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Research groups

  • America in Global Popular Culture
  • Amsterdance: The Amsterdam Electronic Dance Music Research Group

    The “Amsterdam Electronic Dance Music Research Group” is interested in a variety of topics that fall under the umbrella term of electronic dance music culture. Amsterdance departs from the field of popular music studies, from which it sets out an exploration of the spatial and social resonances that are generated by the sounds of electronic dance music. Based in Amsterdam, the group also traces the music’s global footprints in an effort to put both local and translocal occurrences in conversation with each another.

  • Art - Activism - Conflict


    Sruti Bala and Veronika Zangl

    The research group addresses the intersection of art and activism in socio-political conflict situations. Most research related to the arts in conflict zones tends to emphasise the emancipatory or reconciliatory attributes of art in conflict, paying attention to how art contributes to easing tensions between communities in conflict and overcome trauma. The research group seeks to discuss the more neglected aesthetic expressions of critique, such as those employing ironic, grotesque, absurd and ludic forms of cultural and artistic intervention in conflict settings.

  • Art and Politics


    René Boomkens

    The research group ‘Arts & Politics’ combines two related research interests: on the one hand the influence of (inter)national politics and policy on developments in the arts and perceptions of the role of the arts in politics and among politicians and administrators; on the other hand the political roles and functions of the arts and the (changing) perceptions of artists and intellectuals of the public and political impact of the arts. 

  • Art Education as Critical Tactics


    Jeroen Lutters and Fabiola Camuti

    AeCT proposes a radical re-thinking of the matrices of learning and education and takes creativity as a point of departure. It thereby challenges the historically formed concepts of schools and disciplines in a society in transition. It proposes to curate a new educational turn with art and art education as its core.

  • ASCA Cities Project


    Carolyn Birdsall

    The Cities Project brings together a diverse group of scholars from accross the humanities who are interested in comparative, interdisciplinary analysis of cities

  • The Coetzee Collective


    Carrol Clarkson

    The Coetzee Collective has now moved online, and we have a lively Facebook group too. We are recognized as the international network of Coetzee scholars. It’s fun to be part of those initial encounters and exchanges that develop into essays, and dissertations, and journal articles—and even books!

  • Crisis, Critique and Futurity


    Maria Boletsi and Eva Fotiadi

    The term ‘crisis’ is currently omnipresent in public rhetoric as a qualifier for global and local challenges. The environmental crisis, the global financial crisis, the European debt crisis, the refugee crisis, the uprisings and revolutions of the ‘Arab Spring’ and the political and humanitarian crises in their aftermath, are all events and phenomena brought under the rubric of this term. While a real industry of popular and scholarly crisis-texts has recently emerged, crisis is often taken as a given: a descriptive designation of a state or event. The ‘Crisis, Critique and Futurity’ group draws attention to crisis as a normative qualifier, a contested, multifaceted concept, and a framing that enables certain narratives of the present while excluding others.

  • Critical Health Humanities

    Critical Health Humanities: Cultural (Re)Constructions of Illness, (Mental) Health, Well-Being and Recovery

    Illness and health transcend the limits of our bodies: they are social, cultural and political realities, too, increasingly on a global scale. Living with an illness often comes with the social restrictions of ‘the sick role’, or even stigmatization. Health and well-being, additionally, are culturally and politically meaningful practices: they produce and disseminate images, narratives and connotations, they imply specific notions of (global) citizenship and personhood, and they construe oppositions – instable as they may be – between normal and deviant, legal and illegal, natural and unnatural. Such oppositions are set up – and often questioned and rejected, too – in a wide variety of sources, ranging from medical discourses and popular culture to artistic practices and interventions by patient organizations. To fully understand the challenges of health and illness, therefore, it is essential to critically assess them as cultural (re)constructions. It is this ambition that the researchers associated with this group share.

  • Cross Media


    Markus Stauff, Abe Geil, Sudeep Dasgupta

    Displacement, convergence and hybridity are some of the terms through which transformations across media can be described. Practices of interaction with media forms like television and cinema for example, combine elements which were hitherto segregated by disciplines like Film Studies and Television Studies. The Crossmedia research group discusses this dynamic between specific media subjects and the crossmedia dimensions of cultural experience, technological interactions and textual transformations as ongoing "cultural reinvention".

