PhD Researchers

Maranke Wieringa | Approaching algorithmic account(-)ability: developing tools to foster formalized and practical transparency in municipal data projects

This research aims to tackles the question: What is the current view on algorithmic accountability within municipalities, (how) do they practice it, and how can this practice be improved? The first part of the investigation will thus sketch a general overview of algorithmic accountability, in collaboration with VNG Realisatie. Aside from this national picture, the project will also look into a concrete case: the algorithmic fraud detection system implemented by several municipalities to screen those who receive benefits (Hijink 2018), which were the topic of recent parliamentary discussion (Security.nl 2018).

Arjen Nauta | Governing Through Reality TV in China: The Case of Hunan Satellite TV

Arjen Nauta | University of Amsterdam
My research seeks to address the surge of reality television in China in the 21st century within strategies of governance. First, I analyze the political economy in which television makers operate. Then, based on one year of ethnographic research at HSTV in Changsha, I show how political and economic factors influence the daily labor of production.

Veerle Ros | The Subjective Frame: a Cognitive Approach to Authenticity in Documentary Film

Veerle Ros | University of Groningen
The idea that photographic and filmic images contain traces of historical or actual reality has long been thought of as central to documentary’s defining quality as a ‘document’ of historical reality. This paradigm proved untenable in the face of arguments concerning the inherently constructed nature of representations, given additional momentum amidst the current digitization of visual media.

Qian Huang | Digital Vigilantism in China: Mediated Visibility in the Context of Social Change and Social Harm

Qian Huang | Erasmus University Rotterdam
Digital vigilantism is a process where citizens who are facilitated by digital media and technology are collectively offended by other citizens’ activities and use visibility as a weapon to conduct mediated policing and control. In China, DV is featured by the so-called ‘human flesh search engine’ and other forms of citizen-led vigilante activities.

Qiong Gong | Social media usage and its impacts on young adults in China

Qiong Gong | Erasmus University Rotterdam
My project ‘Social media usage and its impacts on young adults in China’ focus on the effects of social media use on the attitudes of young adults (18-40-year-old) towards politics, arts and culture and health related issues. The focus is on the case of China: a country with a state-controlled media system, in which during the past decades a highly diversified media ecology of social media platforms has emerged.

Rashid Gabdulhakov | Digital Vigilantism in Russia: Mediated Visibility in the Context of Social Change and Social Harm

Rashid Gabdulhakov | Erasmus University Rotterdam
As part of an international project, this research examines digital vigilance in the context of the Russian Federation with the aim of a nuanced representation of the phenomenon, including emergence and decay of cases, motives behind participation and its impact on targets, as well as the role of the state agents in mediated citizen-led justice.

Amanda Brouwers: Entrepreneurship at work: analysing practice, labour, and creativity in journalism

Amanda Brouwers | University of Groningen
The overall aim of the larger project, initiated by Tamara Witschge, is to theorise emerging shared understandings, everyday work activities, and material contexts of entrepreneurial journalism, in a time when established legacy media face significant challenges and new forms of journalism are emerging. The aim of the sub-project is to provide detailed observations of everyday activities in entrepreneurial journalism.

Stefan Baack: Knowing what counts. How journalists and civic technologists use and imagine data

Stefan Baack | University of Groningen
My dissertation examines how the growing reliance on data and the steady quantification of social life affects democratic publics. It studies the practices and social imaginaries of two actors who facilitate the use quantitative techniques in key areas of public space: data activists and data journalists. As data activists, I describe activists in the open data and civic tech movements who develop projects that aim to make engagement with authorities easier for citizens, e.g. parliamentary monitoring websites that make parliamentary speeches more accessible.

Sofie Willemsen: Breaching mobile private life: an experiment with public digital materialities

Sofie Willemsen | University of Groningen
My research takes up an embodied, spatio-temporal perspective on our daily mediated realities. It focuses on the moving trajectories in space and time of people and their media devices. The central question I wish to ask and tentatively explore, is whether and how media materials can help us shape sustainable forms of togetherness.

