RMeS Network Event: Finding your Path in Media Studies

When? Friday 30 September from 15.15-18.00
Where? Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 2-3, Room 019
Registration? via website
Registration will open on 1 September 2022.
Please register no later than Wednesday 28 September

When starting a research career in Media Studies, you would expect to work with traditional media outlets, such as cinema, television, and theatre. Due to the digital turn and convergence, these types of media all seem to have moved into new and hybrid forms that have become embodied in platforms. Such a transition has required media scholars to apply their knowledge of traditional media in a new light: for example, the impact of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime on the experience of cinematic media content, or the transformation of live viewership on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Moreover, the global connectivity with other consumers on platforms has radically shifted how we think about transferring information and consuming media content. Exemplary are the interconnectedness that global communities experience on platforms such as Discord, but also the global viral trends that quickly occur on TikTok. In short, media and their consumption have not only changed due to platformization, but the pathways media scholars could take in studying them seem to have multiplied.

In this network event, we invite PhDs and RMAs to think of possible paths that media scholars could take in the everchanging field of Media Studies. Guest speaker dr. David Nieborg, Associate Professor of Media Studies (University of Toronto) & Visiting Professor (University of Amsterdam), will share the pathway that he took in applying and tranforming his knowledge in Media Studies, and in particular Game Studies, to the new field of Platform Studies.

In his lecture called ‘What I learned from following the money (& the data) in the platform economy’, dr. Nieborg will speak of how the platformisation of media content has led to a new type of economy. The platform economy is bewilderingly complex. What kind of platform data do you have access to as a researcher? And, how can concepts from neighboring fields, such as “multi-sided markets” and “boundary resources,” helps us to better understand platform-dependent cultural production? In his lecture, dr. Nieborg will discuss the theories and methods one can use to unpack institutional platform power by reviewing case studies that include app stores, the game industry, and Facebook Messenger. In addition, he will discuss more practical matters, such as publishing strategies, working across continents, and other lessons learned from a decade of platform studies scholarship.

The network event will exist of three activities:

  1. Guest speaker David Nieborg: ‘What I learned from following the money (& the data) in the platform economy’
  2. Academic speed date
  3. All participants can get to know each other and exchange ideas while enjoying free drinks.

The event will take place in the inner city of Utrecht at Utrecht University on Friday 30 September from 15.00-18.00. The specific location will be announced later.

Please register no later than Wednesday 28 September and let us know if you want to join in person or online. I

For questions of any kind, please contact us via RMeS@rug.nl.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

The RMeS PhD council
(Bartosz, Bjorn, Dennis, Jeroen, Welmoed & Zheyu)



RMeS Workshop: Context convergence: Exploring the implications of our interconnectedness with contacts, platforms, and spaces

Workshop organized by Dr Anouk Mols (EUR), within the context of the RMeS PhD Workshop Grant

When? 3 October 2022 | 13.00 – 18.00
Where? Erasmus University Rotterdam, Mandeville T3-06
Coordinator? Dr Anouk Mols (EUR)
Open to? PhD’s and research master students, max 20 participants
Registration will open 1 September 2022

Messaging colleagues from a holiday destination, following news accounts on Instagram, joining conferences from home, keeping up with family from a distance, receiving notifications when new tv series are released… Mobile technologies have not only become our main source of communication but became an indispensable object in our everyday lives. We are permanently connected to social contacts, platform services and content, and digital and non-digital spaces, which causes social contexts to collapse. This goes beyond the collapsing of digital audiences as is often described in media research (Marwick & boyd, 2010; Vitak, 2012) because it entails the converging of digital and non-digital contexts. Mobile technologies also collapse offline contexts when digital connections are incorporated in daily practices (Pagh, 2020), in other words, people can be available in digital and non-digital spaces at the same time. When you watch Netflix from the train, send a work email while visiting a friend, messaging family when you are at work, you are simultaneously present in digital and physical spaces. Experiences of context convergence are amplified by disruptive notification sounds and badges, alerts, messages, and blinking lights that demand our attention (Licoppe, 2010).

