Supervisory 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)



koen leursKoen Leurs

Koen Leurs is Assistant Professor in Gender and Postcolonial studies at the Graduate Gender Program, Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University. He has taught new media, philosophy of science and postcolonial studies across the department, and currently teaches the courses Cultural Representations and Gender, Ethnicity and Cultural Criticism.

He is a feminist internet researcher interested in multiculturalism, race, migration, diaspora and youth culture using mixed methods and ethnography. From February 2016 onwards he works on his NWO-Veni research project ‘Young connected migrants. Comparing digital practices of young asylum seekers and expatriates in the Netherlands’.

Koen Leurs is the co-supervisor of Laura Candidatu.

Personal website:


Domitilla Olivieri

Domitilla Olivieri is is Assistant Professor at the department of Media and Culture Studies and affiliate researcher at the Institute for Cultural Inquiry, at Utrecht University. She has a PhD in Humanities (UU), and an MA in Anthropology (“Sapienza” University of Rome).

Her research and didactics are in the field of documentary film, visual anthropology, visual studies, gender and postcolonial studies, and cultural studies.

Committed to bridging the distance between academic and non-academic milieus, she has published in scholarly volumes and journals, as well as activist and popular platforms; and collaborates with cultural institutes, film festivals, community projects, and NGOs.

Her PhD research, conducted under the guidance of prof Rosemarie Buikema and prof Rosi Braidotti, is entitled Haunted by Reality. Towards a feminist study of documentary film: indexicality, vision and the artifice. She was a Marie Curie Fellow and has been teaching.

Her latest work focuses on documentary film, spaces of the everyday, the politics of othering and of mediated encounters, and ‘rhythm’ in documentary media.

Domitilla Olivieri is the co-supervisor of Claudia Minchilli.



Myria Georgiou

London School of Economics, United Kingdom

Dr Myria Georgiou is Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department at the Dept. of Media and Communications, LSE. She has a PhD in Sociology (LSE), an MSc in Journalism (Boston University) and a BA in Sociology (Panteion University, Athens). Her research focuses on migration and diaspora, media and the city, and the ways in which media contribute to constructions of identity and meanings of cultural diversity. For more than 18 years she has been conducting and leading cross-national and transurban research across Europe and between British and American cities. She has also worked as a journalist for BBC World Service, Greek press, and the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

Her PhD was conducted under the guidance of Roger Silverstone and her doctoral thesis was an ethnography of media consumption and identity construction within the London Greek Cypriot diaspora. After her PhD, she took up a postdoctoral position at the LSE, working again with Roger Silverstone (EMTEL2 Network; FP5), and conducting the first ever mapping of diasporic media in the EU. Dr Georgiou has served as the Chair of the Ethnicity and Race in Communication (ERIC) Division of ICA (2009-11); she is the founder and former chair of the Diaspora, Migration and Media section of ECREA. Her expertise in the area of cultural diversity and mediation has led to a number of invited consultancies and advisory roles for various organisations, including the Council of Europe; International Broadcasting Trust (IBT); Panos Paris; and Panos London. Her work has been published in English, French, Japanese, and Greek.

Myria Georgiou is the co-supervisor of Melis Mevsimler.


Radhika Gajjala

Bowling Green State University, USA

Radhika Gajjala is currently Fulbright Visiting Professor of Digital Culture at the University of Bergen, Norway, Visiting Scholar at The Fulbright Program and Co-Editor at ADA: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology. She is Professor of Media and Communication at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. She has published books on Cyberculture and the Subaltern (Lexington Press, 2012) and Cyberselves: Feminist Ethnographies of South Asian Women (Altamire, 2004). She has co-edited collections on Cyberfeminism 2.0 (2012), Global Media Culture and Identity (2011), South Asian Technospaces (2008) and Webbing Cyberfeminist Practice (2008).

Personal website


Rosemarie Buikema

Utrecht University

Rosemarie Buikema is professor of Art, Culture and Diversity, Utrecht University. She is the chair of the Graduate Gender Programme at Utrecht University as well as the Utrecht coordinator of GEMMA, the Erasmus Mundus joint degree in Gender and Women’s Studies in Europe. Professor Buikema was the scientific director of the EU FP6 Marie Curie EST GenderGraduates and is now the principal investigator in the Horizon2020 ETN-ITN-Marie Curie project GRACE (Gender and Cultures of Equality in Europe).
She worked as a visiting professor at the University of Western Cape, the University of Cape Town and the Charles University in Prague. She has broadly published on feminist theory, postcolonial studies and memory studies. Her latest books in these fields are Doing Gender in Media, Art and Culture (co-edited with Liedeke Plate and Kathrin Thiele, Routledge 2017), Theories and Methodologies in Postgraduate Feminist Research (co-edited with Gabrielle Griffin and Nina Lykke, Routledge 2011). Her current research in the field of transitional justice and the arts was recently published in a monograph with Amsterdam University Press entitled Revoltes in de Cultuurkritiek(2017). Professor Buikema is the director of the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG).

Rosemarie Buikema is the co-supervisor of Laura Candidatu.