Stories about the American Suburbs

In Culture
Tuesday, 09 December 2003 00:00

A big car, designer clothes and ambitious

A big car outside to show off to the neighbours, designer clothes, too ambitious or, on the contrary, too cowardly and not very energetic. The American suburbs, and particularly the white middle classes that live there, in general do not get a very positive description in sociological and similar scientific studies. Especially their alleged life style is the target. In his thesis ‘Tijd voor suburbia’ (‘Time for suburbia’) David Hamers uses the debate about the suburbs in America as the starting point for a study in which identity, time and image come together. In an unprecedented way, he sheds light on the theme by studying the subject from the perspective of arts and sciences and by crossing boundaries between disciplines.


Scientists play games

In Culture
Wednesday, 05 November 2003 00:00

Grant for research into digital games

The rise of computer, CD-Rom, Internet and mobile telephones has not left our culture unaffected. According to critics, computer games can, for example, have an enormous impact on the players. By playing games that nowadays are very true to life and violent, the border between fiction and reality fades and people become more violent in real life as well. However, for the time being these statements are still guesswork. It is not known which impact digitalisation exactly has. Therefore, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) offers grants to study the change processes as a result of digitalisation in art and culture. One of these grants goes to a joint research into digital games of Universiteit Maastricht (UM) and Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA).


A philosophical exploration of the work of a versatile artist

On 6 June, Sytze Steenstra received his doctor’s degree for his research into the work of David Byrne. Byrne is particularly known as the singer of The Talking Heads, but he is also a successful artist, filmmaker and photographer. The thesis ‘We are the noise between stations’, got very favourable reviews. It is an interdisciplinary study of Byrne’s work. Steenstra uses connections that even the biggest fan never noticed to place Byrne’s work in a theoretical context, based on cultural-historic, anthropological and philosophical sources that Byrne himself partly uses for his own texts (click here for the press release with more in-depth information about the research). The doctoral research attracts attention because it scientifically approaches a subject that, at first sight, could be categorized as light-hearted. E-Research Magazine spoke with Steenstra’s supervisor, Guy Widdershoven, about the backgrounds of the research as regards content and organization.


Research into quality of life...

In Society
Friday, 18 July 2003 00:00

“Poverty in the Netherlands structural problem”

Dr. René Gabriëls studies the quality of life. He was amongst others involved in a large research in the Maastricht disadvantaged areas Malberg and Wittevrouwenveld. Because of his intensive study of the lives of people in underprivileged areas he was given the proud nickname ‘philosopher of the lower classes’. In e-Research Magazine he talks about his work method. "I find the difference between qualities and quantities nonsense. You don’t understand anything of the reality if you only work with figures. We also want to hear the story behind the figures!"


Why is Albertine in such a hurry?

The title of the thesis is intriguing: ‘Albertine in a hurry. Travel in technological culture: towards a theory of passages’. Who is Albertine and why is she in a hurry? What is a theory of passages? Peter Peters, who just received his doctor’s degree at the Faculty of Arts and Culture, has the answer to these questions. On the basis of four case studies, he analysed the meaning of time and speed in modern travelling.


Administration in a historic perspective

In Culture
Wednesday, 21 May 2003 00:00

Maastricht historian wants an extensive study of administrative culture

Administrative culture is a broad concept. It comprises amongst others the standards and values, worn-out bureaucratic practices, architecture and design of government buildings. The existing research on this subject does not come up to the mark, according to dr. N. Randeraad. The historian, since October appointed at the Faculty of Arts and Culture, argues this in an introductory article of a special issue on administrative culture of the magazine Nieuwste Tijd.


'The woman and the ape'

In Culture
Wednesday, 21 May 2003 00:00

Why women love apes. A love story in culture and science

In the novel 'The woman and the ape' (1996) of the Danish author Peter Høeg, you can read how a woman has sex with an ape. Philosopher and literature scientist dr. Stine Jenssen became intrigued with this unusual scene and started to look for other encounters between women and apes in literature, films and science. There turned out to be countless erotic images of male apes and women in Western culture. In 2002, Jenssen received her doctor's degree for a thesis on this subject at the Faculty of Arts and Culture.


Every word on a scale...

In Culture
Wednesday, 21 May 2003 00:00

Study of the works of poet and classicist P.C. Boutens (1870-1943)

Marco Goud (32) received his doctor's degree on 14 March 2003 for his study of the works of poet and classicist P.C. Boutens (1870-1943). He performed his research as an AIO at the Faculty of Arts and Culture of Universiteit Maastricht, under the supervision of prof.dr. Wiel Kusters and dr. Jan Baetens. Boutens' poetry is rather inaccessible for today's reader and seems even unreadable at times. Marco Goud searched for recurring themes in his poetry, especially vision and (in)visibility, and tried to show why Boutens' poetry is so complex. An interview with dr. Marco Goud about his thesis Imaginary sight. On vision and (in)visibility in poetry and poetics of P.C. Boutens.


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