RMeS RMa Course: Trending Topics – Engaging Objects

When? February-March 2023, exact dates see below
Where? Utrecht University
Coordinator? Dr Dana Mustata (RUG)
Guest lectures by? TBA
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@rug.nl.
Registration will open Fall 2022

General description:

Each spring, the Research School for Media Studies offers a Trending Topics course where faculty members from nine participating universities (UvA, UU, VU, EUR, UL, UM, RUG, RUN, TU) 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 nien 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%).


Utrecht University


Fridays 13.00-17.00
10 February 2023
17 February 2023
24 February 2023
3 March 2023
17 March 2023 – Paper presentations
Presentations: Friday 17 March 2023 10.00-17.00

RMeS RMa Course | Disinformation and Media: Cultures, Infrastructures, and Regulation

Course dates: Friday 7 April, 14 April, 21 April, 12 May & 26 May 2023 (Paper presentations)
Time: 13.00-17.00
University of Amsterdam, TBA
Credits: 6 EC
Course coordinator: Dr Bharath Ganesh (RUG) and Dr Marc Tuters (UvA)
Guest lectures by: TBA
For: First and second year RMa students in Media Studies, who are members 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; PhD researchers can inquire with RMeS should they wish to attend one or more seminars: rmes@rug.nl
Registration will open Fall 2022

In the past few years, disinformation has become firmly established as a fundamental concern for digital media studies research. In the process a wide range of perspectives and theories have emerged, including the return to prominence of the ‘media effects’ tradition. This course will situate these developments in the field of ‘disinformation studies’, which includes such concepts as fake news, conspiracy theory and deplatforming.  We will develop critical perspectives on these terms by engaging with recent research into how disinformation is produced, circulated, and  valorized online. In analyzing these dynamics the course will discuss political subcultures, ‘alternative’ content creators, new perspectives on the role of media infrastructures (including software, algorithms, and their affordances) and critically evaluate policy responses to disinformation. Each seminar will focus on an aspect of the field from a specific disciplinary perspective, with students being assessed on the basis of a research paper focused on an empirical case study. Students completing the course will develop advanced perspectives on the contemporary state of disinformation studies by engaging with scholarship from digital research methods, cultural studies, platform studies and political communication.

More information will follow soon.

Educational programme 2022-2023

We are currently finalizing our educational programme for 2022-2023. We expect to offer the following educational activities:

Masterclasses will be announced during the academic year.

Full programme will be available by the end of September. Registration for most of our events will open Fall 2022. Please register for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.




Guest Blogposts from the first session of The Magic City are live now!

For our [urban interfaces] seminar series on the theme The Magic City (2021-2022), we invited participants to write blogposts. The best and most interesting ones were published on the [urban interfaces] website.

The first blogpost was written by Kim Sommer, a student of the Media, Art and Performance program at Utrecht University. Although her background is in Film and Literary Studies, her present interests lie primarily with affect, (post)phenomenology and new materialism as conceptual lenses to explore and probe the boundaries of expanded cinema. She is currently the manager of the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis, and works as a teaching/student assistant at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam.

Jason Clark wrote the second blogpost. He is a RMa student in Cultural Analysis, which is a part of ASCA and NICA. He is currently writing his thesis on his research interests of embodiment and positionality within museum and art space contexts through sound and noise theory.

The third blogpost was written by Verena Kämpken. She currently studies the research master Arts, Media and Literary Studies at RUG. She gravitates towards questions of STS, New Media/Critical Data Studies, New Materialisms and their intersections.


The new episode of In Media Res Podcast is now live!

In the latest episode of In Media Res, Bartosz Zerebecki (EUR) interviews Yosha Wijngaarden who obtained a PhD in Media and Communication Studies in 2019. Currently an assistant professor at the department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University, Yosha sheds a light on her past research as a PhD candidate and her current research as a postdoctoral researcher at the Arts and Culture Studies department in Rotterdam. In this interview, Yosha addresses what working in the creative industries is like – from the perspective of her research – while also examining how current self-employed academic researchers survive on the job market.

Listen to the episode here!