NOI♀SE Summer School – Feminist Media Studies of Migration: European discourses and lived experiences

NOI♀SE 2016 Summer School Feminist Media Studies of Migration:

European discourses and lived experiences

29 August – 2 September 2016, Utrecht University, The Netherlands Organized by the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies

  • Would you like to explore how gender and postcolonial perspectives can be fruitfully combined for an emancipatory re-imagination of Europe as inherently culturally diverse?
  • Do you want to know more about how axes of difference including gender, race, religion, class and generation intersect in mediatized European discourses and lived experiences?
  • Are you curious to learn more about the feminization of migration?
  • Would you like to join us in mobilizing feminist media studies of migration to

    rethink Europeanness from below?

  • Are you interested in deconstructing the label of the migrant by re-considering

    who counts as a migrant and who does not?

  • Are you struggling to make sense of the so-called “rape-refugees” discourse that

    became en vogue after mass sexual assaults in Cologne, Germany and elsewhere? Worrying about the misuse of feminism by right-wing anti-immigrant politicians and journalists? Join us in studying the vexed power relations between media and migration.

    Join the 2016 Summer School!

    This year, the 24rd edition of NOI♀SE will introduce you 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.

    Topical urgency and focus

    Norbert Baksa shot refugee-chic fashion photos of scarcely clad women at the Hungarian-Croatian border, an important location of frustration and contestation in the contemporary humanitarian crisis at the borders of Europe. The photos are framed like news images, but they were actually part of a fashion shoot series titled ‘Der Migrant’. Seemingly inspired by the humanitarian crisis, the photographer drew fierce criticism for glamorizing the pain, hardship and dire circumstances of Syrian asylum seekers trying to reach countries in North/Western Europe. These images raise attention for how discursive constructions of migrants are commonly gendered and draw on issues of religiosity. While female migrants are either exoticised and sexualized or depicted as oppressed by brown men and in need of being saved; male migrants are typically Othered as non-rational, backward in time, aggressive or dangerous drawing on historical orientalist frames. Besides gender and religion, additional axes of differentiation intersect in staking out the boundaries of Europeanises.


    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 invites students interested in taking up this challenge. Summer school participants will be:

    • 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 emerges from a wider engagement with questions of the gendered, racialized, sexualized and classed cultural politics of belonging, inclusion/exclusion and othering.

Target audience

This advanced training course offers a diverse yet coherent program of study from an interdisciplinary perspective. The Summer School is meant for PhD and MA students. Separate seminars for these two groups will be provided in the afternoons.


• Two lectures in the morning
• Separate PhD and MA-seminars in the afternoon
• Social program
• Students prepare before NOI♀SE by reading and collecting material for assignments

(approximately 40 hours of work). After the school has ended, participants who fulfilled all requirements (preparation of assignments and reading, active participation, and final essay of 10-15 pages) receive a NOI♀SE Certificate (5 ECTS).

• All students are expected to participate in the entire program for the duration of five days. Please check the website for more information, registration and regular updates:  Education  NOI♀SE 2016


The NOI♀SE Summer School 2016 will be hosted by Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Tuition Fees

The tuition fee is €425. This includes digital reading materials but excludes accommodation and subsistence costs (i.e., food, meals, drinks, etc.).

Teachers in the course

The NOI♀SE Summer School is 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 will be teaching at the Summer School.

Confirmed guest-speakers

  • 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 School of Economics and Political Science who researches media, sexualities and transnationalism.

    Additional names will be announced on the website in spring.

    Registration and Deadline:

    Deadline: April 22, 2016. You can find the application form on the website:  Education  NOI♀SE 2016

    For more information

    NOI♀SE Central Coordination Utrecht University Muntstraat 2a
    3512 EV Utrecht

    The Netherlands E-mail: