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Funded Research Projects

  • Sociale Media en Verkiezingen 2019

    Research Project Commissioned by the Dutch Government Richard Rogers 2019

    This research project, commissioned by the Netherlands Government, looks into the role of fake news, false information, and computational propaganda in the upcoming elections of 2019. The project will include a series of empirical case studies to examine how search engines and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) are effectively used to spread disinformation in the Netherlands. An additional case study focuses on how the so-called “deep vernacular web” (4Chan, Reddit, and other alternative platforms) is used in the Netherlands to create a breeding ground for the mainstreaming of disinformation and extremist reporting.

  • Cross-Lingual Event-Centric Open Analytics Research Academy

    EU project Richard Rogers 2019

    The CLEOPATRA EU research project aims to make sense of the massive digital coverage generated by the events of global importance in Europe over the past decade. CLEOPATRA offers a unique interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research and training programme, which explores how we can begin to analyse and understand the major events that influence and shape our lives and our societies. It facilitates advanced cross-lingual processing of textual and visual information related to key contemporary events at scale, and develops innovative methods for efficient and intuitive user access to and interaction with multilingual information.

  • Algorithms Exposed. Investigating Automated Personalization and Filtering for Research and Activism

    Proof of Concept Grant (ERC) for Stefania Milan and her DATACTIVE team 2018

    Personalization algorithms—filtering content on the basis of someone's profile—increasingly mediate the web experience of users. By forging a specific reality for each individual, they silently shape customized 'information diets': in other words, they determine which news, opinions and rumors users are exposed to. Restricting users’ possibilities, they ultimately infringe on their agency. As exposed by the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, they are supported by questionable data sharing practices at the core of the business models of the social media industry. 

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  • Documenting Curatorial Practices in Dutch Art Museums (1945-today)

    KIEM Research Grant Rachel Esner 2018

    The Netherlands has a tradition of innovative curatorial practice in temporary museum exhibitions and collection presentations. Much of this practice – once dismantled – has unfortunately become invisible. This pilot-project represents the first step in creating a database that will make available to art historians, museologists, curators, educators, exhibition designers, and the general public the wealth of photographs and subsidiary material documenting exhibitions and displays in Dutch art museums from 1945 to today.

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  • Apps and Data Infrastructures

    Veni Esther Weltevrede 2019

    Apps have become an important part of our everyday life. However, how they operate is still largely unknown. This project develops novel digital methods to study how apps recombine, valorize and distribute data from various sources.

  • Imagining the Rural in a Globalizing World

    ERC Consolidator Esther Peeren 2018-2023

    With globalization primarily considered an urban phenomenon, its impact on rural areas tends to be neglected. Tackling this blind spot is urgent as rural-urban divides persist and rural communities, notably in the 2016 Brexit vote and US election, claim their concerns about globalization’s effects are being ignored. 

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  • App Ecosystems: A Critical History of Apps

    Veni Anne Helmond 2018-2022

    The aim of this project is to write the first critical history of the app ecosystem. People spend much of their time online using apps to communicate with people and to share content. Yet, despite their popularity we know little about the development of individual apps, their emergence as a new media form, and their native environment, the app stores.

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  • Sonic Entanglements: Listening to Modernities in Southeast Asian Sound Recordings, 1890-1950

    Veni meLê yamomo 2018-2022

    »Sonic Entanglements« will identify, organize, and analyze extant early sound (musical and non-musical) media in and about Southeast Asia during the emergence and development of early recording technologies in the region (1890-1950). The research endeavors to expand the historiographical archival corpus to include the early sound media and technologies as primary sources for the theoretical reflection of the Southeast Asian cultural history of modernities and the region’s entanglement with modern globalization. 

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  • Opinion Dynamics and Cultural Conflict in European Spaces

    EU project Richard Rogers 2017-2021

    Social media, online news and the comment space are having far-reaching effects on the manner in which individuals and communities communicate, organize and express themselves. Can the information circulating on these platforms be tapped to better understand and analyze the enormous problems facing our contemporary society?

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  • The Sensory Moving Image Archive

    Smart Culture Grant Giovanna Fossati 2017-2021

    The project’s objective is to establish a set of tools that is needed for the sensory exploration of moving images and it aims to provide a boost to the practice of users who seek to creatively repurpose collections.


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  • Data Activism

    ERC Starting Grant Stefania Milan 2017-2021

    We take a critical look at massive data collection, privacy and surveillance | social movements, activism and internet activism | internet infrastructure, cybersecurity and their governance | open data and civic tech networks.

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  • Sublime Imperfections

    Vidi Ellen Rutten 2016-2020

    Ours is an age of digital spellcheckers; of refined street mapping technologies; and of advanced visual editing tools. Word’s spellchecker, Google Maps, Photoshop: myriad digital technologies aim at lightening our everyday lives. Against this growing mediatised and digitised perfection, the late twentieth and early twenty-first century boast a strong preoccupation with imperfection.

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  • Corporate Collections

    NWO project Arnold Witte 2015-2019

    By using a signalling framework to integrate cultural studies and management science perspectives the project will study the effects of corporate art collecting in the context of the dynamics of the art world, as well as in the context of the competitive strategies in which corporations that build collections are involved.

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  • From Made in China to Created in China

    ERC Consolidator Jeroen de Kloet 2015-2019

    This project is funded by an ERC consolidator grant. It asks: What does creativity mean in the context of China, and what does it do? With its emergence as a global power, China aspires to move from a “made in China” towards a “created in China” country. Creativity and culture have become a crucial source for innovation and financial growth, but are also mobilised to promote a new and open China to both the citizenry as well as the outside world.

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  • Transformations of Civil Disobedience

    Vidi Robin Celikates 2015-2019

    From Socrates to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Occupy Wall Street movement, individuals and groups have committed unlawful acts to declare and protest the immoral and undemocratic character of certain policies, laws and institutions. Under which conditions are acts of civil disobedience justified? What is their political role in making societies more just and democratic? And who can engage in such acts against whom? These are some of the questions at the base of our research as we rethink the concept of civil disobedience.

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