Research Program 2017
Research: Academic Staff
Rian Aart - assistant professor
The focus of my teaching, research and project activities is on teaching and learning, with the educational field as the main context. I want to contribute to educational development by helping teachers in providing the best possible education for young people in our rapidly changing and diverse modern society. In this field, I combine the two areas in which I have done most of my scientific work. The first area is the field of language learning, bilingualism and academic language. As school populations are getting more diverse, multilingual and multicultural communication is more and more common in schools. The concept of academic language is of much importance, since mastering this type of language is a prerequisite for being successful in school while not all children are equally well equipped for using this language register. The second area is the field of teacher training, teacher research and professionalization. In our teacher training program, we cooperate with schools for secondary education. By providing induction programs for beginning teachers, research training for experienced teachers and studying these professionalization processes, we aim to contribute to educational development.
William Arfman - post doc researcher
First of all, in 2017 several sub-projects of my research will be finalized. In particular, this concerns my research into: a) The ritual repatriation of the bodies of the victims of the MH17 airplane attack; b) A yearly ecumenical open-air commemoration service for deceased boat refugees in Amsterdam; c) The ritual dimension of community-art projects dealing with the refugee crisis; d) Selective commemoration after religious violence (Paris, Beirut, Baghdad). This ties into planned publication in the Journal of Cultural Diversity (a), Journal of Religious and Political Practice (b), Refuge (c), a chapter in the co-edited volume Cultural Practices of Victimhood which has been accepted by Routledge (c), and a chapter in the co-edited volume Ritual Absence which is under consideration by Oxford UP (d). These various works are united by the following themes: ritual after atrocity, ritual design and international relations, practices of liminality.
Ad Backus - full professor
In 2017 I hope to finish a number of projects that are on-going and that all contribute, with some imagination, to the overarching goal of illustrating that the usage-based approach I have adopted to my linguistic work actually has the potential to unite a lot of work that is done, in our department and elsewhere, in other disciplines that study some form of human behavior and its effects. The projects themselves cover disparate topics, such as heritage languages (a joint book with Pieter Muysken, Derya’s PhD thesis, various articles), the cognitive basis of behavior (much of the same work plus Véronique’s PhD thesis), and a number of activities that aim to bring it all together more in a coherent way (my class on 'Usage-based approach to everything', two PhD schools in Germany and Finland, and a grant proposal). I will use a seminar contribution to illustrate all this. My administrative duties will focus on attempting to help us through a satisfying Midterm Review of our Research Program in 2018.
Sander Bax - associate professor
The literary writer in the age of media culture. In this research project I want to make an analysis of the contemporary literary landscape. What is the impact of the fact that literary writers today have to operate in media culture in order to gain attention for their work? To what extent do the most important aspects of media culture (the importance of celebrities, the preference for autobiography, the promince of populist discourses and the dominance of plot driven genres like thriller and detective) influence the contemporary novel? And what do these changes mean for authorial behavior? For authors to become successful in the mass media, different skills and activities are required than those involved in establishing a reputation in the literary field. As a result, literary writers today have to change their strategies of self-presentation, in order to gain status in both fields at the same time. In this research project I will perform an in-depth analysis of the way literary authorship is functioning today.
Herman Beck - full professor
His research is focused on intra-religious diversity in Islam. As a case study he focuses on the Indonesian Muhammadiyah movement, with its thirty million sympathizers by far the largest modernist Muslim movement in the world. Beck studies Muhammadiyah's attitude to and view on other Muslim denominations in Indonesia. In 2017, he will pay special attention to Muhammadiyah's stance towards the Nahdlatul Ulama, with its forty-five million members the largest traditional Muslim movement in the world. Muhammadiyah is criticizing Nahdlutul Ulama for many reasons, but especially for the rituals its members are performing. Many of these rituals do not belong to 'pure' Islam according to most of the Muhammadiyah members. What now are the consequences of these different opinions with regard to ritual, both throughout history and in contemporary time?
