Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Student Research Conference

on 23 August 2007, the Honors in Amsterdam students presented their research findings to a full house. Conference participants and audience members included colleagues from UW Honors Program, UW iSchool, UvA ISHSS, UvA New Media, and Virtual Knowledge Studio.
For the UW students, this conference was the culmination of research conducted in Amsterdam for the study abroad program titled: Pragmatic Tolerance & Urban Culture in Amsterdam: Interdisciplinarity research with the use of e-research practices. Presentations were divided into three thematic clusters based on methodological approaches to research.

Research presented in the Urban Native session focused on social issues situated primarily in the urban context. The Digital Native session was presented by a group of UvA New Media students whose research explored methods for analyzing strictly online interaction. The final session included projects that explored the intersection of Urban space and Digital media.

View the UW students' final projects on our research wiki. Or check out the video blog that chronicles their 4 weeks in Amsterdam.

And finally, here's a short video clip of the conference made by Ed Crabbe, one of the students in the program.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wednesday Schedule, August 15

Wednesday is a full day! Please review below as we've had to make a few adjustments to the schedule:
morning remains the same:
9:30-11:30/Nick Jankowski "Tradition and Innovation in Scholarly Publishing in the Social Sciences"
12:00-13:00 Lunch

Afternoon is a bit different than what is listed on the schedule:
13:00-14:30 (1:00-2:30)- free time
14:30 (2:30) -meet in courtyard to visit SMBA museum ( with Jessica, Jordaan area. Your choice to bike or tram.
3:00 - small groups visit to museum
4:00 - meet at pub around corner of SMBA for discussion
5:00 - home
6:30 - talk and dinner (begins in classroom A, then walk to restaurant at 7:15)
See below for dinner details

A few updates for Wednesday's group dinner:Marco van Hout, founding partner of Design & Emotion, will give a predinner talkhere at the institute, 6:30-7:15, in Classroom A. That way, he can project his visual examples on a large screen which will enhance his presentation. After histalk we will all walk (or bike) together to the restaurant de Jaren. It's only a 10-15 minute walk from the dorms.
Please choose a main course from the three choices below and email me by Weda.m.:
1. Grilled Salmon
2. Pan Fried fillet of beef
3. Vegetarian Lasagna
All main dishes come with vegetables (and or potatos) as well as bread and one trip to the salad bar.
Also, more information about our speaker and his company:
Design & Emotion

Thanks and let me know if you have questions.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Kroller Muller Sculpture Park

"monsieur jacques" by o. wenckebach, 1895 - 1962

go here to see more pictures of the kroller-muller sculpture park

outdoor cinema - free!

Thanks to Michael for this tip:

The fourth edition of the Open Air Film Festival Amsterdam will take place from August 9 till August 19th under a beautiful starry sky. Every day one can enjoy the best films that haven’t been screened in the Dutch cinemas. We have a superb film programme, interesting art projects, a cosy bar, comfortable beach-chairs and bon fires. Free entry for everyone!

All films are English spoken or English subtitled.

film schedule/website

about the festival

Thursday, August 9, 2007

trip to utrect

message from paul: In order to be at the Central Museum at 14:00 on Friday, we need to take the train of 13.15 from Amsterdam Amstel. So let us meet at 13 on that station.

otherwise, meet at the main entrance of the Central Museum a couple minutes before 2:00pm.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Updates/Please Read

Hello Everyone,

As a follow-up to the announcements in the lunch room on Monday:

1. CommitteesPlease don't stress about the committees. We simply want you to:
1. decide on your chair
2. write a 1-2 sentence objective, e.g. "The Excursion committee will organize one
excursion for the entire group",
3. and designate tasks for each group member to accomplish your objective.

It's not meant to take a lot of time and it's also supposed to be fun. If it'ssimply busy work and does not seem relevent, please talk to us. All committeeinformation and the posting site can be found at:

2. Kroller-MullerOn Thursday we will meet in the courtyard at 8:00 a.m. (bus leaves at8:10ish), so please get to bed early :). We'll do research updates during ourpicnic lunch. Alexi will provide sack lunches for us. Let's hope for goodweather. If weather is rainy, we'll go indoors. For the project updates (5-7minutes per group), please include:
1. Restate your research question
2. Field research progress
3. Next steps

Also, if there are any frustrations or roadblocks you've encountered, present them to the group. They may offer some good suggestions/problem solving.

The Kroller Muller is a highlight and I have only heard rave reviews. Here ismore information:

3. For scheduling meetings with us priority will be given to those who sign upthrough the research wiki:
Reminder: office hours are 10-12 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or by appt.

4. Final Project and final presentation guidelines are at:

5. I will be in Berlin from August 19, flight at 9 p.m. and returning on the morning of August 24, in time for the final colloquium. Clifford and Jessicawill be available while I am in Berlin. Jessica arrives on the morning of Aug.12. I can always be reached by cell phone 06-20-16-02-44, or email.

Lastly, I hope to visit two places this next week/next weekend--Leiden and Harleem. These are short 1/2 day visits. You are welcome to join me. More information and dates will be available here:

Leiden is a beautiful university town and Haarlem has sublime organ music in the main cathedral.

That's it for now. Please let us know if you have any questions!

Julie and Clifford

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

presentation & publication guidlines

09 August: for thursday's group presentation at the park. each group will have 5-7 minutes - presentation format:

* brief statement of project focus
* field research progress & road blocks
* next steps

22 August: conference rehearsal: (15minutes/group)

* intro
* research question
* methods
* findings
* conclusion

* you are free to choose the presentation software/media of your choice provided that it can be projected on to the wall using a computer

23 August: Conference Presentation (15minutes/group)

* intro
* research question
* methods
* findings
* conclusion

* you are free to choose the presentation software/media of your choice provided that it can be projected on to the wall using a computer

24 August: Final Projects due:

During our time in Amsterdam we will learn about the role of presentations and publications in scholarly communication. For example, on Wednesday, 08 August, Paul Wouters will discuss conference presentations and on Wednesday, 15 August, Nick Jankowski will discuss research publication. In additional to these traditional forms of academic discourse, your projects will include the use of visual and networked media.

