[artinfo] International MA in New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Amsterdam

Carolin Gerlitz carolin.gerlitz at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 20:05:04 CET 2016

International M.A. in New Media and Digital 
Culture °©at the University of Amsterdam

Call for Applications for°© fall 2016, rolling admissions are open

One-year and two-year New Media M.A. Programs 
available. For the two-year "Research Master's 
Program: New Media Specialisation," see below.

### International M.A. in New Media & Digital Culture (one-year program) ###

/// Overview
The MA Program in media studies New Media and 
Digital Culture offers a comprehensive and 
critical approach to new media research, 
practices and theory. It builds upon the 
pioneering new media scene that Amsterdam is 
known for, with an emphasis on the study of 
Internet culture. The University of Amsterdam has 
been ranked among the top 10 universities 
worldwide for studying Media and Communication by 
World University Rankings. In this one year 
Master students gain an in-depth knowledge in new 
media theory, including perspectives such as 
software studies, political economy, media 
history and other critical traditions, and 
applied to such topics as social media, data 
cultures, and locative devices, whilst exploring 
what is actually 'new' in new media. Key 
component is the emerging area of digital 
methods, an ensemble of internet research 
approaches and techniques that work with web data 
and study natively digital objects. Additionally, 
students can choose to train in the areas of 
issue mapping, creative industries, digital 
writing and publishing, and social media 
research. The MA program combines a variety of 
teaching formats, ranging from lectures and group 
projects to lab sessions and creative projects. 
Students produce a wide portfolio of work, 
including theoretically engaged essays, empirical 
research projects, new media experiments, blog 
entries, in addition to organizing symposia. The 
program thereby enables students to contribute to 
timely discourses on digital culture, to conduct 
innovative research projects, and to critically 
engage in new media practices.

Students maintain a new media issues blog, 
recognized as among the leading academic blogs on 
the subject of digital culture, where they 
critique and discuss books, events, and emergent 
digital objects. Students also get involved in a 
lively new media culture, both at the university, 
where internationally renowned speakers present 
their work and collaborative research projects 
are developed, and beyond. Cultural institutions, 
such as the Waag Society, the Balie Center for 
Culture and Politics, and Mediamatic regularly 
host inspiring events. The Institute of Network 
Cultures, initiators of such events as UnlikeUs, 
MoneyLab, Society of the Query, MyCreativity, and 
Video Vortex, regularly collaborates with the 
program. Digital media practitioners, such as 
Appsterdam, various Fablabs, and hacker festivals 
regularly open their doors to interested 
audiences and students are invited to blog at new 
media festivals like Impakt or Cinekid.

/// Curriculum
The New Media and Digital Culture program is a 
one year MA (60 EC) that begins in early 
September and ends with a festive graduation 
ceremony at the end of August. It is divided into 
two semesters:

First Semester (September - January)
In the first semester all students follow new 
media core courses which focus on practices, 
methods and theories. Students learn how to 
research digital media and how to use digital 
media for research. The New Media Research 
Practices course engages students in recent 
methodological debates around big data, realtime 
research, working with web data. Students conduct 
experimental new media projects, run a wiki 
and the Masters of Media blog 

The New Media Research Methods unit, taught by 
Prof. Richard Rogers, trains students in digital 
methods research, a set of novel techniques and a 
methodological outlook for social and cultural 
research with the web (see 
Students use "natively" digital methods to 
investigate state Internet censorship, search 
engine rankings, website histories, Wikipedia, 
Twitter, Facebook, and other web platforms by 
collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data 
through various analytical techniques. They 
participate in a Data Sprint which is part of the 
international Digital Methods Winter School.

New Media Theories introduces students to major 
theoretical frameworks in new media studies, 
including cybernetics, software studies, digital 
labor theories, network criticism, media ecology, 
and cognitive/communicative capitalism. An 
important aspect involves reading influential 
texts on media forms and digital networked 
technologies, addressing key thinkers such as 
Marshall McLuhan, Norbert Wiener, Vilem Flusser, 
Friedrich Kittler, Alexander R. Galloway, N. 
Katherine Hayles, Matthew Fuller, Wendy Hui Kyong 
Chun, and Jodi Dean. Students engage with 
theories through creative and reflexive 
assignments, including a symposium presentation.

Second Semester (February - June)
In the second semester, students have the 
opportunity to further specialize by following 
electives and conducting their MA thesis. In the 
last years electives offered contained courses on 
issue mapping for politics, social media & 
creative industries, radical publishing, digital 
activism and other courses offered outside of new 
media (electives may change each academic year). 
Digital Issue Mapping for Politics is concerned 
with mapping online discourse, and is a member of 
the international network of mapping courses 
following, amongst others, Bruno Latour's 
methods. Social Media and Creative Industries 
explores the role of social media in the creative 

The program of study concludes with the MA 
thesis, an original analysis that makes a 
contribution to the field, undertaken with the 
close mentorship of a faculty supervisor. The 
graduation ceremony includes an international 
symposium with renowned speakers.

