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Digital Media, Culture and Society


Admission requirements

This class has a cap of 80 participants. Of these 80 places, 40 are reserved for Students of the Minor Digital Humanities, 26 for students of Arts, Media and Society, 14 places for students who need to follow this course as an obligatory elective course. Students from other programmes interested in taking this course are kindly requested to contact the Coordinator of Studies. They will be placed only if there is a spot available.


What happens when I “google” something? How do the things I post on social media reflect and shape my own networks and identity? Do we control digital technologies or do they control us? How did we even get to today’s digital world? How can I leverage digital media and technologies as a positive force for science, society, and my own personal life?

In this course we will explore these and other major questions and debates surrounding the digital transformation of our societies and cultures together. Topics that will be covered in this class include an in-depth look at the history of computing, search technologies, social media, as well as key concepts such as virtual worlds, cyborgs, online economies, and digital entertainment. To do so, we will tap into a rich variety of established and new ideas and readings at the intersections of the human, social, and computational sciences.

You will not only read and hear about these topics, but also spend time thinking and talking about those aspects of digital society and culture you find especially important or interesting. We will do so through weekly discussions and production of popular scientific, digital content that you and your peers will (learn how to) make during this course. So, aside from the lectures by the instructor, your own blogs, podcasts, videos or other digital creations will form the basis of a practical and collaborative exploration of how humans make digital media and how they make us.

Class format:
Each class will consist of a 45-minute lecture and 45 minutes of discussion in smaller groups, based on content created by you and your classmates. See the website to get an idea of course contents, incl. student content production.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, you will:

  • Be able to articulate ways in which digital media and technologies impact current culture and society.

  • Have a broad understanding of the roots and development of our current digital media and technologies.

  • Have explored the background, context, promises and pitfalls of a range of specific digital platforms and concepts.

  • Know where to find some of the inspiring media, thinkers, and creators in this field.

  • Understand how the human and social sciences are key to study the cultural and social contexts and futures of computational and other digital technologies.

  • Be able to discuss your views on digital media themes with peers.

  • Learn about and have a chance to work with digital media production tools, including blogging with Wordpress, html and css web languages, podcasting, and video software.

  • Be able to constructively give feedback on the views as well as digital content of your peers and be able to receive and process similar feedback.

  • Have moderated a discussion with you and your peers.


The timetables are available through My Timetable. There will be a general lecture from 17:15-18:00 and you will also be expected to take part in one of the discussion group meetings from 13:15-14:00, 14:15-15:00, 15:15-16:00 or 16:15-17.00.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


  • A digital portfolio (the vlogs and other digital media produced by you)

  • Course Material Quizzes

  • Discussion and Participation (Online comments and in class input)

  • Presentation


  • Course Material Pop Quizzes(15% of grade)

  • Digital portfolio (50% of grade)

  • Discussion and Participation (15% of grade)

  • Presentation (20% of grade)

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. The grades for digital portfolio and the presentation have to be at least a 5.5.


Students who have scored an overall insufficient grade for the course may take a resit for the presentation and the course project, in the form of an oral exam (in place of presentation) and a paper (in place of at maximum half of the portfolio).

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The reading and other resources for this course can be found at the website.


General information about registering for courses and exams can be found here.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats.