Winter school Maastricht

Winter School 2012-13

When? Thursday January 31 and Friday February 1, 2013
Time? See programme
Where? Maastricht University, Spiegelzaal, Grote Gracht 80-82, Maastricht
For whom? PhD candidates
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: € 100,00
Credits? 2 ECTS
Organized by? prof. José van Dijck (UvA) and prof. Renée van der Vall (UM), on behalf of the RMeS Advisory Board


This Winter School will consist of three different sessions: 1) presentations, 2) research talks and 3) a practical session on research ethics and academic integrity.

1) The Winter School is partly a graduate seminar, offering the opportunity to present your work-in-progress, so your peers and faculty members can critically assess your work and give constructive feedback and support. PhD candidates can opt to give a presentation on their dissertation in the making.

2) The Winter School also offers two talks by distinguished researchers:

dr. Karin Wenz (UHD, Univ Maastricht), on Fan Practices and Remix Culture;

and prof. dr. Anneke Smelik (Radboud University), on Fashion and Cultural Identity.

3) Finally, this Winter School graduate seminar will also offer a session on academic integrity and research ethics in Media Studies. In recent months, academic integrity has gained high priority on the agendas of KNAW and universities. The Royal Academy of Science issued a report in September 2012. This session will discuss the relevance of these issues for Media Studies researchers, particularly at the PhD level. The session will be introduced and chaired by José van Dijck, member of the KNAW Integrity Commission.

Practical matters

The graduate seminar is for PhD candidates only. It will take place in the beautiful town of Maastricht, at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (UM FaSoS; exact locations will be announced). We will start Thursday January 31 at 1 PM until 5, and reconvene the next day at 9.30 AM, continuing until 3 PM (see program below). We invite you for dinner on Thursday night at a restaurant in Maastricht. On Friday, lunch will be served at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Conference hotel for the occasion is Hotel De la Bourse, but you are free to book accommodation wherever you want. Hotel de la Bourse offers one-person rooms (€60), two-person rooms for use of one (€64), and two-person rooms (€82; conference prices, including breakfast but excluding tax). When booking, make sure to mention “winterschool RMeS” to receive the conference discount. This discount also applies to the night of 28-28 January.

If you are not reimbursed by your own faculty for travel and accommodation, there is small RMeS fund to which you can apply for reimbursement. Send an e-mail before December 15th, 2012, to mrs. Chantal Olijerhoek at; include your contact details, a cover letter explaining for which costs you request reimbursement, and a brief (1 A4) resume.

Thursday January 31, 2013
12:00 - 12:30 PMReception with coffee, tea and snacks
12:30 - 1:00 PMIntroduction by prof. dr. José van Dijck, RMeS director
1.00 - 3:00 PM Presentations PhD candidates, first session
Tea break
3:15 - 4:00 PM Lecture by prof. dr. Anneke Smelik: Fashion and Cultural Identity
4:00 - 5.30 PM Presentations by PhD candidates, second session
7:00Dinner at local restaurant
Friday February 1, 2013
9:30 - 10:15 AMLecture by dr. Karin Wenz: Fan Practices and Remix Culture
10:30 - 12:30 PMPresentations by PhD candidates, third session
Lunch break
1:15 - 2:00 PM Discussion on Academic integrity and research ethics (chair: José van Dijck)
2:00 - 3:00 PMremainder of presentations and wrap up
Assignments and readings

During their three or four-year membership of RMeS, all PhD researchers are obliged to present their research at the winter school/graduate seminar at least once (or more if they prefer). You can therefore choose whether to present this year; otherwise you will asked to present next year or the year after. If you participate as a listener, you will be required to do so actively and provide well-balanced feedback.

Depending on your research topic and progress of your dissertation, you can also choose to present more than once.

We ask each participating presenter to submit one of their chapters or chapters-in-progress of their dissertation, as well as a one page-outline of the dissertation. As we have PhD candidates working in various stages of the process, we will organize the feedback process to accommodate these various levels. Please send in your chapter and outline to Deadline: January 15, 2013. Feel free to indicate in the outline which elements of your chapter specifically you welcome feedback on.

A week before the Winter School, we will make all submitted chapters available to all participants, to read and prepare in advance.

