Pushing the Boundaries

When? 10 & 24 February 13.00-17.00 / 3 & 17 March 13.00-17.00 / presentation day: 7 April 2017 / 14 April deadline paper
Where?  University of Amsterdam
Course? RMa Course: Trending Topics
Coordinator? Dr Maryn Wilkinson (UvA)
Guest lectures by? Dr László Munteán (RU), Dr Andrea Meuzelaar (UU), Prof. Patricia Pisters (UvA), Christian Olesen (UvA), Daniël de Zeeuw (UvA), Dr Karin Wenz (UM), Dr Isabel Awad (EUR), Dr Scott Eldrige II (RUG)
Organisation? RMeS
For? 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

General description:

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 through 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 instead turns towards the areas of interaction between them, and their shared concepts and ideas. Such crossovers are both theoretically and methodologically challenging. Larger trends such as digitization and convergence have prompted researchers to study the complex interrelation of technological changes and media content, as well as the new relations between users and producers, while different modes of media consumption have brought about new areas for aesthetics and politics that continue to require intense critical enquiry. Under a different umbrella theme each year, Trending Topics presents four lecture sessions that take a closer look at a few of the major trend in this field, and bring 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.

Practical matters:

This academic year, in February and March, the Trending Topics course will be hosted at the University of Amsterdam. RMA students officially enrolled in university programmes of the eight participating Dutch universities (UvA, UU, VU, EUR, UL, UM, RUG, RUN) are eligible to sign up for the course, free of charge (please enroll at www.rmes.com). The course will take place on five Friday afternoons from 13.00 to 17.00 o’clock; on February 10 and 24, March 3 and 17 and presentation days on March 30 and 31.

The umbrella topic for this year’s Trending Topics course is ‘Pushing the Boundaries’, with a focus on how recent technologies and dynamic shifts within and among the different media are advancing established frontiers in research and theory. In each of the first four sessions, a ‘sub-topic’ will be presented by two guest speakers, in short lectures based on required reading material. The two lectures (of about 35-45 minutes each) are followed by group discussions. The fifth session (March 30 or 31) revolves around student presentations. All sessions, assignments, readings and preparatory work will be supervised and marked by dr. Maryn Wilkinson (UvA) – this year’s 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 14/resit May 19) 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, 10 February 2017 : “On memory and the media”

  • Dr László Munteán (RU)
  • Dr Andrea Meuzelaar (UU)

13.00-17.00 on Friday, 24 February 2017: “On film and the archive”

  • Prof. Patricia Pisters (UvA)
  • Christian Olesen MA (UvA)

13.00-17.00 on Friday, 3 March, 2017: “On hackers and hacktivism”

  • Daniël de Zeeuw (UvA)
  • Dr Karin Wenz (UM)

13.00-17.00 on Friday, 17 March 2017: “On politics and journalism, and the new code”

  • Dr Isabel Awad (EUR)
  • Dr Scott Eldrige II (RUG)