After much deliberation and considering feedback from several of you, we have decided to simplify the requirements by combining the wiki and video-podcasting options previously discussed. In other words, each group will use combination of collaborative software and still/video images. We will make the video podcast optional. However, the online presentation must include at least one use of video.

Online Presentation requirements:

Text – use the wiki to collaboratively develop and communicate your project. Use the outline below as guidelines for your write up. Note: You can use your research proposal as a starting point—there should be much overlap in content.

Images – Incorporate photos of your field sites and/or subjects depending on consent and privacy considerations (this can be interpreted broadly)

Video - Incorporate at least one video clip related to your research topic and/or subjects depending on consent and privacy considerations (this can be interpreted broadly).

Geotagging – link, where appropriate with regard to privacy concerns, photos of your field sites to the group map in the flickr group set up by Sunil ( Where privacy is an issue, you can instead link topically related images to the group map.

Wiki – use the wiki format as the central ‘place’ for accessing/organizing all of your research materials; blogs, data, presentation, images, text, etc. this means to link to your online photo archives and such, rather than downloading to the wiki, in a manor that provides intelligent navigation possibilities.

Research write-up:

1. Abstract statement of situation and research question (200 words max)

2. Background (~1000 words) – an overview that synthesizes the project for all group members This should include:

a) Literature review - from your reading discuss what are the core issues, common concerns, and debates

b) Why is the topic relevant. How did it advance yours and others understanding of the issue? Remember to consider why it has been of personal interest to you.

c) Locate the online and offline manifestations of your. Describe the context of your field sites (online and offline).

3. Research Methods (~1000 words/plus bibliography)

a) Methods strategy employed (online and offline)
b) Affordances & limitations: how did each method enable you to answer your research question? What were their limitations?

c) Reflexivity- what biases and assumptions did you bring to the project and how did they manifest in your field research. How did you deal this?

4. Human Subjects, if applicable discuss (500 words)

a) Methods for recruiting (interview) subjects,
b) Measures taken to guarantee confidentiality and anonymity.

5. Analysis (~1000 words) - what did you find? This is a somewhat descriptive section where you recount and interpret your data.

4. Discussion (~500 words)- answer your research question, discuss the implications of your findings and suggest where YOU might take this research in the future.

5. Reference List (bibliography)

Klumpy bonus: syndicate your project using RSS or Atom, and/or video podcast

klumpy grrls

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Amsterdam UW Library Resources--reminder

A reminder to all about this excellent resource put together By Alan R. Michelson, Head Librarian for Architecture. He created this especially for the Amsterdam Program and it contains resource links for all the groups.

Amsterdam Updates and Countdown...!

The summer is flying by and we are soon to be in Amsterdam! A couple of important reminders and updates (there's lots of information here, so please read carefully):

1. Emergency Contact Information. We'll need two emergency contacts (name, relation, and phone). Please send by next week if possible.

2. Clifford and Julie's contact information in Amsterdam:
*Clifford: 06 151 441 43 *Julie: 06 201 602 44

Clifford is there now and will be coming back to Seattle for a week, then back in Amsterdam on July 25. I will arrive on July 26. We will have keys for you and can set you up in your room on the morning of July 27. We'll be waiting for you!

Flight tineraries for the larger group are here (thanks to Sunil):

3. Getting to UvA Summer Institute, Prins Hendrikkade 189: Prins Hendrikkade 189-B is close to Central Station (Railway) and the Scheepvaartmuseum (Maritime Museum). Below you will find directions for reaching the ISHSS office either by foot, bus or taxi. You can find detailed directions and map here.

Getting from the airport to Central Station is pretty straightforward. You just buy a ticket (~4 euros) from the kiosk or machine once you land and take the 20 minute ride directly to Central Station. Once you are at Central Station, you can walk (15 minutes or so), taxi, or take a bus located outside the station. Taxi's should not be more than 12 euros (if that much).

Main Office contact:
Summer Institute
International School for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Universiteit van Amsterdam
Courier and Visiting address
Prins Hendrikkade 189-B
1011 TD Amsterdam
The Netherlands
+31 20 525.3776
fax +31 20 525.3778

4. Housing Details. Housing looks good and similar to last year, most students will have shared kitchen and bath (x2 students) and sounds like all students will have a private bedroom. More information about our site (Prins Hendrikkade 189) can be found here. ***PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU HAVE A ROOMMATE PREFERENCE (kitchen/bath share)***

5. Other Housing details. Your room will include:
* bed including mattress :)
* table or desk and chair
* wardrobe or clothes horse
* bookcase or bookshelves
* curtains or venetian blinds
* ceiling lamp, table lamp and bedlamp
* Students also receive bedclothes (pillow, duvet & sheets).

They do not provide:
- Towels

- Stereo equipment /television sets (There is an active cable connection in most* rooms and/or communal kitchens).

- Standard kitchen equipment (pots, pans, cutlery, etc.). However, there is usually some available. We recommend you do not bring too much from home but to wait and see what is already present in your kitchen. You can always by some cheap utensils in Amsterdam. (last year there was plenty of kitchen items in the rooms).

IMPORTANT: You will need to bring an ethernet cable (RJ-45) if you want to use internet in your rooms. You can also buy one once you are there, they are not hard to find and relatively inexpensive ($20 or so).

6. What else to bring (and other useful tips):
*a light gortex jacket is really handy in Amsterdam
*don't bring much cash, and no need to bring Euros with you. ATMS are plentiful and the easiest way to withdraw euros from your account.
*Pack light! You can get anything you might need in Amsterdam. Here are some good links from the Rick Steves site here and here.