During the Winter School, the presenting PhD candidates will give a 10-15 minute presentation (audio-visual and/or oral). This is an introduction to your research and the chapter you have submitted, ideally containing one or two specific examples. Each presentation will receive prepared feedback by one specific peer reviewer, as well as from all participants and faculty present at the meeting.

Please register before december 5, 2012.

Master class – Peter Galison, Robb Moss and Frank Kessler

Filming animals

The Center for the Humanities, Utrecht University, in cooperation with the OGC, the Department of Media and Culture Studies and the Research School Media Studies (RMeS) organizes a seminar conducted by Peter Galison, Robb Moss, and Frank Kessler entitled ‘Filming animals’.

This mini film festival will explore human-animal relationship and the perception of animal movement in film.

When? 22 October 2012, 09:30 – 17:30
Where?: Studio, Kromme Nieuwegracht 80, Utrecht
Offered by? CfH of the UU, OGC, Dept. of Media and Culture Studies and RMeS
For whom? RMA students and PhD researchers
Credits? 2ECTS for RMa-students; 1 ECTS for PhD’s
Registration? via


9:30 – 9:45Introduction
9:45 – 11:15
Lecture Frank Kessler “Science and Spectacle” with examples from pre-1914 cinema and the work of Jean Painlevé
11.15 – 12.00
Screening: NATURE'S HALF ACRE (James Algar, 1951)
12:00 – 13:00
13:00 – 17:30
Lecture by Peter Galison and Robb Moss with screenings of GRIZZLY MAN (Werner Herzog, 2005) and LEVIATHAN (Lucien Taylor and Varena Paravel, 2012)

Research MA students can earn 2 ECTS for this seminar. Requirements: assigned readings, active participation, final paper (see required viewing and readings listed below).

PhD students participating can receive 1 credit for assigned readings and active participation.

In order to register please send an email to

About the Speakers

Professor Galison has a strong background not only in theoretical physics but also and more especially in the history and philosophy of science. He has been a visiting professor at the prestigious École Normale Supérieure in Paris, as well as in the equally renowned École des Mines and other leading research institutes in both the USA and Europe. Through seminal academic publications like: Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press); Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps. (W.W. Norton: New York) and the volume co-authored with L. Daston. Objectivity. (Boston: Zone Press), Professor Galison has developed the field of history and philosophy of science into an accessible inter-disciplinary domain. The combination of disciplinary depth with a broad span of interdisciplinary knowledge makes his work a unique contribution to his field.

Robb Moss is an independent documentary filmmaker and professor at Harvard University. Notable work includes such films as The Same River Twice, Secrecy and The Tourist. His films are often about the passage of time and its effect on characters, stories, and memories. The Same River Twice was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 2004 as well as being listed as the Best Documentary and Cinematography of 2003 by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, Best Documentary at the Nashville Film Festival, Sidewalk Moving Picture Film Festival, and the New England Film Festival. Secrecy, directed with Peter Galison, was awarded Best Documentary at the Newport International Film Festival and Special Jury Prize at the International Film Festival in Boston. The Tourist premiered at The Telluride Film Festival.

Frank Kessler is Professor of Media History at the Utrecht University and currently the director of the Research Institute for History and Culture (OGC). Professor Kessler is co-founder and member of the editorial board of both Montage AV. Zeitschrift für Theorie und Geschichte der audiovisuellen Kommunikation [Montage AV. Journal for Theory and History of Audiovisual Communication] and KINtop. Jahrbuch zur Erforschung des frühen Films [KINtop. Yearbook for Research on Early Cinema]. From 2003 to 2007, Professor Kessler was the president of DOMITOR, an international association to promote the study of early cinema. In 2009 Kessler was a Research Fellow at the International Reasearh Institute for Cultural Technologies and Media Philosophy (IKKM) Weimar.

