Call for Proposals: KB Researcher-in-Residence Program 2018

The Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library of the Netherlands is seeking proposals for its Researcher-in-residence program to start in 2018. This program offers a unique chance to early career researchers to work in the library with the Digital Humanities team and KB data. In return, we learn how researchers use the data of the KB.

This year we invite academic researchers with a background in Humanities, Social Sciences, Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence to apply for one of the two following tracks:

  1. an ‘open track’ in which we will address your Humanities or Social Sciences research question in a 6 month project using the digital collections of the KB and computational techniques.
  2. An ‘information extraction track’ in which we invite Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence as well as Social Sciences and Humanities scholars to use or collaborate in our ongoing research on extracting structured data from our extensive collections of unstructured text.

For both tracks you will be assisted by one of our research software engineers. The output of the project will be incorporated in the experimental platform of the KB, the KB Lab and is ideally beneficial for a larger (scholarly) community.

Who are we looking for?

For both tracks we search for talented early career researchers who are:

  • PhD-student in their final stages of their PhD project or researchers that have obtained their PhD between 2013 and 2017
  • Have a background in Humanities, Social Sciences, Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence
  • Employed at a university or research institute in the EU as academic researcher
  • Interested in using one (or more) of the digital collections of the KB,
  • Available for 0.5 fte over a period of 6 months (preferably Jan – Jun 2018 or Jul – Dec 2018) and able to spend at least 1 day a week at the KB premises.

What can we offer you?

  • A secondment with the KB for 0,5 fte for a period of 6 months based on your current salary
  • Access to all datasets of the KB,
  • An office space,
  • Travel costs within the Netherlands,
  • Support from a programmer, researcher, collection and data specialists.

How do I apply?

Please use a template available on our website to formulate your research proposal and submit this as a pdf before 1 September 2017 via the email address, after having carefully read our terms and conditions. All proposals will first be reviewed on eligibility by an internal KB committee and then forwarded to an external committee of representative experts from several Dutch universities and institutions that have backgrounds in Humanities, Social Sciences, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. Results will be announced in October 2017.


Full call text:
Deadline: 1 September 2017
Announcement on decision: October 2017
Contact & questions:

Non-human Animal Event

Friday 23 June
15.30-17.00hrs – drinks after (please register)
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Main Building
Room 15A-33

Our final event of this academic year focuses on non-human animals. Animal Studies is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that explores relations between humans and other animals now and in the past. Our speakers from the fields of philosophy, photography and theology will explore questions of animal agency and the relations between humans and animals in three presentations. The three lectures are followed by a panel discussion between the speakers and the audience. You are warmly invited to stay for a drink and continue the discussion after the event.

Eva Meijer
Political Animal Voices

Eva Meijer will introduce us to her work on a theory of ‘political animal voice’. The view that nonhuman animals cannot be political actors because they cannot speak is common in both philosophical tradition and political practice. This view seems to be false in two respects. It refers to a flawed conception of political agency and, second, it ignores the fact that animals clearly do communicate, with each other and with humans. Seeing animals as mute does not simply reflect a misunderstanding of their capacities: it is interconnected with the way humans have defined language and politics and has led to rendering animals silent as a political group.

Eva Meijer is a visual artist, philosopher, novelist, and singer-songwriter. She is rounding off her PhD research in Philosophy, entitled ‘Political Animal Voices‘ at the University of Amsterdam, where she also teaches. She is the chair of the national OZSW working group on animal ethics, and of Minding Animals Nederland. Her popular science book Dierentalen (animal languages, 2016) explores the languages of non-human animals, and questions the nature of language. Her third novel Het vogelhuis (the birdhouse) also appeared in 2016. An essay based on her PhD thesis will appear in September, entitled De soldaat was een dolfijn. Over politieke dieren (The soldier was a dolphin: on political animals).

Julie Hrudová
Urban Herons

Julie Hrudová has been following the herons in Amsterdam for several years now. These freshwater birds have made Amsterdam their home. They forage for food at the markets, in parks, the Zoo, the streets. Julie Hrudova will be showing her pictures, focusing on the ways in which the herons have integrated in the urban life of Amsterdam, and how they interact with the people in the city.

