Memory and Materiality: Multisensory Ethnography of Culturally Diverse Urban Settings

Elisa Fiore | Radboud University Nijmegen | Memory and Materiality: Multisensory Ethnography of Culturally Diverse Urban Settings | Supervisors: Anneke Smelik, Liedeke Plate My PhD research develops a multisensory ethnography of gentrifying multicultural urban settings to investigate how gentrification contributes to the inclusion or exclusion of certain cultural expressions in those areas. The two selected […]

Sublime Imperfections: Post-Soviet Trash Aesthetics

Fabienne Rachmadiev | University of Amsterdam | Sublime Imperfections: Post-Soviet Trash Aesthetics | Supervisors: Ellen Rutten, Joost de Bloois The purpose of this research is twofold: to provide an analysis of influential cultural objects in post- Soviet Russia through a theory of ‘imperfection’, from the perspective of the maker, i.e. why choose imperfection as an aesthetic […]

Dutch Design, Glitches, Misfits: Why Western Europeans Crave the Imperfect

Jakko Kemper | University of Amsterdam | Dutch Design, Glitches, Misfits: Why Western Europeans Crave the Imperfect | Supervisors: Ellen Rutten, Marie-Aude Baronian Today’s world is marked by a complex intermingling of digital information technologies, neoliberal capitalism and precarious modes of living (see e.g. Bardot & Laval 2013, Berlin 2011, Liu 2004). In relation to […]

The Representations of Sexuality in Contemporary Chinese Cinema

Jiyu Zhang | The Representations of Sexuality in Contemporary Chinese Cinema | Supervisor: Prof. dr Ernst van Alphen As a PhD researcher in film and literary studies at Leiden University, I have proceeded my research project since September 2015, currently entitled The Representations of Sexuality in Contemporary Chinese Cinema. Hereby I would like to provide a […]

Globalization, charity fundraising and mediated suffering

Wouter Oomen | Utrecht University| supervisors: Sandra Ponzanesi & Markus Stauff Contemporary images used in charity fundraising aimed at the abolition of poverty are ingrained with a notion of a ‘common, global humanity’ (Boltanski 1999). This assumed shared base can be thought of in terms of shared values (Njoh 2006), universal human rights (Sliwinski 2009), […]

The Performative Force of Accented Speech: Language, Body, and Violence

Tingting Hui | Leiden University | supervisors: Ernst van Alphen en Yasco Horsman In the contemporary globalized world, the accent marks a distinction between insiders and outsiders, and can sometimes lead to hostility and bodily attack. Such violence typically performs a gesture of othering based on the conflation of ethnicity and language, and further raises […]

Post-rationalisation: Openness in Contemporary Social Organisation

Jan Overwijk | University of Amsterdam | supervisors: Boomkens, Celikates The question of modernity is as old as modernity itself. Philosophically, Kant studied modern thought in a critique of reason; sociologically, Weber used the parallel tactic of examining modern society in a critique of rationalisation. The wave of postmodernism in the 1970s and ‘80s has attempted […]

‘Errors’. Exposing the Endless Construction and Deconstruction of Digital Media

David Gauthier | University of Amsterdam | supervisor: Robin Boast Current discourses on digital media display a fascination with the linguistic, numeric, algorithmic, social, and material aspects of technology, from which several new domains of study have emerged in the past several years, including Digital Methods, Software Studies, Digital Humanities, and Media Archeology, to name […]

The Foundations of Criticism: The Case of October

Noortje de Leij | University of Amsterdam | supervisors: Mia Lerm-Hayes & Johan Hartle As Modernist ideals of authenticity, autonomy and aesthetic purity gradually unraveled from the 1960s onwards, artistic discourse paradigmatically shifted its attention to the socio-political and economic realities that lie at the basis of art and its institutional systems. An implicit preposition […]

Missing Limbs

Major General Daniel Sickles’ lower leg bone. (Image courtesy: National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington DC.)

Moosje Goosen | Universiteit van Amsterdam  | Promotors: Patricia Pisters and Esther Peeren I am a PhD fellow at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. My research, titled ‘Missing Limbs’, focuses on the discursive formation of the phantom limb. While there have been several accounts of sensations and pain in missing body parts from the Middle […]

Postdating the Post: Examining (Neo)Epistolary Practices in Contemporary Culture

Emma de Vries | Leiden University | Promotor: Yra van Dijk In my interdisciplinary PhD-research Postdating the Post: Examining (Neo)Epistolary Practices in Contemporary Culture, I signal and scrutinize a remarkable phenomenon: today’s simultaneous dis- and reappearance of the letter. Over the last decades, digital communication media has ousted the letter into disuse, and the postal […]

Affect and Urbanity: Single Migrant Woman in Shanghai

Penn Ip | My research studies how spaces control and enable lower class single migrant women’s intimate lives in contemporary Shanghai. The project focuses on single migrant women at the age of 20-35, in Shanghai who work in 3 distinctive sectors: factories, bars/night clubs, and domestic services. By employing affect theory to bridge city spaces to […]

Political animal voices

Eva Meijer | 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 […]

Sustainability beyond the commodity-machine

Balamir Selçuk | Design cultures have so far been analysed in separate stages of production, mediation and consumption, or, along the circuit of the ‘commodity-machine’ —an unsustainable configuration vulnerable to multiple financial, social and ecological crises.

Essayism at the dusk of catastrophe

Thijs Witty | Despite a long and varied history, rooted in sixteenth-century France via the writings of Michel de Montaigne, essays are usually associated with highly derivative activities: school assignments, newspaper commentaries, or other standardised modes of opinionated thinking.

Pretty Smart Wearables: Theories of the Body, Fashion and Technology

Lianne Toussaint | Several Dutch designers and companies experiment with the possibility to integrate electronics, solar panels, smart materials, LEDs, or interactive interfaces into fabrics and clothing. The central aim of the research project ‘Pretty Smart Wearables: Theories of the Body, Fashion and Technology’ is to academically and thoroughly reflect on the socio-cultural implications of this integration of fashion and technology.

A History of the Construction of the Idea of Dutch Design, 1945-2010

Joana Ozorio de Almeida Meroz | This research examines the history of the construction of the idea of Dutch Design, 1945-2010. It advances from the premise that Dutch Design is the product of a discursive construction rather than the natural result of a ‘typically Dutch’ identity or culture. Accordingly, this research traces the development of ideas about Dutch Design as well as the actors involved in the production and institutionalisation of those ideas.

Noise Identities. Toward a Noise-Based Concept of Identity in Recorded Music

Melle Jan Kromhout | ‘Noise’ is often referred to in opposition to ‘sound’ and ‘music’: an abject, transgressive or disruptive element, a threat to identity. Contrary to this view, recording practices, musical developments and listening habits show that noise is actually an important feature of recorded music. Based on this, the project argues noise is not just […]

Map Art: Alternative Visions of Globalisation

Simon Ferdinand | The use of cartography as the thematic and formal substance of artistic production has become increasingly prevalent amongst a very diverse set of visual artists over the last century. This project aims to establish the significance of this developing genre within the context of the ongoing theoretical debates over the nature, future trajectory and […]

Deciphering the Cultural Palimpsest of New Amsterdam

Artyom Anikin | The notion of the palimpsest as on object containing stray remnants hinting at an older and hidden layer of information, when adjusted for the field of cultural analysis, offers a methodological framework for deciphering and re-manifesting bygone cityscapes and culture in a contemporary context. This framework will be investigated and applied to the spatial […]