Finally, please let us know if you have any questions at this point. I know that Clifford is putting you in touch with some great contacts for your research so we should be off to an excellent start. See you all soon!

Julie and Clifford

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

our friends in amsterdam say hi

mirjam (left) and irina (right) say hi! and that they look forward to the students' arrival. here they are in a serious moment:

and here in a not so serious moment:

"that cat" still lives here. s/he has lived in the courtyard for several years:

duck boat:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Digital Methods Initiative

Yesterday, I met with the Digital Methods Initiative, a group of new media researchers at UvA. Check the link, they're doing some interesting work designing, adapting, and modifying internet crawler/scraper tools to study the internet. While we have primarily dealt with qualitative/ethnographic kinds of inquiries, crawling is primarily a quantitative analytical approach.

Here's some of the tools they developed.

Monday, July 2, 2007


Jacques Brel

New Network Theory

Greetings from Amsterdam-

The New Network Theory conference I attended has concluded so I had some time to tool around the city and get re-acquainted. Click on the GEB to see some pictures.

For those interested in network theory, students in the UvA Masters of Media and Culture program did a fantastic job of blogging nearly the entire conference on their Masters of Media blog. The talks were blogged as they happened, so you'll have to scroll down quite a bit to see the keynote/plenary speakers. I'll point out a couple that were particularly relevant to our work:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

video blogging & geotagging

while in Amsterdam each person will be responsible for writing a journal entry on our "daily blog" for a particular day. for each entry you will be asked to embed at least one small video clip. wait! no need to freak out. it's actually quite easy and several of us will be available to help if you get into trouble. and by the way, we're talking about the little clips that you can make with a typical digital camera.

here's the tutorial we selected as the standard process for video blogging:

if you have a few minutes, it would be a good idea to try it once on your personal blog before getting to Amsterdam.

we also selected flickr as a geotagging platform. sunil invited us to a flickr group a while back (perhaps he can re-invite us) such that we can all geo-tag on the same map. this is simply a way to link and annotate photos from flickr to specific locations on common map.

here are two short videos:

- vol1 - how to geotag
- vol2 - how to explore the map

thanks to sunil and ray for providing the tutorials!

the iGeneration

here's an interesting graph from a new york times article about video content on small screens.
the data show a definite generational shift, something we talk about in class but usually without supporting data. here's a link to the article. it's free but probably requires that you sign up for an account.

playing with iMovie

Monday, June 18, 2007

tourism video

found this video posted by one of my favorite academic bloggers. nice, simple (and funny). probably more than we would need to do for our video podcasts, but is a nice example of what can be done with a small format.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Architecture ReviewHeaven, Hell and Purgatory, Encased in Glass
Published: May 26, 2007

Wrapped in a luxurious skin of colorful cast-glass panels, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision is the most gorgeous work to date by Willem Jan Neutelings and Michiel Riedijk.

click here for draft

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

podcasting and tech workshop

we discussed saturday after finals week, June 9th, as a good option for most people. please let me know which of these times works best for you and i'll follow up with a final schedule (final projects are due June 11th at midnight).

rsvp via email with (1) your preferred time and (2) indicate if one of the two time periods does not work at all, and (3) if you would like to attend, but saturday does not work.

saturday 10-12:00 noon or 1-3:00pm

tentative agenda:
- podcasting demo (30 mins): presented by the pod casting committee
- geo tagging demo (30 mins): presented by the tech committee
- issue crawler demo (30 mins): presented by clifford
- general questions and/or practice (30 mins): all

if not all group members can attend one strategy is to choose one among you to attend and to be the tech person for the group.

Announcements for the week of May 29

Hello group,

A few brief announcements:

1. Reminder for Weds class: We will have the final research proposal presentations, fill out course evaluations, then watch "Soldier of Orange" and eat pizza! The movie runs 149 minutes.

2. Social Gathering at Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria in Wallingford, Thursday, June 21 (Summer Solstice!), 5:30 p.m.: 4411 Stone Way N., Seattle, WA 98103 -- 206-633-3800 We will go "dutch" this time. Average cost of meal is $10. Please let us know if you are able to attend. If this date does not work for people, we can also try Wed, June 20. Let me know.

3. Recent news articles of interest... Dying Woman to Donate Kidney on TV Show. A 37-year-old woman suffering from an inoperable brain tumor wants to donate a kidney before she dies and will choose the recipient from among three contestants on Dutch national television, a TV network said Tuesday, claiming it wants to highlight a crisis in organ donations. Interesting Germany and Immigration article:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Immigration policy in U.S.

Here is an interesting article just out today about the bipartisan compromise immigration bill. Interesting to consider this in relation to what is happening in Europe, re: immigration policies:

As Law Is Renegotiated, Immigrant Families Are on Edge By JULIA PRESTONA bipartisan bill would worsen the plight of legal immigrants who have been waiting as long as seven years to bring their families to live with them. Here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Let's Talk European"

Phil Shekleton mentioned this link during his lecture:

The site is hosting an international debate regarding Buruma's book. It's interesting and relevant to our discussions. Also Phil writes:

"This website translates opinion pieces into English to help foster a pan-European debate and public space. It seems like there might be something here for your students looking at technology and the civic sphere."

Also, I have just finished reading Ayaan Hirshi Ali's memoir INFIDEL. If anyone would like to borrow the book, please let me know. It's a fascinating read, especially after having read Buruma's book.