Julie Hrudová is a portrait and documentary photographer born in Prague and now based in Amsterdam. Her series Those Dam Birds: The Urban Herons of Amsterdam was recently published by The Guardian.

Eva van Urk
Religious animals and animals in religion

va van Urk will explore the way contemporary religious believers and theologians deal with ‘animals’ in their religious texts. How do they understand and interpret the presence of other animals in the divine stories? How do they conceptualize the relations between them and these other animals? How is the subjectivity of other animals being recognized? She will also highlight contemporary religious rituals that specifically involve domestic animals.

Eva van Urk is a Junior Fellow in Ethics of the Anthropocene at the Faculty of Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amstredam. She studied applied psychology as well as theology and religious studies. In her upcoming PhD-project she will study the dynamic interactions between religious and secular narratives on human-animal relations in the context of the moral debate on living in the Anthropocene.

Mediated Imaginations: Technologies Touching Upon Art

Call for papers
Kunstlicht Vol 38 (2017) 3/4.

Guest editors: Bas de Boer, Sam Edens, Jonne Hoek

Deadline proposals: 07-07-2017

Throughout history, artistic practices have been intimately connected with tools and technologies. Today, techniques and (high-tech) technologies multiply, offering new possibilities for artistic expression. These technological developments raise questions as to what extent technologies touch upon art, how tools and technologies are embedded in or form part of artistic practice, and how technologies mediate imagination. In the philosophy of technology, the term ‘mediation’ is used to express the idea that technologies and human actions mutually constitute each other (Don Ihde, Peter-Paul Verbeek). This idea gave rise to an empirically oriented approach that focuses on concrete technologies, and asks: how does a person relate to the world through these technologies? In this special issue, Kunstlicht explores the mediating function of technologies in relation to imagination, creativity, and art.

We are commonly predisposed to think of technology and imagination as distinct from one another. Artistic imagination is often associated with individuality, freedom, and creativity, while technology is thought of in terms of servitude, generality, and uniformity (Martin Heidegger, Max Horkheimer & Theodor Adorno). However, by focusing on concrete technologies, philosophers of technology currently study the connections between humans, technologies, and the life-world (Bruno Latour, Don Ihde, Langdon Winner), and stress their intimate nature (Donna Haraway, Jean-Luc Nancy). Building on these approaches, a philosophy of technological mediation is interested in how technologies guide our actions in – and understanding of – the world (Peter-Paul Verbeek).

From this perspective, tools and technologies in art are not considered in terms of their medium specificity (Clement Greenberg), and neither is technology ‘the message’ itself (Marshall McLuhan). Even a declared ‘post-medium condition’ cannot sidestep technologies, since only through critical reflection can we “grasp the inner complexity of the mediums” (Rosalind Krauss), to reveal their differential potential. This we also see happening in current artistic practices. Technologies can be a central aspect of the artwork (e.g. software-based art, interactive installations, or Jean Tinguely’s kinetic sculptures), making the aesthetics of certain tools or technologies visible as part of an artistic repertoire. Some artists center their work on human-technology relations (Yvonne Dröge-Wendel, Esther Polak), while other artists use or extend the human body as a tool (Stelarc, Jaime del Val), or critically question collective technological imaginaries (Hito Steyerl, Perry Hoberman).

Kunstlicht aims to investigate how a philosophy of technological mediation might shed new light on the constitution of the artist’s imagination, specific practices, or possibilities for artistic expression. How is art mediated by technological means? How have technologies been the fabric of expression in (e.g.) Romantic, or pop art? How has the digitalization of media of expression reshaped the artist’s imagination? How have specific techniques inspired the work of specific artists? How do technologies help to create a meaningful environment for artistic expression? And how might the philosophy of technology, art history, and aesthetics converge here?

Writers and artists are invited to reflect upon tools and technologies as mediating the imagination in artistic practices, both present and past. We are keenly interested in case studies about the relation between artists and the tools and technologies they use, but also welcome historical contributions and more theoretical reflections.

