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Utrecht Centre for Media Research

About the Centre

Currently, Utrecht Centre for Television/Screen Cultures in Transition is being transformed into Utrecht Centre for Media Research. New website will be launched soon!

Utrecht Centre for Media Research  is a research initiative of media scholars attached to the Department of Media and Culture Studies and to the Institute for Cultural Inquiry (ICON) of the Faculty of  Humanities.

Focus of Utrecht Centre for Media Research

Media are central to our understanding of the world and our position in it. In the Utrecht Centre for Media Research (UCMR) researchers working on four intersected domains of media culture are brought together. The aims of the centre are to foster excellent scholarship on media in the humanities, to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams on problems that demand a media perspective, and to mobilize our academic knowledge for public and private use.

Media Industries

Media are produced, circulated and consumed in an ecosystem of institutions, industries and infrastructures. Understanding media industries in the digital age requires attention for the global dynamics of media flows, and knowledge on mediation and translation of culture across platforms and borders. The centre combines studies of the nature of creative media work, production cultures, distribution and exhibition practices and cultures with attention for cultural policy and audiences. Our work deals with issues related to the conglomeration of the global media sector, with particular interest in the spaces where creative innovation and contestation occur.

Media Literacies

To understand, interpret, analyse, evaluate, and play with the abundant images, texts, music and sounds of contemporary media cultures, one needs to be media literate. To find, access, select and contextualize media material in a culture of plenty, knowledge of media histories, archaeology and heritage is essential. Researchers in the centre are experts in media analysis and aesthetics, and study popular genres, digital culture, transmedia, cinema and media art, media history, and archival material . Our work contributes to development of the skills necessary to relate to media in all its manifestations.

Media and Critical Theories

Media are drivers of the global order. Media participation can contribute to open and inclusive societies in which communities share values, individuals are free to maintain their own identities, and the cultural diversity of the world is acknowledged, respected and sustained. The centre studies how media are organized in national, international and supranational context, and expands critical theoretical perspectives that help formulate which forms of governance are required to deal with important societal challenges. Our focus lies on the issues of media representation, accuracy and truth, media activism, participatory culture, and media ecology.

Research Infrastructures and Tools

Excellent scholarship in the twenty-first century can be achieved through use of innovative research infrastructures and development of digital methodologies. The turn to digital humanities and collaboration with heritage and industry partners that preserve large collections of complex audiovisual data is particularly promising. The centre is playing a major role in pionieering large-scale infrastructure projects such as CLARIAH MediaSuite and EUscreenXL. Our scholars seize opportunities to work with newly digitized and digital-born material, expand lines of research, and articulate and answer novel questions.