The University of Groningen was the place where I started to develop my passion for media with the Bachelor Arts, Culture and Media. Besides my theoretical interests, I served as a board member of the Study Association and became a student member on the General Board of the programme. Being intrigued by a course on media and philosophy I complimented my studies with a Bachelor in Philosophy of the Humanities. Here I delved into existentialism by studying the concept of irony as developed by Soren Kierkegaard in relation to Socrates.
During my BA-studies I had the opportunity to move to Budapest for an Erasmus programme. During this tumultuous time I was struck by the online engagement with populism and the real life manifestation of political unrest, e.g., student protests against the Hungarian government. To study this phenomenon closer, I returned half a year later for a research internship at the ELTE Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies. There I learned how to study online engagement using novel sentiment analysis software.
Having become interested in using computational methods to study social and political phenomenon, I enrolled in the two-year Research Master Media Studies , the #1 QS ranked media studies department in the world, at the University of Amsterdam. The department has its roots in philosophy and focusses on media as complex social and cultural phenomena in both their historical and contemporary contexts. Here I managed to graduate Cum Laude with a 9 (out of 10) for my thesis on far-right radicalisation on YouTube; analysing around 3 million YouTube-comments from 2010 till 2016 using Natural Language Processing techniques (4CAT) and cultural analysis.
As of this moment I work on a PhD project that maps audience engagement with Alternative Influencers on YouTube with the aim to provide a history and theorisation of political engagement on the platform.