Research Proposal Guidelines

Research Proposal || Basic Structure || Due 11 June 2007
“Pragmatic Tolerance”, Spring Seminar H A&S 397A

1. Abstract (200 words max)—the abstract will be close to its final draft, but does not need to be THE final version.

2. Background (~1000 words) – an overview that synthesizes the project for all group members This should include:

a) Literature review (from your reading discuss what are the core issues, common concerns, and debates)

b) Context (Why is the topic relevant. How will it advance yours and others understanding of the issue? Remember to consider why it is of personal interest to you.)

c) Problem(s) (what are the struggles you have encountered while beginning your research?)

3. Research Questions. This is where you set up your individual research as one component of the overall group research project. Spend one or two paragraphs developing your specific research question(s).

• researcher 1
• researcher 2
• researcher 3 (if applicable)

4. Research Methods (~1000 words/approximately 2 pages, plus bibliography)

• Affordances- how is each method appropriate for your research
• Limitations- what are the limitations of each method
• Reflexivity- what biases and what assumptions do you bring to the project
• Analysis- how will the data collected help answer/ask your research question)
• citations of relevant methods literature
• preliminary survey questions
• preliminary interview questions

5. Human Subjects: discuss 1) your methods for recruiting (interview) subjects, and 2) measures taken to guarantee confidentiality and anonymity. (include the human subjects application only if you are applying for IRB approval)

6. Daily research schedule while in Amsterdam (1-2 pages). You should have one consolidated schedule for the group. Initially, this will be a partial schedule and is expected to be a evolving document. However, you should try to add as much detail as possible even if it's just a placeholder for some event that has yet to be defined. The schedules should include resources you will use in Amsterdam, i.e.:

• People (names, titles, etc.)
• Places (address)
• Equipment
• Information

7) Reference List (bibliography)

8) All work to be submitted via wiki by midnight 11 June 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

interviews & final presentations

the end of the quarter is upon us and we are a bit behind in coordinating the final presentations that begin this week on wednesday. I have looked at the interview assignment posts and they look good. however, due to some initial confusion about the instructions (my fault) and the host of activities last week, symposium, etc., i would like to modify the final presentations to foreground the interview assignment.

the interview/observation component of your projects is crucial so it is important that we take the time to practice and work through some of the challenges that emerge. even expert interviewers can easily be foiled in an unfamiliar environment where you have fewer contacts and where your instincts can be somewhat impaired.

interview assignment:

1) each person should interview someone using this in-depth interview format:

2) blog your field notes and include reflections about how you found your subject. was it difficult? how did the information you received from the interview compare to your expectations? in other words, what were some of the limitations of the interview?

3) some of you emailed with scheduling difficulties. take the time to conduct the interview as needed and post your notes before wednesday. we'll discuss your experiences in the first 10 minutes of class today.

final presentations:

1) the schedule: to initiate the scheduling process, i'd like to propose that we reverse the schedule from the last presentations. the groups that went on the second day would present on the first day this time (this wednesday). and those who went first last time would present on the second wednesday, may 30th. it would look like this:

may 23

- way-finding
- sex worker info needs
- Moroccan religious fashion

may 30

- immigration & health care
- transportation
- coffee shops
- waste management

talk with your group members and contact me as soon as possible if you need to switch days.

2) the format:

begin by briefly identifying any refinements or reformulations of your research project since the last presentation. in 2-3 minutes, summarize the following:

a) Research goals (int’l engagement, pilot study, publishable research)
b) Relevant literature
c) Research question
d) Field sites (both online & offline)

spend the remainder of your time (7 minutes) discussing what you (collectively) learned from the interview and how that informs what you will do in Amsterdam. this means you will need to synthesize your individual experiences to establish a plan for Amsterdam. use specific examples from your interview exercise.

3) the media:

post your presentation outline and any relevant resources on your wiki. for example, you should link each of your interview blog posts to an appropriate section on your wiki. the wiki is the collaborative workspace and a medium that allows people outside of the program to have all the pieces in one place.

deliver the presentation using whatever medium (or media) you choose as the best way to convey the material. this is a media intensive process, so our expectation is that you will use the overhead projector in some way to convey your material as well as your organization of the project.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Seminar Updates

A few changes and updates to this week's seminar schedule: **No readings or postings due this week**

1) Interview assignment will be due on MONDAY, May 21. We will send out another email clarifying the assignment. Also, you should read the final two chapters of Buruma book (6-7) for Monday's class. Please post a brief reaction to the reading and also questions you might have for Phil Shekleton, our guest speaker and associate director of the EU Center for Excellence. I'll soon send more details about his talk...

2) Wednesday's guest speaker is Art Historian and Rome Program Co-Director, Lisa Schultz. She will give you an intro to Dutch art history, the Golden Age, and discuss the works of the "Dutch Masters", paintings that you will likely see while we are in Amsterdam (and in den Hague). 3) Because it is a very busy week, I am going to postpone the optional movie and pizza that we had scheduled for 5-7 p.m. on Wed. Movie and pizza night will be on May 30, 5-7 p.m. Mark your calendars. You have two options: "Girl with a Pearl Earring" or "Soldier of Orange". Please let me know what you prefer.

4) Finally, a note from our friend Mirjam at UvA: "Just a thought, but about 3/4 of the Moroccans in Holland are from Berber descent, so not Arab, Since 9/11 their search and self confidence for their own identity has developed and grown. There are more Berber clubs and associations now. This might be an interesting research topic, not much is known, yet."

