For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.
Convenors: Alessandra Benedicty and Jaap Kooijman. Coordinator: Eloe Kingma ( | 12 October, 8 November (Wednesday!), 7 December, 22 Februari 2024, 21 March 2024, 25 April 2024, 15:00-17:30 ​​

This year's program: Close Readings: Text, Object & Subject 

In this year’s seminar, we discuss the importance of close readings in relation to our objects of study, as well as our own position as academic researchers. What happens to the act of close reading when the “object” changes? How do close readings of novels differ from close reading interviews conducted during field work?

1. Introduction: The Persistence of Textual Analysis 

Thursday 12 October 2023 

2. (Written) Text 

Wednesday 8 November 2023 

3. (Moving) Image 

Thursday 7 December 2023 

4. (Observational) Interviews 

Thursday 22 February 2024 

5. (Interactive) Apps/Platforms 

Thursday 21 March 2024 

6. Positionalities and Subjectivities 

Thursday 25 April 2024 

The aim of the ASCA Theory Seminar is twofold:

First, we propose to explore broad theoretical and methodological paradigms, and discuss influential texts in relation to ASCA PhD projects. Participants of the Theory Seminar will become acquainted with current practices in cultural analysis and learn how to integrate them in their own work.

The second important aim of the Theory Seminar is community building. The seminar aims to bring together PhD candidates from the diverse disciplines within ASCA to learn about each other’s research projects, struggles and joys, and to make new friends. To serve this latter purpose, each session will end in a café with drinks.

The ASCA Theory is a collective initiative of the PhD candidates and the ASCA directors. The ASCA director Jaap Kooijman and Alessandra Benedicty, will be involved as ‘guides’, formulating a theme and selecting some of the readings. The sessions will be prepared and chaired by a team of (two to four) PhD candidates from different disciplines. They are expected to propose an additional reading and to show how the particular theoretical paradigm under discussion is of use to them in their project. 

We want to create a regular group for all six sessions, so if you register you are making a commitment to participate in all sessions. We recommend that all PhD candidates in their first and second year follow the ASCA Theory Seminar integrally. PhD candidates who are in their third year or further along are very welcome to join, too, as are ASCA staff members.

Please register for the ASCA Theory Seminar by sending an e-mail to Eloe ( with a short summary of your project (no more than 100 words) and a preference for one of the sessions you would like to co-organize. Please register before 30 September 2023.