Constant connectivity and converging contexts provide many benefits but also challenges that affect our autonomy in several ways. First, the autonomy to balance availability and non-availability is challenged when we are urged to maintain connections. The first speaker Prof. Dr. Mariek Vanden Abeele will discuss the concept of digital wellbeing which revolves around balancing connectivity and disconnectivity in interactions between persons, devices, and contexts (Vanden Abeele, 2021). Second, when using digital communication platforms, we are challenged in our autonomy to manage the boundaries between different social contexts (Mols & Pridmore, 2020). How this affects everyday experiences of privacy will be discussed by the organizer Dr. Anouk Mols in the opening speech. Third, our autonomy to freely navigate online and physical spaces is also challenged when we are constantly monitored and guided by algorithms. Dr. Jason Pridmore will reflect on the implications of context convergence in relation to AI, surveillance, and privacy.

The interactive presentations and the readings of this interdisciplinary workshop will provide starting points for discussions about context convergence. We invite participants to explore the implications of context convergence on interpersonal communication and relations, (dispersed) family life, news consumption, media production, (dispersed) interconnected families, education, and experiences of cultural events. Together, we will analyse cases of context convergence and discuss research opportunities in order to draft recommendations for stakeholders.


13:00-13:15: Introduction to the theme: Context convergence Opening words by Dr. Anouk Mols

13:15-14:15: Context convergence: Implications on digital well-being Interactive presentation by Prof. dr. Mariek Vanden Abeele followed by Q&A

14:15-14:30: Break: Coffee, tea and chocolates

14:30-15:15: Context convergence: Implications related to AI, privacy and surveillance Interactive presentation by Dr. Jason Pridmore followed by Q&A

15:15-16:00: Short instructions and working together in groups on briefing memo

16:00-16:50: Briefing memo presentations, feedback & discussion

16:50-17:00: Wrap-up

17:00-18:00: Optional: Drinks @ Erasmus Paviljoen (only if allowed by Covid-19 measures)

Speaker bios

Prof. Dr. Mariek Vanden Abeele is Professor in Digital Culture at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University, Belgium. Her research combines media psychological and media sociological perspectives to better understand the role that digital media use play in everyday life and society. Her research interests include mobile communication and social relationships, problematic smartphone use and digital well-being, mobile media and childhood, and the social implications of health and fitness wearable use. Mariek is a recipient of an 2020 ERC Starting Grant on Digital Well-being – this project examines individuals’ relationship to anytime, anyplace connectivity using both computational and ethnographic research approaches.

Dr. Jason Pridmore is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication and the Vice Dean of Education of the Erasmus School of History Culture and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research interests are focused primarily on practices of digital identification, the use of new/social media and consumer data as surveillance practices, and digital (cyber) security issues. He has written extensively on marketing practices and information exchange and participates in research focused on privacy, data ethics, mobile devices, policing practices, citizenship, branding and quantified self movements. He is the Principle Investigator on the Mobile Privacy Project, the coordinator of the TRESCA project, Project Exploitation Manager and Data Security Manager on the BIM-SPEED project, and Project lead at EUR for the Ashvin Project and the SPATIAL project.

Dr. Anouk Mols (workshop organiser) is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Department of Media & Communication of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research focuses on neighbourhood watch WhatsApp groups, digital communication, smart technologies (such as smart speakers and smartphone assistants), family surveillance, and AI. Under supervision of Dr. Jason Pridmore and Prof. Susanne Janssen, she completed her PhD in December 2021 with the dissertation: Everyday experiences of privacy and surveillance: Negotiating appropriate forms of monitoring.

Assignment for participants: Context convergence briefing memo

This assignments is geared towards identifying tangible implications of converging contexts and exploring these on the basis of the prescribed readings and the participants’ own research. In order to make the shift from academic understanding to societal impact, the participants work together in groups to develop a briefing memo: a concise summary of a case with a call to action in the form of recommendations for stakeholders.


Prior to the workshop, participants are asked to submit a 200-word description of a real life example of converging contexts and a short theory-driven exploration of its implications. Cases can range from highly specific examples like ‘a customer following the livestreaming of a funeral while at a hair salon’ (true story!) to more general examples such as ‘journalists live-tweeting current events’. Deadline: Case descriptions need to be submitted to mols@eshcc.eur.nl one week before the workshop

During the workshop

Based on similarities between their case descriptions, participants will be grouped together. The four groups have 45 minutes to select one of their cases and prepare a briefing memo including 1) a contextualised description of the context convergence case, 2) a theoretically driven analysis breaking down the implications, 3) a rationale for empirical research, and 4) two recommendations for stake holders (e.g., parents, media producers, platform companies, educators, policy makers, etc.). This briefing memo needs to be presented in a five-minute presentation. Feedback will be provided during the workshop by the three speakers and the other participants in response to the memo presentations.


