PhD Defence: Alex Gekker (Utrecht University)

Uniquitous Cartography: Casual Power in Digital Maps

When? 9 December 2016, 14:30
Where? Senaat hall of the Academiegebouw (academy building) of Utrecht University, at Domplein 29, 3512 JE  Utrecht.
The doors close at the exact time and latecomers will not be able to enter.

On 9 December 2016, Alex Gekker will defend his PhD Thesis Uniquitous Cartography: Casual Power in Digital Maps. His main proposition is that mobile digital maps should be understood simultaneously as being ubiquitous (think Google Maps) and being personalised. This results in unique power relations between makers and users of such maps, which become part of our mundane technological background.

The defence will last exactly 45 minutes, after which the extended committee will deliberate and finally award him a doctoral degree (unless something goes freakishly wrong). After the defence, the guests are invited to participate in a reception that will take place downstairs.

You are cordially invited to join Alex Gekker in celebration, if you are (or willing to be) in the Netherlands around that time. Please RSVP using the form below whether you plan to attend, and – if so – whether you are staying for the reception. It will greatly help him with planning the day.

PhD Defense: Enis Dinç (University of Amsterdam)

Performing Modernity: Atatürk on Film (1919-1938)

Supervisors: Frank van Vree, M. Şükrü Hanioğlu and Esther Peeren
Date: 13 December 2016, 12:00 hrs, Agnietenkapel

When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of the Turkish Republic, took the lead in the national resistance movement in Anatolia in 1919, he was far from being a household name. Nevertheless, the effort and attention that his government devoted to the creation of his public image gradually turned him into a superhuman figure in the eyes of many. The mass media played an important role in the creation and dissemination of this image, and helped Atatürk to advance his project of building a new “imagined community” of the Turkish nation.

Based on extensive research in Turkish and foreign archives, this dissertation explores the relationship between media and power, and more specifically the role of film in the making of the myth of Atatürk and the modern Turkish nation-state in the early twentieth century. By placing newly discovered footage featuring Atatürk in a series of contexts, this study demonstrates that this footage did not merely record history but assisted in the shaping of it. It shows that film played an important, if sometimes paradoxical role in making Atatürk and Turkey’s new “modern” image visible on both the national and the international stage. Finally, it suggests that the making of the leader’s image in cinema not only influenced his contemporaries when he was alive, but continued to have an effect long after his death, determining how later generations have continued to imagine Atatürk as a hero, teacher, father and modern statesman.

Promotie: Merel Borger (Vrije Universiteit)

Digitale technologie en publieksparticipatie in de journalistiek en de vraag wat telt als ‘echte’ journalistiek

Datum: 18 oktober 2016, 13.45
Locatie: Aula
Participatory Journalism. Rethinking Journalism in the Digital Age?
Promotor: prof.dr. I. Costera Meijer, dr. A.M.J. van Hoof, dr. J.M. Sanders

De komst van digitale technologie heeft de verwachting opgeroepen dat iedereen voortaan zou kunnen deelnemen aan het maken en verspreiden van nieuws. Op basis van literatuurstudie, kwalitatieve analyse van diepte-interviews en inhoudsanalyse van nieuwsberichten onderzocht Merel Borger hoe participatieve ontwikkelingen in de journalistiek invloed hebben op conventionele opvattingen over wat telt als journalistiek en wie telt als journalist.

Meer informatie over het proefschrift in VU-DARE

PhD Defence: Niels Kerssens

Cultures of Use – 1970s/1980s: An Archaeology of Computing’s Integration with Everyday Life

Date: Wednesday 25 May 2016, at 10am sharp.
Venue: Agnietenkapel, University of Amsterdam (address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 231
Promotors: Prof. dr José van Dijck & Dr Bernard Rieder

You are cordially invited to attend the public defence, which will take place in the Agnietenkapel, University of Amsterdam (address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 231). The defence will be followed by a reception in the Agnietenkapel.

Should you have any questions, you can reach Niels Kerssens via

Sanne Rotmeijer: Media in the Dutch Antilles: Identities, Politics, and Change

Sanne Rotmeijer, MA | Leiden University | Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) | Supervisors: Prof. dr. G.J. (Gert) Oostindie & Prof. dr. J. C. (Jaap) de Jong | December 2014 – December 2018 | rotmeijer[at]KITLV[dot]nl

This research focuses on how traditional and new ‘Dutch’ Caribbean media reflect and shape discourses of (trans)national identities in the context of the ambivalent dynamics of non-sovereignty. Towards, around and in the aftermath of the official dismantlement of the Netherlands Antilles – the political construction that had held five of the ‘Dutch’ Caribbean islands constitutionally together- on 10-10-10, debates on ‘us’ versus ‘them’ nurtured by politics of national positioning and (presumed) shared national identities have become more powerful. Ongoing migration to and from the islands, moreover, have made discourses of national identity more complicated. ‘Dutch’ Caribbean media play a quintessential role in reflecting and shaping these discourses. Considering the small-scale island populations and the potential area of distribution, the ‘Dutch’ Caribbean media landscape is widespread, highly diverse and multi-lingual (Papiamentu, Dutch and English representing the most important languages). Established media institutions, with newspapers being the most popular, are traditionally successful in the region. However, they also face challenges related to the small-scale of the islands. First, most media are politically affiliated or government-owned. Second, they tend to be economically dependent on sponsors and donors. And third, the islands lack trained and professional journalists. The emergence of new media, particularly the fast growing Caribbean blogosphere and islanders’ Facebook use, may meet up to some of these challenges by providing new spaces for bottom-up, peripheral voices and for younger generations and diaspora communities to participate in mediatized (trans)national identity constructions. Through a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) from a Discourse-Historical Approach (DHA), this research aims to analyze ‘Dutch’ Caribbean media texts in light of the ambivalent dynamics of non-sovereignty, conduct ethnographic fieldwork at three ‘Dutch’ Caribbean newspapers as well as online participating in bloggers networks and Facebook communities, and explain findings drawing on insights from cultural media studies, postcolonial and political theory, and Caribbean studies. Insights contribute to a better understanding of the role of media during political change in small-scale societies, and the variety of complex political processes through which (trans)national identities are constructed in times of postcolonialism, globalization and digitalization.

Keywords: Dutch Caribbean, (new and social) media, (trans)national identities, diaspora, critical discourse analysis; discourse-historical approach, postcolonialism, cultural media studies, political theory