Call for proposals: Performing Robots Conference 2019

Performing Robots Conference: Dialogues Between Theatre and Robotics

23-25 May 2019, Utrecht (the Netherlands)
Organized by Transmission in Motion (Utrecht University) and SPRING Performing Arts Festival

Call for Proposals
Deadline for Proposals: 7 March 2019

Robots are increasingly present, both in our daily life and on stage. Theatre makers explore the possibilities of these new technological performers and investigate the opportunities and implications of a future of living with them. Also in daily life, the presence and behavior of robots raises questions that concern their dramaturgy and design: how do social robots address their human co-performers and afford interaction with them? What scripts do they follow? How to design and choreograph their appearance and movements? How do their actions invite responses and exclude others? How do they draw and sustain attention? How do they invite us to attribute character and meaning? What role do affect and persuasiveness play for a successful interaction?

Guy Hoffman observes that theater acting and other performing arts could serve Human Robot Interaction (HRI) as useful testbeds. Heather Knight identifies eight lessons about designing non-verbal interaction that can be learned from the theatre, and demonstrates the potential of comedy for experimenting with and testing out robot behavior and HRI. Elizabeth Jochum points to puppet theatre as source of knowledge and expertise about animating mechanical agents, and shows how theatre can be used to study interaction with care robots. Projects like Towards Corporeally Literate Social Robots (Petra Gemeinboeck) and the Pinoke Project (Deakin University) use expertise from the field of dance and interaction with dancers for new approaches to developing movement for robots.

This conference takes stock of interactions between theatre and robotics so far and looks at possibilities for future collaboration. What do the performing arts have to offer as inspiration, model, and testbeds for robots and for HRI? What does robotics have to offer to the theatre? How might collaboration between the performing arts and robotics contribute to further development of social robots, as well as to critical understanding of what it will mean to be living with them?

The conference will include performances by and/or dialogues with theatre makers Kris Verdonck, Rimini Protokoll, Dries Verhoeven, Angela Goh and others.

We are welcoming proposals for papers, demonstrations and other kinds of presentations by scholars and artists about interactions between theatre and robotics. Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

The use of knowledge and expertise (theories, analytical tools, practical expertise) from the theatre for understanding and designing robot behavior and HRI.

Practices of making theatre as inspiration for creative approaches to the process of developing robot behavior and HRI.

The use of the theatre, and by extension theatrical contexts like festivals, as a site for experimentation with the behavior of robots, for trying out and testing ways of communicating with them, as well as for exploring scenarios for interacting and living with robots.

– Creative explorations of robotics by theatre and dance makers.

Proposals for papers should be 250 words in length, in addition to the following information: name of presenter(s), email address, short bio (maximum 50 words). Send proposals to, indicating “paper proposal” in the subject line.

For other formats, please contact the organizers ( with a short description of what this presentation would entail and what would be required, as well as a short (50 words) bio.

Important dates:

Deadline for submissions: 7 March 2019

Notification of acceptance: 20 March 2019

Dates of the conference: 23-25 May 2019

Transmission in Motion

SPRING Performing Arts Festival

Production Studies in the Humanities: Challenges and Opportunities for Understanding Media

Production Studies in the Humanities: Challenges and Opportunities for Understanding Media

Date: 18 March 2019
Time: 14:30 – 16:30
Venue: Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Amsterdam – room C 1.05

An afternoon workshop with the editors and some of the (53) authors of the new handbook Making Media (Amsterdam University Press, January 2019), including:

  • Tamara Witschge, University of Groningen
  • Aphra Kerr, National University of Ireland Maynooth
  • Arne Krumsvik, Kristiania University College
  • as well as co-editors Mark Deuze and Mirjam Prenger (University of Amsterdam)

We will discuss the rapid rise of production studies as a humanities discipline within (and alongside of) Media Studies over the last decade. What are the various ways in which we can study the production of media, what kind of insights does these approaches give us, how does this help us understand media better, and how can all of this move the field forward? Witschge runs research projects with media startups and artists, Kerr is a worldwide renowned expert on the digital games industry, Krumsvik has contributed benchmark studies to the field of media innovation, and Prenger and Deuze are the editors of the new Making Media handbook, bringing together 53 authors coming from 14 countries across 6 continents.


Diaspora, Media and Migration PhD Workshop 2019

29 October 2019
Brussels, Belgium

This year DMM young scholars workshop welcomes acclaimed scholars Prof Myria Georgiou (London School of Economics and Political Science) and Dr Donya Alinejad (Utrecht University) at Vrije Universiteit Brussel as part of the Digital Fortress Europe Conference. We all know that it is a difficult task to identify, validate and present our main findings and contribution of our research projects as young scholars in the field. Considering the interdisciplinary nature of our field and the continuously changing landscape of media and communication technologies, it is crucial for us young researchers to situate our doctoral projects within existing academic literature and research. This is the reason why this years young scholar workshop aims to help ten doctoral researchers who work on the intersections of diaspora, media and migration to find their own voice and make sure that it is heard.

Our one-day long workshop is divided into two parts:

  1. Morning session: Each participant will be given the opportunity to present their research project and get feedback. Considering the theme of the workshop, the presentations are expected to focus on the main findings and respective theoretical and methodological claims.
  2. Afternoon session: The afternoon session involves several group activities which will focus on the most effective ways to address limitations of your research, to present your findings/analysis and to think together about the ways in which the research projects are relevant and distinctive.