Symposium Poster e-mail

Hello Poster Group,
I'm checking in to make sure that you all are talking and starting to puttogether the poster for the session on Friday. Please read on...The poster does not have to be fancy, but you'll want to collect the researchquestions and photos from the blog and then craft an introduction to the entireprogram and discuss the various projects being done. You might want to useinformation and photos from last year's program, perhaps give a brief history ofthe program and it's inception: let me know if you have any questions about the program. I do have theposter from last year (in my office) and even the pdf if you'd like to view.We will give you some time to meet this week, about 15 minutes at the end ofclass on both Monday and Wed, but we hope that students can stay a bit afterclass and/or set up another time to meet. I think much of this can be done overemail, but someone probably needs to take the lead to get the ball rolling (Ibelieve Haley volunteered). The poster session runs 12:00-1:30 and again from3:00-3:30. They would like you to check in with your poster between 8:00-11:00(check in at registration table, set up the poster then come back at 12:00). Atleast one person needs to be present standing by the poster to answer anyquestions, so you'll want to coordinate schedules.The Symposium organizers ask " remain at their posters during theformal session times and as available throughout the afternoon. You should beprepared with a three- to five-minute summary for visitors using your poster asa visual guide. Some visitors may ask additional questions. Additionally, youare also strongly encouraged to attend the presentation sessions." Again, moredetails about poster here:
Let me know if you have any questions. Julie

Sunday, May 13, 2007

this week's activities & assignments

FOR MONDAY: tomorrow our guest lecturer is Clarke Speed, an expert ethnographer. in preparation for his lecture, reflect on the readings for Monday and post three questions on your blog related to your research project. for example, if you plan to interview and/or use observation, pose questions about practical challenges you would anticipate.

FOR WEDNESDAY: conduct an interview on someone you don't know (or at least not very well) using the "Organizing an In-Depth Interview" format noted in Monday's readings. post the "field notes" from this interview on your blog before class on Wednesday.

FOR FRIDAY: you should be meeting/coordinating with your symposium group and preparing your presentation or poster. Julie sent out an email to the poster group and I will send an email to the presentation group. please let us know if you have any questions or if you need guidance.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Research Symposium, May 18

Just a reminder about the upcoming research symposium. The following students are signed up for the poster session and oral presentation:

Poster Sessions begin at 12:00

Jonathan Karademos
Sunil Garg
Haley Anderson
Shirley Chen
Irina Kolobova
Jenny Sager
Jana Slovic
Poster Information

Presentation: 3:30-5:00, MGH 271.

Alex Gwozda
Chase Winslow
Julia Hamilton
Edward Crabbe
Sathi Maiti
Mark Stevens
Presentation Information:

You can find more details on the Symposium here.

I have samples posters from last year and also a pdf if you are interested in viewing. We will give you some class time in the next week to discuss your poster and presentations.

A few important announcements and reminders:
1. We will need your passport numbers and expiration date for security clearance when we visit the EU Parliament in Brussels during the first week of our program. Please send your passport number by the end of the week. You can either email or give to me in class this week.

2. Please remember to let me know if you have any food allergies or smoke allergies.

3. The dorms will be available beginning Friday, July 27; our last night in the dorms is Saturday, Aug. 25. We are staying in Prins Hendrikkade 189. You can view photos by going to:
then look under "properties" link and scroll down to Prins Hendrikkade.
If you plan to arrive early or stay on, you will need to arrange for other lodging. There are lots of options in Amsterdam.

4. Airfare is holding steady at around $1,300-1,400. You may find some student discounts through STA Travel:

Offices are located at:
Council Travel Seattle U District
4311 1/2 University Way NE
Seattle , WA 98105

Seattle Capitol Hill
424 Broadway Ave. East
Seattle , WA 98102

4. A good source for cheap flights within Europe:
5. Finally, please let me know if you are not receiving emails from FIUTS, re: study abroad orientation. You should all register for an orientation session. More information below (and to register):
In-Person on May 12 and May 15
The online orientation is in addition to the orientations scheduled by
FIUTS on Saturday, May 12 (11am-1pm) and Tuesday, May 15 (6pm-8pm) which
will include topics like, "engaging your host culture, travel tips, and
country information sessions". We strongly recommend that students
register for and participate in one of these in-person orientations. To
register, students should visit

Thursday, May 3, 2007

saturday particulars

UW/VKS Amsterdam Gathering

May 5, 2007, Saturday 4-7:00 pm

Refreshments Served

The Cosmopolitan Lounge
819 Virginia St. 9th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
tel: (206) 356-7140 (clifford's cell)

directions & map

bus: The 71, 72, 73 buses from UW are frequent (approx every 10 minutes) and often express (no stops between UW and 9th/Stuart, which is the stop for the Cosmopolitan). the 71, 72, 73 buses stop across the street from Solstice cafe on University Ave at 42nd St. get off the bus down town at 9th & Stuart.

parking- there are a number of lots nearby but it's not cheap ($5-10). most are the sort where you drive on and put money in a box with a slot next to the number of your parking space. there's also some street parking ($3 for 2 hours). if you drive, i would recommend car-pooling.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

paul's blog assignment

what is e-research?

how would you like to instantiate e-research in your Amsterdam project?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Blog Assignment, Monday, April 30

Hello Group,

Your reading assignments due on Monday, April 30 are Chapters 4 and 5 in Buruma
and Wouters and Beaulieu article (see course syllabus for link).

Let's continue with the Irony theme and also consider Dutch pragmatic tolerance (or "regulated tolerance", now that sounds ironic...). Please post a short response to both readings considering these quotes:

"Irony such an essential part of the Dutch make-up. I really notice this
after Theo's death. It's so much part of our tradition" Irony can be a healthy antidote to dogmatism, but also an escape from any blame" (Buruma, 112).

"It is as though religious attire is often worn as a fashion statement, or an
assertion of difference, as much as a sign of devotion" (Buruma, 123).

"Rappers play at being murderers. Perhaps they were Dutch enough to have adopted the national penchant for vicious irony" (143).

