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ASCA is a research institute and doctoral school dedicated to the critical and innovative study of culture from a broadly interdisciplinary perspective grounded in the humanities but increasingly extending to non-humanities fields.

ASCA does not subscribe to any single theoretical or methodological practice, but, rather, is defined precisely by its interdisciplinary approach, in which researchers work at the intersections of core disciplines in the humanities to develop new theoretical frameworks and research methodologies for analyzing culture in all its forms and expressions. ASCA is the only humanities research institute in the Netherlands to place interdisciplinarity and theoretical research on culture at the core of its mission, vision, and program.

ASCA currently has more than 60 research groups, divided into three categories: funded research projects; reading groups & seminars; and network groups. Each group belongs to one or more of the five constellations that identify the broader thematic research areas ASCA focuses on.5 These five constellations, designated with the acronym MAGIC, are:

  • Mediality
  • Arts & Aesthetics
  • Globalisation & Migration
  • Identities
  • Cultural and Social Critique