CONNECTINGEUROPE

‘Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging’ (CONNECTINGEUROPE)

Ponzanesi ERC full logo

This project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC), by way of a Consolidator Grant awarded to the principal investigator (PI) Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi (Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Studies, Utrecht University, the Netherlands).

The project (2016-2021) aims to investigate the relation between migration and digital technologies, in particular the way in which the ‘connected migrant’ contributes to new forms of European integration and cosmopolitan citizenship. The project explores digital diasporas in relation to issues of gender, ethnicity and affective belonging, focusing on how new technologies enhance new forms of connectivity between the homeland and destination countries, bus also across diasporas. The project pioneers a new interdisciplinary method that combines media studies, postcolonial theories, digital humanities and gender studies, drawing from the humanities and social science.

It proposes a comparative approach, based on qualitative digital methods, that focuses on Somali, Romanian and Turkish women migrants who have settled in some of Europe’s main cities (London – PhD1, Amsterdam – PhD2 and Rome – PhD3) and the way in which they keep digitally and emotionally connected to their homeland cities (Mogadishu, Bucharest, Istanbul – Postdoc). The project will chart how different forms of migration (labour, postcolonial and postsocialist) impact on the new European order at the local and transnational levels.

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Host Institution
Utrecht University is one of Europe’s leading research universities, recognised internationally for its high quality and innovative approach to both research and teaching. Founded in 1636, the University has always focused strongly on research. Owing to its solid grounding in discipline-based scholarship, Utrecht University is at the forefront of developments in interdisciplinary knowledge. The University participates in various thematic multidisciplinary collaborations that conduct excellent research. With its prominence in teaching and research, Utrecht University works towards finding solutions of the highest possible impact and significance to the major challenges facing the 21st century.

The Faculty of Humanities has around 7,000 students and 900 staff members. With its research and education in these fields, the Faculty aims to contribute to a better understanding of the Netherlands and Europe in a rapidly changing social and cultural context. The enthusiastic and highly motivated colleagues and the excellent facilities in the historic city centre of Utrecht, where the Faculty is located, provide a stimulating professional atmosphere.

Department of Media and Culture Studies
The Department of Media and Culture Studies provides education on and carries out research in the fields of film, television, games, new media and digital culture, theatre, dance and performance, gender and ethnicity, music and cultural policies. Culture is a dynamic mix of artistic, creative and everyday practices with which people shape their identities and actions, and within which societal structures and institutions take shape. Media (old and new) are crucial factors in these processes.

The department is the home base for all the lecturers who teach in the Bachelor’s programmes Media en Cultuur and Muziekwetenschap. They also teach in the various Master’s programmes, including Film- en TelevisiewetenschapMuziekwetenschap and Kunstbeleid- en management and the English-language programmes Gender Studies,Gender and EthnicityMedia and Performance StudiesMusicologyNew Media & Digital Culture, and Theatre Studies.

The scholars in media and culture studies from the various research groups often work together to explore issues surrounding different facets of the role played by art, culture, and media in present-day society. The research focuses on a broad range of media and cultural and artistic performances, which are studied within their intermedial context. We pay particular attention to the relation between historical and contemporary developments, transmedial and intermedial phenomena, cultural diversity, emancipation, heritage and the digital humanities.

Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON)
The Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) is one of the four research institutes of the Faculty of Humanities. The researchers from the departments of History and Art HistoryLanguages, Literature and Communication and Media and Culture Studies who belong to ICON are organised in the research groups Gender StudiesLiteratureMedia and PerformanceMedieval Culture and Musicology.

The members of these research groups often work together to explore issues concerning different facets of the role played by art, culture, and media in present-day society. Through their interdisciplinary projects, they contribute towards the university’s focus area Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights and the strategic theme Institutions for Open Societies, among others.

ICON scholars are also members of national research schools and are active in numerous international partnerships and networks in their various disciplines. Collaboration with other partners within society is also a key priority for ICON.

Graduate Gender Programme (GGeP)
The Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG) at Utrecht University (The Netherlands) provides a platform for gender sensitive and postcolonial research. Since 1995, the NOG  has offered a highly successful training programme and research environment for postgraduate students, PhD students and senior researchers. The NOG teaching and research staff consists of an international team of professors and senior lecturers from various universities.

The NOG is a top European programme and plays a central role in European cooperation on research and training in the area of Gender and Postcolonial studies.

For more information see the website of ‘Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging’.