Extra points for those who find connections between the Buruma and Wouters readings. Some thoughts from a shamelessly biased interdisciplinary humanities researcher:
Wouters and Beaulieu discuss intervention as a means to rethink knowledge
production and research practice. The applications of e-research can potentially create new modes of knowledge production which will influence our questions and our approach to the topics. In other words, the methods, i.e. tools, influence the research, i.e. the concept. How then will the messiness of bringing in multiple disciplines to the practice of e-science, which changes then to E-RESEARCH, influence how we process and focus knowledge gathering. Intervention and self reflexiveness will result in a rethinking of knowledge production and research practices in the digital world(s). However, too much knowledge limits knowledge, ah the irony. Knowledge needs accountability or researchers are just ESCAPE(ing) FROM ANY BLAME.
Here's another random thought as I was reading...lots of things we could discuss from the reading....
2nd generation immigrants who are born in the Netherlands, speak Dutch and also speak the language of their parents, can feel alienated. They don't fit in with their parents generation nor do they fit in with the Dutch population. So the danger is isolation which can produce extreme alliances and extreme actions. (Buruma's theory)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ironic urban space?

Frank Gehry’s Dancing House, in Prague

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

jessica's assignment


Thanks for your time today; I enjoyed it, even with the vertigo attendant upon compressing 15 years of study into 1 hour of talk. What I'd like you to take from the time is:

1. Under the rubric of modernity, selves/subjects and environments/objects are in mutual, and mutually constitutive, relation. Ex: Agoraphobes were "invented" in the 19th century in that sense by the spaces they inhabit.

2. Always historicize. The range of history at stake will differ, from centuries to days (yikes). Ex: The flâneur gave us the urban anthropologist. Emotions or affects are not simply transhistorical experiences: 21st century students experience boredom; 16th century monks and nuns are sinners, having indulged in/succumbed to either acedia or aboulia: the technical sin of will-lessness.

3. The everyday is an archive: one's clothing, a city street, Vogue magazine, graffiti are all means by which a culture generally and a society specifically bears out its intentions, ideals, and repressions.

4. Fashion is systemic—the fashion system dictates what you wear—but qua style--in the sense of an individual's "enunciation"-- it is a tactic, and perhaps a means of resistance to the system in which is it (doomed to be) embedded. I mean "enunciation" to refer to the conscious or unconscious exercise of choice regarding what one wears. We perform our bodies, speaking them as one does a sentence, with intention, ambiguity, and the problematics of reception (does someone read you right?) imported wholecloth. N.B.: I say conscious performance because babies and small dogs do not have style: they are regarded as objects by the fashion system: prosthetic extensions of their owners' sensibilities. This is why Upper East Side Ladies from Manhattan carry small dogs in their purses, and the 30 year old teenager sitting across from you on the #49 bus in Capitol Hill has adorned his dog's neck with a tattered bandana.

The question that seemed to be on the table at the end of our talk was the role of irony in terms of collaborative and personal enunciation. I found myself arguing that irony could be read at the individual (personal) level—in this case clothing--rather than the collaboratively engineered level—in this case public space. I.e., an instance of sartorial fashion could manifest irony, whereas a building would not. I remain unconvinced that an instance of public space can be rendered ironically, although Clifford raised the terrific instance of deconstruction as an architectural style… But here's what to do:


Reading (and Blogging) the Body: A Sartorial Exercise

"It is only superficial people who do not judge by appearances." –Oscar Wilde
"I got my brand new fetching red leather jacket on." –Rufus Wainwright

Write a 600 word or so account of what you wore to class on 23 April. (If you didn't make it to class, what did you wear between 3.30-4.50 PST?) "What you wore" includes the following: the clothing, accessories, and any other means of adorning the body in a means visible to a third party. We do not need to know about underwear, or for that matter its absence.

--This exercise divides into two parts.--

I. Part one is to be a third person, objective rendering of the terrain (i.e., you) rendered in as neutral terms as possible. Adopt the perspective of a third party, torqued toward the language of anthropology, sociology, literature, or case study--whatever set of rhetorics with which you are comfortable, or with which you wish to become comfortable.

II. Part two is to be written in the first person. It may or may not be a direct reply to part one. You may wish to pay particular attention to the following:

A. Account of motivation behind general or particular choices made or factors in terms of what you wore (I hadn't done my laundry, so my outfit was wrinkled, having been recycled from the closet floor earlier that morning)

B. Significance of (Acquisition of) clothing, accessories, etc.: If a particular aspect of your style bears remark, this is the place to do it.

I'll go first, prompted by the wonderfully invasive question leveled at me today.

Subject: Visiting professor. Sex: Female. Age: Uncertain [indulge me]. Race: Caucasian. Religion: No visible markers thereof. Red string on right wrist may indicate adherence to Judaic Kabbalah, although a female's adoption thereof suggests some level of irony in, play regarding, or secularization of religious orthodoxy.

Clothes: Subject wore pants and shirt. Both shirt and pants were oversized in regard to subject's bodily frame. Both appeared to be of natural or natural appearing fabric: e.g. cotton, linen. Shirt was marketed for males: evident from buttons present on the right, rather than the left (as is primarily the case for mainstream women's garments). Shirt was unbuttoned until second button, allowing display of necklace (see below). Shirt sleeves were buttoned at cuffs, and unbuttoned at forearms. While primary effect was monochromatic, with the absence of any overt design or pattern on clothing, pants were a dark midnight blue. This may or may not indicate aesthetic discrimination (subtle contrast of colors) or failure (pants and shirt do not match) on the subject's part. Clothing, while loose, was kempt: no stains, wrinkles, or alterations were visible.

Hair was cut short, and presumably untreated by color given the subtle [indulge me] occurrence of grey hairs. While short hair generically indicates a certain level of maintenance—for it would not otherwise be short—the precise degree of maintenance was indeterminate. No hair accessories or overt modification (barrette, pick, part).

Bodily accessories include aforementioned red string, a silver-colored necklace featuring chain and pendant, an absence of earrings (marked, given that ears were pierced), and while no tattoos were visible, the subject appeared in class with writing on her right hand (suggesting subject is either left handed or ambidextrous). Overt brandification was limited to the logo present on shoes: black and white trainers were branded with "Jack Purcell/Converse" logo. Shoes were laced, and double-tied.

