RMeS RMa course: Arts, Life Science and Digital Culture

When? Fall 2021, exact dates TBA
Where? Leiden University
Coordinator? Dr. Ksenia Fedorova
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.
Registration will open September 2021.

In this course students examine ethical and humanistic dimensions of life sciences through art and explore the possibilities of the usage of digital methods. From the onset of medical research in history, the cultural worlds of art and science have interacted. More recently, artists have been directly inspired by genetic and biomedical sciences. The science-art relationship has become an exciting and dynamic field where controversial ethical issues, societal consequences of science, and the art of science itself are being addressed. How do artworks provoke new ways of thinking about science and the world? What moral and critical dilemmas are involved in the intersections between science and society and how can art play a role in this? The usage of biofeedback tracking and other digital technologies invites yet another series of questions about the impacts of algorithmization on our relation to the body and knowledge about physical and organic processes in general. Finally, looking at the biological entities in terms of their agency will allow a discussion about the shift towards the posthumanist paradigm in today’s humanities and science studies.

Course objectives

The student will:

  • Learn to reflect on the life sciences by discussing contemporary art;
  • gain insights into social and cultural consequences of the life sciences by study of art works;
  • be able to signal ethical issues and controversies in science addressed by art;
  • broaden his/her perspective on science by working in interdisciplinary groups of Science and Art students.


  • will be given an opportunity to articulate their moral attitudes, and explore during meetings other reasoned arguments that challenge their existing assumptions and ethical positions.
Mode of instruction
  • Seminar
  • Excursion
Assessment method

Art History students (10 EC)

  • participation in discussions, presentations and reports site visits (25%);
  • presentation of proposal for digital exhibition (25%);
  • written paper of 4500 words (50%).
  • each ResMA student must fulfil an extra assignment per course, in order to demonstrate their ability to work with more advanced theoretical and disciplinary questions beyond the normal MA level, to be decided by lecturer and student.

The final grade is the average of the three grades (25%, 25%, 50%). A student passes the course if the weighted average is a 6.0 or higher (marks under 5.0 are not allowed) and the paper is a 6.0 or higher.


There is a re-sit for every assessment.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.
The reading list will be made available through Brightspace.

RMeS Winter School | RMa Day

When: 28 January 2022
Time: TBA
Where: Radboud University Nijmegen
Organized by:Prof. dr Anne Smelik, Dr Yosha Wijngaarden, Dr Niels Niessen and RMeS
Open to: 2nd-year RMA students who are a member of RMeS
Registration will open October 2021

This year we will organise a special RMa Day during our RMeS Winter School & Graduate Symposium.

The sessions during the RMA Day of the RMeS Winter School will be primarily intended for 2nd-year RMA students, so that they can present their thesis proposals and receive constructive feedback from peers. It’s also possible to present another research topic you’re currently working on. The RMa students that wish to take part will have to contribute the following:

  1. A brief thesis proposal or abstract of your research topic (1-2 A4) that will be collected prior to the event and circulated among fellow RMa Students and Winter School teachers.
  2. An 8-10-minute presentation on the day itself, which should include an introduction to the subject matter, the method/approach, expected outcomes, and the significance of the research for the field.
  3. A written response to a peer (participants will serve as respondents to each other’s presentations), of 3-5-minutes, that presents questions, notes, and constructive feedback.

The overall exercise is intended to provide RMa students with the opportunity to present work and respond to an Q&A like they would in a symposium or conference, and also to receive feedback on their research proposals.

More information will follow soon.

RMeS Winter School & Graduate Symposium 2021-22

When: 27 & 28 January 2022
Time: TBA
Where: Radboud University Nijmegen
ECTS: 2 (two full days plus preparation 3 days)
Organized by: Prof. dr Anne Smelik, Dr Yosha Wijngaarden, Dr Niels Niessen and RMeS
Open to: PhD candidates who are a member of RMeS

Registration will open October 2021 

This year’s RMeS Winter School (27-28 January 2022) will be organised by Raboud University Nijmegen.

More information will follow soon.

RMeS RMa Course: Trending Topics – Engaging Objects

When? February-March 2022, exact dates TBA
Where? TBA
Coordinator? TBA
Guest lectures by? 
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.
Registration will open October 2021.

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 the coordinator of the course. The grading will be based on both the presentation (30%) and the final written assignment (70%).





Vacancy | The RMeS PhD Council needs you!

PhD Position

The RMeS PhD Council needs you!

The RMeS PhD Council is looking for a new member. The Council meets twice a year and organizes one network event each year. The Council represents the PhD community in the RMeS Advisory Board and gets to evaluate and discuss the direction of the Research School for Media Studies.

Joining the PhD Council is also a great way to get to know PhD’s from other universities in your field of study and broaden your network.

We are currently looking for a new member of the Council from:

  • Utrecht University

If you are interested in this position, or just want to ask some more questions, please let us know by sending an e-mail before August 31, 2021, with your name, current title of your PhD, and what year of your contract you are in, if applicable (no resume’s or motivation letters required) to rmes@rug.nl. Our aim is to choose a new member early September 2021.

In the case of more than one applicant for this position, the current PhD Council will select a council member from the candidates based on:

  1. Research subject (we aim to have council members from as wide a range of different areas of media studies as possible);
  2. Diversity (we aim to have a council that represents the PhD community as best as possible);
  3. Phase of PhD (ideally new members would be able to join the council for at least a year);
  4. Type of contract (we aim to have the council represent the different kinds of PhD’s in RMeS (inside/outside-PhD’s)).

We hope to hear from you.

RMeS PhD Council