Lisa Burghardt MSc


I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Media and Culture Studies and part of the NWO project Virtual Reality as Empathy Machine:  Media, Migration and the Humanitarian Predicament. 

Within the project, I critically investigate the role of Virtual Reality (VR) in the context of humanitarian communication, by asking how and to what extent humanitarian VR on migration can function as an ‘empathy machine’ between viewers and distant others. I conduct research on how we can assess the experience of viewers being immersed in VR installations around topics of migration. I am interested in understanding the emotional responses these humanitarian VR experiences create amongst viewers, how this impacts their moral responses to the VR experience. Through these insights I hope to better understand the potentials and pitfalls of VR and how it might allow to bridge between distant others. Further, I aim to draw broader conclusions regarding the relation between technological mediations and emotions. 
My academic background is within Science and Technology Studies and Philosophy of Technology. I hold a MSc from Aalborg University in Techno-Anthropology and a BA from the University of Applied Science Utrecht in International Communication and Media.