The application process:

It is required that the applicants submit a summary of their research project (between 1500 and 2000 words) by 22nd March 2019 to the e-mail address  Summaries should include:

  1. An introduction which includes your research topic and research question(s)
  2. A brief literature review with your mains theories/concepts
  3. Methodology
  4. Your main findings and how these are expected to contribute theoretically, conceptually and/or methodologically
  5.  Questions/concerns you would like to discuss  Â
  6. Full name of the author, institutional and departmental affiliation and contact details

* The PhD workshop is organized by the European Communication Research & Education Association (ECREA) Diaspora, Migration & the Media (DMM) section in collaboration with the ECREA International & Intercultural Communication (IIC) section. The workshop is organized as part of the Digital Fortress Europe Conference, but please note that acceptance to the young scholars workshop does not guarantee participation to the conference. The workshop will take place on the day before the conference specifically for PhD candidates as a separate event at Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

**There is no admission fee. Coffee and tea will be provided.

***The abstracts should be submitted in MS word file. Please indicate the name of the workshop in your e-mail subject. You should receive the notification of acceptance by 29th April 2019.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

Melis Mevsimler, Utrecht University, ECREA DMM Young Scholars Representative (
Yazan Badran, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (

Call for Papers UU Humanities Graduate Conference 2019

The next Utrecht University Humanities Graduate Conference will take place on 11 and 12 April 2019.

This annual conference is organized by and for research-oriented R(Ma) students and PhD candidates from all (sub)disciplines of the humanities from both Dutch research institutions and comparable research institutions abroad.

For this year’s edition What’s the Point?,  we invite contributions from R(Ma)’s and PhD’s from all these disciplines on the twinned issues of Impact and the Future of the Humanities.  Prospective contributors should send a 200-300 word abstract with a short biography to by 15 February 2019.

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Simon During (School of Communication and Culture, University of Melbourne)
  • Professor Eleanora Belfiore (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies, Loughborough University)

For full details of the Call for Papers:

For general information on the conference:

Contact us: or


Masterclass with Prof. José van Dijck at KNIR

Social Media and Political Governance: Rome, Italy, Europe

Date: 25 March – 1 April 2019 
Deadline for applications: 25 January 2019 (Extended deadline)

The emergence of social media over the past fifteen years has had a notable impact on the daily lives of European citizens. Particularly in the field of politics and city governance, the surge of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have changed the communication and media landscape. This masterclass will address 1) the impact of social media on political communication in Italy and 2) its impact on local governance and citizen engagement. We will focus on Italy and Rome as highly interesting battle fields of mediated politics and governance in a volatile European environment.

First, social media have changed the way politicians communicate with and relate to their constituencies not only during election campaigns, but continuously. Politicians and political movements from both the Five Star movement and Lega Nord have invested heavily in online communication with their electorate. Through Facebook and Twitter, they align and confront citizens to win over public opinion. Second, social media have transformed the way city governments engage with citizens; local governments have started to encourage the use of social media platforms to help improve democracy, promote transparency and citizen’s knowledge of the political process and their engagement.

However, the ubiquitous implementation of social media platforms in political communication and local governance is not without problems. Over the past two years, critical studies have shown that social media can help promote and manipulate particular viewpoints, processes, and outcomes. European discussions over social media as promotors of populism, hate speech, and fake news have prompted academics in various fields (from political science, media studies, communication theory, governance studies) to reflect on the dynamics underpinning social media platforms and their effects on media institutions and democratic processes. We will be looking into the local, national and supra-national (European, global) dimensions of this wicked problem.

Prof. dr José van Dijck (UU), drs. Andrea Vreede (Rome), dr. Pepijn Corduwener (UU).

5 ECTS, assigned upon completion of the final essay.

Active contribution to discussions, and a final essay, to be submitted within one month after the stay in Rome.

Course language

The masterclass is open to a maximum of 15 selected participants from all relevant disciplines (particularly political sciences, governance studies as well as media studies) at (R)MA or PhD-level, as well as to early career academics. Prospective participants from all over the world may present their candidature.

Fees and Bursaries
Selected participants from KNIR partner universities (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit Leiden, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) will receive full KNIR bursaries, comprising all expenses related to the masterclass (tuition, lodging in Rome, conference fees, etc.). Additionally they receive a €100,- reimbursement of their expenses for travelling to Rome after submission of their final essay. Personal expenses, including meals, are not included.

Selected participants from other institutions need to cover their own expenses, but will be housed at the KNIR at a reduced rate of € 200,- for the duration of the Masterclass.

Applications are welcome until 15 January 2019. Notice on acceptance will follow before 1 February 2019. Candidates can apply by filling out the application form via the link below, submitting a motivation letter, a recent CV and an updated overview of study results.

Facilities in Rome
All participants will be housed at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome’s Villa Borghese Park. From there, it is only a short walk to the historical centre of Rome. The KNIR accommodation consists of shared bedrooms and bathrooms, and includes a living and dining space, a large kitchen, washing machine and wireless internet. All residents have 24/7 access to the library and gardens of the Royal Netherlands Institute.

More info
Phone: (+39)063269621

The study load is the equivalent of 5 ECTS (140 hours) and comprises eight days of study in Rome. Each student should arrange with his/her university whether the course can be part of the existing curriculum. Upon successful completion of the course, the KNIR will provide a certificate mentioning the study load and evaluation tools.

To apply: visit KNIR-website