Andries Hiskes | Disability and its Affective Affordances: Deformity, Decay, Disruption, Distortion

Andries Hiskes | Disability and its Affective Affordances: Deformity, Decay, Disruption, Distortion | Leiden University | Supervisors: Prof. dr. Frans-Willem Korsten, dr. Jules Sturm | 1 May 2018 – 30 April 2023
Bodies considered disabled or defomed may elicit strong affective or emotional reactions. They can shock us, evoke disgust or sympathy, or we might wonder at them for example. Through the lens of four key concepts (Deformity, Decay, Disruption, Distortion), this project examines contemporary literature and art in which such affective reactions to these “deviant” bodies are depicted. It particularly focuses on the relationship between the formal dimension of the work (how is the text constructed?) and the way in which affective responses are told or represented — and also what is not represented or may be read as being ‘absent’ in a particular representation.
This project aims to aid in the development of the ways in which we can close read affective responses to disability in literary texts and cultural artefacts. Additionally, as this project intersects disability studies, aesthetics, and affect theory, it places these fields in conversation with one another.

Rose Smith | Hegemonic European Communist memory narratives in Central European Museums

Rose Smith | Hegemonic European Communist memory narratives in Central European Museums | University of Groningen | Supervisor: Prof. dr Pablo Valdivia

This dissertation aims to critically scrutinize how transnational knowledge bases create a hegemonic European Communist memory narrative in museums. It fills a conceptual and empirical gap in the field of memory studies. First, the concept of mnemonic hegemony, though has been used by various scholars in memory studies, has not yet been properly developed; thus, it opens up an analytic optic that specifically focuses on mnemonic power struggles for obtaining a special advantage or authority. Second, while there is a substantial amount of research on the European memory of Communism, the transnational network organizations of European memory, as well as the museums of Communism, there is no research that specifically deals with how museum members of the Platform for European Conscience narrate Communist past.

The objectives of this research is to (a) further develops the conceptualization of “mnemonic hegemony”, (b) analyze whether a European Communist past is hegemonic in European-level policies and debates, (c) deconstruct the narrative of the European Communist past in museums that are members of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, (d) conduct interviews with the museum’s curators and researchers regarding the (memory) narrative of the museum, and (e) compare these (memory) narrations with those in museums that claim to have or are supposed to have a more national or commercial focus. Thus, the research asks how a particular narrative of the European Communist past is hegemonic in museums of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.

This research operates within geographical, institutional, theoretical, and temporal scopes. First, it focuses on Central European states, namely the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Second, it focuses mainly on the museum members of the Platform of European Memory and Conscience. Third, it operates within the post-structuralist paradigm. Fourth, the data it analyses are those available during the writing of this dissertation, specifically from 2019 to 2023.

Francine Maessen | Identiteit en de representatie van trauma in het literaire oeuvre van Breyten Breytenbach

Francine Maessen | Identiteit en de representatie van trauma in het literaire oeuvre van Breyten Breytenbach | Universiteit van Amsterdam | Promotor: prof. dr. M.C. van der Waal (UvA)
Dit onderzoek bekijkt de invloed van hoe identiteit geconstrueerd wordt in het geschreven oeuvre van de Zuid-Afrikaanse schrijver en kunstenaar Breyten Breytenbach op de representatie van trauma in zijn werk. Hiervoor wordt gekeken naar belangrijke invloeden op de construcutie van identiteit in zijn werk, zoals het Zen Boeddhisme, Breytenbachs eigen concept van basterskap als het aankomt op de Afrikaner identiteit, en het rhizomatische denken van bijvoorbeeld Édouard Glissant en Gilles Deleuze. Vervolgens wordt gekeken hoe deze concepten de representatie van trauma in dit oeuvre beïnvloeden.

Paola Gonzalez Salas | Visual memories of Anibal pinto square and Temuco´s train station between 1930-1950

Paola Gonzalez Salas | Visual memories of Anibal pinto square and Temuco´s train station between 1930-1950: A virtual reconstruction based on digital narratives. | University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts, Graduate School for the Humanities (GSH) | Prof. Dr Pablo Valdivia Martín, Dr. Florian Lippert, Dr. Hugh McDonnell, Dr. Konstantin Mierau

This PhD research aims to explore the cultural narratives in two areas of the city of Temuco (Chile) between 1930 and 1950 and how the imposition of foreign constructions and non-violently dynamics contributed to the invisibilisation of the indigenous culture of the zone.

For the development of this research, I will work with historical archives, press archives, image analysis and interviews/surveys with local people.

The research will lead to the design of an interactive 3D application, which will reconstruct the Anibal Pinto Square and the Railway Station between 1930 and 1950, to be explored in first person, seeking the re-signification of heritage spaces and the revaluation of the city’s history and its culture.

Juan Gallego Benot | How did rhetorical invention in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation shape a conflicting idea of Modernity?

Juan Gallego Benot | How did rhetorical invention in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation shape a conflicting idea of Modernity? An analysis of the discursive construction of a new European society | University of Groningen | Supervisors: Prof. P. Valdivia, Prof. T. Albaladejo Mayordomo & dr. A. Godioli | Duration: 1 December 2020 – 30 November 2024

By analysing the rhetorical devices and structures of different textual sources from the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation, this project aims to understand the importance of Rhetoric in developing a sense of Modernity in Europe. This comparative analysis will try to answer some of the following questions: Is it possible to trace a Rhetoric, which is an expression aiming to persuade others, that is specific of the Reformation and of the Counter-Reformation? Were texts produced during these two revolutions inside the Church not only a matter of the so-called “content”, but more importantly, a matter of ways in which these texts were designed to be communicated and spread? Would we get a different picture of the political structures shaping Europe if we analysed those events by focusing on their modes of expression?