Jan Blommaert - full profesor
Last year, I embarked on a project which I call 'Durkheim and the Internet', in which I attempt to identify social-theoretical effects of contemporary work on sociolinguistic aspects of online-offline superdiversity. It's, in a way, an infinitely expandable revisionist effort in which the shaping of new theory involves a specific kind of critique of existing ones, and in which questions of method and methodology are inevitable as well. I will be involved in this, consequently, for the foreseeable future (and possibly beyond). Empirically, I hope to start a fieldwork project in Oud-Berchem (the focus of earlier research) on the interplay of infrastructures (shops, bus stops, churches etc.) and modes of interaction, jointly constructing forms of sociality that often operate below the radar but are crucial in explaining social cohesion (or the absence thereof) in superdiverse neighborhoods. This, too, is conceived of as a longitudinal inquiry without deadlines. The research I have in mind brings together, and critically tests, earlier work on superdiversity, conviviality and new forms of groups and identities.
Laurie Faro - post doc researcher
The main focus in my research will be: Commemoration Rituals since the Second World War in the Netherlands, with a special focus on Youth (< 18 years) and Rituals. I will study this through the lens of a ritual scholar and with a ethnographic research design. The main objective is how to keep these rituals meaningful for the future. Also, I will write contributions to several book projects: a) I will work on two book chapters in the Absent Ritual project coordinated by Paul Post and Martin Hoondert: i) How do we commemorate perpetrators: The German Military Cemetery in the Netherlands; ii) Monuments to stillborn children: postponed rituals. b) I will work on a chapter in the book project based on the 2016 Conference Practices of Victimhood: i) Ritual and narrative: 'I want to commemorate my German grandfather'. c) I have been asked to write two chapters in the forthcoming book of the American/Swiss ritual scholar Jeltje Gordon-Lennox: i) Commemoration Rituals at the Digital Monument to the Jewish Community of the Netherlands; ii) Monuments for perinatal deaths: Coping with the sorrow, regrets and anger.
Odile Heynders - full professor
Literature as Imaginary Scenario, the Social Contribution of Literature to the Transforming Public Sphere. As a follow up of Writers as Public Intellectuals (2016) in which the public role of literary writers was examined, I have initiated a new project focussing on how writers in literary texts, by using fiction and imagination, contribute to political and social realities and perceptions. In 2017 all invitations for articles and papers will be concentrated around this book project that will consist of two parts: 1) Social realities and 2) The everydayness in cities. The following papers are planned: 1. Contribution to European Journal of History, Culture and Modernity: The Everyday Life of a European Man: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Reinvention of Fiction. 2. Contribution to Journal Urban Cultural studies: Sketched Cities – Detached Lives (on Henri Lefebvre and Goncalo M. Tavares). 3. Contribution to Book project Leuven UP, eds. Emilia Sitzia & Barbara Garrie: Literary Perspectives on Superdiversity in European Cities. To sharpen my ideas, I will participate in three conferences: 1. Edmonton, Canada May 6-7, The Idea of Place, Making, Dwelling, Sensing: 'European Scenarios: Imaginary Places and Representative Identities'. 2. IABA, London 7-9 June: Life Writing, Europe and New Media: 'Responsible Citizenship: The Public Value of Private Experiences' (on Navid Kermani and Ahmed Aboutaleb). 3. ESA Athens, 30 Aug-Sept Unmaking Europe: 'Literature as Social Knowledge: Artistic Subjectivity as Political Intervention'. And I am invited speaker on the seminar Public Intellectuals and the resurgence of political dystopias at the University of the Azores.
Martin Hoondert - assistant professor
This year I mainly work on four projects. 1) Practices of memorialization in and related to Srebrenica (rituals, memorial museum, yearly commemoration in the Netherlands); 2) Handbook of cremation rituals (valorization project, together with Janieke Bruin); 3) Book project: Cultural practices of victimhood (writing one chapter, editing; together with Paul Mutsaers and William Arfman); 4) Book project: Absent ritual (writing four chapters, editing; together with Paul Post). Besides these projects I will deliver two keynote lectures: 1) A cultural and ritual approach of victimhood (May 2017, Liverpool UK); 2) Hymnology and hymnody in a globalized culture (August 2017, Logumkloster Denmark).
Sjaak Kroon - full professor
As spin-off of the projects on multilingualism, language policy and literacy in Timor-Leste that I have been involved in for quite some time, I co-authored two papers dealing with the outcomes of these projects. A main finding pertained to the observed discrepancy between day-to-day multilingual practices in Timor-Leste and the country's official language (in education) policies. In my analysis three concepts seem to play a central role here: the changing concept of language in times of globalization and superdiversity leading to a focus on register rather than language, the concept of chronotopicity leading to policies becoming obsolete over time and space, and the concept of top-down vs. bottom-up practices leading policy actors to lose their grassroots target groups. In the time to come, together with Max Spotti and Jan Blommaert I will try to theorize these concepts a bit more in the context of a sociolinguistics of mobility.