Leonieke Bolderman: Musical Topophilia. A Critical Analysis of Contemporary Music Tourism

Leonieke Bolderman | Erasmus University Rotterdam
Music tourism is an increasingly popular practice. Why would people be interested in visiting places related to music? How can something abstract like music lead to tourism, and what makes this activity meaningful to those concerned? In this dissertation these questions are answered by analyzing music tourism as a form of ‘musical topophilia’: creating, developing and celebrating an affective attachment to place through and with music

Stephanie de Smale: Postwar representation and remembrance in media-based collectivities

Stephanie de Smale | Utrecht University
How is wartime suffering is imagined and remembered in translocal digital culture communities? The empirical research conducted offers an in-depth case study analysis of everyday practices of remembrance within digital culture, read in relation to peacebuilding and postwar reconstruction in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Frank Weij: Geopolitics of artivism

Frank Weij | Erasmus University Rotterdam
Geopolitics of artivism explores the complex relationship between arts and politics in an increasingly globalized world. In Western democracies artists enjoy a relatively high degree of artistic freedom, meaning that artists are able to incorporate explicit political advocacy in their artworks. However, since most art fields are relatively autonomous from other societal fields, impact of politically engaged art often remains limited.

Advan Navis Zubaidi: The Representation of Disabled People in Indonesia TV Programs

Advan Navis Zubaidi | VU University
There are various representations of disabled people on TV programs. Those representations may affect the way viewers interact with disabled people in daily life. In Indonesia, the disabled were often involved in three different genres; telenovela, talk shows, and reality show. It could be argued that involving the disabled may easily attract viewers’ attention.

Andrea Wagemans: Negotiating different innovation logics in entrepreneurial journalism: looking beyond the perceived naturalness of open innovation

Andrea Wagemans | University of Groningen
Through a detailed study of innovation processes, this research proposal aims to gain insight into how networked ways of working within new journalism initiatives function in day-to-day practice. Based on the idea that innovation thrives in a context where a diversity of actors collaborate (see o.a. Blomqvist and Levy, 2006; Nieto and Santamaria, 2007; Ketchen e.a., 2007), this proposal researches how collaborations and negotiations between partners take place and what they result in.

Sjors Martens: City Games’ City-Game-Cycle: Fitting the Game to the City Challenge

Sjors Martens | Utrecht University
Games addressing citizens are increasing in number. Matching this increase are new and recurring narratives about what the city is. Cities have been called Smart, playful, sustainable, hackable, social – all names that determine the roles of cities and actions of their citizens. In my research I argue that the city games developed to foster these city ideas are initially informed by (sometimes implicit) values about the city.

Arnoud Arps: Remembering Violence: Cultural memory, popular culture and the Indonesian War of Independence

Arnoud Arps | University of Amsterdam
This PhD-project investigates how cultural memories of the violence during the Indonesian War of Independence are produced, constructed and consumed through contemporary Indonesian popular culture. For the past few years, Indonesian popular culture has been structurally and continuously referring to the Indonesian War of Independence, including its atrocities. This project takes Indonesian war-themed popular culture as its object of study

Roel Lutkenhaus: The Entertainment-Education Strategy in the New Media Landscape

Roel Lutkenhaus | Erasmus University Rotterdam, Center for Media & Health, Gouda
The Entertainment-Education (EE) strategy uses popular media to engage with target audiences on health-related topics such as condom use, drug addiction, or hearing loss. Traditionally, health (communication) professionals have collaborated with creative professionals such as script writers, directors, or producers to develop effective and appealing EE interventions for radio and TV. However, the media landscape has saturated and the Internet has afforded target audiences to create and circulate content themselves.

Jiyu Zhang: Global Chinese Cinema: Culture, Identity, and Politics in Chinese Films

Jiyu Zhang | Leiden University
No later than the turn of the century, the notion of Chineseness has entered into a crisis. Many theorists and scholars, including Rey Chow, Ien Ang, and Shu-mei Shih, to just name a few, have called into question the seemingly impeccable notion of Chineseness. For them, “Chineseness” reads like a monolithic, compulsory, and dominant presence that almost immediately suggests suppression and elimination.

Raquel Raj: Game Changer: Participatory Structures in Video Games

Raquel Raj | University of Groningen
All video games grant agency to their players, requiring active participation to move the game and narrative forward. Yet this participation is heavily structured and bounded by game rules and code. The tension between the structures of participation in video games, and the ways in which players negotiate the rules of play has the potential to illustrate not only how games work, and how games can work for us, but also offer insight into structures of participation in the non-virtual world.

