Decolonising in the Media Suite

This project is a cross-media analysis of race-related topics in Dutch media. It aims to encourage student-led research using the Media Suite for qualitative analysis of the coverage of race-related topics across Dutch media.

Principal investigator
  • Asli Özgen

Media Studies is a rapidly growing area of study that appeals to an increasingly diverse student profile. Decolonising Media Studies (DeMS) addresses two closely linked problems in this context. Firstly, some students feel alienated in an almost exclusively western-dominated curriculum about media history, theory, and practice. Secondly, they remain unaware of the relevance of their (intersectional) cultural background to their chosen field of study. DeMS aims to bridge this disconnect and encourage students to build upon their own cultural repertoires and knowledge. Addressing the first problem, DeMS adopts a student-activating pedagogy, where students will determine readings, media examples, and assessments. To tackle the second, the students will be given the opportunity to collaborate with a number of cultural institutions and local partners (such as Black Archives, Institute for Sound and Vision, Framer Framed, etc.) to reflect on their societal positions.

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Fellowship presentation by Asli Ozgen

About the project

This project will be carried out in the DeMS elective, in line with its student-activating pedagogy. On the abovementioned levels and in this pedagogical approach, the CLARIAH Media Suite offers significant potential to be included as a research tool, where students determine the content and assessment of the course. Using the Media Suite’s Search, Bookmarking and Annotation functionalities, DeMS-Racism will activate students to design their own small-scale research projects.

In so doing, the elective enables students to develop an understanding of how cultural heritage repositories are preserved and made accessible, based on the collections included in the Media Suite. Students can thus bridge the media analytical skills they obtain in the curriculum with their own cultural knowledge and approach questions of race in relation to audio-visual collections stored in major cultural institutions from an analytical perspective.

Corresponding to the student-activating pedagogy of Decolonising Media Studies elective, this project will involve students forming small autonomous groups to research one of the following discussions (including but not limited to): (a) #BlackLivesMatter protests, (b) immigration and refugee ‘crisis’, (c) het racismedebat, or (d) slavery past. After formulating a research question, groups excavate the collections in theMedia Suite under the supervision of a lecturer. Subsequently, students search archival metadata and use annotation tools. Based on their findings, they share research results in one of the possible products: discussion paper, in-class presentation, or short desktop documentary. The project ends with recording a video lecture - on students’ findings - for the CLARIAH portal.

Current developments

Project info


Asli Özgen
Asli Özgen

Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam

Reza Kartosen-Wong
Reza Kartosen-Wong

University lecturer, University of Amsterdam

Leonie Schmidt
Leonie Schmidt

Associate Professor, University of Amsterdam

Jeroen de Kloet
Jeroen de Kloet

Professor, University of Amsterdam