New PhD: Sanaz Afshin, An Exploratory Study on Theatre Interventions with Refugees in the Netherlands

This research project revolves around the use of theatre as a tool for supporting the process of integration of refugees. Doing an in-depth examination of applied theatre projects made with/by/about refugees, the main goal of the research is to explore to what extent these projects have been effective in terms of facilitating refugees’ integration. By focusing on four case studies that took place in the Netherlands, this research will address issues around the evaluation strategies, aesthetics, challenges, and ethics of these projects in order to provide a better understanding of applied theatre interventions with refugees. An important attempt of the research will be to integrate the voices of refugees themselves within this debate by listening to their reflections about their participation in such projects.

New PhD: Florence Evans, Imaginative Visions of Traumatic Heritage in Argentina

The project is concerned with showing how memory is performed and productively re-visioned by artists, cultural producers and spectators belonging to a generation born after Argentina’s last civil-military dictatorship (1976-1983). Tracing across cultural forms of heritage and memory practices, I seek to prove a relationship between certain aesthetic practices in the 21st century and coeval engagements with codified ideations of trauma, witnessing and perpetration that are rooted in catastrophic events of the dictatorship era. The results of my study will contribute to understandings of the transferral/reception and imaginative refashioning of memory in the “postgeneration”.

Imagining the Rural in Contemporary China from a Perspective of Cultural Biographies of Everyday Objects.

Chinese society has been witnessing a ‘rural lifestyle’ in the urban, during the past decade, which incorporates rural elements in the production, consumption and possession of everyday objects. By tracing the biographies of those rural-embedded objects, from production, consumption to possession, this project aims to explore how ‘rural imaginations’ are constructed, examining the way the rural becomes mobilized to influence urban experience and the way urban mobilizations of the rural reflect back on the rural and perpetuate certain imaginations of the rural, while obfuscating aspects of the rural that do not fit into these imaginations.

Shifting Desires, Unintelligible Threats: An Analysis of Horror, Media, & the Rearticulation

This project addresses the shifting connections between unintelligible desire, horror, and the media, as a means to analyze the current process of profound rearticulation and expansion of sociocultural intelligibility, as well as the networks and dynamics by which this rearticulation asymmetrically spreads across geopolitical borders. In order to do so, this analysis focuses on horror media manifestations from the US, Europe, and Latin America where the crossroads between sexuality and globally expanding intelligible conceptual formations (such as race, gender, migration, religion, or economy) give way to experiences and forms of desire that are unintelligible, and thus emerge as a source of sociocultural fear and anxiety.

Image: Art by Mina Hunt. | Based on an image by Kristen Fernandez

Keeping it Real? – Museums and Technology Use in the Digital Era

Digitisation has been one of the main issues driving the museum world for at least the past decade. However, the discussion often lacks a sincere reflection on the genesis of the institutional with the material object and its effects. Especially the history of technology adoption as an influencing factor in the valorisation of digitisation efforts is often overlooked. This represents a distinct lack of awareness for institutional historicity. The dissertation will provide a diachronic examination of the role of material culture in the handling of digitisation, including the institutional struggle with the perceived authenticity of digital heritage.


Image: Glass-Plate-for-Digitisation | Copyright: State Museum Nature and Man in Oldenburg