Educational Programme 2019-2020

We are currently finalizing our educational programme for 2019-2020. We expect to offer the following educational activities:

RMeS Winter School & Graduate Symposium (expected January/February 2020)
RMeS RMa Course: Trending Topics (expected February/March 2020)
RMeS RMa Course: Contemporary approaches to digital cultures: platforms, politics, performances and people (expected April/May 2020)
RMeS Summer School (expected June 2020)

Masterclasses will be announced during the academic year.

Full programme will be available by the end of August. Registration will open begin September.

We wish you all a wonderful Summer!

RMeS Masterclass: Fandom and Audience Studies Methodologies with Lori Morimoto

When? Monday 01 July 2019
Where? HU University of Applied Sciences, Creative Business – Room number: 3.072, Heidelberglaan 15 Utrecht
For? PhD Candidates and RMa Students
ECTS? 1 ECTS (for RMa Students and PhD candidates only)
Confirmed Speakers? Lori Morimoto, Dr Jessica Seymour, Dr Anne Kustritz & Dr. Dan Hassler-Forest
Organization and introduction? Dr Nicolle Lamerichs
Registration

Biography invited speaker

Lori Morimoto researches transcultural fandoms and East Asian regional media. Her recent work includes chapters in The Companion to Fandom and Fan Studies, Routledge Companion to Media Fandom, Seeing Fans: Representations of Fandom in Media and Popular Culture, and the forthcoming Transatlantic Television Drama and Becoming: Essays on NBC’s Hannibal. She has published in Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies (with Bertha Chin), Transformative Works and Cultures, [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies, Asian Cinema, and has an article forthcoming in Journal of East Asian Popular Culture. Her outreach projects include The Fan Meta Reader, which showcases fan-penned media and fan cultural analysis for a non-fandom audience, and Fan Studies for Fans, a 10-lecture series for fans wanting to learn more about fan studies scholarship.

Biography organizer

Dr. Nicolle Lamerichs is senior lecturer and team lead at Creative Business at HU University of Applied Sciences, Utrecht. She holds PhD in media studies. Her book Productive Fandom explores intermediality and reception in fan cultures. Her research focuses on participatory culture and new media, specifically the nexus between popular culture, storytelling and play.

Programme:

12:30 Registration with coffee and lunch

13:00 Introductions

Getting to know each other and short welcome by Dr. Nicolle Lamerichs

13:30-14:30 Opening lecture

Lecture on transcultural research, fandom and methodology by Dr. Lori Morimoto

Respondents: Dr. Anne Kustritz & Dr. Dan Hassler-Forest

Coffee

14:45-16:00 Fan Studies Panel

Talks about fan and audience methodologies by amongst others Dr. Jessica Seymour, Dr. Anne Kustritz & Dr. Dan Hassler-Forest, including round table discussion.

16:00-17:00 Tips and Tricks in Cultural Research

RMeS students bring questions and struggles that the panel of fan scholars responds to. RMeS students read the literature and relate it to their own work.

17.00 Drinks and Snacks
Assignment for participants

Assignment: Bring questions and examples from your own work. Please read the literature before the workshop, and formulate questions regarding the topics.

Literature
Venue:

Creative Business. Institute for Communication (floor 3), Heidelberglaan 15, Utrecht Science Park, Utrecht

Public Transport: Take bus 12 or 28 from Utrecht Central Station for approximately 15 minutes in the direction of Uithof (Stop: Heidelberglaan).

By car: Parking locations

 

Review: RMeS Network Event – How do You… Collaborate with External Partners?

Collaboration with external partners: Why? How? What are the consequences?

This blog is written by Rashid Gabdulhakov (PhD-EUR)

As academics, we are still ‘touching the waters’ in matters of collaboration with external partners. Collaboration is a logical and, perhaps, an inevitable scenario in contemporary research.  But how do we tune it up? How do we turn collaboration into a well-oiled engine that can guarantee us a long-lasting, smooth, and mutually satisfying ride? This year’s RMeS annual networking event was dedicated to debunking these complex and highly relevant questions. The invited speakers Prof Dr Tamara Witschge, Dr Amanda Paz Alencar and Professor Melissa Wall shared their rich experiences and unique perspectives. In this blog entry, I will provide brief snapshots of presentations and discussions that took place at the workshop, as they can be handy for our fellow PhDs who could not join the event.

The event

The idea and importance of collaboration with external partners has been actively penetrating and circulating in the academia-related discourse. When organizing this year’s annual networking event, the PhD Council of the Research School for Media Studies (RMeS) decided to tackle the topic and debunk the issue with the help of the invited experts. Council members and RMeS Board are very grateful to the experts for their time and unique insights. We also thank all of the participants for joining us, for asking important and challenging questions and for sharing their own experiences.

Why collaborate with external partners?

The workshop opened with a critical take on the very nature of collaboration with external partners. Workshop participants were challenged to think about what is lacking in current approaches in order to formulate a coherent and multi-perspective understanding of the importance of collaboration. Who are these partners, what are their interests, backgrounds, perceptions?