  • Vanden Abeele, M. (2021). Digital wellbeing as a dynamic construct. Communication Theory, 31(4), 932-955. https://doi.org/10.1093/ct/qtaa024
  • Mols, A., & Pridmore, J. (2020). Always available via WhatsApp: Mapping everyday boundary work practices and privacy negotiations. Mobile Media & Communication, epub ahead of print, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1177/2050157920970582
  • Pagh, J. (2020). Managing Context Collapses: The Internet as a Conditioning Technology in the Organization of Practices. International Journal of Communication, 12, 2810–2827. https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/11872

Public Keynotes RMES Summer School 2022: Communities of Feeling

Thursday 16th June 2022
Keynote lecture: Amy Holdsworth (University of Glasgow) | 10.00-12.00 | OMHP C C0.17

To (not) grow up with television

In a 2006 essay John Caughie asks the following question: “When we as academics and intellectuals write about television, who do we think we are?” While the question alludes to the anxious place of television studies within the academy, it is prompted by an observation of the ways in which the reflections of different scholars on their own histories, experiences, and engagements with television underpin their critical responses. But what might an autobiography of television look like? This work might take the form of an individual’s viewing history or an account of specific televisual moments that have punctuated a life story. In this presentation I will introduce my own use of autobiography as a way in which to explore those experiences of intimacy, familiarity, community, repetition, and duration that have come to characterize television. An autobiographical focus, I suggest, can tell us not only something specific about television but also something more general about living with television—about (not) growing up and growing old at a particular time and in a particular community or society.

By way of example, I present the story of my sister Alice, a young girl with complex developmental disabilities, and our shared viewing of Disney Home Video. I explore how Disney and VHS technology became embedded in our family life through routines and rituals of care, offering an important framework for and point of connection within the family and our wider community by providing a means for expression and communication. My family’s own use of Disney videos is recalled to think through the iterative potentials of television as a site of comfort, community, safety and therapy as well as frustration and boredom. What I will suggest is how Alice’s relationship with television offers a way in which to widen our understanding of media use and to complicate notions of ‘growing up’ and prevalent (normative) conceptions of childhood. Simultaneously, it presents an avenue through which to rethink the ‘taken for granted’ and normalized uses of television in everyday life.

Amy Holdsworth is Senior Lecturer and Head of Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on television and domestic media as interdisciplinary objects of inquiry, and her work has drawn upon theoretical traditions and frameworks within memory studies, childhood studies and disability studies. She is the author of Television, Memory and Nostalgia (Palgrave, 2011) and co-editor of Discourses of Care: Media Practices and Cultures (Bloomsbury, 2020). Her most recent monograph, On Living with Television (2021), has recently been published by Duke University Press.

Register here before June 11, 2022

Friday 17th of June 2022

Keynote lecture: Anna Gibbs (Western Sydney University) | 9.30-11.15 | OMHP C0.17


According to epidemiologists, cryptic spread occurs when there are hidden or cryptic connections in viral transmission either between or within species. This makes for transmission events that are hard both to qualify and quantify, often imperceptible and difficult to identify. In the case of Covid-19, for example, this might mean looking beyond the extended dinner party with friends to all those confined but nevertheless shared spaces through which we pass only fleetingly, like a quick bus ride or an even shorter trip in a lift, and they might also involve infected but asymptomatic people or what’s left behind in the air of the apparently empty lift we enter unaware.
This talk, though, explores another kind of airborne transmission, discussing the way cryptic spread occurs in the epidemic generation and transformation of affective atmospheres, making palpable connections between people and things that seemed unrelated, producing complex circuitries of transmission that give rise to unpredictable atmospheric dynamics. Not always negative, but sometimes turbulent and sometimes stalled like a low pressure system in a particular mood until conditions change, these dynamics are as unpredictable as weather, and are only observable as they crystallize in the moment or leave a trail or trace of events in their wake.

Professor Anna Gibbs is based in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at UWS, and is a member of the Writing and Society Research Centre and the Digital Humanities Research Group.

She has published widely across the fields of textual, media and cultural studies with a particular focus on affect theory, mimetic communication, corporeality and feminism.Other current research interests include new materialism, experiemental and conceptual writing, e-poetry and poetics.