Helma van Lierop - full professor
This year I mainly work on life writing in children's literature, because I think I can provide a substantial contribution there to both the field of life writing and the field of children's literature. Until now life writing research has paid practically no attention to how the reader matters in autobiographical or biographical writing. Conversely, in the study of children's literature, life writing seems to be more or less a blind spot. I was very much inspired by Contesting Childhood (2010) by Kate Douglas, in which she analysed autobiographies of childhood against the background of contemporary childhood in crisis. However, Douglas limits herself to autobiographies for adult readers. Taking into consideration that fundamental ideas of children and childhood are at the heart of the study of children's literature, it is remarkable that she does not discuss autobiographies of childhood aimed at young readers. In my research project I try to fill up this gap.
Ico Maly - lecturer
In the next years, two lines of research are set out. On the one hand I will, in collaboration with Piia Varis, continue our ethnographic research on super-diversity and micro-populations, with a focus on hipsters, commodification and hipsterification in Ghent. On the other hand my research engages with digital media and politics. I focus on the nexus online-offline in the rise of the Global New Right.
Paul Mutsaers - post doc researcher
The Anthropology of Criminal Justice. 2017 is a transition year in which ongoing work on policing is concluded and new ideas on criminal justice more generally are worked out. I am currently finishing my book (Police Unlimited) for Oxford University Press, in which I present my ethnography on police discrimination in the Netherlands in light of other ethnographic works on policing across the globe to perform a comparative analysis of the conflicted contours of policing worldwide. Moving from policing to criminal justice, I have submitted a Veni proposal to NWO (Law as Culture: Anthropological Perspectives on Risk-Profiling and Legal Alienation in the Netherlands). Risk-profiling is a classification mechanism used by criminal justice agencies to predict future criminal behaviour. It is my intention to apply anthropological theories that understand it as a cultural process that orders the world in terms of danger, delinquency and deviancy. The proposed study intends to investigate the relationship between profiling and the legal alienation of profiled populations.
Tom van Nuenen - lecturer
I'm currently rethinking the kinds of 'plugged-in tourism' that I explored in my dissertation – that is, the digitally aided journeys of the middle classes of the Global North. I'm especially interested in the concept of authenticity, and the pessimist critique that our time spent in digital realms and on mobile phones detracts from 'real life' experiences. The relationship between virtual and corporeal travel is much richer than that: I am currently working on a book in which I show how the exploration of space in videogames is crucial to understand the media-saturated experiences of terrestrial travel. I'm also expanding the Digital Humanities toolkit that I started using in my thesis, as I try to figure out how we can come to a computationally-aided hermeneutic understanding of online stories – which are so abundant that we can never read all of them. As it happens, I'm also teaching a few methodological courses next year, allowing me to approach teaching and research synergistically.
Tineke Nugteren - associate professor
My research and writing projects focus on: a) an invited annotated bibliography (150 references) on sacred trees/sacred groves in Oxford Bibliographies on Hinduism; b) an invited academic paper on 'Wood, Water and Waste: Material Aspects of Mortuary Practices in South Asia', to be presented to the international gathering of South-Asia scholars in Ujjain (India) on the occasion of the massive, month-long ritualization of the Kumbha Mela by the sacred Shipra river, in May. Special personal invitation by the Minister of Culture, Government of Madhya Pradesh; c) an article on 'Images of Hanuman for Hindu children' in collaboration with Priya Swami (DCU).
Paul Post - full professor
Ritual dynamics in modern Western culture. The project studies current ritual dynamics in Western culture using a number of ritual thematizations such as ritual space, memorial culture and pilgrimage. The underlying perspective is understanding dynamics in culture through the lens of ritual. Sub-projects (note: all 5 sub-projects are intertwined!): 1) ritual space and place; 2) rituals of memorial culture, esp. absent ritual; 3) cyberritual / cyberpilgrimage; 4) ritual studies: historiography, theory and program; 5) 'the academy project' (Funeraire Academie, Camino Academie). Work in progress: book project on absent ritual, article on the research design of Ritual Studies, articles on the position of ritual space in current Europe, article on shared ritual space, project on migrant rituals ('Lampedusa project').
