Tuesday the 22nd of September was a big day for both graduating New Media MA students and New Media studies itself. The first official graduation ceremony (which were previously held together with Film and Television studies in Mediastudies) marked the beginning of a new era for New Media within Mediastudies. New Media has grown in both quality and quantity over the past few years and this ceremony illustrated New Media as a mature field of study within Mediastudies.
The Masters themselves organized a graduation day that started with a symposium titled “AMSTERDAM – Creative and Critical Media Futures.” In the symposium Eric Kluitenberg (De Balie â€“ Centre for Culture and Politics) and Floor van Spaendonck (director of Virtueel Platform) addressed the following questions: What is Amsterdamâ€™s role as a center for creative practices and critical discourses pertaining to New Media?Â What roles can we envision it playing in the future?
Both Kluitenberg and van Spaendonck started their presentation with the importance of De Digitale Stad (the Amsterdam Digital City) within the history of new media in Amsterdam. It brought back memories of my own experiences with the Digital City in 1996 and how it was metaphorically and spatially organized as a city with a main square and where inhabitants would inhabit a house. Of course, the Post Office was my favorite part of the city, along with the chat area. For more information and research on the Digital City see Reinder Rustema’s collection in both English and Dutch.
After the symposium Prof. Frank Van Vree welcomed the audience and graduating MA’s as the Chair of the Department of Media Studies. Marijn de Vries Hoogerwerff (MA New Media, 2009) addressed the audience with a small personal speech about being a New Media MA at the University of Amsterdam.
The diplomas were granted by thesis advisors Prof. Richard Rogers, Jan Simons and Edward Shanken (unfortunately Geert Lovink could not be there). After the diplomas there were drinks, a buffet and a party which marked the end of the graduation day.
The first New Media MA Graduation Day was a big success. Thank you organizers, and congratulations MA students, you are now officially Masters of Media!
More photos on Flickr.