Nicky van Es: Locating Imagination. An Interdisciplinairy Perspective on Literary, Film and Music Tourism

Nicky van Es | Erasmus University Rotterdam Faculty & Department: Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC); Arts & Culture Department | Supervisor: dr. Stijn Reijnders  | 01 February 2013 – 1 February 17 | vanes[at]eshcc[dot]eur[dot]nl

Description research topic: Within the broader “Locating Imagination”-project, I particularly study the phenomenon of literary tourism – the phenomenon of people visiting places associated with popular works of fiction and/or their authors. In mainly addopting an ethnographical approach towards studying contemporary manifestations of literary tourism, the underlying aims of this project are to gain further insights on the diverse range of motivations, experiences and meanings attached to this practice by tourists themselves. Overall, the project is aimed towards providing an explanation for the increasing popularity of this phenomenon through stressing the importance of both reading and writing literature in the experience of place in a postmodern context. For using a picture, I assume you can use the one displayed on my homepage of my university (http://www.eshcc.eur.nl/english/personal/vanes/), though I am not entirely sure to what extent this picture is free of copyrights. Should you require any additional information or have any further questions, please do not hesistate to let me know as well!

Natalia Sanchez-Querubin: Pain and software: Playing, querying and following as modes of engagement in digital culture.

Natalia Sanchez-Querubin | University of Amsterdam, New Media Department, ASCA – Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis | Supervisor: Prof. Richard Rogers | Oct 2014- Oct 2019 | N[dot]SanchezQuerubin[at]gmail[dot]com

The aim of this research is to characterize and critique the modes of engagement that new media technologies afford media users in connection to pain and suffering, and thereby to bring the cultural study of pain into the digital age. Practices of cyber-bullying and hate speech are blurring distinctions between online and offline violence, making questions about software-mediated cruelty and their sites of practice, such as video games, increasingly relevant. Illness is broadcasted and shared through social media and is reshaping how people connect to sufferers. Images of pain circulate online in rankings cultures shaping the politics of witnessing where certain forms of suffering become ‘popular’ and ‘relevant’. Building upon work on pain in broadcast media and art forms such as cinema and photography, this project contributes to the study of the contemporary conditions of mediation by developing conceptual tools for critiquing and analyzing the contemporary conditions of mediated pain through three new media modes of engagement: playing, querying and following. Each serves as a case study with a particular method: (1) A cultural analytics of pain animation, through the detailed study of the amount of cruelty performed while playing video games; (2) a digital methods analysis of which imagery of pain is found online, focusing on rankings and popular types of pain in image search engines; and (3) a web content analysis of following and sharing pain, relating how social media authors contribute to the contemporary narratives of pain and what counts as caring online. In all the research provides a nuanced look at how new media is entangled with the subjectivities and painful experiences of others and contributes to media and cultural studies by building on current theorizations of affect and materiality within contemporary conditions of mediation.