Given the presence of masculinist and gender neutral garb (see shirt above; the absence of makeup as accessory, and the ambiguous red string) the subject seems to be relatively unconstricted in any adherence to strict notions of clothing as a normative indicator of gender. In the context of the site—that is, not only speaking before but introducing herself to a class, and one ultimately focused on the body and fashion—the clothing must be read performatively.

Part 2.
I thought a fair amount about what I was going to wear to your class. I am teaching a graduate seminar this quarter on fashion and modernism on Tues/Thurs; it's very intense, and while I typically dress carefully when I'm teaching (that is, on the days that I have class), when I teach a class on clothing, I am especially conscious of my decisions. But I met with you on Monday, not a teaching day, and so I was not in High Professor Mode. I was coming into your class and talking, but I very deliberately chose not to adopt the persona of the one adjudicating the proceedings. In that mode, I'm aware of being a professor who's just been awarded tenure and promotion, and so this year I'm far more cavalier about what I allow myself to be seen wearing on campus. Prior to this year the only pair of pants I would have worn into a classroom were my pinstripe Armani trousers. This year, I am far more relaxed and ironic—to use the language we began to play with today—about my sartorial choices.

So: my black shirt is a man's DKNY I found at Goodwill for cheap, and regularly pair with generic dojo workout pants when I'm going to the gym after campus, as I did after class. I suppose I wanted to err on the side of the casual, since usually as a professor I err on (or lean to) the side of the hyper-professional. My talk with you reflected this.

The humanities is very subject to identity politics—how what you teach may be read to intersect with who or what you "are"—and today's clothing's gender play indulges this. I like to think it is either blandly innocuous (not distracting to someone who is trying to understand an intellectual argument) or a uniform.

I am horribly attuned to jewelry--my own and others. Freud would read this as yet another indicator of fetishism and/or the castration complex (females born un-penised; the perception of lack leads to the focus on bodily adornment as a mode of compensation, or some such rhetoric). I've never bought this (literally or metaphorically). I read fashion and adornment as modes of expression and with that creativity. Typically I wear a ring or two, and earrings, but today I only wore a necklace I've had for 10 years that displays the Sanskrit for what I colloquially gloss as Relax, Kid. One of the things I love about being an academic is the freedom that comes with it, and I play with such symbols, periodically adopting them as talismanic and then relinquishing them. The red string is personal, and evolving; it's not something I care to explicate here, but of course insofar as I wore it I draw attention to the fact that I wish not to discuss it. Don't take that personally. I look forward to reading your offerings. Best, JB


Thursday, April 19, 2007

research question

now that you have had some time to engage your research topics, it is time to begin making some research design decisions. as a group, submit a proposed research question and field sites, as well as your preliminary thoughts on methods.

the objective of this stage of your project is to identify a researchable topic and to articulate it concisely. use 300-500 words to state your question, the field site(s) where data will be collected, and the methods you'd like to use. the brevity of this articulation (think abstract or executive summary) is meant to evoke only that which is necessary to communicate the project. but dont panic! this is the first iteration and there will be time for changes and adjustments.


1) complete this exercise to help you determine what a researchable question looks like (do all 6 sections noted in the upper left hand corner of the page and take the review quiz -- the exercise is brief but helpful).
2) work with your groups to discuss/brainstorm/negotiate a research question that specifically captures what you will study.
3) identify field sites (both online and in amsterdam) where you will collect data to answer your research questions.
4) develop an abstract that a- introduces the topic, b- clearly states the question(s), c- identifies the field sites, and d- states the methods you will use.

if you are one of the groups pursuing the category of "pilot study" or "academic research" you also need to situate your study in the literature.

5) once you have an abstract, post it on each of your blogs. the abstract should be the same on each blog, but if you want, you can add personal comments about the proposal in a separate post.

6) identify one person in each group to create a page on our course wiki. create the page in the "group projects" category on our wiki home page. post your abstract on your group page.

stuff to remember: abstracts, although short in length, can be deceptively difficult to write. spend time working through ambiguous ideas and statements to make them more clear. this exercise will go a long way in helping you focus on a project. this is an iterative process so there are opportunities to evolve your ideas and even change your topics later on.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

urban methods

this is the mid-week (small) post. choose one of the following three articles and write a reflection based on your "reading the city" excursion.

1) Lynch – A Walk Around the Block (ref syllabus)
2) Zeisel – Inquiry by Design (ref syllabus)
3) Castells – European cities & information Society (ref syllabus)

each person in your group should choose a different article. in other words, if you have three people in your group, all three articles will be covered.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

reading the city

The goal of this assignment is to use the urban studies methods that you read about and the ideas presented by Professor Ryan, to explore possibilities related to your research topic. What I mean by possibilities is to explore and observe a setting in Seattle that will help you understand how to approach a similar setting in Amsterdam.

This experience should inform 1) the kinds of things you can learn from an urban place, 2) the way you will approach urban places in Amsterdam, and 3) how you think about your research question.

For this assignment (due before class on Monday) each group will need to:

- Choose a place in the city; a city block, a building, a public space, a neighborhood, an historical site, a piece of public art, etc.

- Meet at this place and explore, observe, inquire, and document (take notes, photographs, etc.)

- begin by walking around (e.g. the block) and assessing the context.

- the “walking around the block” part can be the whole of this assignment or it can be just the context. For example, if your “place” is a building or park, or even the inside of some place, walking around the block will help you situate your object of study.

- blog your experience and how this way of data gathering might help you in Amsterdam. Reference the methods articles (Lynch & Zeisel) in your analysis.

Professor Ryan will join us again on Monday to review your findings.

