Even as the ongoing development of globalization and convergence culture has enabled a more participatory model for popular entertainment, American corporate entertainment still has a defining presence in global popular culture. This group brings together scholars from different disciplines within the Humanities whose research engages with America’s role in global popular culture. Moving beyond the traditional post-war debates about “Americanization” and “cultural imperialism,” the group’s focus lies more specifically on the contradictory role America has taken in an international form of participatory culture.
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.
The group suggests providing a platform for projects that relate art, science, and technology. The common term of the projects listed below is their interest in the epistemological potential and material conditions of the arts. More specifically, it assumes that the processuality, which is a common trait of many contemporary art forms, requires integrating a historical and a theoretical approach.
This group focuses on artistic research as a new approach to tackling research questions and it aims at promoting the exchange of ideas between artists and scholars from a wide range of fields and disciplines.
The research group Bodies, Genders, Sexualities functions as a meeting point for researchers who approach the intersecting issues of gender, corporality, and sexuality in their work. The group seeks to foster critical engagement with the full range of approaches that inform contemporary theory on bodies, genders, and sexualities, such as feminism, queer theory, phenomenology, performativity, affect theory, semiotics, Marxism, psychoanalysis, cognitivism, media theory, sport, new materialisms, critical posthumanism, and others.
Carolyn Birdsall, Jeff Diamanti, Simone Kalkman, Kasia Mika
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 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!
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.
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".
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.
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.
Mostly, privacy is considered to be a thoroughly individualist notion. The value of privacy is understood in terms of individual freedom and individual well-being. The protection and maintenance of privacy is conceived in terms of control and discretion exercised by the individual. Although this is certainly not wrong, it might have two undesirable consequences: Firstly, restricting the value of privacy to individual freedom and well-being seems to encumber finding satisfactory solutions in cases of conflicts between privacy, on the one hand, and collective values, such as security, on the other. Secondly, the interpretation of privacy protection and maintenance in terms of an individual’s control over access to their personal information seems to run into difficulties in the face of current and near future technological developments that have an inherent tendency to conceal data that is gathered, stored, and processed about the individual. Since social norms of informational privacy govern all relationsships in our society, part of the research project will be concerned with the changing norms of relationships (on SNS, for instance) under the influence of new technologies.
The overall aim of the research group is to provide a counterpoint to the old, well-worn metaphor of a culture ‘shock’ between North Africa and Europe. Instead, we will promote another metaphor: two shores (of the Mediterranean) washing over each other and in some sense reflecting each other, whether in historical terms or in terms of memory and imaginaries.
Josef Früchtl and Nathalie Scholz
The project brings together a group of scholars and research students, and in the long run representative practitioners as well (not forgetting that in a non-representative sense we are all practitioners here), from diverse disciplines (Philosophy, History, Sociology, Political Science, Media Studies, Theater Studies) who are interested in the analysis of the fundamental and complicated relationship between democracy (as a form of life more than a form of government) and emotions.
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.
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.
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.
Patricia Pisters and Adam Nocek
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.
Sruti Bala and Veronika Zangl
The research group addresses the intersection of art and activism by investigating humorous approaches to intervening in socio-political conflict situations. Most research related to the arts in conflict zones tends to emphasise the therapeutic, 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 project seeks to discuss the more neglected, ‘non-serious’ aesthetic strategies, such as those employing ironic, grotesque, absurd and humorous forms of cultural and artistic intervention in conflict settings.
As the journalistic profession currently experiences a high degree of dynamism, and the field of journalism is rapidly transforming, this research group aims to bundle various efforts across academic disciplines to study journalism, offering a space for collaboration and discussion.
Thomas Vaessens and Gaston Franssen
The research group focuses on the interaction of literary practices with the discourses, ideologies and habits of perception that structure modern and contemporary society at large.
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 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.
Giovanna Fossati and Eef Masson
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.
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.
Patricia Pisters and Stephan Besser
This research programme is dedicated to the critical and productive study of the rise of the neuro-turn from a humanities perspective. While there have been varying reactions to the neuro turn - some ebullient, some critical – this research group has opted for a specific approach in bringing scholars from different fields together with those working on practical implementations and artists developing their imaginings of what lays ahead of us.
Mirjam van Rijsingen
In 2012 several international exhibitions (a.o.Whitney Biennial, Documenta(13) and Manifesta) showcased works that focussed on the agency of materials and material assemblages as well as on crafts and analogue techniques. At the same time an increasing number of texts can be found on new materialism, vibrant matter, and Object Oriented Ontology, more often than not in relation to ecological re-thinking of environmental and/or global changes and development. This research project investigates first of all the correlation between these visual/material/philosophical practices.
Yolande Jansen and Joost de Bloois
The Globalization, Sustainability, Precarity research group will focus on two key issues that have arisen, in contemporary theory, as a consequence of (economic) globalization: sustainability and precarity. The research group will take both notions in their broadest sense and, crucially, will analyze their many points of intersection and basic correlation.
Stefania Milan and Thomas Poell
This interdisciplinary group is composed of scholars whose work explores the interplay between the ‘political’ and the ‘digital’. One of the key interests of the group is how major online platforms, mostly operated by global corporations affect and reshape popular contention around the globe.
The group aims at an empirically more solidly based and theoretically more sophisticated appreciation of the ways in which modern philological humanities knowledge was universalized, and of how non-western actors both produce their own forms, institutions and practices of knowledge and reproduce, transform, or challenge the knowledge of the Western humanities.
The notion of performance is not strictly limited to theatre. Performance is happening in diverse (new) media, the same as it can be questioned to which extend and how media perform. On the other hand, it has to be taken into account not only the mediality of theatre performance, but also the play of intermediality that it sets out. The group aims to share extensive lectures of theoretical texts that touch upon key concepts and methodologies in the field of Performance-and Media Research.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This research group critically investigates how public space is reconfigured in the new emerging ecosystem of social media and conventional mass media. The quick rise of social media has affected the balance between (private) space, community (public) space, and corporate (commercial) space, transforming not just the media ecosystem, but also other domains of public life. This group investigates how major social media platforms, mostly steered by global commercial companies, in constant interaction with mainstream media, affect and reshape key areas of public communication in Western Europe, the MENA region, China, and the US.
The research group Technological Societies studies how the social, the political and the economic are iteratively constructed within networks of money, goods, people and information. The group shows interest in the ways in which states, policies, group formations and economic orders are held together by artifacts, infrastructures and material practices.
This research group will shed new light on the concept of Modernity through the lens of the Spectacle. The term spectacle is used here as a culture historical key-concept to historicize ongoing processes of globalization defined by the transnational circulation of visual and audial technologies, images, artists and modes of cultural (mass-) productions back to the 18th century.
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.
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.
Jeroen de Kloet
The Trans-Asia cultural studies group aims to bring scholars in The Netherlands together who are working on issues related to “Asia,” to read and discuss key texts as well as each other’s work. The research interest of this reading group is broad: not only work that focuses on cultural practices in Asia, but also related studies on the presence of Asia in Europe or elsewhere is included. This reading group operates deliberately on the interstices of humanities and social sciences, and aims at an inclusive and critical approach that refuses to privilege any particular academic paradigm.
This research group is driven by an interest in individual literary authors and their particulars, that do not always match theoretical priorities. Without returning to classical conceptions of the autonomy of the subject, and without rejecting the advances of recent and less recent theoretical approaches, this group foregrounds the specificity of the individual work.
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.