Research Master’s Seminar: “Imagining the Image” (VU University)

When? February – June 2019
Where? VU University, TBA
For? RMa Students
Credits? 9 ECTS
Coordinator? dr Sven Lutticken (VU University)
Registration? Please send a short motivation before 16 November 2018, to s.lutticken[at] and c.c. to RMeS-fgw[at] Please be sure to specify your master programme, national research school and university.

This course examines different conceptualizations of the image in the context of historical transformations of the arts. This year’s edition will focus on critical theories of representation and visibility, including not only art and media theory but also in philosophy, feminist theory and postcolonial studies. Looking into representation both in the sense of depiction (Darstellung) and of political delegation (Vertretung), we will discuss the multiple valences, ambiguous past and uncertain future of this concept. Contemporary artistic and activist practices will be analysed in conjunction with the theoretical writings.

Participants in this course will:
1) analyse and compare relevant theories of the image in art history, media studies, design studies and the history of architecture.
2) actively apply theories to selected case studies.
3) examine the historicity of theories of the image and the potential contemporary relevance of older writings.
4) reflect on the wider social and cultural relevance of various conceptualizations of the image and visibility.

Lecture and seminar. The focus is on active participation and the ability to articulate and discuss one’s analysis.

Students write an essay that counts for 60% of the final grade; presentations during class (30%) and participation in the discussions (10%) make up the remaining 40%. Students are expected to be able to discuss and critique theoretical texts at a high level of sophistication.

Matching of course objectives and assessment
Objective 1: Discussion about readings (10%), presentation (30%)
Objective 2: Essay, 3000 words (60%)
Objective 3: Discussion, presentation, essay
Objective 4: Discussion


To be announced


Admission to Research Master’s programme Critical Studies in Art and Culture. Students from other tracks in the Humanities Research Master, and students from comparable research master’s programmes elsewhere, may be admitted individually, depending on their background knowledge.
To register: Please send a short motivation to s.lutticken[at] and c.c. to RMeS-fgw[at] Please be sure to specify your master programme, national research school and university.

Datafied Society seminar: Governance & Governmentality

Date: October 8th, October 22nd, November 5th, November 19th, December 3rd, December 17th.
Time: 14:00 – 17:00
Venue: Utrecht University – Drift 13, room 0.05
Open to: PhD candidates and RMa students who are a member of a Dutch Graduate Research School (onderzoekschool). Students who are members of RMeS will have first access.
Credits: 3 ECTS
Organization: Karin van Es, Maranke Wieringa, Gerwin van Schie and Tim de Winkel
Registration: Maximum participants in the event: 12
Register before: September 30th. Register here

General description

About the course

How do data influence the governing of our society? With automatic systems checking for fraud, or trying to predict crimes before they’ve happened, it becomes increasingly important to reflect on the governance and governmentalities (Foucault 2010) such systems enforce and/or facilitate.

This first instance of the course is themed ‘Governance and Governmentalities’, and will focus on how technology/data systems are used to exert power over data subjects, how they influence decision making and how technology/data systems are inscribed by powerful entities. The course takes a media studies perspective, but draws from a wide variety of fields such as ANT, sociology, information and computer sciences, gender studies, platform studies, and critical theory.

Participants who want to take the course for ECTS, are required to 1) actively participate during the whole course (10%), and 2) present a research proposal (90%). In this research proposal the participants are required to demonstrate how the texts we’ve discussed in the previous weeks could be applied to a research project. The research itself does not have to be executed. Instead, students will be presenting a proposal, which includes a case, research question(s), and propose an adequate method and a theoretical framework, during class.

3 ECTS (of 28 hours each), equates to 84 hours of study load. The study load is distributed as follows:

  • 6 seminars of 3 hours each = 18 hour;
  • Preparation of seminars 5 x 10 hours (thoroughly reading the texts and formulating questions) = 50 hours;
  • Preparing one’s own research proposal and presenting it = 16 hours.

About Datafied Society

The Datafied Society research platform addresses societal challenges emerging from novel data practices in public governance and management, (public) media and public space and seizes opportunities for using data practices to foster citizenship, civic participation and creative production. For the coming years, our focus areas are: Government and governmentalities, Social justice and public values, and tool criticism. As part of these focus areas, the Datafied Society will regularly offer rMA students, PhD candidates and other RMeS members a themed course in we will engage in a close-reading of selected texts.


  • Meeting 1: Governance and Governmentalities
  • Meeting 2: Data infrastructures
  • Meeting 3: Governing data subjects
  • Meeting 4: The values inscribed in data systems(/technology)
  • Meeting 5: Governing (with/through) data systems
  • Meeting 6: Student presentations

Preparation and readings:

Literature will be accessible online or will otherwise be made available to students prior to the start of the course.