Proposals (200-300 words) with attached résumés can be submitted until 07-07-2017 via Selected authors will be invited to write a 2,000-3,000-word paper (excluding notes). Alternatively, we also welcome short reflections focusing on a specific tool or technology. In these 500 word-contributions, the tool or technology may feature as muse, as companion, as intimate part or as inevitable nuisance. Short reflections may be written in full (max. 500 words) and can also be submitted until 07-07-2017.

Papers may be written either in English or in Dutch. Authors who publish in Kunstlicht will receive three complementary copies. Kunstlicht does not provide an author’s honorarium. Two years following publication, papers will be submitted to the freely accessible online archive.



FORMAL – Exhibition – Master of Artistic Research

2.      formal an attempt or effort. synonyms: attempt, effort, endeavor, try, venture, trial, experiment, undertaking

Nieuw Dakota
Ms. Van Riemsdijkweg 41b 1033 RC Amsterdam
June 8 – 11, 2017
Opening: June 8, 5pm
Opening times: 11am – 6pm
Flyer exhibition

Master of Artistic Research, University van Amsterdam
Supported by Gerrit Rietveld Academie

This exhibition presents the final outcome of the two-year program of the Master of Artistic Research of the University of Amsterdam – a program that offers a combined study of theory and art practice. A program that breeds hybrids. Each of the graduates took the opportunity given by the educational program to develop their own approach to research, both artistically and theoretically. One of its many qualities is that it spawns the wild seeds that manifest what Artistic Research can be and do. Also, this discipline does not have a fixed methodology, a predetermination or repetitive formula.

In the past two years the students have shared conditions and simultaneously developed individual art practice and research. As in a conversation, the five artists engaged in symmetrical interactions among themselves, bringing understandings to the table created by themselves and the surrounding conditions. These circumstances shaped a fertile and varied exploration the overlapping field of production of knowledge both in discursive and aesthetic forms. This conversational character is mirrored by the conceptualization of the graduate show. The exhibition and its programming turn away from the mere presentation of produced objects, in this case artworks and theses, and focus on the aforementioned character of the Master and the discipline of Artistic Research in general.

As part of the programming, the artists will engage in conversations with the audience and discuss their approach to Artistic Research during the exhibition. These informal gatherings are devised in a specific format, where the artists share ephemeral material from their research to frame the discussion on different aspects thereof as well as on the remaining open questions of their projects. The audience members are invited to contribute with their knowledge and engage in discussing their questions.

The publication collects the shared memories of the last two years from the participants and tutors, and reflects on the complex ongoing conversation and its present conditions. It is conceived as a testimony of both individual and collective experiences, and as a depiction of hybrid knowledge production.

Artists: Linde Bast, Charlotte Beeck, Henryetta Duerschlag, Marie Claire Gellings, Liza Prins Curated by Mateo Chacon-Pino

Online catalogue:


LGBT-refugees: a critical perspective

Invitation for the Riek Stienstra lecture

Date: 6 June 2017
Time: 18.30 – 22.00
Location: Universiteit van Amsterdam, room REC C0.01, building REC C, Roetersstraat 11, Amsterdam

Join us on June 6th for the Riek Stienstra lecture on LGBTQI+ refugees. Key speakers include Hakeem (Uganda Gay on Move), who will talk about his experiences with the asylum procedure, and Nassr Eddine Errami, human rights activist and Queer Muslim theologian, who will speak about  pinkwashing of LGBTQ refugees and asylumseekers. An expert panel moderated by Amna Durrani will discuss current themes such as safety in refugee shelters, the asylum procedure, and homonationalism. Because of Ramadan, there will be food and drinks afterwards in ‘De Krater’. The lecture will be in English.

Many refugees are limited in their ability to travel because of financial barriers. Do you want to help someone out by covering their train ticket? Then please consider donating to Queer Welfare Foundation. Donations are welcome in this account: NL28ABNA0589184458, F.A.M. Joemmanbaks , under ‘Treinkaartje Riek Stienstra’.

Find more information about the location here and here.

RSVP! Please let us know if you are attending by using this link:



The Riek Stienstralezing is organised by Queer Welfare, Secret Garden, COC the Netherlands en VUmc, department of Medical Humanities.