  • Digital Emotions


    Ellen Rutten and Niels van Doorn

    In the past decade and a half, cultural studies and cultural sociology have created a rich vocabulary for thinking about emotions, feelings and affect – whether it is the role of feelings and emotion in social and economic struggles; the status of affect as a commodification object; or the public and political sphere as intimate, to mention some notable strands of inquiry. The same period has witnessed a spike in the growth of digital media and information and communication technologies and their social and political impact in all world regions. In short, today we witness the simultaneous booming of two academic fields – studies of emotion and of digital media. 

  • Digital Methods Initiative


    Richard Rogers

    The Digital Methods Initiative (DMI) is one of Europe's leading Internet Studies research groups. Comprised of new media researchers and PhD candidates, it designs methods and tools for repurposing online devices and platforms (such as Twitter, Facebook and Google) for research into social and political issues. 

  • Ethics and Politics of Digital Technologies

    The research in this programm aims to deepen the understanding of the moral, political, and legal dilemmas in which privacy is involved and to adapt and enrich the protection and maintenance of privacy in the context of quickly developing new technologies. 

  • Fashion/Representations in Global Context


    Christine Delhaye

    In recent decades, fashion and fashion representations have become important areas of interest within academia. The purpose of this research group will be to contribute to the understanding of fashion or “fashionableness” as a multifaceted issue. 

  • Film and Philosophy


    Patricia Pisters and Josef Früchtl

    This project is devoted to the organization of a monthly seminar exploring the philosophical and film- and media theoretical dimensions of contemporary audio-visual culture, both in artistic and popular forms of expression. 

  • Game Lab


    Toni Pape

    This Game Lab provides a forum for researchers and students to critically and analytically engage with video games. At the lab, we test video games and engage with games scholarship with a twofold goal. First, we want to assess the role of games in a changing media landscape. How do games infiltrate other media forms through cross-media or transmedia strategies? How do new gaming platforms - such as the Nintendo Switch and its principle of modularity - shape our habits of media use? Second, the Game Lab wants to analyze the cultural significance of videogames through close aesthetic analysis.

  • Geomedia


    Patricia Pisters and Leonie Schmidt

    This group investigates how “geomediation” is a useful framework for examining, critiquing, and experimenting with media. Leveraging the recent tendency in ecological media scholarship to situate media  in terms of geological materials and processes, this group examines the various and complex ways in which media are tied to flows of planetary matter and geopolitical logics. 

  • Global Digital Cultures

    This network group explores on how digitization is transforming cultural practices, from friendship, intimacy and sexual relations, to the construction, targeting, and surveillance of publics. Digital platforms and mobile apps, such as Facebook, Tinder, YouTube, Instagram, Netflix, the Russian platform VK, and the China-based WeChat, TikTok, and Tantan, have rapidly become central to the production, circulation, consumption, and monetization of culture. The complexity and scale of these changes require active collaboration across a wide variety of disciplines within the humanities and beyond. With this in mind, the group develops interdisciplinary research projects and events on Global Digital Cultures. The group is linked to the research priority area Global Digital Cultures (

  • Literature of the 21st Century


    Ellen Rutten, Arent van Nieukerke, and Eric Metz

    Investigating the “literariness” just before and after 2000 from a transnational (and trans- regional) point of view will modify – and enrich – existing representations of the afore- mentioned cultural processes. Local models of literary currents differing from – and modifying – the mainstream can only be pinpointed by studying artistic and critical texts from a number of local literatures that are not always easily available in translation. An adequate presentation of these texts presupposes an intimate knowledge of the local languages and culture that can only be accomplished by a research group, uniting experts from a wide field of national – and regional – literary traditions. 

  • Modern and Contemporary Art


    Mia Lerm-Hayes

    Modern and Contemporary Art History researchers are all engaged in one way or another in examining the (historical, philosophical, social and political) consequences of a wide variety of artistic and art-institutional practices through sets of questions revolving around the art practitioner, the art institution and the recipient, and of the art object itself.

