Payal Arora is a Professor and Chair in Technology, Values, and Global Media Cultures at the Erasmus School of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is the Founder and Executive Director of a digital activism organization, Catalyst Lab. She is a digital anthropologist and author of several books including Dot Com Mantra: Social Computing in the Central Himalayas (Ashgate, 2010), The Leisure Commons: A Spatial History of Web 2.0 (Routledge, 2015; Winner of the EUR Fellowship Award), and, The Next Billion Users: Digital Life beyond the West (Harvard University Press, 2019). She is the co-editor of Crossroads in New Media, Identity & Law: The Shape of Diversity to Come (Palgrave, 2015). Much of her research focuses on digital cultures, global inequality and data governance in the Global South.

Payal Arora

Advisor (India)

Bianca Freire-Medeiros is Sociology Professor at University of São Paulo and coordinator of UrbanData Brazil. Although her former training was in Urban Sociology, her PhD in History and Theory of Art and Architecture at Binghamton University led her to work with photographic and cinematic images of urban space and cultural otherness. With several articles and book chapters published in Portuguese, English, French and German, she is one of the main references for those interested in the so-called poverty tourism field in Brazil and abroad. Her book Touring Poverty (Routledge, 2013) and documentary A Place to Take Away (2012) have been highly praised both in and outside academia.

Bianca Freire-Medeiros

Advisor (Brazil)

Esther Figueroa (Ph.D) is a Jamaican independent film maker, writer, educator and linguist with over 35 years of media productions including television programming, documentaries, educational videos, multimedia and feature films. Her activist film making gives voice to those outside of mainstream media and focuses on the perpetuation of local and indigenous knowledge and cultures, the environment, social injustice, and community empowerment. Figueroa’s films are screened all over the world and taught at numerous universities. They include the award-winning feature documentaries Jamaica For Sale (2009) about tourism and unsustainable development, and Fly Me To The Moon (2019) about the global political economy and environmental impact of bauxite mining.

Esther Figueroa

Advisor (Jamaica)

Sean Kim is Associate Professor of Tourism at the School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University in Australia. His research focuses on the relationships between tourism and popular culture with particular attention to film tourism, as well as between intangible heritage (e.g., food), identity and tourism in various contexts. He has co-edited the ‘Film tourism in Asia: Evolution, transformation and trajectory' (2018) with Prof Stijn Reijnders, and is co-supervisor of the PhD project undertaken by Henry Chow on media tourism in South Korea. He was a visiting professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam in December 2019.

Sean Kim

Advisor (South Korea)

Leonieke Bolderman is Assistant Professor Cultural Geography and Tourism Geography and Planning in the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Her research interests revolve around the role of music in processes of urban and regional development, with a special focus on music tourism. Her monograph Contemporary Music Tourism: A Theory of Musical Topophilia was published in January 2020 with Routledge.

Leonieke Bolderman

Research Affiliate

Abby Waysdorf is a Postdoct Researcher at Utrecht University with the CADEAH project, researching how individuals and groups reappropriate and recirculate audiovisual heritage materials. She previously did a research master at Utrecht University in Media and Performance Studies, with a specialty in sport media and fandom, and a PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam, where her dissertation, Placing Fandom, focused on film tourism and fan use of place. Her general research interests are audience practices and uses of media, fandom, the television industry, and how all of these things intersect.

Abby Waysdorf

Research Affiliate

Min Xu joined the faculty of communication studies at Yangzhou University in China in 2020, after obtaining her PhD from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research interests include media encounters, special interest tourism such as food tourism, and Chinese netizens and online discourse.

Min Xu

Research Affiliate

Nicky van Es is currently a lecturer at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Next to teaching within the International Bachelor of Arts & Culture Studies, he co-founded the MA programme Tourism, Culture & Tourism (2018). In addition, he is working towards finalizing his dissertation (exp. 2020) on literary tourism as part of the Locating Imagination project, funded by the Dutch Science Foundation. Amongst his published research articles are “Chasing Sleuths” (Annals of Tourism Research, 2016) and “Capital Crime Cities” (European Journal of Cultural Studies, 2016), several book chapters and he is the first editor of the upcoming edited volume Locating Imagination in Popular Culture (Routledge, exp. 2020/2021).

Nicky van Es

Research Affiliate

Dr. Deborah Castro is an Assistant Professor in Media Studies at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. Her main research interests lie in the fields of television and audience studies. In 2020, she received a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (European Commission) to investigate local residents’ perceptions of media representations of their place of residence as well as local residents’ support for film tourism initiatives in Spain. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as European Journal of Cultural Studies and Tourism Management Perspectives. She is also a research fellow at ITI-LARSyS, Portugal; and vice-chair of the Television Studies Section at the European Communication Research and Education Association.

Debora Castro Marino

Research Affiliate