Department of Culture Studies
The department of Culture Studies (DCU) studies culture, communication and artistic practices in the globalized and digitalized society through an interdisciplinary approach in which anthropological, sociolinguistic, semiotic, political, aesthetical and philosophical perspectives are combined, with special attention for the role of digital media.
Core research includes the impact of digital technologies on contemporary sociocultural life in all domains of society, and aims at understanding various new activities, media strategies and creative phenomena in the public sphere. We see online and offline dimensions of sociocultural life as fundamentally intertwined and inseparable. This nexus implies a new stage of globalization demanding insights that transcend those of single societies and cultures, and raising new issues about technology-driven cultural developments and their impact. The scientific challenge this imposes is that it demands historical contextualization of contemporary social, communicative and artistic phenomena as well as theoretical innovation in the various disciplines represented in the department .
The DCU department publishes the Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies and hosts the research center Babylon (director Prof. dr. J. Blommaert). Research and education are linked in the unique and exciting electronic forum Diggit Magazine (editor-in-chief Dr. I. Maly), a platform for discussion and for the sharing of knowledge and perspectives .
A substantial part of the research of the department is funded through external grants, such as Jenny Slatman’s Vici project, Sanneke de Haan’s Veni project, a number of NWO projects by Mirjam van Reisen, and several PhD projects (NWO PhDs in the Humanities), as well as projects funded by societal organizations and governing bodies (e.g. a foundation for the promotion of reading, the Province of South Holland, and the Expat Center Eindhoven) .
DCU is responsible for a flourishing teaching program in Culture Studies (BA and MA):
- BA Online Culture: Art in the Public Sphere, Global Communication, Digital Media, Teacher Dutch Language (Universitaire Lerarenopleiding Nederlands).
- MA Culture Studies: Online Culture; Health Humanities, Management of Cultural Diversity; Children’s Literature (Jeugdliteratuur), the latter connected to an Erasmus Mundus Program with other European Universities .
The department is also involved in the Research Master Linguistics and Communication Sciences, jointly organized with Radboud University Nijmegen .
DCU hosts about 30 staff members, and about 22 PhD students.
- Prof. dr. O.M. Heynders ‒ Head of Department
- Dr. M. Hoondert ‒ Director of Studies
- Prof. dr. A.M. Backus ‒ Program Leader
Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies Babylon
TPCS is intended to be a genuine ‘working papers’ series. That means that work-in-progress is invited, that papers do not yet require the level of elaboration usually demanded of journal-publishable papers, that good MA dissertations can also be included, and so on.
Diggit Magazine is a community-driven academic news and information platform connected to the bachelor 'Online Culture: Art, Media and Society' and the masters in Culture Studies of Tilburg University. It provides quality information in times of digitalization, globalization and superdiversity. Diggit Magazine is a learning instrument and a niche magazine at the same time.