Previous Projects

On this page you will find a few of our completed projects. For more past projects, please view individual personal pages of our staff.

Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging (CONNECTINGEUROPE)

Every year numerous migrants enter Europe legally and illegally, constructing and sustaining transnational networks through online technologies. These ‘connected migrants' reconfigure notions of  identity, gender and belonging and contribute to a new understanding of Europe as a multidirectional networked society. These issues are at the heart of Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi’s project 'Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging' (CONNECTINGEUROPE).

The project focuses on migrant women (aged 18-40) who have settled in Europe’s main cities (London, Amsterdam, Rome), in dialogue with family and loved ones they have left behind (Somalia, Rumania, Turkey). Ponzanesi investigates their digital presence on social networking sites, websites, blogs, Twitter, video-chat and smartphones.

  • Project leader: Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi
  • Duration: 2015-2020
  • Financed by an ERC Consolidator Grant of 2 million euros, awarded to Sandra Ponzanesi
GRACE: Gender and Cultures of Equality in Europe

Why does gender inequality persist in the 21st century? What are European ‘cultures’ of gender and equality? What needs to change in European cultures to achieve greater equality? In the GRACE multinational research and training consortium, 15 excellent early-career researchers will be employed in the UK, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands to dig under the surface of European culture through research projects which will examine how and why the idea of gender equality is constructed, challenged, adopted and rejected in the following five vitally important and influential cultural sites: Media Culture, Urban Culture, Intellectual and Activist Cultures, Literary and Artistic Culture, Employment Culture.

  • Project leader: Prof. Rosemarie Buikema
  • Duration: 2015-2019
  • Partners:
    • University of Hull (UK; project coordinator)
    • University of Bologna (Italy)
    • Central European University (Hungary)
    • University of Granada (Spain)
    • University of Lodz (Poland)
    • University of Oviedo (Spain)
    • Utrecht University (The Netherlands)
    • Associazione Orlando (Italy)
  • Funding: The GRACE consortium has been awarded a European Commission grant of €3.7 million under the Horizon 2020 ‘Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks’ programme
Postcolonial Europe Network (PEN)

The project aims at establishing an international platform for developing research into new forms of conceptualising Europe from a multidisciplinary perspective engaging several disciplines (literary, media, gender studies) in the Humanities and the Social Sciences (sociology, political theory). PEN will initiate, develop and coordinate funding proposals for national and European granting agencies such as Hera or KP7 in 2014. PEN aims to develop theoretical and methodological tools for representing and imagining Europe in a postcolonial and postimperial perspective.

  • Project leader: Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi
  • Duration: 2011 - 2014
  • Partners: University of Leeds, University of Munich, London School of Economics, University of Naples L’Orientale, University of Roskilde, University of Iceland, University of Warwick.
  • Financed by The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Internationalisation in the Humanities
Postcolonial Intellectuals and Their European Publics (PIN)

Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics network (PIN) brought together an international and interdisciplinary network of scholars to investigate the role of postcolonial public intellectuals as crucial actors in renewing the function of the humanities and of democratic participation in Europe. With an international team of experts from the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Italy and France.

  • Project leader: Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi 
  • Funding: NWO Internationalisation in the Humanities (Dutch Research Council) 
  • Duration 2019-2021 


Young connected migrants. Comparing digital practices of young asylum seekers and expatriates in the Netherlands

This study considers how expat and refugee youth in the Netherlands digitally encapsulate themselves in bubbles with co-ethnics and develop a cosmopolitan stance towards others. In Information and Communication Technology for Development discourses, the Internet is celebrated to empower asylum seekers. Ironically, digital data are also used to restrict the mobility of ‘irregular migrants’ as anti-immigration sentiments grow across Europe. In sharp contrast, expatriate youth are elite nomads, for whom the borders of Fortress Europe pose no obstacles.

The focus is on four interrelated processes: 1) identity, 2) learning, 3) affectivity, and 4) communication rights. Comparative fieldwork will be conducted among major migrant groups in the Netherlands. To capture how power relations impact upon their lives, young asylum seekers are compared with expat youth (12-18 years).

This innovative study will have a three-fold impact. Academic debates in media, gender and postcolonial studies about migration and ICTs will be diversified. Results about learning and rights will be shared with relevant practitioners and policy-makers. The photo exhibition will provide the general audience a more inclusive view of Dutch  society and everyday European multiculturalism.

  • Project leader: Dr Koen Leurs
  • Duration: 2016-2018
  • Financed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) with a Veni grant awarded to Koen Leurs