Eirini Tsitse | Cultivating Cultural Innovation: Audience Engagement, Digital Dynamics, and Entrepreneurial Strategies

This PhD research investigates the transformative potential of audience engagement in the cultural and creative sectors and industries (CCSIs), focusing on the intersection of audience engagement, cultural entrepreneurship, and digitalization. Motivated by a research gap in understanding individual-level audience experiences in cultural sectors, the study aims to uncover how audience engagement influences the overall trajectory of CCSIs.

Vanessa Richter | Imaginaries of Artificial Intelligence – Mapping (Social Media) Platforms’ Role in Shaping (Public) Tech Imaginaries

Artificial intelligence is considered a key technology today, although interpreted diversely and ambiguously. With the shift of AI products into everyday life, new fears of job loss and promises of easing work burdens are hatching, impacting large public investments into research and industry and are reflected in policy discourses and legislation. The imagination and future perception of what AI can and should become have led to different trajectories showcasing the importance of social and cultural discursive imagination in envisioning and determining trajectories of AI and its integration into society through such imaginaries.

Luuk Schröder | Re-sensing electronic waste through artistic practice, how can lived experience at e-waste recycling centers contribute to our media-ecological future?

This research project addresses the mediation processes that persistently hide the materiality of media technology. Media technologies contribute siginicantly to the current ecological crisis. Yet, ‘a pivotal feature of media technology’s is that their “materiality”, their material presence, and sensorial impact in the mediating process, tends to escape regular users’ (van den Oever and Fickers, 2023). As a result, the role that media technology plays in the current ecological crisis and the lived experiences of people working at the end of the production chain is often overlooked. If we want to grasp the human involvement and environmental harm that are consequences of the material that media equipment is made of, we must re-sensitize ourselves to the media technology we use so much

Semmy Claassen | Researching The Pros of Digital Bookish Platforms and How They Can Improve Reading Education in Dutch-Language Contexts

Semmy Claassen | Utrecht University
As evidenced by the PISA 2022 Results, a third of Dutch 15-year-old students is at risk of leaving secondary school illiterate (OECD, 2023; Stichting Lezen, 2023). This points to the reading crisis among Dutch youth which manifests a decrease in reading (Waal, 2023). In the midst of this reading crisis, there is a fair share of adolescents who are (re)discovering and celebrating reading through TikTok’s literary subculture BookTok (Martens et al., 2022). I will further explore the mechanisms of digital literary platforms in Dutch-language contexts and their possible role in motivating reading among young people.

This interdisciplinary PhD project, combining media studies, literary studies, and educational sciences, consists of two main phases. The main research question is whether and if so, how, digital platforms and/or their subcultures with an emphasis on reading can enhance reading education in secondary schools to contribute towards combatting the reading crisis described above.

PhD Defence: Jeroen Boom (Radboud University Nijmegen)

6 March 2024 | 16.30hrs | Aula Radboud University Nijmegen
Strangers Unseen explores images of refugees and migrants that are deliberately obscure, opaque, and illegible. It examines these images within a group of recent essay films that employ fractures and frustrations as expressive cinematic elements to engage with the different realities of displacement and statelessness.