Graduate Gender Programme



REGENERART aims to promote art and creativity as innovative tools to increase the competences of secondary school teachers and students to re-think gender roles and stereotypes towards a more equal and inclusive society, free of gender-based violence against women and discriminations. This EU-wide project consists of eight international partners based in six different countries. Through their combined efforts this project considers art as a tool for reading reality, increasing critical thinking and promoting inclusion and social justice. REGENERART sets out to deconstruct the stereotypes that, over the centuries, have been reproduced also through art, by reinterpreting some artworks in a creative and innovative way as well as developing new ones to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women. The project is coordinated by Fondazione Pangea Onlus and partners include Utrecht University, the Frauenmuseum Berlin (DE), Associazione Domna (IT), 149th School Sofia (BG), Liceu de Arte Dinu Lipatti (RO), IIS Tommaso Salvini (IT), Inforef (BE). The Graduate Gender Programme is part of the team of contributing partners with its MOED project. The project is co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union (2021-2023).

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Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics (2019-2022)

Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics network (PIN) brings 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. The network is innovative because (1) it includes figures that are not strictly postcolonial but are seminal for the postcolonial legacy; (2) it rethinks the category of the ‘intellectual’ by including not only migrant academics and political spokespersons but also writers, artists, activists, organizations and social movements; (3) it addresses uprisings, protests, marches and commemorations as acts of citizenship; (4) it accounts for the shifts in ‘publics’ through social media. The leading research questions are: What is the relationship between postcolonial intellectuals and their European publics? How is this relationship articulated through artistic practices, alternative claims of citizenship and new forms of digital participation? PIN brings together humanities centres with an international track record in postcolonial studies and furthermore connects established research centres, institutes and initiatives that have so far operated in isolation, integrating both theoretical, material, curatorial and digital perspectives for the first time. An international team of experts from the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Italy and France will collaborate on a digital atlas for postcolonial Europe that will connect archives, libraries, research centres and cultural institutions throughout Europe.

 Previous Projects


ERC Consolidator Grant: CONNECTING EUROPE (2015-2020)
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 the project ‘Digital Crossings in Europe: Gender, Diaspora and Belonging’ (CONNECTINGEUROPE). Prof. Sandra Ponzanesi was recently awarded a prestigious and highly selective ERC Consolidator Grant of 2 million euros for this project, which will allow her to form her own team and conduct research for a five-year period (2015 – 2020).

With a team of PhD students, postdoc researchers and research assistants, Ponzanesi will study:

  • how migration and digital technologies enable digital diasporas (Somali, Turkish, Romanian);
  • the impact they have on identity, gender and belonging in European urban centres;
  • how these entanglements are connected to and perceived from outside Europe;
  • how digital connections create new possibilities for cosmopolitan outlooks, rearticulating Europe’s motto of ‘Unity in Diversity’.

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 will investigate their digital presence on social networking sites, websites, blogs, Twitter, video-chat and smartphones.


EU Horizon2020 Marie Curie project GRACE: Gender and Cultures of Equality in Europe (2015-2019)
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. The Graduate Gender Programme at Utrecht University will focus on the projects ‘Curating Cultures of Equality in Post Imperial European contexts’ and ‘Critics and the Cultural Politics of Equality’.

Young Connected Migrants. Comparing Digital Practices of Young Asylum Seekers  and Expatriates in the Netherlands (2016-2018)

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.

COST Action New Materialism: Networking European Scholarship on ‘How Matter Comes to Matter (2014-2017)

The interdisciplinary study on new materialism raises the question how matter – in the broadest sense of the word – actively participates in processes of signification. This Action aims at networking European new materialisms: how do they look, and what can they innovate? It will shape and discuss how European scholars take up the label of new materialism and work under its umbrella.

EU LLP EDGES, Joint European PhD in Gender and Women’s Studies (2013-2015)
The Graduate Gender Programme of Utrecht University is a leading member of the EU LLP EDGES (2013-2015). EDGES is a Lifelong Learning Programme Project coordinated by the University of Bologna that involves eight academic and non-academic European institutions which have a longstanding experience in Women’s and Gender Studies.
EDGES aims to shape and develop a model for a European PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies which focuses on the comparison and integration between different geographical, historical, and socio-political contexts thanks to the collaboration and synergy among universities that have different histories, experiences and expertise in the field of European Feminism and Gender Studies.
EDGES will trigger an interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to highlight crucial issues such as women’s migration, violence on and exploitation of women’s body, traumatic experiences in recent conflict areas, cultural and counter-memories, equal opportunities in education, careers and job market, discrimination in sexual orientation, civil rights and religious prejudices. EDGES will favour a vital change in the preparation of the next generation of academic, business, public and third sector European leaders.

The Graduate Gender Programme is leader of the workpackage that designs and develops the international doctoral curriculum on Women’s and Gender Studies.


PEN Postcolonial Europe Network (2011-2014)

Postcolonial Europe Network PEN is funded by NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) for three years.

The project conducted by Sandra Ponzanesi (Utrecht University, the Netherlands) aims at establishing an international platform for developing research into new forms of conceptualizing Europe from a multidisciplinary perspective engaging several disciplines (literary, media, gender studies) in the Humanities and the Social Sciences (sociology, political theory). PEN aims to develop theoretical and methodological tools for representing and imagining Europe in a postcolonial and postimperial perspective. Since 2019, PIN continues to build upon the activities of the PEN project.

The PEN international research network builds upon the activities of the previously funded AHRC network on Postcolonial Europe (2008-2010).

More information on GGeP projects can be found here