Jan Jaap de Ruiter -associate professor
In 2017 I hope to finish the manuscript on Imams in Western Europe, a 22 chapter, two volumes publication with Amsterdam University Press, dealing with the position and role of Imams in diverse Western European countries their interaction with the faithful and with local and national authorities in the context of the heated debate on Islam in Europe. My co-editors are Mohammed Hashas (Rome), Niels Valdemar Vinding (Copenhagen), and Khalid Hajji (Brussels). At the same time I hope to finish the special issue on 'Arabic between modernity and super diversity and globalization' for Sociolinguistic Studies, my co-editor is Karima Ziamari (Meknes, Morocco). For the rest it goes without saying that I continue raising my voice in the public debate on Islam in the Netherlands and Western Europe.
Eleonora Sciubba - researcher
My research will focus on two themes: 1) laughter and profanity in legal settings, which will be presented in July 2017 in Belfast at the IPrA 15th International Pragmatics Conference in the panel 'Emotion as an action oriented resource in interaction'; 2) romanesco dialect in social media, both as a means to transcribing the dialect of videoed spontaneous interactions, and as a way of exploring embodied action in memes using romanesco on social media. An article on the former topic has been accepted for publication in the Special Issue of the Journal Quaderni di Linguistica, issue V/2017: 'La scrittura all'ombra della parola'. Both themes are approached through the lens of conversation analysis, embodied action and ethnomethodology.
Hans Siebers - associate professor
There are several ongoing writings projects. There are two papers submitted for publication in top journals. One focuses on configurations of ethnic diversity in Dutch class rooms. The other one is about the relationship between nationalism and citizenship education. He is also writing a book chapter for the volume Towards a decent labour market for low waged migrant workers, edited by Tesseltje de Lange and Conny Rijken. Moreover, he is working on a paper called 'Methodological nationalism and the role of research in the closure of migrants' labour market participation'. He is one of the conveners of a stream at the European Sociological Association conference, called: 'What is turning the European labour market into a fortress?' He manages and carries out two large scale data collection projects on ethno-migrant inequality in application procedures and vertical mobility at Eindhoven municipality. Finally, several contributions have been made as valorization projects.
Jenny Slatman - full professor
Spring 2017 I will work on two different book chapters: a chapter on 'Reclaiming the body in medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPS)' for a book volume on Existential Medicine: Essays on Health and Illness (Rowman and Littlefield), edited by Kevin Aho; a chapter on the meaning of the 'Leib/Körper distinction' for 50 Keywords in Phenomenology (Northwestern University Press), edited by Ann Murphy, Gayle Salamon and Gail Weiss. In September 2017 I will start with my five years VICI program on 'Mind the Body: Rethinking embodiment in healthcare'. For this project we will hire three PhD students and two post-doc researchers. In the fall semester I will also prepare my inaugural lecture which I will deliver at the 24th of November.
Camilla Spadavecchia - lecturer
My work is based on three interconnected axes: 1) Migration. In this area, I explore the connection between highly skilled migration, wellbeing, transnational practices and social remittances. I look at migration through different approaches, mainly hinged on the life course and time-space dimensions. I focus on highly skilled migrant women; 2) Diversity. My work focuses on diversity in the working environment. In this framework, a specific attention is given to highly skilled migrant/ expatriates in the Netherlands; 3) Gender. In this area, I analyze gender equality at different levels but with a specific focus on gender representation in the media and gender policies in the work environment (companies and academia). I mainly focus on women.
Max Spotti - assistant professor
From a disciplinary perspective, my interest is grounded in the field of (linguistic) ethnography and in the construction of identities in the interaction and semiotic engagements that people go through on a daily basis in institutional encounters. From a more paradigmatic perspective, instead, I am interested in the sociolinguistics of globalisation and more specifically in the implications that superdiversity as a lens offers for the conceptual and methodological apparata that have characterized sociolinguistics and ethnography so far. More recently, my research has been devoted to two main areas. First there is the project Asylum 2.0 carried out at a Red Cross Asylum seeking center in West Flanders. There, I investigate and aim to unravel the dynamics of asylum recognition seeking to understand how the use of social media and of the world wide web have changed the 'being and doing asylum seeking and illegality' in an era of globalization. Second, I am currently engaged in the formulation of a Common European Framework for languages that pays attention to the actual needs of low literate and illiterate while catering for the first time also for ICT based and web based literacy skill development in second language learning.
