Keynote summer school 2012 – José van Dijck

Social media and the engineering of everyday life

Keynote – Prof. dr. José van Dijck (UvA)

Date: Wednesday June 27th, 2012
Time: 14.00 – 16.30 (followed by drinks)
Venue: Universiteit Groningen, Academiegebouw – Senaatskamer
Open to: all

In 2011, 82% of the world’s Internet populations logged on to some type of social media, up from 6% in 2007. In less than five years, services like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn have come to deeply penetrate our daily habits of communication and socializing. While most sites started out as amateur-driven community platforms, half a decade later they have turned into large corporations that do not just facilitate global connections, but have become global data mining companies. This lecture will reflect on how social media have become normalized in everyday life: what has become the meaning of social activities such as “sharing”, “liking”, “following” and “trending” in a world dominated by Facebook and Twitter? And what are the implications of the fact that large portions of everyday life are increasingly commercialized and engineered through social media? Facebook’s and Twitter’s algorithms do not simply reflect our behavior and habits, but actively steer and manipulate social activities. At the heart of the social media’s industry’s surge is the battle over information control.


Public Lecture and Masterclass by Nick Couldry (Goldsmiths, London)

Public Lecture and Masterclass by Nick Couldry (Goldsmiths, London)

Utrecht University’s Centre for Television in Transition in collaboration with the Research Focus Cultures and Identities, Utrecht University announces a public lecture and invites to a master class by internationally renowned  media scholar and cultural critic:


Public lecture
Thursday, June 7, 5 – 7 p.m.
Kanunnikenzaal, Academiegebouw, Utrecht University
entrance Faculty Club: Achter de dom 7
entrance Academiegebouw: Domplein 29


What practices, and families of practices, are emerging in and around what we do with and in relation to media? As the object ‘media’ changes, so too are the forms of life that involve media. But to grasp what we are doing means taking a distance from the hype about ‘new media’ and asking broader questions about the new and continuing action-possibilities associated with today’s mediated interfaces. In this lecture, Nick Couldry will draw on his forthcoming book Media Society World and build on his earlier work, particularly the 2004 article ‘Theorising Media as Practice’. Among the families of practice discussed (simple and complex) will be ‘searching’, ‘showing’, ‘presencing’, ‘archiving’, ‘commentary’, ‘keeping all channels open’ and ‘screening out’.

Nick Couldry is Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London and Director of its Centre for the study of Global Media and Democracy. He is the author or editor of ten books including most recently Media, Society, World: Social Theory and Digital Media Practice (forthcoming Polity 2012) and Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics After Neoliberalism (Sage 2010). Couldry is one of the leading scholars in the field of Media and Cultural Studies and has become with Why Voice Matters one of the most brilliant critics of neo-liberalism and its assaults on almost every aspect of public live. 

Friday, June 8, 2012, 9.30 – 12.30 a.m.
Utrecht University, room t.b.a.


This master class explores the theoretical and methodological implications of a new paradigm of media research that Nick Couldry develops in his recent and current work. This paradigm understands media, not as texts or structures of production, but as practice. Drawing on recent moves towards a theory of practice in sociology, this paradigm aims to move beyond old debates about media effects and the relative importance of political economy and audience interpretation, at the same time as moving beyond a narrow concentration on audience practices, to study the whole range of practices that are oriented towards media and the role of media in ordering other practices in the social world. The master class discusses the key advantages of this paradigm in mapping the complexity of media-saturated cultures where the discreteness of audience practices can no longer be assumed.

After an introductory talk by Professor Nick Couldry, three papers by doctoral candidates will be presented. A general discussion of the practice approach will follow.

This master class is primarily directed to doctoral students in Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Dutch Universities. Interested students of Research Master Programmes in the same area and interested colleagues are also welcome to register.

Registration for masterclass:

  • Deadline for registration is May 30, 2012 (email to\
  • Deadline for submission of a proposal for a short paper presentation (15 minutes) is May 15, 2012 (email to

Paper proposals should not be longer than 500 words, plus literature, a short biographical statement en contact information.

  • Readings for the masterclass will be distributed in advance.
  • Participation in the masterclass is free of charge.
  • For further questions, please contact the organizer of the masterclass dr. Eggo Müller (

Master class – John T. Caldwell (UCLA)

Stress aesthetics and symbolic payroll systems in TV production

Date ¦ Monday, 21 May 2012
Time ¦ Afternoon, exact time to be announced
Venue ¦ Utrecht, to be announced
Open to ¦ PhD candidates and RMA students

Media studies scholars can gain rich insights—about history, audiences, narratives, and onscreen texts—through material, grounded ethnographic studies of production workers, their tools, and their habits. This workshop draws out these notions by looking at production culture’s mirror image—or “flipside”—of the “participatory” fan culture and “networked sociality” that Henry Jenkins and others have so ably mapped out. These linked cultural flipsides (production work-and-consumer work) provide some historical grounding and parallels for several more recent claims about participatory media culture. By discussing selected readings the workshop participants will explore the implications of user generated content – including the claim that new forms of crowd-sourcing and hive-sourcing fulfill old strategies of production outsourcing.