Assigned viewing and readings for RMA and PhD students:


  • Bear 71 (Web-Documentary)


  • De Bont, Raf (2008) “Savage Beauty and Brute Force. Colonials and Big Game Hunting”. In: Eric de Kuyper et al., Animalomania. Brussels: VDFC/Koninklijk Belgisch Filmarchief, pp. 40-65
  • Gaycken, Oliver (2002) “‘A Drama Unites Them in a Fight to the Death”: Some Remarks on the Flourishing of a Cinema of Scientific Vernacularization in France, 1909-1914”. In: Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 22, 3, 353-374
  • Holthof, Marc (2008) “Natura Artis Magistra. The Zoo as a Viewing Machine”. In: Eric de Kuyper et al., Animalomania. Brussels: VDFC/Koninklijk Belgisch Filmarchief, pp. 14-39
  • Mitman, Gregg (2009) Reel Nature: America’s Romance with Wildlife on Film. Seattle: University of Washington Press, pp. 26-108; 109-131
  • Painlevé, Jean (2000) “Feet in the Water” [1935]. In: Andy Masako Bellows, Marina McDougal (ed.), Science is Fiction. The Films of Jean Painlevé. Cambridge, Mass., London: The MIT Press / San Francisco: Brico Press, pp. 130-139
  • — (2000) “Scientific Film” [1955]. In: Andy Masako Bellows, Marina McDougal (ed.), Science is Fiction. The Films of Jean Painlevé. Cambridge, Mass., London: The MIT Press / San Francisco: Brico Press, pp. 160-169

Additional courses at Erasmus University Rotterdam

This year, Erasmus University Rotterdam opens courses for RMeS PhD and RMa students. These courses aren’t part of the RMeS core curriculum but are interesting enough to add to your programme.

Media, Children and Parents

When? Term 3 January – March 2013
For whom? Open for RMeS PhD and RMa students (max. 5)  

More information about this course and registration

Advanced Qualitative Methods  

When? Term 3 January – March 2013
For whom? Open for RMeS PhD students (max. 3)  

More information about this course and registration

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.


RMeS Tutorials – Bernhard Rieder & Carolyn Birdsall

RMeS Tutorials

When?  between 2 April – 28 June 2013
Where? University of Amsterdam
For whom? First and second year research master students in Media Studies and related fields
Offered by? the Research School for Media Studies (RMeS), as part of the RMa curriculum
Fee? (non-members): € 250,00
Credits? 6 ECTS
Participants? min. 3, max. 6
Deadline? TBA (ca. 15 March)

Bernhard Rieder: Software as Object of Cultural Analysis (6 EC)

Software is a puzzling object. Written like text but functioning like a machine it differs from other forms of technology/media by the way it is built, distributed, and used. At the same time, software has become ubiquitous: from enterprise management to online environments, from the most critical to the very banal, computer programs are part of a continuously growing part of everyday practices. But how to study these objects, how to conceive them intellectually? This tutorial aims at having a closer look at the emerging field of “software studies” but will also consider literature concerning adjunct subjects that may prove useful for understanding the phenomenon at hand, such as the history and theory of statistics, accounting, and information processing. Our guiding question will be: how does software introduce specific modes of structuring communication, interaction, and cultural production?
Register for this tutorial – THIS EVENT IS FULLY BOOKED

Carolyn Birdsall: Sound Media and Aesthetics  (6 EC)

In recent decades there has been a growing interest in sound, listening and audio culture within the broader field of media studies. In this tutorial, we will initially examine the significance and emergence of modern sound media (from the gramophone and wireless radio to tape technology and digital sound). After engaging with media historical perspectives, we will discuss the aesthetic dimensions to sound practice, its media-specific forms and modes of listening. The tutorial will introduce key concepts for sound analysis (including voice, noise, music, rhythm, acoustic space) and theoretical texts by McLuhan, Kittler, Chion, Altman, and others. Participants will be invited to discuss these texts in relation to contemporary examples, and to develop their own research interest with a specific object of analysis.
Register for this tutorial – THIS EVENT IS FULLY BOOKED

Program and assignments

The tutorials consist of two parts: 2 to 4 group-meetings with the teacher, in which the assigned readings will be discussed, and subsequently intensive individual supervision in writing a paper on a subject related to the theme of the tutorial, over email and/or in person. Readings and assignments will be announced in due time.

These tutorials are part of the RMeS curriculum for RMa students. This curriculum continues with the RMeS Summerschool, June 10 – 14 2012.