About the team

Sandra Ponzanesi

Principal Investigator

Sandra is Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the Department of Media and Culture Studies/Graduate Gender Programme (UU), and Head of Department Humanities at University College Utrecht (UCU).

Her expertise is gender and postcolonial critique from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. Her research areas include postcolonial studies, transnational feminist theories, comparative literature, Italian colonial history, European migration studies, visual culture, postcolonial cinema, media and conflict studies. She studied English and Commonwealth Studies at the University of Bologna (Italy) and University of Sussex (UK) and received her PhD., in Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at Utrecht University. I was Visiting Professor at the University of California Los Angeles Women’s Studies Program and visiting scholar at the University of California, Riverside and Gemma Scholar at Rutgers University.

She is currently PI of the ERC consolidator project CONNECTINGEUROPE ‘Digital Crossings in Europe. Gender, Diaspora and Belonging.’ The project 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.

Sandra is also founder and director of the Postcolonial Studies Initiative (PCI)  www.postcolonialstudies.nl

Email: S.Ponzanesi@uu.nl
Website: http://www.uu.nl/staff/SPonzanesi/



DonyaDonya Alinejad

Postdoc Researcher, Homelands

After completing an interdisciplinary Research Master in Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam on Iranian bloggers, Donya went to to receive her PhD from the Social and Cultural Anthropology Department of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

She conducted ethnographic research on the web usage practices of children of Iranian migrants in Los Angeles, California. Her key areas of interest include digital media and migration, transnational identity formation, and ethnographic methods.

Email: d.alinejad@uu.nl
Website: https://www.uu.nl/medewerkers/DAlinejad/ 

LauraLaura Candidatu

PhD Candidate, focus city Amsterdam

Laura holds a Bachelor degree in Political Sciences and a Master degree in Gender Studies at the National School of Political and Administrative Studies in Bucharest. She also followed the Intensive Postgraduate Intensive Programme at the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies.

Her research interests focus on the East-West dynamics within the construction of the European Union, the relations between postcolonialism and post-socialist studies, the postcolonial turn in digital humanities, European migration and intersectionality.

Email: L.I.Candidatu@uu.nl
Website: https://www.uu.nl/medewerkers/LICandidatu/ 


MelisMelis Mevsimler

PhD Candidate, focus city London

Melis has a background in Politics and International Relations (University of Bath, the UK) and Media Communication and Development (LSE, the UK).


Email: m.mevsimler@uu.nl
Website: https://www.uu.nl/medewerkers/MMevsimler/ 



claudiaClaudia Minchilli

PhD Candidate, focus city Rome

Claudia has a background in international politics and gender studies, having earned a Bachelor degree in Cultures and Human Rights at the University of Bologna (Italy), a Master degree in International Science at the University of Turin (Italy) and a Master degree in Gender Studies at SOAS, University of London. Her academic interests encompasses migration and diaspora studies, gender theory, queer theory, postcolonial studies and transnational feminist studies.


Email: c.minchilli@uu.nl
Website: https://www.uu.nl/medewerkers/CMinchilli/ 


Ena Omerović

Research assistant

In 2013 Ena moved from Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Netherlands to study the MA program of Film and Television Studies at Utrecht University. After graduation in October 2016 she was employed as research assistant for the ERC project. Ena’s fields of interest are documentary film and work revolving around migration and the current refugee crisis. She assists the project part-time as administrative support and when necessary she films and edits events organised within the scope of the project.