  • Moving Images: Preservation, Curation, Exhibition


    Giovanna Fossati and Floris Paalman

    The research group brings together scholars and professionals concerned with the preservation, curation and exhibition of moving images and sound. Members study past, present and future processes, practices, platforms (on-site and on-line) and contexts (institutional and professional) for archival and new media, as well as the apparatus with which they are associated. The ‘moving images’ featured can be film or broadcasting materials, screen-based works or installations, and artistic, popular or utilitarian work, and are variously positioned as heritage objects, as the products of creative expression, or as commodities.

  • Music and Culture


    Barbara Titus

    Cultural musicology operates at an intersection of sound studies, ethnomusicology and popular music studies. Subject positions engendered and propelled by aural experiences, and the articulation of those subject positions in (the formation of) social constellations, such as (sub)cultural organisations, media, industries and political arenas are primary concerns of music researchers in the Music & Culture research group.

  • Peripheries Project


    Esther Peeren and Hanneke Stuit

    The Peripheries Project focuses on those spaces constructed, at specific points in history, as peripheral, and explores the social, political and cultural meanings and effects of this inherently perspectival positioning, as well as its dynamic relationship to what is seen as central. 

  • Philosophy and Public Affairs


    Beate Roessler

    A common characteristic of many contemporary social and political problems is that the extent to which these problems are public affairs, and thus where, by whom and how they have to be dealt with, is uncertain and contested. This is particularly pressing with questions about, for instance, diversity and identity, exclusion and inclusion, biotechnology and the environment (including the standing of animals), and political authority and the challenges to it.

  • Postcolonial Film Histories and Heritages

    ASCA Research Group coordinated by Asli Ozgen-Tuncer and Emiel Martens

    The research group Postcolonial Film Histories and Heritages seeks to bring together, and to establish a network between, researchers, educators and practitioners in the Netherlands and beyond who are interested in film history and heritage from a critical postcolonial perspective. Departing from the field of postcolonial film historiography, we will explore issues related to the histories, archives, aesthetics, politics and legacies of empire cinemas and anti-colonial films and visual cultures. For those interested in joining our mailing list or organizing an event under the umbrella of the research group, please email the convenors Asli Ozgen ( and Emiel Martens (

  • Reclaiming Multiculturalism


    Yolande Jansen

    This research group aspires to answer the question of how to conceive of non-reifying multicultural politics, and how to reclaim multiculturalism as a project of hope in the context of neoliberal cultural globalisation.

  • The Significance of Phenomenology


    Christian Skirke

    Our research project has three main goals.  First we will explore some of the many ways in which phenomenology is at work in diverse areas of philosophy today.  Second we will investigate how phenomenologists might respond to the various critiques described above.  Many philosophers have concluded, based on these critiques, that phenomenology has little to offer today’s philosophers, particularly those with normative and political concerns.  We dispute such a pessimistic conclusion but in our view there is still much work to be done in responding to these critiques.  A third stage in our project will explore some of the extant responses to these challenges in order to assess to what extent they succeed.

  • Text and Cultural Exchange With and Within the Muslim World


    Richard van Leeuwen

    This programme focuses on texts which reflect processes of cultural exchange with and within the Muslim world, both as accounts of cultural interaction (travel reports, evaluations of cultural difference, letters, autobiographies, encyclopaedias), and as ‘objects’ of exchange (translations, emulations, adaptations, reception). The main interest is the ways in which texts reflect interactions and encounters across cultural boundaries between different regions within the Muslim world (Arab world, Asia) and between the Muslim world and Europe.

  • Thinking Artistic and Design Practices


    Marie-Aude Baronian and Sophie Berrebi

    This research project brings together scholars and writers that engage in dialogue with objects of visual culture, which they construe as "theoretical acts". This involves working with objects that inspire and challenge theory while remaining intimately engaged with them. 

  • Word and image


    Emilie Sitzia and Mia Lerm-Hayes

    The Word and Image ASCA group brings together art practice- and humanities researchers from different disciplines, who are interested in exploring the relationship between word and image. It focuses on researching the various relationships between word and image in art, art (history) writing, literature, popular media, books of all forms, comics/graphic novels, creative writing etc. and their work in / impact on society (values, meaning-making, etc) and cultural imaginaries.