Synergy conference 2019

Registration is now open for the leading event for Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in the Netherlands: Synergy conference 2019. On 7 February 2019, plenary speakers, experts and young talents will debate with each other and you about the value and impact of the entire field of SSH research.

Insights, inspiration and interaction

Synergy conference 2019 is a dynamic day full of insights, inspiration and interaction. From a 360-degree perspective, different angles on key topics impacting the SSH disciplines will be debated. In short: THINK360! One of the main conference topics is the impact of digitalisation on science and on our everyday lives.


Plenary speakers

During Synergy conference 2019, eminent plenary speakers will give you powerful insights. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Philipp Blom: philosopher, historian and writer of award-winning books on cultural history
  • Birgit Meyer: professor of religious studies and expert on the shifting role and place of religion in our time
  • Sally Wyatt: professor of digital cultures in development and expert on the relationship between technological and social change
  • Maxim Februari: novelist, columnist in Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad

Parallel sessions and call for sessions

During both the morning and the afternoon, parallel subsessions are organized. Here you can explore current topics in smaller groups (max. 50 people). The themes of the sessions are cross-disciplinary and focus on the broad domain of SSH research. The sessions in the afternoon will focus on the theme digitalisation. How do big data and artificial intelligence influence SSH research, for example? What does the digitalisation of sources add to science? What do robotisation and virtual reality mean for society?

Science Battle

In 2014, René M. Broeders and Suzanne Streefland conceived the interactive performance Science Battle: PhD students leave behind their trusted laboratories and present their research on a podium in 10 minutes. But who tells the best story? That is what the public can decide. Join Science Battle on Synergy and be convinced by the best presentation!

Science Battle is part of the optional programme. You can join Science Battle during one of the four parallel session rounds.

Network Plaza

The Network Plaza will form the heart of Synergy. Outside of the plenary sessions, a continuous programme will be held at the Network Plaza. It offers, for example, possibilities to network, roundtable discussions with experts, and an info market with organisations from science, society and industry. and support. And at the walk-in theatre you can watch young talented PhDs battle for the Upcoming SSH Researcher 2019 award.

Registration is free for all professionals involved in SSH research

Synergy conference 2019 will be held on 7 February 2019 at Spant conference centre in Bussum. Registration is free of charge for anyone working in the Netherlands in SSH research: from PhDs and postdocs to professors. Directors, policy makers and professionals from civil society organisations involved in SSH research are also warmly invited to attend. Visit for details and registration

Call for Papers: International Journal of Cultural Studies

Migration, Digital Media and Emotion

Guest edited by Donya Alinejad and Sandra Ponzanesi

In contexts of migration and transnational mobility, spheres of lived sociality have long spanned borders and nation-state territories. More recently, however, the use of mobile digital devices has become ubiquitous within many forms of migratory mobility, especially when they come paired with the latest iteration of Web 2.0, or “the social web.” Yet these developments in media technologies not only allow for information exchange but also foster a globally mediatized emotional exchange, which leads to new interactions between media, migration, and emotion. As the use of these devices and platforms penetrates the most intimate relationships and exchanges shaped by transnational distances and mobility, we are reminded anew of how migration has always been shaped by more than rational, economic considerations. Continue reading here.

International Journal of Cultural Studies is a fully peer-reviewed journal and a leading venue for scholarship committed to rethinking cultural practices, processes, texts and infrastructures beyond traditional national frameworks and regional biases. Established to revitalize cultural studies against the dangers of parochialism and intellectual ossification, the journal interrogates what culture means, and what culture does, across global and local scales of power and action, diverse technologies and forms of mediation…


  • 15 February 2019
    Proposals of 500-750 words should include an abstract and a short description explaining whether/how previous or current research relates to the special issue theme. Please also include a short bio of 250 words including name, affiliation, and contact details.
  • Notification of acceptance/selection: 31 March, 2019
  • Deadline for full papers: 31 August, 2019

Please send submissions to and We look forward to receiving your submissions. For more information read here.

Conference: The Audience Turn in Journalism Studies

22 January 2019  –  25 January 2019
KNAW – Trippenhuis
By invitation only | More information or questions: audienceturn[at]

During this Academy colloquium, international academics will highlight the links and contrasts in their research findings relating to digital and other news use and practices. They will also formulate challenges for the study of this rapidly evolving research area.

This Academy colloquium is intended to extend our knowledge of the impact of the digitisation of journalism on news use practices and the way in which public commitment is shaped. An innovative aspect is that the colloquium is based on a user perspective rather than the maker perspective that is dominant in journalism studies.