/// Career perspectives
Graduates in New Media and Digital Culture will 
have gained the critical faculties, skills, and 
outlook that will enable them to pursue a career 
in research as well as in the public and private 
sectors, ranging from NGOs, government, and 
cultural institutions to online marketing, 
software development, startups and the growing 
field of creative industries. Various alumni have 
also started their own successful new media 
business. As the exposure to the internet, social 
media and related technologies continues to grow, 
new media researchers are in demand in a variety 
of sectors. With digital technologies becoming 
the preferred platforms for business, information 
exchange, cultural expression, and political 
struggle, research skills focusing on these 
complex and dynamic environments are becoming 
central to working in these fields. Further areas 
of occupation include journalism, digital 
analytics, project and community management. Many 
alumni also pursued a research oriented career, 
either within organisations or in academia, by 
continuing with a PhD program. Past and present 
staff of the new media team, including Anne 
Helmond, Esther Weltevrede, and Natalia Sanchez, 
are alumni of the MA in New Media and Digital 
Culture or have followed the Media Studies 
Research Master.

/// Student Life
The quality-of-living in Amsterdam ranks among 
the highest of international capitals. UvA's 
competitive tuition and the frequency of spoken 
English both on and off-campus make the program 
especially accommodating for foreign students. 
The city's many venues, festivals, and other 
events provide remarkably rich cultural offerings 
and displays of technological innovation. The 
program has many ties to cultural institutions 
and companies active in the new media sector, 
where internship opportunities and collaborations 
may be available, in consultation with the 
student's thesis supervisor. Students attend and 
blog, tweet or otherwise capture local new media 
events and festivals, while commenting as well on 
larger international issues and trends pertaining 
to new media. The quality of student life is 
equally to be found in the university's lively 
and varied intellectual climate. New Media and 
Digital Culture students come from North and 
South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and 
across Europe; they draw from academic and 
professional backgrounds including journalism, 
art and design, marketing, computing, the 
humanities, politics and the social sciences.

/// Application and Deadlines
Rolling admissions from mid November 2015 to 
spring 2016 for fall 2016 admission. The final 
deadlines will be communicated on the Graduate 
School website shortly: 

More Info & Questions
- Applications, entry requirements, scholarships 
& fees: 
- Student information website - 
- Further questions regarding admission & 
applications? Please write to UvA's Graduate 
School of the Humanities, 
- Specific questions about the curriculum? Please 
write to Dr. Carolin Gerlitz, New Media Program 
Coordinator, University of Amsterdam, 

### Research Master's in Media Studies, New Media 
Specialization (two-year program) ###

/// Overview
The New Media Research Master is a specialization 
within the Media Studies Research Master's Degree 
Program, and focuses on the theoretical, 
artistic, practical and methodological study of 
digital culture. The University of Amsterdam has 
been ranked among the top 10 universities 
worldwide for studying Media and Communication by 
World University Rankings. The intensive and 
selective two year program has been developed for 
students with proven ability in, and passion for, 
research. The New Media Research Master has two 
'routes,' the theoretical aesthetic and the 
practical empirical ones. In the theoretical 
aesthetic route, students focus on contemporary 
media theory and critical media art. The other 
route is the practical empirical, which is the 
other specialty of new media research in 
Amsterdam: digital methods and issue mapping. 
Students also may combine coursework from each of 
the two routes, putting together a course package 
that treats aesthetics and visualization, on the 
one hand, or media art and digital methods, on 
the other.

As a crucial component of the Amsterdam New Media 
Research Program, the New Media Research Master 
encourages fieldwork, studying abroad, and lab 
work, which can also provide materials for the 
thesis. In undertaking fieldwork, students are 
given the opportunity to spend a period abroad 
for structured data collection and study, doing 
either a 'research internship' or an independent 
project, supervised by a staff member. For 
example, in the past students have studied ICTs 
for development in Africa, and electronics 
factories in China. The lab work can result in a 
research project that combines web data 
collection, tool use and development as well as 
visualisation. It often addresses a contemporary 
issue, such as NSA Leaks or international 
protests, and brings together a group of 
researchers in a data sprint, hackathon or 
barcamp, intensively working to output new 
infographics, blog postings and research reports 
which contribute to international new media 

Outstanding New Media research master graduates 
are expected to compete favorably for PhD 
positions nationally and internationally, and 
have gained skill sets which enable new media 
research in scholarly and professional settings.