Jos Swanenberg - endowed chair
My research mainly focuses on the linguistic and cultural expression of identities related to the province Noord-Brabant (region), offline and online. In contrast to some other regions (e.g. Gelderland) the 'strong' identity of Brabant is often reported in the media or branded by institutions such as the provincial authorities and the provincial broadcasting company. In contrast with such essentialist ideas stand constructs, modeled in the bottom up identification processes of 'average' people. They show these collective identities are complex constructs of different social and spatial layers or scales of identity work. Therefore we examine the stylistic practices in various modes of interaction, focusing on the expression of (regional) identities in language. This will help us to dig deeper into the dynamics of cultural diversity as well as language change and variation.
Sara Van den Bossche - assistant professor
Currently, I am working on a project, financed by Stichting Lezen, entitled 'Lost between There and Here?', the goal of which is to chart the representation of cultural diversity and intercultural exchange in contemporary Dutch-language children's books. For this purpose, I compiled a two-part corpus of primary literature, which I use to study how ethnicity and intercultural relations are framed. The first part of the corpus consists of award-winning books, namely the nine titles which were awarded with the Jenny Smelik-IBBY prize between 2000 and 2017. Seeing that this award aims to laud books that promote intercultural understanding, my assumption is that they treat diversity in an exemplary way. I gauge them against eleven randomly selected books that deal with diversity in various ways. My main question is whether the award-winning books really set an example and, if so, how they differentiate themselves from the randomly-chosen diverse books. In terms of methodology, I apply cognitive narratology as a tool for uncovering if stereotypes are sustained or subverted.
Jef Van der Aa - post doc researcher
In 2017, I am finishing two major book projects. One treats the life and times of an Iraqi single-mom household in Antwerp North, covering issues of language, gender and poverty. Another one covers the identification of GLBT youth with the different and diverse personae of the macro celebrity pop star Rihanna, who moved from being a Barbados soca champion to the spokesperson of the Black Lives Matters movement in the US.
Pia Varis - assistant professor
Apart from wrapping up old projects, in 2017 I am getting started with new things, researching personal accounts of illness online (blogs, discussion forums, community websites) and how they conceptualise (mental) health and 'wellbeing'. I'm also going to be studying how knowledge about health is articulated, in particular 'alternative' forms of knowledge about health online, as well as the ways in which technology (e.g. self-tracking apps) mediates conceptions of what it means to be 'healthy'. For this research, I'm getting new inspiration from mediated discourse analysis and actor-network theory. A smaller – and related, considering how conceptions of health are gendered – new – and at the same time old, as my PhD largely focused on gender – line of research has to do with gender and media. For this latter part, my first project to finish in 2017 is a chapter on camgirls for the Routledge Handbook of Language, Gender and Sexuality.
Inge van de Ven - assistant professor
Based on the course 'Hermeneutics in the Information Age' taught at Shanghai International Studies University last March and April, I am working with Tom van Nuenen on the project Digital Hermeneutics, which develops a 'scaled' model of reading strategies that operationalizes the grey scales between close and distant reading. In this context, we are working on articles titled 'Myriad Shades of Grey: Digital Hermeneutics and The Red Pill' and 'Teaching Dialogical Hermeneutics in a Transcultural Setting: The Case of Disneyland Shanghai'. With Menno van Zaanen I coordinate the research project 'Negotiating Legibility: Bridging the Gap between Close and Distant Reading'. I am also writing a monograph called Monumental Novels: Big Books in Times of Big Data. Articles and chapters are forthcoming in The Journal of Creative Behavior, Legibility, Literature and Interculturality, and Book Presence in a Digital Age. Coming July I will present my research at ACLA where I co-organize the seminar 'Machine Reading/Narrative Machines', and DH Benelux.
