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Utrecht University, Department of Media and Culture Studies/Graduate Gender Programme (UU)

The Department of Media and Culture Studies (MCW) contains the programmes in Theatre, Film and Television Studies, New Media and Digital Culture, Communication and Information Studies, Gender Studies (GgeP) and Musicology.The Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP) of Utrecht University distinguishes itself for its international and interdisciplinary research programme which focuses on transitional justice, post-colonialism, post-humanism, and post-secularism and adds to the gender debates on ethics and aesthetics, citizenship, cosmopolitanism, migration, human rights in its entanglement with other axes of socio-cultural differentiation such as ‘race’/ethnicity, sexuality, and age. GGeP is involved in various European projects like the Erasmus Mundus GEMMA; the EU Socrates Thematic Network ATHENA3; the EU FP6 Marie Curie EST; the EU Lifelong Learning Programme – Erasmus Intensive Programme NOISE. The Gender Graduate Programme hosts the High Potential Programme “Wired up. Digital media as innovative socialization practices for migrant youth” (2007-2012) which is an international, interdisciplinary project carried out by media and postcolonial critic Sandra Ponzanesi (Humanities, UU) in collaboration with intercultural psychologist Mariëtte de Haan (Social Sciences, UU) and literary ethnographer Kevin Leander (Vanderbilt University, USA, Education and Human Development). The project focuses on how new digital media practices involving the Internet (e.g., information seeking, instant messaging, chat, web logs, the production and distribution of multi-media) impact on the lives, identities, learning and socialization of migrant youth. The project aims to locate the study of the effects of digital media in relation to socio-cultural configurations mediated by nationality, gender and ethnicity. See:

Muntstraat 2A, 3512 EV Utrecht, the Netherlands
Institute webpage:

Sandra Ponzanesi (senior scholar) is Associate Professor of Gender and Postcolonial critique at Utrecht University (NL), at the Department of Media and Culture Studies/Graduate Gender Programme. Her previous research has focused on comparative postcolonial literatures, in particular on Italian postcolonial writings and on the reception of postcolonial literature in relation to the literary award industry. Her most current interests focus on postcolonial cinema studies and on the exploration of digital literacies of migrant youth in transnational contexts. She works also on the understanding of “Europe” from a postcolonial perspective by taking into account issues of empires, migration, multiculturalism, religion and citizenship. She is “project leader of the High Potential Programme Wired Up: Digital media as innovative socialization practices for migrant youth”; project investigator of the AHRC research network “Postcolonial Europe” (Leeds, Munich and Utrecht) and coordinator of the European wide working group “Postcolonial Europe” under Athena3, the European Advanced Thematic Network in Activities in Women’s Studies in Europe.

Eva Midden (senior researcher) is lecturer in Gender Studies, at the Media and Culture Studies Department, at Utrecht University. She has a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Leiden (Netherlands) and has recently finished her PhD thesis ‘Feminism in Multicultural Societies. An Analysis of Dutch Multicultural and Postsecular Developments and their Implications for Feminist Debates’ at the University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom). For this thesis she did a media analysis (on the Dutch feminist magazine Opzij) and focus groups with women from women’s organizations and combined this empirical work with a more theoretical analysis of the relationship between multiculturalism and feminism. Her research interests include feminists theory, postcolonial theory, intersectionality, (post)secular(ism), whiteness and media analysis. She is also assistant editor of the new online journal Religion and Gender.

Koen Leurs (researcher) is a PhD student in Gender Studies, at the Media and Culture Studies Department at Utrecht University (NL). He holds a master’s degree in Media Studies from Utrecht University with a minor from the National University of Singapore. He participates in the international and interdisciplinary research project “Wired Up, Digital media as innovative socialization practices for migrant youth”. His dissertation addresses how Dutch-Moroccan migrant youth use digital media to create a space and mediate their journeys at the crossroads of cultures of origin, global youth cultures, and cultures of immigration. He takes part in ‘Intergender’, a Research school in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and has participated in ‘Network Of Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies in Europe’ (NOISE) and Oxford Internet Institute summer schools. Earlier he was an editor for the Dutch literary journal ‘Vooys’. He is a member of the AHRC research network “Postcolonial Europe” (Leeds, Munich and Utrecht) and the “Postcolonial Studies Initiative” (PCI, Utrecht University). His research interests include feminist technoscience, new media theory, postcolonial theory, intersectional thinking and (virtual) ethnography.