The NOISE Summer School 2016 hosted by Utrecht University

The NOISE Summer School (29 August – 2 September 2016) was organized by the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG, Utrecht University).

The 2016 edition is coordinated by dr. Koen Leurs and dr. Eva Midden.
Several renowned international scholars from various disciplines including gender and postcolonial studies, media and communication studies, cultural anthropology and religious studies taught at this Summer School. Sandra Ponzanesi (Mediating Europe. Digital Diasporas, Gender and Belonging) and Postdoctoral researcher Donya Alinejad presented at this Summer School.

The 24rd edition of NOISE introduced participants to cutting-edge scholarship on media and migration at the intersections of feminist media and cultural studies, postcolonial studies, cultural anthropology, religion studies, communication, activism and the arts.


The flow of (forced) migrants resulting from various international conflicts is perceived as a fundamental challenge to the project of Europe. An estimated 950 thousand people arrived by sea in 2015, and 3605 people have died or are missing (UNHCR, 2015). Although predicated on the idea “Unity in Diversity” (Ponzanesi & Colpani, 2016, p. 7), Europe’s sense of diversity is strongly politicized. It’s relationship with migration is opportunistic and geared towards welcoming newcomers fitting a particular narrow configuration of race/gender/class/religion/ability/sexuality. For example, highly educated expats – especially those from the ‘Global North’ are welcomed under “Europe’s Highly Skilled Migrant Scheme”. In sharp contrast, refugees are Europe’s new absolute Other as is evident from the enormous death toll of undesired migrants at Europe’s borders, reintroduced border controls within the Schengen Area, and the symbolic violence and hostility towards refugees and asylum seekers in several European countries. Taking a comparative and critical perspective, we aim to rethink Europe from the outside and from within.

In order to contest this problematic, multilayered situation there is urgent demand for robust feminist and postcolonial cultural critique, engaged fieldwork and new, grounded empirical data. The 2016 NOISE Summer school invited students interested in taking up this challenge. Summer school participants were:

• introduced to feminist media studies of migration, with a particular focus on multiculturalism and cultural difference; religiosity and post-secularism; intersectionality; media, ICTs & diaspora; sexualities and queering migration.

• trained in theories, methods and ethics of qualitative feminist media analysis and fieldwork.

The summer school emerged from a wider engagement with questions of the gendered, racialized, sexualized and classed cultural politics of belonging, inclusion/exclusion and othering.


  • Prof. dr. Mia Lövheim, professor of the Sociology of Religion at Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden, with a research specialization in new media.
  • Prof. dr. Sandra Ponzanesi, Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the Department of Media and Culture Studies/Graduate Gender Programme (UU).I am also Head of Department Humanities at University College Utrecht (UCU).
  • Dr. Paul Mepschen, Lecturer at Leiden University, the Netherlands with expertise in Europe, Politics, Race, Sexuality, Subjectivity.
  • Dr. Donya Alinejad, Postdoctoral Researcher Digital Crossings in Europe, Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON), Department of Media and Culture Studies/Graduate Gender Programme (UU).
  • Dr. Lukasz Szulc, Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders University of Antwerp Belgium / Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow London Schoolof Economics and Political Science who researches media, sexualities and transnationalism.Additional names will be announced on the website in spring.