And finally…

“Get out now. Not just outside, but beyond the rap of the programmed electronic age so gently closing around so many people at the end of our century. Go outside, move deliberately, then relax, slow down, and look around. Do not jog. Do not run…Walk. Stroll. Saunter…Explore.”


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

online manifestation

Blog assignment for Wednesday:

As we discussed in class, find online manifestation(s) of your research topic. Internet search such as,, and will get you part of the way. However, you'll likely need to do a little virtual ethnography to find the core of the interaction and its boundaries. For example, if you find a relevant blog/forum/website, follow its links and pay attention to the context of the link. Depending on your area of interest, you may need to narrow or broaden your question to locate and/or delineate the online component.

on your blog:

1) post the relevant links
2) briefly describe what you found and what you learned about your topic
3) suggest some ways in which you could analyze the online manifestation of your topic

Sunday, April 8, 2007

research groups

As discussed in class last Wednesday, here are the details for your blog assignment due before class on Monday:

a) Try to establish a group of 2 or 3 researchers.

b) In a paragraph, describe the general research idea and a couple of broad questions.

c) Additionally, state your research goals by referencing one of categories from the chart we reviewed on Wednesday; int’l engagement, pilot study, or academic research.

d) Identify any challenges you anticipate in achieving achieving your stated goal

If you are able to establish a group but not a topic, do the above and state where you are in the process.

If you are not ready to commit to a group or an idea, restate your research idea post, reflecting on your current thinking by answering a, b, c, and d above.

Looking ahead to next week’s agenda:

Monday – guest speaker Kirsten Foot: affordances/limitations of virtual methods. I've added one of Kirsten's articles to your syllabus an optional reading for Monday, Websphere Analysis and Cyberculture Studies

Wednesday – guest speaker Dennis Ryan: affordances/limitations of qualitative urban methods

Issue Crawler: Email me if you'd like to participate in an Issue Crawler workshop. I'll set up a time and place to demo the application. Would take about an hour, after which you'd be ready to launch some crawls. In the mean time, you can check out some of Richard Rogers' work on issue crawler: 1) chapt 1 of his book, Information Politics on the Web, and an article on using Issue Crawler as a research method.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

small blog assignment for wednesday

comment on at least two other research idea blog posts. the goal is to engage others in dialog about common interests as you begin to formulate small research groups of 2 to 3 people.

here are a couple of additional resources:

- you can search for blogs at

- for those interested in prostitution, i posted the first few pages of "when sex becomes work," a book written by mariska majoor, founder of the Prostitute Information Center (PIC) in amsterdam. i have the book so let me know if you'd like to borrow it.

on wednesday we'll discuss web 2.0 (a contentious term, but useful for our purposes). we'll take a look at a couple of research projects as examples, and revisit the topical themes in your research posts. you'll have 10-15 minutes at the end of class to talk to others about forming groups. the reading assignment is light--it's actually two short video clips and a website -- see the syllabus for details.

Friday, March 30, 2007

ideas, evidence, & questions

Purpose of this assignment is 1) to begin your exploration into potential research topics and 2) publish the results of this first look to facilitate choosing research groups.

In the seminar we use the film submission as our sample case study that introduces a contemporary social issue (the film and subsequent murder) through the lens of pragmatic tolerance. Your task is to explore Amsterdam for issues, places, contexts, or other aspects of people doing or refusing to do things together. Once you find a candidate topic or phenomenon of interest you will organize it in terms of ideas, evidence, and questions..

You can expect your research topic to evolve as you learn more about the topic and the components of the research design. Your goals are to begin your exploration and to present your initial findings for the purpose of finding common interests among your classmates.

There are a number of points of entry to begin this task. The obvious ones are Google and Wikipedia. You can also look at the kinds of research being done at VKS:

VKS projects
VKS publications

Another possibility to consider is a project that Paul Wouters is organizing for us. Paul is in conversation with the Westergasfabriek Culture Park for for creativity, art and enterprise, a unique space that can be viewed as a microcosm of Amsterdam. Paul poses the following macro level question: “Can the Westergasfabriek terrain be converted into an integrated research environment for cultural and social research and design?" Paul is putting together some materials to introduce this project and will include some smaller sample questions that address different ways of approaching the larger question.

What to do: Find a general topic area of interest and break down into the three components of our research framework: ideas, evidence, and questions.

: is this of issue you know something about? If so, what are your initial thoughts? If not, what are others saying about it?

: What sort of research questions might be asked? What do you want to know? What problem needs to be solved?

: Where is the field location? Where would you find evidence in your efforts to answer the research question(s).

Here’s the definition of research question we introduced in class. Use it as a guide rather than law:

For our purposes a research question is one that guides examination of a societal phenomenon, through a dialog involving ideas, evidence and the re-formulation of our questions. By society we mean people doing (or refusing to do) things together.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

blog & reading assignments for wednesday

blog assignment: view the submission video and read at least three other reviews found on the internet. this is meant to be a short reaction piece and not an essay--so don't kill yourselves.
reading assignment:

Monday, March 26, 2007

student committees

Undergrad Research Symposium:
  • Chase Marotz
Amsterdam Colloquium (student conference presentations at UvA)
  • Jack Bauer
  • Colleen Stevenson
Collaborative Technologies (research wiki, image & video db/storage, RSS, other fun stuff)
  • Haley Anderson
  • Sunil Garg
  • Shirley Chen
Video Podcasting (we have 2 video ipods – short video editing, pod casting, images, sound clips)
  • Julia Hamilton
  • Ray Baldwin
  • Mark Stevens
Amsterdam Location/Customs Info (compile information and, perhaps, organize an excursion)
  • Alex Gwozda
  • Jenny Sager
  • Ana Swearingen
  • Edward Crabbe
Health and Safety (here & abroad – information and first aid resources)
  • Sathi Maiti
  • Irina Kolobova
  • Jana Slovic
  • Jonathon Karademos