Credits & certificate

Certificates of participation and credits are available upon request after the event. Event coordinators will decide whether the participant has fulfilled all requirements for the ECTS. Please direct your request to and include the postal address you want the certificate send to. Note: the certificate itself is not valid as ECTS, you need to validate it yourself at your local Graduate School.

RMeS RMa Course: Trending Topics

When? 15 & 22 February, 1 & 8 March 13.00 – 17.00 / presentation day: 29 March 2019 (changed date). 12.00 – 18.00 / deadline paper: 29 March
Where? University of Amsterdam, University Library – Belle van Zuylenzaal, Singel 425, Amsterdam. March 29: Potgieterzaal, Singel 425, Amsterdam.
Coordinator? Dr Alex Gekker (UvA) and Dr Maryn Wilkinson (UvA)
Guest lectures by? Dr Eugenie Brinkema (UvA), Dr Catherine Lord (UvA), Dr Robert Prey (RUG), Dr Arno v/d Hoeven (EUR), Prof. dr Sybille Lammes (UL), Dr René Glas (UU), Dr Jasper van Vught (UU), Prof. dr. Mark Deuze (UvA), Tim Groot Kormelink MA (VU)
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:

THE COURSE IS FULLY BOOKED, please send an e-mail to with your name, university and research school. We will put you on our waiting list.

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.

The field of media studies today is decreasingly tied to specific media types (film, television, or digital media) or practices (e.g. journalism), and instead often turns towards the areas of interaction between them, and their shared concepts and ideas. Larger trends such as globalisation, digitisation 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. These crossovers are both theoretically and methodologically challenging. Moreover, it requires us to rethink our engagement with specific media objects, and our critical analysis skills. Close reading remains incredibly important, but it can no longer stay isolated. In order to improve and enrich our understanding of the media objects we engage in our research, it is important to understand where different perspectives add to, overlap, or digress from one another.

In the ‘Trending Topics – Engaging Objects’ course, the lecture sessions will each take a specific media objects as a primary case study (from the field of film, television, digital media, and journalism studies), and bring two guest lecturers and their respective areas of expertise into dialogue about their objects. Each afternoon will be dedicated to the analysis, research and discussion of specific media objects. A fifth session revolves around student presentations in preparation of their final written assignment. All sessions, assignments, readings and preparatory work will be supervised and marked by dr. Maryn Wilkinson (UvA), the coordinator of the course. The grading will be based on both the presentation (30%) and the final written assignment (70%).


13.00-17.00 on Friday, February 15th, 2019: “Engaging Spectatorship”

  • Dr Eugenie Brinkema (Guest researcher UvA)
  • Dr Catherine Lord (UvA)

13.00-17.00 on Friday, February 22nd, 2019: “Audio Lives”

  • Dr Robert Prey (RUG)
  • Dr Arno v/d Hoeven (EUR)

13.00-17.00 on Friday, March 1st, 2019 “Playing Digitally”

  • Prof. dr Sybille Lammes (UL)
  • Dr René Glas and Dr Jasper van Vught (UU)

13.00-17.00 on Friday, March 8th, 2019: “New News” 

  • Prof. dr. Mark Deuze (UvA)
  • Tim Groot Kormelink MA (VU)

RMeS RMa Course: Contemporary approaches to digital cultures: platforms, politics, performances and people

When? 5 April, 12 April, 26 April, 3 May and 10 May. 13:00-17:00
Where? Erasmus University Rotterdam, Polak 1-20
For? PhD Candidates and RMa Students
Credits? 6 ECTS
Coordination? Dr Payal Arora (Erasmus University Rotterdam – ERMeCC)

THE SEMINAR IS FULLY BOOKED, please send an e-mail with your name, university and research school to We will put you on our waiting list.

How do we identify the fake from the real? What strategies enable us to reveal and yet protect our subjects who seek anonymity online? Can researchers be activists and their research serve as instruments for social change? How do we ensure fair representation through big data analytics? These are some of the questions that need addressing as we seek to study digital cultures. This course identifies key research issues and novel methodological solutions in the study of contemporary digital cultures. In particular, we investigate challenges faced in the arena of data authenticity, representation and communication to lay and other publics.

The course is organised around four dimensions – platforms, politics, performances and people. Platforms are the new contexts for digital cultures. They are deeply corporatized, walled gardens that often allow a small circle of researchers to access their vast data. They are designed to be unstable, as they need to constantly innovate and re-design to stay competitive. Here, students learn to apply methods of place-making and data hacking to circumvent issues of access and locatedness. To speak thoughtfully about the politics of engagement, students learn to critically identify and capture the perspective from varied actors such as (non)users, programmers, politicians, corporations and activists. To extract voices from below, students learn how to deploy action research using social media campaigns. Performances are about digital expressions, memes and trends. Here, students learn to use digital methods to assess claims of globality and diversity through big data. Lastly, in the module on People, students learn to apply auto-ethnography to digital contexts such as gaming, city navigation and other applications. Overall, this course provides both qualitative and quantitative methodological insights into the examining of contemporary digital cultures.


