Pop Culture Matters

Making Sense of the Mainstream

Binge watching our favourite series, scrolling through endless celebrity gossip: we all consume popular culture on a daily basis. But it's not just fun and games. Studying pop culture means studying people. How do movies, TV shows and books reflect and shape the way we think about society and ourselves?


Popculture in academia



  • Places of the imagination: media, tourism, culture, by Stijn Reijnders. (PDF) (14 August 2012)
  • Film en toerisme zijn allang geen westerse aangelegenheden meer’ - Interview met prof. Stijn Reijnders in Erasmus Magazine (11 januari 2016). Dankzij een Europese subsidie kan Stijn Reijnders de komende jaren onderzoek doen naar filmtoerisme in Zuid-Korea, India, Jamaica, Nigeria en Engeland
  • "Mensen willen de tekst die zo veel in hen heeft losgemaakt, ook fysiek ervaren." Abby Waysdorf lichtte het succes van 'Harry Potter: The Exhibition' in Utrecht bij de NOS toe.



  • Dr. Laura Copier's dissertation 'Preposterous revelations: Visions of Apocalypse and martyrdom in Hollywood cinema 1980-2000' (PDF)
  • What Are We Afraid Of? Societal Fears Reflected in Film. Video Essay that explores how scary movies are a window into the fears of the society that they were made in.


donderdag 2 maart 2017 - 17:00
From porn, to movies and videoclips: do we develop sexual standards based on what we see in the media? With media scholar Dr Linda Duits.
donderdag 9 maart 2017 - 17:00
Why do so many people travel to locations from their favourite books, films and shows? With media scholar Abby Waysdorf.
donderdag 16 maart 2017 - 17:00
How can sci-fi inspire scientists and vice versa? With physicist Dr Barry Fitzgerald.
donderdag 23 maart 2017 - 17:00
Why is the end of times such a popular theme in movies, TV shows and books? With media scholar Dr Laura Copier.


dinsdag 7 november 2017
Waar komt onze fascinatie voor de apocalyps vandaan? Interview met mediawetenschapper dr. Laura Copier
dinsdag 28 maart 2017
We shudder, but feel secretly satisfied: we love watching the end of times in apocalyptic movies. What can ‘the end’ tell us about the ‘now’?
dinsdag 21 maart 2017
Superpowers of invisibility or fast healing aren't as farfetched as you might think. Sci-fi movies can inspire scientists to use their imagination, leading to astonishing technological advancement.
dinsdag 14 maart 2017
Media tourism: fans of TV shows and movies use it to connect to their favourite pop culture narratives. It's also a marketing department's wet dream.
dinsdag 7 maart 2017
Sexual imagery is everywhere in the media. Do girls need to be armoured against its potentially harmful effects, or is this view too simple?