  • Deadline for registration is May 7, 2012
  • Include a short biography and description of your research interests (max. 200 words).
  • The number of participants is limited to 25. In case of more registrations students will be selected on the basis of their research interests.
  • Participation is free of charge.
  • Readings for the masterclass will be distributed in advance. For further questions, please contact the organizer of the workshop dr. Judith Keilbach (  


Public lecture – John T. Caldwell (UCLA)

Para-industry, shadow academy

Date ¦ Monday, 21 May 2012
Time ¦ Morning, exact time to be announced
Venue ¦ Utrecht, to be announced
Open to ¦ all

What does it mean to critically theorize a television industry that critically theorizes itself? How should scholars engage, describe, and research media industries in which reflexive forms of self-scrutiny, posed transparency, and meta-reflection have become dominant and widely circulated forms of commercial screen content and entertainment? In this lecture, Caldwell maps the outlines not of “paratexts” but of what he terms “Para-Industry.” This refers to the ubiquitous industrial and corporate fields that surround and complicate any access to what we traditionally regard as our primary objects of media research—messages, texts, forms, institutions, and even audiences. Complicating matters further still are the ways media industries today function as a “shadow academy,” by emulating, incorporating, or mirroring the very theoretical paradigms and oppositional modes that scholars have developed to maintain their objectivity.  The goal here is to more systematically describe something that is arguably foundational to either good social science-based communication studies or humanities-based cinema and media studies. In this account, media texts are per se collective, negotiated, industrial interactions, not the end-product of economic or collective negotiation sent or sold to viewers. 

About John T. Caldwell
John Caldwell is Professor of Cinema and Media Studies in the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media at UCLA. Holding a PhD from Northwestern and an MFA from Cal Arts, Caldwell’s main areas of research and teaching focus on contemporary film and television and the technologies and cultural economy of creative labor.  He has authored and edited several books, including Production Culture: Industrial Reflexivity and Critical Practice in Film and Television  (Duke: Univ. Press 2008), Production Studies: Cultural Studies of Media Industries, (Routledge, 2009, co-edited), Televisuality: Style, Crisis, and Authority in American Television, (Rutgers UP, 1995), Electronic Media and Technoculture (Rutgers UP, 2000), and New Media: Theories and Practices of Digitextuality, (Routledge, 2003, co-edited).


Summer School 2012

Summer School 2012 – Media in transition

University of Groningen
June 25-29, 2012
Detailed programme

Traditionally, research in the Humanities focuses on textual artifacts. Media scholars, whether they come from historical, cultural, literary, film or journalism studies, work with archival material, secondary sources, and media content. In the analogue age, these products had a relatively permanent character; research designs could take the permanence and durability of the text almost for granted. This is no longer the case. With the rise of digital technology, the production, content and reception of (or participation with) media is continuously in flux and the intensity of change in terms of production practices and institutional structures is significant. In the Digital Age, media objects are manipulable, malleable, and changeable which raises a number of challenges in terms of how we research our objects of study. Not only are audiences able to interact with content more easily, they are increasingly able to create, collaborate, and participate – turning into producers themselves. This summer school focuses on how to capture increasingly liquid media texts, how to conceptualize the growing diffusion of media production, and how to grasp our continually changing media landscapes. During the workshops this theme will be discussed from a theoretical perspective. Consequently, new qualitative methods will be discussed that enable scholars to study media in transition.

Organization: Groningen Centre for Media and Journalism Studies
and RMeS
Coordinator MA course: dr. Dana Mustata (University of Groningen)

RMa programme summer school 2012
Monday June 25th
10.00 – 10.30Opening and welcome
Prof.dr. Marcel Broersma
10.30 – 12.30Seminar 1:
Media in transition
dr. Thomas Poell (University of Amsterdam)
12.30 – 13.30Lunch
13.30 – 15.30Seminar 2:
Changing modes of production
dr. Ansgard Heinrich(University of Groningen)
15.30 – 15.45Break
15.45 – 18.00Seminar 3:
Online deliberation, social media and the public sphere
dr. Todd Graham (University of Groningen)
Tuesday June 26th
9.00 – 11.00Seminar 4:
The living archive
dr. Susan Aasman (University of Groningen)
11.00 – 13.00Seminar 5:
Audiences and media consumption
dr. Chris Peters (University of Groningen)
13.00 – 14.00Lunch
14.00 – 17.00Atelier
dr. Dana Mustata (University of Groningen)
Wednesday June 27th
9.30 – 12.30Workshop on papers
dr. Dana Mustata (University of Groningen)
12.30 – 14.00Lunch
14.00 – 16.30Keynote - Social media and the engineering of everyday life
Prof. dr. José van Dijck (University of Amsterdam)
+ panel discussion

PhD programme summer school 2012
Wednesday June 27th
9.30 – 12.30Master class by Prof. dr. José van Dijck
14.00 – 16.30Keynote - Social media and the engineering of everyday life
Prof.dr. José van Dijck (UvA)
+ panel discussion
PhD Workshop - Capturing media in flux: ethnography
Thursday June 28th
Observing transition in practice
dr. Tom van Hout (Leiden University)
Friday June 29th
Understanding media from the perspective of audiences
dr. Isabel Awad (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Additional information can be found here.
University of Groningen