Participants were encouraged to critically assess their own position and presentation when approaching new actors. Partners beyond academia can be a crucial source of information and a source of access to the field. Moreover, they can inform and assist us in constructing the ‘right’ questions in the early stages of our research when we explore the topic. Here it is important to note some of the challenges associated with exploratory site visits. For instance, justifying such visits to ‘the other side’ can be a difficult task.

As academics, we have a voice and a desire to make a meaningful impact through our research. Collaboration with external partners presents unique opportunities for getting our analysis and arguments ‘out there’ and into ‘the real world’. In the broad sense, the WHY question can be summarized as getting access, ensuring connectivity, being informed, informing, contributing and participating.

How do we establish collaboration?

When organizing events, we should be conscious of opportunities to invite external partners. Workshops and academic conferences can be fruitful grounds for mutually beneficial connectivity and exchange between academia and external partners. Social media is another important and handy domain where we can approach, connect and maintain contact with actors we are interested in establishing a collaboration with. Social media is also a space where we present our projects and ourselves; therefore, we should be savvy and strategic about personal presentation. Realistically speaking, a lot has to do with ‘who you know’ and ‘who you can get to know’ through your own network. So, be proactive!

The dangers and conflicts of interest in collaboration with external partners

The workshop’s second half was dedicated to addressing the more challenging sides of collaboration with external partners. Some of the addressed topics included financial questions, ethics, project ownership, personal and collective aims, etc. When it comes to finances, we tend to think that collaboration can help us fund research and financially aid those who decide to collaborate with us. In reality, things are more complicated and our project members are increasingly more often expected to pitch-in financially.

As far as finding research partners is concerned, there are over-researched sites and over-partnered institutions, which may further make it difficult to identify and approach potential collaborators. The workshop participants were encouraged to think strategically and critically about whom to approach and why. There are cases where the approached partners have had a negative experience with academics in the past, it is important to be aware of such instances and to work out your own strategy for approaching such actors. Furthermore, it is important to keep considering the motivations to collaborate – not only the motivations of our collaborators but also our own. How do we ensure ethical and mutually beneficial collaborative partnerships in which both academic integrity and the greater good are served? Neither academia nor external partners are homogeneous entities. Thus, we need to think about how alternative voices can be heard.

To avoid any potential misunderstandings and contestations over project trajectory and ownership, it is important to get the expectations out at the very early stages of establishing a collaboration. We should always be pragmatic, strategic, and true to ourselves and our partners.

Summing up

Collaboration with external partners can be a wonderful and mutually beneficial experience. If you ask yourself the right questions before and during the collaboration, your chances for a satisfying and successful experience will rise. I hope that this brief snapshot from the workshop will come in handy for you! Best of luck in your approaches to collaboration and please share your success stories with us on this blog! Stories of ‘not so successful’ collaboration are also welcome. We hope to see you at the future RMeS events.

Relevant literature

Wagemans, A., & Witschge, T. (2019). Examining innovation as process: Action research in journalism studies. Convergence. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856519834880

Rashid Gabdulhakov Portrait (Vertical Broad)

Author

Rashid Gabdulhakov is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Media and Communication of Erasmus School of History Culture and Communication.

Supervised by Dr Daniel Trottier and Professor Susanne Janssen, Rashid is investigating vigilante acts in the digital domain as part of the ‘Digital Vigilantism: Mapping the terrain and assessing societal impact’ project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Vacancies: The PhD Council needs you!

The PhD Council needs you!

Due to a number of graduations, the RMeS PhD Council is looking for new members. 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 new members of the Council from:

  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Utrecht University
  • VU University Amsterdam
  • University of Amsterdam
  • University of Leiden

Each of these universities has one seat in the PhD Council.

If you are interested in a position, or just want to ask some more questions, please let us know by sending an e-mail before February 28, 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-fgw@uva.nl.

In the case of more than one applicant for a single 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.

Best
RMeS PhD Council

Recipient of the first RMeS PhD Workshop Grant: Dr Rik Smit

We are very proud to announce that Dr Rik Smit (University of Groningen) will receive the first RMeS Workshop Grant. The RMeS PhD Council, together with two selected members of the Advisory Board, selected Smit’s proposal out of 4 other proposals.

The jury praised Rik Smit’s proposal “Appnography: Researching the apps of life and the life of apps” for its exciting, topical theme and its well-thought-out and well-developed programme. They also applauded his original student assignment which asks participants to come up with a “design fiction”, aimed at exploring and critiquing possible futures. As the workshop connects Rik’s PhD project (Platforms of Memory: Social Media and Digital Memory Work) to his current project on personal memory apps, the jury believes the RMeS Workshop Grant will provide him with a fantastic opportunity to present his work to a new generation of media scholars.

The workshop Appnography: Researching the apps of life and the life of apps is scheduled 1 April 2019.

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.