Francisca Silva Layera | News frames and effects on the affective assessment of immigrants: An analysis of Chilean digital media

Francisca Silva Layera | News frames and effects on the affective assessment of immigrants: An analysis of Chilean digital media | University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts, Graduate School for the Humanities (GSH) | Prof. Dr. Pablo Valdivia, Dr. Florian Lippert, Dr. Hugh McDonnell, Dr. Marc Esteve Del Valle, Dr. Konstantin Mierau & Dr. Jeanette den Toonder

 

Migration is a global phenomenon of multi-causal origin and a transversal nature, becoming a massive dynamic that affects the world population, whose mediatization and politicization at the international level generates increasing debate. The present study aims to characterize the coverage and media treatment of migrants by Chilean digital media, according to their editorial line, through Quantitative Content Analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). From a Framing and Agenda Setting perspective, this project investigates the main frames present in the Chilean media concerning news related to migrants depending on the editorial line (hegemonic or non-hegemonic), as well as describing the main topics and actors in public debates about migration.

Rosmery-Ann Boegeholz | The ‘Mirror Syndrome’: young female university students’ reactions to beauty influencers’ activity on Instagram

Rosmery-Ann Boegeholz | The ‘Mirror Syndrome’: young female university students’ reactions to beauty influencers’ activity on Instagram | University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts, Graduate School for the Humanities (GSH) | Prof. Dr Pablo Valdivia Martín & Dr Marc Esteve Del Valle

This project aims to diagnose how influencers’ actions through Instagram contribute to the appearance of different psychiatric conditions on young female users of the social network. In other words, it seeks to explore, describe, explain, and analyse how the impact that beauty influencer generates when advertising cosmetic products on Instagram in young female users’ daily life and if the systematic use of images by young female university students on Instagram may trigger the appearance of different mental disorders.

To develop this project, I will employ a mixed-method research. A survey to collect data about the use of Instagram and a semi-structured interview to obtain information and a depth understanding of the impact of this use in the previously mentioned subjects.

 

Danelle Du Plessis | Narratives of Crisis and the Cultural Practices of Coping with Them: Engendering Mediated Time During the Coronavirus Pandemic

From Crisis to Critique

Danelle Du Plessis | Narratives of Crisis and the Cultural Practices of Coping with Them: Engendering Mediated Time During the Coronavirus Pandemic | University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts, Graduate School for the Humanities (GSH) | Prof. Dr. Pablo Valdivia Martín & Dr. Ksenia Robbe

 

The purpose of this project is to explore gendered responses to the Coronavirus pandemic as a process of cultural organization to understand its implications for gender (in)equality. It proposes the development of the concept of ‘time use’ as a measurement of gender (in)equality to be used as a systematic temporal analytical tool during times of crisis. Within this context, it seeks to interrogate the role of the media in the construction of cultural representations of gendered time use in the home under lockdown and how the resultant cultural discourses can contribute to either the legitimization or attenuation of gender inequalities.

To develop this concept, this project will employ a two-stage research plan to understand the relation between: (1) the gendered discourses on domesticity produced by news and social media across Norway, South Africa and the United States and (2) the individual reception of these cultural discourses through activities such as co-production, consumption and the unmediated experience of social reproduction during lockdown.

Leonardo Arriagada | CG-art: An aesthetic discussion of the relationship between artistic creativity and computation

Leonardo Arriagada | CG-art: An aesthetic discussion of the relationship between artistic creativity and computation | University of Groningen | Supervisors: Prof. Pablo Valdivia, Dr Florian Lippert and Dr Alberto Godioli 

 

This PhD research strives to understand how computer-generated art (CG-art) is reshaping the notion of artistic creativity. Thus, the focus lies on the relationship between Artificial Intelligence (A.I) and aesthetics.

I propose that CG-art criticism has an anthropocentric bias that overlooks current tech advances and ignores an existing mechanical dimension into artistic creativity. To demonstrate this, I will divide this research into two phases — the first will be a critical review of existing studies on computing and artistic creativity, while the second phase will be the analysis of a corpus of CG-art. In this way, I intend to question human exclusivity in artistic production. In short, I seek to strengthen the idea that machines can create art, thereby contributing to the understanding of art in the age of A.I.

Promotie: Marileen La Haije (Radboud Universiteit)

— for English, see below —

Op maandag 8 februari om 16.30 verdedigt Marileen La Haije (RU) haar proefschrift  “Memorias locas: Una lectura de la ficción centroamericana (de los años noventa a la actualidad) desde la conexión entre locura y trauma”. Helaas kunnen slechts enkelen hierbij fysiek aanwezig zijn, maar gelukkig is er de optie om via de livestream toch deel te nemen aan de plechtigheid. Dat kan via deze link: https://www.ru.nl/over-ons/diensten-faciliteiten/vm/aula/livestream/livestream-academiezaal/. Hopelijk tot dan!

Voor praktische vragen over de verdediging kun je contact opnemen met Marileen La Haije (m.lahaije@let.ru.nl).

On February 8, at 16.30, Marileen La Haije (RU) will be defending her dissertation “Memorias locas: Una lectura de la ficción centroamericana (de los años noventa a la actualidad) desde la conexión entre locura y trauma”. Unfortunately, only a limited number of guests are allowed to be present at the venue of the defense. However, it is possible to watch the ceremony via a livestream, which will be available at this webpage: https://www.ru.nl/over-ons/diensten-faciliteiten/vm/aula/livestream/livestream-academiezaal/. You are very welcome to attend the defense online.

For practical questions about the defense please contact Marileen La Haije (m.lahaije@let.ru.nl).