Students have knowledge and understanding of:

  • A critical understanding of contemporary digital cultures
  • Key methodological problems risen due to the advancement of new technology platforms
  • Exposure and critical insight into novel empirical approaches for the digital age
  • Diversity in digital cultures and the implications on social equality and representation

Students are able to:

  • apply relevant theoretical insights in choosing appropriate methods to analyze digital cultures
  • critically reflect on academic texts, both verbal and in written form
  • design and write an essay; make an intellectually compelling argument on the choice of methods and identification of challenges in the chosen topic
  • present their argument in a clear, convincing and engaging manner

Compulsory literature:

  • Readings via RMeS and online resources

Workshop: Media Sports and World Building

Media Sports and World Building

A workshop / Master class of the ASCA Cross-Media Research group in cooperation with Arts and Culture, VU)

25 June 2018, 13-19h

Location: UvA Library, Vondelzaal (Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam; )
Registration: (See details below)

The media discourse of competitive sports contributes some of the most consistent and powerful world-building dynamics to the constantly changing cross-media landscape. The serialized and repetitive organization of its competitions guarantees an endless stream of interrelated events, and the evaluation of performances provokes ongoing investigations and contested narratives about heroes and villains. While each sport offers its own characteristic spaces and characters, they all share an emphasis on the particular rules that structure behavior within their specific worlds, rules that aim to create a level playing field that is clearly differentiated from the surrounding ‘reality’.So far, ‘world building’ has mainly been described as a branding strategy (and fan practice) dealing with works of fiction. Yet, sports also offer a highly dynamic and complex set of elements with their own logic and mythology. All media – from newspapers, radio, and film to television, social media, and smartphones – contribute to this world of sports to attract and monetize eyeballs, activating their specific capabilities to extend the already existing world with additional details and alternative perspectives. While narrative is important, the world building in sports includes other elements as well: rankings and records, data visualizations and memorabilia, medical reports and legal contracts, for instance. Because of sports’ character as a global commercial enterprise, its world building is closely entangled with questions of copyright and the appropriation of the latest technology. And while the media discourse often presents sports as a world of its own, it connects to, and impacts on, the world beyond its delineated space (just like all world building does).

In this workshop, we present several case studies with which we analyze how different media and their specific technological and economic affordances harvest, extend, or modify the world-building dynamics of modern competitive sports, asking how the entanglement of sports and media practices generate narratives, characters, events, visuals, controversies, and real-world (legal, technical, political) effects.

13:00-13:30 Welcome – Sebastian Scholz (VU), Markus Stauff (UvA)

13:30-14:50 Panel 1

  • Politics before kick-off? Mapping controversies on Twitter about the 2018 FIFA World Cup
    Carlos d’Andréa (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil; visiting scholar at the UVA)
  • The Visual Worlds of Extreme Sports
    Florian Hoof (Center for Advanced Studies ‘Media Cultures of Computer Simulation’ at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany)

15:15-17:15 Panel 2

  • Televised Football: Race/Ethnicity and Whiteness in Content, Production, Reception
    Jacco van Sterkenburg (Rotterdam University)
  • Data Worlds and Media Sports
    Markus Stauff (University of Amsterdam)
  • Transmedia Strategies in Journalism. An analytical model for the news coverage of planned events
    Lorena Tárcia (Centro Universitario de Belo Horizonte, Brazil)

17:30-18:30 Evening Lecture

  • “The Super Fight”: Muhammad Ali and the Cultural Politics of Closed-Circuiting Boxing Exhibition
    Travis Vogan (School of Journalism & Mass Communication and the Department of American Studies at the University of Iowa, USA)

Invited speaker: Travis Vogan, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Iowa. He researches the intersections among sport, media, and U.S. culture with a special focus on television, media industries and institutions, documentary, and the relationship between commerce and cultural value. Next to numerous articles he published the following books:

  • Keepers of the Flame: NFL Films and the Rise of Sports Media (University of Illinois Press 2014)
  • ESPN: The Making of the Sports Media Empire (University of Illinois Press 2015)

His current book project, ABC Sports: The Rise and Fall of Network Sports Television, uses the American Broadcasting Company’s influential sports TV division to outline the development, politics, and transformation of sports television from the 1950s through the early 2000s.

The workshop is open to all interested scholars, PhD- and MA-students. RMa and PhD students who want to earn 1 ECTS can either contribute a presentation (15 minutes) or a report on the event (800-1000 words).