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.
ECTS? 6
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: rmes-fgw@uva.nl.
Registration

THE COURSE IS FULLY BOOKED, please send an e-mail to rmes-fgw@uva.nl 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%).

Programme:

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)
Registration

THE SEMINAR IS FULLY BOOKED, please send an e-mail with your name, university and research school to RMeS-fgw@uva.nl. 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.

Aims:

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