Co-editor of three collections of contemporary Australian writing, she is also an experimental writer, collaborates with artists and performers, and curator of ‘(Un)coverings: art, writing and the book’ (Horus and Deloris Gallery, Pyrmont, 2009). She is a long-time practitioner and theorist of fictocriticism.

Her ARC-funded Discovery Projects include ‘The Power of the Image: affect, audience and disturbing imagery’ with Virginia Nightingale, and Creative Nation: writers and writing in the new media culture’ with Maria Angel (UWS) and Joseph Tabbi (University of Illinois, Chicago), the major outcome of which was the Australian Directory of Electronic Literature and Text-based Art (ADELTA).

A member of The Longford Project group of artists, she is currently working on a collaborative project investigating co-incidence, connection and collaboration through the history of a pinprick-sized town in northern Tasmania, and the intersectng, overlapping and clashing passgae of a few generations of Aboriginal and European people through a critical point in time. This project, which held an Australia Council Development Grant in 2013, has exhibited at Articulate Space in Sydney; Sydney College of the Arts Gallery; and the Tasmanian International Arts Festival. The group has been awarded a Bindanon residancy in 2016, and exhibitions in Hobart and Launceston are planned for 2017.

She has successfully supervised more than 40 postgraduates in writing, the interdisciplinary creative arts, and textual, visual, media and cultural studies.

Register here before June 11, 2022

Keynote lecture 3: Eugenie Brinkema (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) | 14.00-15.45  | VOXPOP*

Blindness and Description; Or, How to Read a Sunken Form

For all that Jordan Peele’s lauded horror film Get Out (2017) appears to traffic in the conventional negative affects of the horror genre—anxiety, suspense, panic, shock—Professor Brinkema will argue in her talk that the film in fact models a formal account of violence, one that grounds its critique of racialized terror and the dynamics of aggressions both micro- and micro- in its juxtaposition of the relationship of black life and survival to the very question of how to describe and interpret visual form, in particular the form of photographs. ‘Communities of feeling’ thus become intimately bound to communities of reading, while the political stakes of reading become visible solely through a complex grappling with different formal registers of the image.

Eugenie Brinkema is Professor of Contemporary Literature and Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research in film and media studies focuses on violence, affect, sexuality, aesthetics, and ethics. In dialogue with critical theory and continental philosophy, she argues for the speculative value of formalist readings in texts ranging from horror films to works of the new European extremism, from gonzo pornography to contemporary photography. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Angelaki, Camera Obscura, Criticism, differences, Discourse, film-philosophy, The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, LIT, qui parle, and World Picture. Her books include The Forms of the Affects (2014) and Life-Destroying Diagrams (2022), both published with Duke University Press.

Register here before June 11, 2022

*VOX-POP is de creatieve ruimte van de Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen van de UvA. Het is een culturele plek waar UvA studenten, -medewerkers en de bewoners van Amsterdam gratis kunnen samenkomen. Meer informatie: https://voxpop.uva.nl/

RMES Summer School 2022: Communities of Feeling

When? 16, 17 & 20 June 2022*
  University of Amsterdam
Organizers? Prof. Misha Kavka, Prof. Patricia Pisters, and Dr. Maryn Wilkinson
For? PhD Candidates and Research master students who are a member of a Dutch Graduate Research School (onderzoekschool). Students who are members of RMeS will have first access.
ECTS? 2 ECTS (for participation and attendance) / 5 ECTS (for participation, attendance and writing a 3500 word paper, see details below)
Registration: Register before June 1, 2022.
When registering, please specify if you intend to obtain 2 or 5 EC.

THE SUMMER SCHOOL IS FULLY BOOKEDplease send an e-mail to rmes@rug.nl with your name, university and research school. We will put you on our waiting list.

In 2010, Anna Gibbs presciently wrote that ‘[c]ontagion is everywhere in the contemporary world. It leaps from body to body, sweeping through mediatized populations at the speed of a bushfire’ (‘After Affect’, The Affect Theory Reader). Although to our COVID-sensitized ears this sounds alarming, Gibbs was in fact laying the groundwork for a productive notion of ‘affect contagion’ that enables as well as mediates our sense of belonging, whether to familial, social, cultural or political networks. For Gibbs it is feelings, as they leap from body to body across mediated channels, that thread together communities out of shared attachments, dynamics and resonances. Today, as we feel our way into the ‘new normal’ of a contagion-conscious world where we are increasingly bound to each other through media technologies, it is time to reclaim the productive contagiousness of feelings and rethink how community-building is affected by the way our connections flow through and across media. 

