When? February – March 2013, Friday afternoons from 1 to 5 pm (see dates in program)
Where? University of Amsterdam. All dates: Oudemanhuispoort 4-6 – room C 2.05, Amsterdam, except for April 5, BG 5 Oudezijds Achterburgwal 233-237 – Room 2.29, Amsterdam
For whom?: First and second year RMa students in Media Studies (max 20 participants)
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:
Offered by? the Reseach School for Media Studies (RMeS), as part of the RMa curriculum
Speakers? A blend of the best faculty teaching Media Studies in The Netherlands
Fee? PhD candidates & RMa students enrolled with RMeS: free
PhD candidates & RMa students enrolled with other research schools: contact us for funding information
Non-members: € 250,00
Credits? 6 ECTS
Registration? Max. number of participants: 15. Possibility of a waitinglist. Enrollment will be on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage you to register early to secure your place in the seminar.

General description:

Each Spring, the Research School of Media Studies will offer a course where faculty members of all seven participating universities offer workshops on the latest research in their field of interest. If you want to get acquainted with a variety of cutting edge research in The Netherlands with a strong international component while earning credits towards your degree, you may be interested in taking this course. All seven universities accept the credits earned in this module. This is a unique opportunity to get to know students and faculty from all over the country; getting acquainted with a number of top notch researchers in the field will be particularly helpful if you aspire to pursue a career in research or teaching.

Practical matters:

This academic year, in February and March 2013, the course will be taught in Amsterdam, next year it will be Utrecht. RMA students officially enrolled in university programs of seven Dutch universities (UvA, UU, VU, EUR, UM, RUG, RUN) are eligible to enroll free of charge. The course will be offered in February and March on five Friday afternoons from 1 to 5 PM.  Students will be required to prepare for classes by reading the assigned texts and some preparatory assignments. Students can earn up to 6 ECTS by finishing a paper (5,000 words) on one of the “trending topics” listed below. An oral presentation to your fellow students is also part of the requirements. Each week, a “trending topic” will be introduced by a professor; assignments, readings and preparatory work will be supervised by a UvA staff member. One of the trending topics is titled “users and audiences”, a theme that will be fully explored in this year’s summer school in Rotterdam (June 10 through June 14, 2013).

Trending Topics

This year’s course will introduce state-of-the-art research in screen, sound, game, and data cultures. Media Studies is decreasingly tied to specific media types (film, television, or digital media) or practices (e.g. journalism) and 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.  In each of these four weeks, some major trends are presented by researchers who have just published books and/or articles in their respective areas of expertise: screen and sound culture, software and data culture, audience studies and game cultures. The four themes are:


Friday February 8, 2013: Sound and screen culture:

Dr. Nanna Verhoeff (UU): on mobile screens

Dr. Carolyn Birdsall (UvA): on sound culture in the digital age


Friday, February 22, 2013: Data cultures

Dr. Bernhard Rieder (UvA): Software analysis and data culture

Anne Helmond, MA (UvA): Participation on social platforms


Friday, March 8, 2013: Audience and users

Dr. Stijn Reijnders (EUR): Media tourism: Fans on pilgrimage

Dr. Eggo Müller (UU): Television as participatory culture

Dr. Tamara Witschge (RUG): The changing relationship between journalism and audiences.


Friday March 22, 2013: Game cultures

Prof. dr. Jeroen Jansz (EUR): Are games a good tool to boost civic engagement?

Dr. Karin Wenz (UM): ‘Gamification’ and the transformation of culture

Prof. dr. Joost Raessens (UU): Homo ludens 2.0. The ludic turn in media theory


Friday April 5, 2013: Presentation day

Each seminar participant offers a 10-15-minute presentation which outlines the thesis, argument and material of the paper he or she intends to write for this class.

Deadline paper: April 22, 2013.


Trending Topics is part of the RMeS curriculum for RMa students. This curriculum continues with two 6 EC RMa tutorials, in April to June 2012, the topics of which are related to Trending Topics.