The colloquium is an attempt to understand how digitisation and the increasingly participative character of journalism is shaping the way in which people respond to news and how a social connection is being created by news. This urgently requires new theories, concepts and research methods in which the user is central.


Professor Irene Costera Meijer (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Professor Marcel Broersma (University of Groningen)

Book: Images of Dutchness – by Sarah Dellmann

Images of Dutchness
Popular Visual Culture, Early Cinema and the Emergence of a National Cliché, 1800-1914

Why do early films present the Netherlands as a country full of canals and windmills, where people wear traditional costumes and wooden shoes, while industries and modern urban life are all but absent? Images of Dutchness investigates the roots of this visual repertoire from diverse sources, ranging from magazines to tourist brochures, from anthropological treatises to advertising trade cards, stereoscopic photographs, picture postcards, magic lantern slide sets and films of early cinema. Through the combined analysis of words and images, the author identifies not only what has been considered “typically Dutch” in the long nineteenth century, but also provides new insights into the logic and emergence of national clichés in the Western world.

Sarah Dellmann worked as researcher and lecturer at Utrecht University, University of Groningen and Amsterdam University College, the Netherlands.

This publication is part of  Framing Film, a book series dedicated to theoretical and analytical studies in restoration, collection, archival, and exhibition practices in line with the existing archive of the Eye Filmmuseum.

CfP Soapbox: Journal for Cultural Analysis

Call for Papers: 1.2 ‘Off the Grid’

Grids govern our landscapes and cityscapes, our paintings and grocery lists, our maps and our borders, both walled and imaginary. They get us our energy and water, they fuel our online social lives, and structure the ways we perceive and move through space. On the one hand, the grid is a representational mode, one of rendering the world under a Euclidean regime of points, lines, and areas. On the other, it is the material infrastructure of utilities, transit routes and architecture. In an increasingly networked control society, data, numbers, and figures are in a constant feedback loop with material reality. Across this material-physical and the cultural-technical – between instantiations of the grid as artistic practice and as the “stuff you can kick” (Lisa Parks 2015) – we find a mess of politics and ideology, corporate and common interest.

For this issue, we encourage thinking ‘Off the Grid’ – calling for papers that envision and/or enact within, outside, through or against systems of perception, matter, energy and space. Papers might explore perspectives against logics that distribute power across concepts and cables, design and tarmac, techniques and technologies. This might mean engaging with what Shannon Mattern calls the “ether and ore” of contemporary urban and rural societies (2017), or it could involve tracing (dis)order in less concrete structures of visuality, spatiality and discourse. Is there a connection between a landscape gridded with pipelines and by modern scientific cartography? Or perhaps a shared logic between a grid of fiber-optics and the data societies it facilitates? To what extent is the grid by its very operation an instrument of national or corporate power – or can it be appropriated for the commons?

Ultimately, going ‘Off the Grid’ might be considered a romantic, futile gesture; a slantwise shift across preordained perspectives; an impossible step outside ideology; or an urgent tactic of resistance. If Western modernity and the grid go hand in hand – as suggested by Rosalind Krauss’ account of modern art’s gravitation towards “flattened, geometricized, ordered” forms (1985) – then what would it mean to challenge, repurpose or reject it? Does the concept still help us to understand the world, or limit expression within it?

For the second issue of Soapbox, a graduate peer-reviewed journal for cultural analysis, we invite young researchers to submit abstracts that critically engage with notions of the ‘Grid’. We encourage submissions that are directed towards, but not limited to, the following themes:

  • Modes of resistance or alternatives to the grid as mode of organisation
  • The grid as (or as alternative to) network, assemblage, empire and/or entanglement
  • Grids at the intersection of cultural geography and cultural analysis
  • Infrastructure: infrastructural crises and failures, the edge of infrastructure
  • (De)centralised power: the energy commons, democracy and climate crisis
  • Cityscapes, urban ecologies and planning
  • The rural as ‘off the grid’, against the grid, or as a grid
  • Living off the grid: alternative lifestyles and escapism; survivalism and wilderness
  • Grids in modern and contemporary art, architecture and design
  • Visual (dis)order and film: quadrants, grids and golden ratios in mise-en-scène
  • Grids in and as gaming; ‘NPCs’, ‘normies’ and meme culture
  • Data, networks and digital traces

Please submit your abstract (max 300 words) to by December 1. The full papers (3000-5000 words) are due February 15. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Soapbox also welcomes texts on any topic, all year-round – send full drafts of 4,000-6,000 words to

Also consider contributing to our website, where a variety of styles and formats is encouraged, including short-form essays, reviews, experimental writing and multimedia. Please get in touch to pitch new ideas or existing projects for us to feature there.

More information: visit website