Fons van de Vijver - full professor
In 2017, Fons van de Vijver will work on a) writing/completion of various articles, chapters, and the update of a book, dealing with a variety of cross-cultural topics, such as bias, equivalence, test adaptations, response styles, and educational achievement; b) different projects that compare immigrants in different countries (such as comparisons of educational performance Turkish immigrants across countries, together with Kutlay Yagmur) and more global comparisons of immigrants as these relate to immigration and diversity policies at the level of nation states and organizations/schools; c) different projects that address multiculturalism and intergroup relations in the Russian Federation (and former Soviet republics), with colleagues from Moscow; d) validation studies of a South-African personality inventory, with colleagues from South Africa.
Kutlay Yagmur - full professor
The Relationship between School Achievement and Multilingual Capacity of Minority Children. Having rounded up the project on the Intergenerational Acculturation Orientations of Turkish speakers in four national context, I now focus on more school and community related aspects of bilingualism, school achievement and family language policy. Together with a number of PhDs, we investigate a number of interrelated topics. The first topic under investigation is family language policy among immigrant communities in different contexts. By reflecting on Turkish community in Australia and the Netherlands, the interaction between societal policies and family language policies will be critically evaluated. Together with Irem Bezcioglu-Goktolga (Turkish FLP in the Netherlands), Tulay Et (Turkish FLP in Australia) and Carine de Oliveira Rocha (Portuguese FLP in the Netherlands) as well as Everdiene Geerling (Dutch expat parents' FLP-connected to Dutch Education Abroad Foundation), valuable insight will be gained into the dynamics of family language policy and various agents. The second topic under investigation is the link between heritage and mainstream language skills of immigrant children. In cooperation with two PhD candidates, the interdependence between first and second language skills of Turkish immigrant children are investigated in the form of MA and PhD projects. Data has been collected and being analysed in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey by MA students, the PhD candidate Gözde Demirel. In a related project, Fatiha El Maymouni collects data on Moroccan immigrant children. Finally, a new project proposal on teachers' beliefs, attitudes and knowledge regarding multilingualism has been submitted to NordForsk. If the project is honoured, teachers and schools will be the new focus during the next three years.
Research: PhD candidates
We examine how different access to social capital (supportive networks among family, friends, and neighbourhood) and social identity of Moroccan-Dutch students (N = 172) aged 17 to 33 years are associated with their acculturation outcomes. A path analysis showed that those with a stronger Moroccan-Islamic identity had more negative outcomes and less contact with mainstream Dutch. Co-ethnic support was related negatively to mainstream identity, but positively to co-ethnic ties and perceived exclusion problems in contact with Dutch. Conversely, Dutch support was negatively associated with ethnic identity and exclusion, but positively with Dutch ties and well-being. Participants had an orientation on either the Dutch or Moroccan culture. We conclude that young Moroccan-Dutch do not pursue integration (combining two cultures), and that those who adjust well, have more supportive Dutch and social networks, feel and do much better in the Dutch society than those who separate. See: Youssef Azghari, Fons J.R. van de Vijver & Erna Hooghiemstra (2017), Identity as a key factor in the acculturation of young Moroccan-Dutch adults, Journal of Psychology in Africa, 27(2), 132-140.
Suzanne van der Beek
My doctoral project is a study on the identity construction of contemporary pilgrims on the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. This traditional ritual has recently been appropriated by a new, modern type of pilgrims, who reshape both the character of the pilgrimage and their roles as participants in that ritual. My focus lies on the stories these pilgrims produce, both online and offline. This narrative approach allows me to focus on a prominent dimension of the pilgrim community, which highlights an important field in which the traditional profile of the pilgrim is in constant negotiation with a 21th century society.
Irem Bezcioglu Goktolga
My PhD project is a study on the family language policy (FLP) of second-generation Turkish families in the Netherlands. I am particularly interested in parents' language ideologies, practices and management strategies in family language activities, the effects of these policies on children's Turkish language skills, and the agency of primary school teachers on families' language planning. In 2017, in addition to my visits as a research scholar in Oranim College of Education in Israel and University of Jyväskylä in Finland, I will be focusing on the writing of my dissertation as well as the submission of three articles: the role of mothers on language socialization of children in the early years of education, teachers' agency on family language policy, and the effects of FLP on children's Turkish language skills.