The New Media Research Master Specialization has 
as its target 15 students annually.

/// Curriculum
- Year one
1st Semester: students follow the core courses of 
the MA New Media & Digital Culture, which provide 
in-depth training in Internet critique and 
empirical analysis of the web addressing 
practices, theories and methods. The core courses 
cover an introduction to searching & collecting, 
key communities & journals in the field, 
blogging, working with data, and relevant 
methodological debates in new media research. 
Building on these skills, students are trained in 
Digital Research Methods with Prof. Richard 
Rogers and learn how to collect, analyse and 
visualise web data. Concurrently students take 
New Media Theories classes, which introduce 
students to some of the major theoretical 
traditions in new media, including perspectives 
such as software studies, political economy, 
media ecologies, and other critical traditions 
(For more details on these courses, see the 
one-year MA description above).

2nd Semester: the students follow the research 
master core course Media & Politics, which places 
both historically crucial and contemporary 
political manifestos in relation to media 
analyses, encouraging a consideration of concepts 
such as labour, spectacle, the machine, identity 
and affect. Students also have an elective, and 
may choose between the electives of the one year 
program, attending Winter or Summer Schools, or 
tutorials specifically offered for the Research 
MA (For more details on theme seminars, see the 
one-year MA description above).

- Year two
1st Semester: students follow the research master 
core course Comparative Media Studies or may 
pursue a "research internship" or a study abroad 
program with partner universities. They may 
undertake fieldwork for a research project, or 
join a digital methods lab project. Students also 
may follow an elective course or tutorial, taken 
from the broader offerings of the faculty of the 

2nd Semester: students follow an elective course 
and also write the thesis, which is expected to 
be original and make a contribution to a 
discourse in the field. The research master's 
degree program concludes with a thesis conference 
and a festive graduation.

/// Application and Deadlines
Rolling admissions from mid November 2015 to 
spring 2016 for fall 2016 admission. The final 
deadlines will be communicated on the Graduate 
School website shortly: 

More Info & Questions
- International Research M.A. in Media Studies - 
University of Amsterdam - 
for details, including fees. When applying, 
indicate that your application is for the "New 
Media Specialization."
- Student information website - 
- Further questions regarding admission & 
applications? Please write to UvA's Graduate 
School of the Humanities, 
- Specific questions about curriculum and student 
life? Please write to Dr. Bernhard Rieder, Media 
Studies Research Master Coordinator, University 
of Amsterdam, b.rieder[at]<http://uva.nl>uva.nl

### New Media M.A. Faculty - University of Amsterdam ###
Richard Rogers, Professor and Chair. Web 
epistemology, digital methods. Publications 
include Information Politics on the Web (MIT 
Press, 2004/2005), awarded American Society for 
Information Science and Technology's 2005 Best 
Information Science Book of the Year Award, and 
Digital Methods (MIT Press, 2013). Founding 
director of <http://govcom.org/>govcom.org and 

Bernhard Rieder, Associate Professor. Digital 
Methods, software theory and politics. Current 
research interests include search engine politics 
and the mechanization of knowledge production. 

Jan Simons, Associate Professor. Mobile Culture, 
gaming, film theory. Publications include Playing 
The Waves: Lars von Trier's Game Cinema (AUP, 
2007). Project Director, Mobile Learning Game 
Kit, Senior Member, Digital Games research group. 

Carolin Gerlitz, Assistant Professor. Digital 
research, software/platform studies, social 
media, economic sociology, topology, numeracy, 
value and valuation, brands, and issue mapping 

Niels van Doorn. Assistant Professor. 
Materialization of gender, sexuality, and 
embodiment in digital spaces. 

Thomas Poell. Assistant Professor. Social media 
and the transformation of activist communication 
in different parts of the world. 

Anne Helmond, Assistant Professor. Digital 
methods, software studies, platform studies, 
social media and data flows between web 

Stefania Milan, Assistant Professor. Technology & 
society, digital activism, politics of big data, 
alternative publishing. 

Erik Borra, Lecturer. Data science, digital 
methods, issue mapping online. Digital methods 
lead developer. 

Esther Weltevrede, Lecturer. Controversy mapping 
with the Web, temporalities and dynamics online, 
device studies. 

Marc Tuters, Lecturer. New media literary forms, 
avant-garde media history, locative media. 

Natalia Sanchez, Lecturer. Issue mapping, memory, 
suffering, emotions and body sensations.

Dr. Carolin Gerlitz
Assistant Professor in New Media
Program Director MA New Media & Digital Culture

University of Amsterdam
Turfdraagsterpad 9
1012 XT Amsterdam

<mailto:c.gerlitz at uva.nl>c.gerlitz at uva.nl


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