To this end, the 2022 RmeS Summer School will address the topic of ‘Communities of Feeling’ from both a theoretical and methodological perspective, and ask us to consider how we use a range of screen, social and digital media to establish, manage and maintain our communities. Over two days of lectures and workshops, students will be introduced to skills, methods and concepts that will help them analyse mediated communities from the perspective of feelings, with particular attention paid to the way that media engagement foments belonging, and community belonging in turn takes creative, cultural and political forms. 

Confirmed speakers for lectures and workshops (more to be added):

  • Anna Gibbs, Western Sydney University
  • Eugenie Brinkema, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Amy Holdsworth, University of Glasgow
  • Tony Sampson, East London University
  • Ilona Hongisto,  NTNU – Norway
  • Tarja Laine, University of Amsterdam
  • Misha Kavka, University of Amsterdam

Organising team at the Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam: Prof. Misha Kavka, Prof. Patricia Pisters, and Dr. Maryn Wilkinson.


Programme will be announced soon.

Information for RMA students

Research master students who are participating in the RMeS summer school have the option to

1. actively participate in the two-day programme with workshops and lectures (see programme for more information). If the students fulfil all requirements, they will receive a certificate for 2 EC upon request.
2. In addition to participating in the workshops and lectures on all three days, they can extend the credits to 5 EC by taking the Monday afternoon workshop on June 20th by Maryn Wilkinson, and by pitching and then writing a full paper of 3,500 words.

Workshop on Monday 20 June, Location TBA

To participate in the workshop, we require that you have read closely the four required readings listed below (TBA). During the workshop, we will discuss the main arguments put forward in these articles and outline various points for further research. During the second part of the workshop you will present the prospective line of argument for your proposed paper. The instructors will then provide feedback on your proposal, including further tips for your research, some writing guidelines, and comments on the finishing requirements.

Required readings to prepare for the workshop:


Students who will not be writing a paper are not required to attend this session, but if they are interested in sitting in on the workshop, they’re more than welcome to attend and participate in the discussion.

Paper requirements

In order to receive the additional credits, the RMa student is expected to write a discussion paper focusing on a specific question within the theme of “Communities of Feeling” OR a critical review of the literature on this topic. The paper may serve as preparation for the MA thesis or be related to another project for the degree, but it must be an original piece of writing that clearly builds on the knowledge gained from the summer school.
The paper should be 3,500 words in length (with a margin of 10%, excluding footnotes and bibliography). The final and only deadline for the paper is July 4th , 15.00 o’clock. Please send the paper in pdf by e-mail to: RMeS@rug.nl Please note, there will not be a possibility for a retake or extension on this assignment! If you miss the deadline, the credits will not be attained.

Certificates for PhD candidates

PhD candidates who participate in the two day summer school programme receive a certificate for 2 ECTS.

* The RMeS Summer School is on 16 & 17 June 2022 (ONSITE only, COVID-permitted). Students who intend to write a paper, will have to give a pitch presentation on June 20, 13.00-16.00.

Recipient of the RMeS PhD Workshop Grant: Anouk Mols (EUR)

We are very proud to announce that Dr Anouk Mols (Erasmus University Rotterdam) will receive the RMeS Workshop Grant 2021-2022.

The workshop Context convergence: Exploring the implications of our interconnectedness with contacts, platforms, and spaces is scheduled for October 3, 2022

Anouk Mols is a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Media & Communication of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research focuses on neighbourhood watch WhatsApp groups, digital communication, smart technologies (such as smart speakers and smartphone assistants), family surveillance, and AI.

Under supervision of Dr. Jason Pridmore and Prof. Susanne Janssen, she completed her PhD in 2021 with the dissertation: Everyday experiences of privacy and surveillance: Negotiating appropriate forms of monitoring.


More information about this workshop, will be published on our website in June.

About the PhD Workshop Grant
The RMeS PhD Workshop Grant enables advanced PhD-candidates or recently graduated PhDs to organize a workshop around their own research and share their expertise with a new generation of scholars. The workshop is to center on the theme of the recipient’s dissertation or their current research project. The Grant is intended to acknowledge original and innovative contributions to the field of media studies and to highlight the work of talented scholars at the beginning of their careers.