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Summer School: News and the Changing Culture of Public Information

The Huizinga Instituut and the Research School Mediastudies (RMeS) jointly present the 2014 Summer School:

News and the Changing Culture of Public Information

Date: 16-18 June 2014
Venue: Doelenzaal/Potgieterzaal/Trippenhuis, University of Amsterdam
Credits: 5 EC (for students who complete the written assignments and attend the preliminary meetings, the Summer School and the subsequent conference)
Organizers: Michiel van Groesen, Helmer Helmers, José van Dijck, Thomas Poell
Speakers: Brendan Dooley (UC Cork), Lance Bennett (University of Washington, Seattle), Michael Schudson (Columbia University), Jacob Soll (Univ. of Southern California), Joris van Eijnatten (UU), Frank van Vree (UvA), Mirko Schaefer (UU)
Register here

Preliminary programme

Mo 16 June Doelenzaal (UB Amsterdam)

11:00-11:10 Opening Summerschool RMeS/Huizinga (prof. José van Dijck and prof. Michael Wintle)

11:10-13:00 Journalism, news and the changing culture of information: lectures and discussion

  • Prof. Joris van Eijnatten (UU): Audiences and publics. At the receiving end in the history of news and information
  • Prof. Frank van Vree (UvA): Journalism in the Digital Age.

Chair: Prof. José van Dijck 

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:45 Roundtable: digitization and the use of digital sources in media and historical research (Doelenzaal, UB Amsterdam)

  • Prof. Rens Bod (UvA): The ubiquity of the Digital: The Pearls and Perils of Computational Tools.
  • Prof. Julia Noordegraaf (UvA): 400 Years of News at your Fingertips: Mining the Dutch Newspaper Collection

Chair: Dr. Michiel van Groesen

15:45:16:45 Tea break and drinks

16:00-18:00 Vondelzaal (UB Amsterdam), Session for Research Master students RMeS (dr. Maryn Wilkinson)

Instruction and discussion session for those students who want to write a paper and extend their credit up to 7,5 EC.


Tue 17 June Doelenzaal / Potgieterzaal / Belle van Zuylenzaal (UB Amsterdam)

9:00-12:00 Two Masterclasses

  • Huizinga – Prof. Brendan Dooley (UC Cork): Spaces of News in Early Modern Europe (Potgieterzaal, UB Amsterdam)
  • RMeS – Dr. Mirko Schaefer (UU): Politics, Power and Participation in the networked Public Sphere (Belle van Zuylenzaal, UB Amsterdam)

Please note: RMeS and Huizinga offer separate master classes! For each master class there will be a separate reading list and assignment to prepare for participants. See appendix 1.

14:00-17:00 Roundtable (Doelenzaal)

The development of media technologies (printing press, photography, television, new media) and their impact on the circulation of information and the formation of public opinion. Topics introduced by professors Brendan Dooley (University of Cork) & Lance Bennett (Univ. of Washington).

Chairs: Dr. Thomas Poell & Dr. Helmer Helmers


Wed 18 June Trippenhuis / Doelenzaal (UB Amsterdam)

9:00-11:00 Trippenhuis, Plenary discussion on Social Media and the Transformation of Public Space (Prof. José van Dijck & Dr. Thomas Poell, UvA)

11:00-13:00 Panels (please select a panel of your choice: see programme at:

14:30-15:30 Doelenzaal (UB Amsterdam), Keynote Seminar Prof. Michael Schudson (Columbia University, New York): Dumbing Down and Smartening Up: Notes on Democracy and Cultural Change

15:30-16:00 Tea break

16:00-18:00 Doelenzaal (UB Amsterdam), Keynote lecture Prof. Jacob Soll (University of Southern California): Managing the News in Early Modern Europe


Preliminary meetings: June 4 and June 11

Both preliminary meetings are compulsory for RMA-students, Meeting 2 (11 June) is compulsory for PhDs. The meetings are organised by Helmer Helmers and Michiel van Groesen.

Wednesday 4 June (13-16): News in Early Modern Europe as a Topic of Research

Required readings

  • Brendan Dooley, ‘Introduction’, in: Idem (ed.), The Dissemination of News and the Emergence of Contemporaneity in Early Modern Europe (Farnham: Ashgate, 2010), 1-19.
  • Joad Raymond, ‘The Newspaper, Public Opinion, and the Public Sphere in the Seventeenth Century’, in: Idem, ed., News, Newspapers, and Society in Early Modern Europe (London: Frank Cass, 1999), 109-40.
  • Jacob Soll, ‘From Note Taking to Data Banks: Personal and Institutional Information Management in Early Modern Europe’, Intellectual History Review 20.3 (2010), 355-75.
  • Michiel van Groesen, ‘(No) News from the Western Front: The Weekly Press of the Low Countries and the Making of Atlantic News’, The Sixteenth Century Journal 44.3 (2013), 739-60.
  • Will Slauter, ‘The Paragraph as Information Technology: How News Traveled in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World’, Annales H.S.S. 2012-2, 253-78.

Assignment (only for RMAs)

Write a short discussion-paper (1.000-1.500 words) summarizing and bringing into dialogue the main arguments of the five articles.

Wednesday 11 June (13-16): Anticipating the Summer School

Assignment (only for PhDs)

Poster presentation (in preparation for Summer School).