Shuangli Guo: Beyond Storytelling: Early Chinese Film History between Attraction and Narration

Shuangli Guo | Utrecht University
My research is about Chinese early film history from 1896 to 1929. Before the 1980s, early films were seen as inferior, primitive because they did not follow the realist model of classical Hollywood film. In 1986, the famous American film historian Tom Gunning published his profound paper, “The cinema of Attraction(s): Early Film, Its Spectator and the Avant-Garde”, which had a great impact on film theory and history. In this article, Tom Gunning emphasized pre-narrative film and experimental film.

Guillén Torres: Everyday Forms of Institutional Resistance to Civic Engagement

Guillén Torres | University of Amsterdam
My research focuses on how activists experience the reluctance of certain governmental institutions to welcome them in decision-making process. I am particularly interested in how institutions handle information requests in ways that prevents citizens from accessing public sector information that would allow them to either hold the government accountable or influence public policy

Esther Hammelburg: Liveness coming to life: the mediatized experience of cultural events

Esther Hammelburg | University of Amsterdam
This research project addresses the question how liveness is constructed within the mediatised experience of cultural events/festivals. Since Daniel Dayan and Elihu Katz have firmly installed the category of media events into media theory these events have been closely connected to the notion of liveness, as they describe, the experience of being there, joining in the event as it takes place (Dayan & Katz, 1992). Many studies on a variety of event types have shown that although immediacy is one of the key aspects of liveness, the concept should not be regarded as the equivalent of live; it is not simply the simultaneity of event, transmission, and viewing (cf. Feuer, 1983; White, 2004; Kumar, 2012; Lunt, 2004; Couldry, 2002).

Henry Chow: Priceless experience: enchantment and commoditisation of K-drama tourism

Henry Chow | Erasmus University Rotterdam
The idea behind media tourism is simple: the media we consume influences what places we know about and how we feel about those places. Because of that, it also shapes our decisions to travel and the entire tourism experience, from planning the trip to retelling our travel stories afterwards. South Korean television drama series (‘K-drama’) adds an interesting case to the study of media tourism. As a relative newcomer to the global television arena, it has attracted a devout following in East Asia and beyond within two decades. While the Korean media industry have grown into a transnational network, as a strategic industry it retains strong linkages to the national government.

Inge Kalle-den Oudsten: The Post Museum and Digital Technologies

Inge Kalle-den Oudsten | University of Amsterdam
My research looks at the relationship between Eilean Hooper-Greenhill’s concept of the ‘post museum’ and digital technologies. The post museum may be conceptualised as the museum of the future: an open, democratic space, no longer centred on ‘objective’ knowledge and curator-led concerns, but much more about visitors and their meanings. Often, digital technologies are heralded as open and democratic, which begs the question – might they be an answer – could they project the traditional museum forwards towards the post museum?

Anouk Mols: Mobile privacy and surveillance: Evaluating users’ everyday negotiations and practices

Anouk Mols | Erasmus University Rotterdam
Mobile devices offer users unlimited new possibilities, three of which are the opportunity to keep an eye on your neighbourhood through WhatsApp groups, to use wearables and apps which monitor your health and track your fitness achievements, and to constantly receive assistance from an intelligent personal assistant. However, these mobile and interconnected platforms might also have an effect on how users negotiate their privacy as they increase the potential for more pervasive forms of digitally mediated surveillance by companies, marketers, governments, employers and Internet Service Providers.

Li-An Ko: Beyond Sadness: Historical Films in the Post-Martial Law Period of Taiwan (1987-2017)

Li-An Ko | Utrecht University
The development of cinema in Taiwan was heavily influenced by political powers (the colonial government of Japan and then the Chinese Koumintang), which controlled and restrained language, themes and historical representations on the screen. After the end of the Martial Law period in 1987, a number of films, in addition to the most famous one, Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s A City of Sadness (1989), engaged in the complicated historical issues of Taiwan, trying to represent Taiwanese history with viewpoints that had been suppressed by those in power. Thus, these historical films became part of the movement of reflecting on the identity of Taiwanese.

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 […]

Tim Groot Kormelink: The New News Consumer: Storytelling

Tim Groot Kormelink | VU University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Journalism | Supervisor: Irene Costera Meijer | December 2013 – December 2018 | t[dot]grootkormelink[at]vu[dot]nl My research is part of the project The New News Consumer: User-Based Innovation to Meet Paradigmatic Change in News Use and Media Habits. The central question that drives this project is: how does […]