Call for Applications – International M.A. in New Media and Digital Culture 2015-2016

On: December 18, 2014
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About Carolin Gerlitz
Dr. Carolin Gerlitz, MA (UdK Berlin) MA PhD (Goldsmiths) is Assistant Professor of New Media at the University of Amsterdam and is member of the Digital Methods Initiative. Her research explores the various intersections between new media and economic sociology. Currently, her interests focus on digital sociology, web economies, issue mapping, digital research methods, social media, brands, evaluation, topology and futures.

International M.A. in New Media ­at the University of Amsterdam
Call for Applications for­ Fall 2015, rolling admissions open on November 17, 2014 and close on 1 April 2015
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)


The MA Program in media studies New Media and Digital Culture offers a comprehensive and critical approach to new media research and theory. It builds upon the pioneering new media scene that Amsterdam is known for, with an emphasis on the study of Internet culture. 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. They engage with the emerging area of digital methods, an ensemble of Internet research approaches and techniques that work with web data and are specific to the study of 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. Interested students are also supported in undertaking research internships. Students produce a wide portfolio of work, including theoretically engaged essays, empirical research projects, new media experiments, blog and wiki 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. The International MA in New Media and Digital Culture is an up-to-date digital humanities study program.

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, 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.


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. They engage in recent methodological debates around big data, realtime research, and software analysis, conduct experimental new media projects, run a wiki and the Masters of Media blog

The New Media Methods section, 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.

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, the digital book, new media literary forms, and other courses offered outside of new media (subject to change). 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, Creative Industries, and Ubiquitous Systems addresses the role of social media in the creative industries. The Digital Book investigates how the concept of the ‘book’ is translated into new media forms that coincide with transformations in the contemporary publishing industry. The subject contains both theoretical and practical components. Against a background of current debates from media and literary theory, the New Media Literary Forms class applies digital methods techniques to the end of researching and creating new forms of digital fiction.

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 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. 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 New Media 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 (see 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, engineering, the humanities, politics and the social sciences.

Application and Deadlines

Rolling admissions from November 17, 2014 to April 1, 2015 for fall 2015 admission.

– Applications, entry requirements, scholarships & fees:

– Student information website –

– Further questions regarding admission & applications? Please write to UvA’s Graduate School of the Humanities, graduateschoolhumanities-fgw[at]

– Specific questions about the curriculum? Please write to Dr. Carolin Gerlitz, New Media Program Coordinator, University of Amsterdam, c.gerlitz[at]

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


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 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 debates.

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.


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. The core courses cover an introduction to searching & collecting, key communities & journals in the field, blogging, the Amsterdam scene, new media events, academic writing, 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 humanities.

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 November 17, 2014 to April 1, 2015 for fall 2015 admission.

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, graduateschoolhumanities-fgw[at]

– Specific questions about curriculum and student life? Please write to Dr. Bernhard Rieder, Media Studies Research Master Coordinator, University of Amsterdam, b.rieder[at]

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 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 online.

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.

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.

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

Sjoukje van der Meulen, Lecturer. New media theories, media art, curating, art criticism.

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