In my PhD project I am studying the relation between changing cultural attitudes towards death and the changing musical repertoire of Dutch cremation rituals. Changes in attitudes towards death are related to changes in cremation rituals in which music that is connected to identities has become increasingly important during the past decades. There are two main focusses in 2017. First, in an historical, explorative research I am focusing on changing musical media (organ, gramophone, CD, online music) in crematoria to study the relation between changing musical media and changing cremation rituals. The second focus is on contemporary functions and meanings of music during cremation rituals. Observations and interviews are part of the research conducted in 2017.
In 2017 my (our) first article got published. 2017 will also be the year of the more practical part of my PhD research. I will analyze the actual shown academic language stimulating behavior during mathematics instruction of elementary school teachers in grade 1/2. This behavior will be related to the teachers' knowledge, skills and attitudes. Based on the outcomes, I will develop a training module, using an online tool (www.lesinschooltaal.nl). In the training, that takes place in the first semester of the new schoolyear 2017-2018, two groups of students get different interventions and the effectiveness will be investigated.
Deborah de Koning
Currently I am working on my PhD project that concerns the contemporary (re)appraisal and revitalisation of Ravana amongst Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Ravana is nowadays regarded by several Sinhalese Buddhists (Sri Lanka's ethnic majority) as a heroic ruler and at some places in Sri Lanka Ravana is even venerated as a god. To investigate the phenomenon of Ravanisation(the contemporary revitalization of Ravana) I am conducting fieldwork research in Sri Lanka at two particular sites. At those particular sites I focus on stories, folklore, poetry, rituals, performances, experiences and material expressions concerning Ravana. By doing this I will investigate how and why Ravana is nowadays revitalised within the context of Sinhalese self-understanding and (ethnic) identity construction in a post-war situation.
Leo Kunming Li
In 2017, I will mainly focus on the following: 1) Finish my dissertation manuscript; 2) Finish my revision on a previous case-study paper and submit it for a special conference issue; 3) Pass the defense and graduate.
In 2017 I will be focusing on the emoticon fight phenomenon on Chinese social media. Three aspects will be explored. 1) The first part will focus on the structure of emoticon fight, and the features of the emoticons used. To be more specific, the vulgar/obscene, violent, cursing (and probably other) characters of emoticons will be presented, the reasons for their sharpness as weapons will be discussed, and the social reasons for their being used as weapons will be explored. 2) The second part will be the norms of emoticon fight. The explicity and bounding power of the norms are contingent of various factors. A most distinctive feature of the norms is negotiability or unstable nature. As a new and much freer form/practice of communication, emoticon fight is not totally free and boundless. Macro norms still apply, and micro norms are being negotiated continuously. 3) The third aspect is the function of emoticon fight in communication. It might present in various forum for disparate purposes between interlocutors of different relations.
Ted Hua Nie
Currently, I'm writing up my PhD dissertation on the Chinese internet vernacular as forms of sociolinguistic change, which consists of four case studies that investigate different processes and practices within the phenomenon, i.e. the emergence and formation of indexical orders, diffusional patterns, subaltern practice and publics, as well as ideological discussions. In the meantime, I'm also working with other colleagues on the multimodal features of Chinese social media. We focus especially on the ways multimodal materials get represented and transformed along their diffusions on social media, and approach the phenomenon from the perspective of 'resemiotization' to delve into the metapragmatic constructs that govern common users' online practice.
In 2017, I will continue working on my ongoing PhD project 'The knowledge of migrants: Online and Offline learning environments for Polish labor migrants in Belgium and the Netherlands'. Having completed the majority of my data collection and while following the general structure of my thesis, I can now enter the final phase of the PhD trajectory, specifically writing. In the coming months I am aiming to finalize the drafts of the first two chapters of my thesis. In addition to that, I am also working on a few ideas that revolve around the issues such as chronotopic identity, moralized behavioral scripts, interactional analysis and victimization, of course in connection to my own data.
In 2017, I am writing a Dutch popular scientific book on the topic of my dissertation: regional identification in North Brabant. In this Dutch book, I am writing about why people continue to identify with their region and how these processes are anchored in everyday practices of familiarity and proximity. This book illuminates the discrepancy between the place people call Brabant and the places people really identify with. In the end, this book makes sense of regional identification through using insights from different case studies from my dissertation research. The interplay of media and imagination in combination with place and reality continues to fascinate me as well. For instance, a spin-off of my dissertation gave rise to examining how participating in television fiction as an extra may interact with the ways in which people watch television as they search for the people and places they know.