Extra-curricular activities

While we can only offer a select amount of courses during our MA programme, there is plenty of opportunity to enrich your MA experience by being part of some of the following extra-curricular activities:

Social Media Community

New Media and Digital Culture has a large and active social media community of both current students and staff as well as hundreds of alumni of the programme. In the Facebook group especially, you will find an ongoing stream of links to interesting articles, events, guest lectures, and new internship positions. Simple follow the link and ask to become a member to get access to the Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/51630977195/

Research Groups

Within our department, several research groups are active which deal with new media and digital culture related themes and topics. These groups consist of research staff, PhD students and interested (R)MA students and often organize lectures, seminars, expert meetings, and other activities. Have a look at the websites of the groups for more information:

- The Datafied Society: https://datafiedsociety.nl/ 

This research group presents a platform for the investigation of the algorithmic turn in the humanities & the datafication of everyday life & cultural artefacts. Humanities scholars should work in the field, alongside practitioners and ‘get their hands dirty’. They should embrace their capacity for critical inquiry and use the ‘new empirical’ resultant of the unfolding data revolution to provoke questions and generate insights.

- [urban interfaces]: https://urbaninterfaces.sites.uu.nl/

A platform for a critical investigation of urban interfaces for creative and participatory engagement at the crossing of academic research and cultural practices. Focusing on mobile and situated media, arts, and performances, the platform brings together and initiates critical reflections on, and actual interventions in, these socio-spatial activities and their shaping and staging of urban culture.

- Center for the Study of Digital Games and Play: www.gamesandplay.nl

Here, we examine digital games as well as the role of play in our contemporary culture. Due to an increased ludification of culture, we aim to re-evaluate the manner in which we study media and culture. One approach we use for this purpose is the notion of play as a conceptual framework for the analysis of media use. The study of digital games and play therefore enables us to address fundamental changes in the way we create and use media.

- Television in Transition: https://tvit.wp.hum.uu.nl/ 

The Centre for Television in Transition, or TViT, is a research initiative of television and media scholars attached to the Department of Media and Culture and to the Research Institute for History and Culture (OGC) of the Faculty. They develop, coordinate, carry out, publish and promote the study of television in transition from its early beginnings. Main research areas are television’s screens, histories, discourses, and practices. They pose that television is a medium that never just is, but constantly is in the state of transition, especially in relation to new media and the digital environment.

Utrecht Data School

The Utrecht Data School (UDS) is a research project in which students analyse and visualise data for organisations. Students of Master New Media and Digital Culture can opt to do a research internship with UDS. Under the guidance of experienced scientists from UDS students actively apply their knowledge to data collection, analysis and visualization of data and the formulation of a comprehensive analysis of their findings in a professional report for external partners. The Utrecht School Data can be summarised as a unique experience for students to reflect on the transformation of society through data-driven practices. More information at: www.dataschool.nl.

Utrecht Game Lab

The Utrecht Game Lab (UGL) is a space where scholars and designers meet to design and study games. It is a research project that bridges research in computer science and humanities. The UGL pursues several on-going projects and organizes weekly meetings, some with a specific agenda and others dedicated to project work. Participants will learn to make and remix games using tools like Game Maker: Studio, Unity 3D or paper prototyping and to use them as a means of analysing games; existing programming skills are not required. Rather, students with non-technical backgrounds acquire experimental game creation skills and learn how to productively incorporate practical design activities into their theoretical work on and with games. The game lab is part of the Centre for the Study of Digital Games and Play (GAP) and Utrecht University’s Focus Area Games Research. Participation if free. More information at: www.ugamelab.nl/.

SETUP

SETUP is an Utrecht-based medialab for anyone interested in the fusion of technology and culture. They focus on current developments that are grounded in –and accelerated by– new technologies. Their mission is to contribute to a new kind of media, algorithm and data-literacy, necessary to understand the processes behind our very daily lives. Current themes address digital redlining, data profiling, algorithmic ethical decision-making and machine-learning. In every project, they work closely together with (visual) artists to construct a new iconic visual language for topics that are hard to grasp. Therefore, many of their events, workshops and campaigns are not just informative, but often also provocative or hilarious. For example, their Koppie-Koppie campaign sold coffee mugs with Flickr photos of other people's children (licensed to be used commercially), to address privacy issues. This campaign even got featured on CNN. In DIY-NSA they address data profiling by building a birthday calendar of all Dutch citizens; this workshop featured on SXSW and in numerous German newspapers like Der Spiegel. In addition to more critical topics, they organise light-hearted events to celebrate popular culture and media art. This ranges from building your own VR world (Coffee & Cardboards) to bringing together 80 artists for a huge pop-up exhibition (Bring Your Own Beamer). SETUP welcomes students interested in learning how to translate academic new media research into appealing formats and accessible events for a broader audience. An internship at SETUP also includes sharpening your production and marketing skills. SETUP is well-established in the Dutch e-culture scene and is often a gateway for those interested in working in this field after their master’s degree. See setup.nl.

Impakt

Impakt deals with questions about society, digital culture and media from different angles and disciplines such as arts, academia and technology. Or, to be a bit more specific: Impakt presents critical and creative views on contemporary media culture and innovative audio-visual arts in an interdisciplinary context that are presented in events, film programmes and talks.

Impakt organises the annual Impakt Festival, this year taking place from 26 – 30 October 2016 and themed ‘Does Authenticity still matter?’ A five-day multimedia festival with exhibitions, lectures and screenings at different locations in the city of Utrecht will engage the issue of whether in our hyperlinked network culture, the valuation of characteristics like hybridity and reproducibility have shifted. At the same time, omnipresent marketing and self-representation strategies more than ever emphasise sincerity as both a life goal and an experience. How may we understand this paradox? Impakt presents a great place for doing an internship. They need interns especially in the months from August to October 2016, but also in the Summer months. See impakt.nl/headquarters/.

Studium Generale

Studium Generale offers lectures, symposia and debates to students, teachers and anyone interested in science and the arts and the way they are related. Topics also include the impact of new technologies and philosophy of science and technology. All the activities are free and open to anyone without prior reservation. Make your selection of individual lectures, talks or discussions or attend a whole series of activities covering a subject from the angle of different disciplines. You will find most of their activities in the evening in the University Aula at Domplein in Utrecht or during lunch time at the University Library in De Uithof (Utrecht Science Park). Some of the activities are in English to cater the international public in Utrecht and surroundings. Check out their events at: www.sg.uu.nl/en/.