Inge van de Ven
Assistant professor at the department of Culture Studies, TSHD and Marie Curie fellow (2020-‘23), currently at UC Santa Barbara.
Can you introduce yourself?
Hi I’m Inge van de Ven, assistant professor at the department of Culture Studies, TSHD and Marie Curie fellow (2020-‘23), currently at UC Santa Barbara. I have a PhD in literary studies from Utrecht University; normally I live in Tilburg. My research is broadly on the intersection between literary studies and (digital) media theory; I’m currently focusing on attentional modulation in literary reading in the information age, e.g. in the context of dis- and misinformation. I’m also looking for different ways to combine traditions of hermeneutics and critical theory on the one hand, with digital humanities on the other.
Research and education are two important pillars of academia. What do they mean to you?
I highly value both pillars and try to be creative in thinking of ways to create synergy between the two. Students often inspire me to come at research questions and topics from unexpected, productive angles, or alert me to fascinating new case studies in online culture. They keep my research relevant: if it does not resonate with them or I cannot clearly transfer it, something’s not right. Classes are a great way to enter into dialogue, which is where the magic happens.
You are now one of the initial members of the TYA.
How What is that like?
Very exciting, especially as it gives us the opportunity to look out for the interests of other early-career researchers. We are part of a growing institution in a rapidly changing society, and it is of great importance to me that the voices of young academics are heard, that we are allowed to be critical and introduce change where it is needed. For me as tenured member of the Young Academy, this also means also looking out for the position of those who do not have a permanent or tenure-track contract, the temporary lecturers and researchers who are the most vulnerable and subject to work pressure with little security in return.
I am sure you all have topics that are important to you. What is your main focus in the TYA?
I want to devote my time to diversity and anti-discrimination. As a former first-generation student, I know that the university can be an intimidating place looked at from the outside. As is, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done until universities in the Netherlands become a more representative reflection of our society, and I find it important (and long overdue!) to take steps in that direction. I hope we can create an open, inviting, and inclusive climate at our institution, where people from diverse backgrounds can thrive. I’m also interested in open science, especially the question of reproducibility in qualitative Humanities research, and the communication of scientific research to society in a time marked by skepticism and distrust.