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By Summer Programmes | UvA
Based in Amsterdam, Mokum delves into the heart of important conversations around the world through a series of interviews with academics and experts. Our goal? To bring education with a purpose to life, and welcome you into our community. Based at the University of Amsterdam's Summer Programmes Office in the Graduate School of Social Science, we bring you important stories with our own nerdy twist.

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Mokum E8: A Grim Reality


The Anthropocene: Student Podcasts
In some of our online programmes we’ve asked students to make a podcast, so they can work with the course content in a creative way (next to writing a more traditional paper). Listening to these podcasts has been one of our absolute favourite things of online education: they are beautifully made, tell such insightful and personal stories and often spark great discussions in class. So… why keep them to ourselves? Our latest episode of Mokum features two student podcast from the course The Anthropocene: Ecologies, Tensions Futures. Sadie Hale and Emil Perron will take you from chicken bone fossils to Norwegian mountain tops and from the sound of pouring oat milk to a discussion of silence. Links: The Anthropocene: Ecologies Tensions Futures. All online winter courses. Find us on Instagram.
October 15, 2021
Catching up with Muhammad (a.k.a. life after summer programmes)
We’re back with a fresh dose of our podcast, Mokum! This week, we’re joined by summer programmes alumnus and First Generation Scholarship winner, Muhammad Bin Khalid. Muhammad studied with us in the summer of 2018, and told us that Amsterdam interrupted the trajectory of his life in the best way possible. In this episode, Ian and Muhammad catch up with each other as he tells us about his time in Amsterdam and how it changed his perspective on the world around him. Part of a diverse and keen group of students, Muhammad dove head first into a totally new environment. Now studying his bachelor degree in Singapore, he reflects on his the intervening four years since he came to the Netherlands as an intrepid high school student in our Pre-University Honours Programme. Tune into this episode to hear some inspiring stories and lots of hearty laughter.
August 26, 2021
It's not rocket science, it's social science!
Join Corina Enache and Bregje de Kok, two social scientists with a passion for thinking and researching holistically. In this episode of Mokum, we explore the impacts that social science perspectives have on a wide variety of work that we do, be that in the academy, for businesses, or organisations. In the first half of the episode, Corina - an expert in applied ethnography and learning by doing - welcomes us into the world of translating academic skills to the workplace, methods that she teaches in the Bootcamp: Ethnography and Design. In part two, Bregje breaks down the importance of doing nuanced work in the field of medical anthropology. Bregje runs the Social Science Switch course, and tells us how gaining new perspectives help us see the 'bigger picture' of the work we do with more clarity. Take a deep breath and get ready to dive into the world of the social sciences, what thinking-with theories and methods makes possible, and how the social sciences enrich the work that we do and our understanding of lived experiences. 
August 12, 2021
Political Economy 101
In this episode of Mokum, we're joined by Martina Huynh and Archie Noble as they introduce us to the topic of political economy. Both students in our recent summer programme on the topics, Martina and Archie dive into questions of development, trade, and policies in two fascinating case studies that introduce us to a political economy framework and perspective. So, political economy. Sounds like an unnecessary complication of two fields we know, right? Wrong. Political economy is an active framework that helps put two very important disciplines into dialogue with one another, making it more than a complication. Rather than seeing political economy as some sort of Frankenstein monster emerging from the depths of our history textbooks, lets think of it instead as a helpful guide that shows us the world in more nuance than reducing the objects of its study would normally allow for. Special thanks to Martina and Archie for lending their voices to Mokum on our season two debut!
July 21, 2021
What the heck?! Season 2 is on the way
Have you ever laid down for a short nap, only to wake up and realize that several months have passed by? No, we haven't either, but it's been a while since you've heard from us, and we are excited to be back! In this short update, we introduce you to some of the topics we will be tackling in Season 2, as well as introducing you to our new student-centered format. So buckle-up and keep refreshing that podcast feed: we will be coming at you with new episodes soon. 
July 13, 2021
Mokum E10: Visions of the Occult
Western esotericism, often called the mystery tradition, is a field of study that engages with a wide variety of material, steeped in the history and practice of things like magic(k), witchcraft, New Age Spiritualism, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, and Kaballah. Occult references in popular culture are all around us, and far from being othered knowledge, "occulture" is a phenomenon that is here to stay. In our tenth episode of Mokum, we welome Dr. Marco Pasi from the Center for Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents at the University of Amsterdam, and Dr J. Christian Greer, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University's Center for the Study of World Religions. Marco and Christian speak to us about why it is important to study western esotericism today, and their new online winter course at the University of Amsterdam, Visions of the Occult: Introduction to Western Esotericism. 
October 29, 2020
Mokum E9: Imagining the Anthropocene
In this episode of Mokum, Charlotte takes us on a further exploration of the concept of the Anthropocene. On the nature/culture dichotomy, anthropocentrism, dis-hoping, and opening ourselves up to imagining different ways of being in this world. Tune in for a journey along mountain kings, mushroom commodity chains and melting arctic ice on public squares in Europe. 
October 16, 2020
Mokum E8: A Grim Reality
On this episode of Mokum, we begin our new series on the Anthropocene with a meditation on how we've come to live on a human dominated planet. The Anthropocene - a compound word that means 'The Human Age' - is a hotly debated term that is being used to describe our current geological and cultural epoch, where humans have an out-sized impact on all life on Earth and our common future. But what does it mean to live on a human dominated planet, and how can we come to terms with global phenomena and environmental crises that are occurring simultaneously, and increasing at a rapid rate? Join host Ian Kenny as he situates the Anthropocene debate and ecological and cultural questions of the present at Cape Grim, a remote headland on the Tasmanian coast. Looking for more Anthropocene content? Visit our website to read more!
August 04, 2020
Mokum E7: Unraveling the Cycling City
This week on Mokum, we turn to our friends and experts at the Urban Cycling Institute as they unravel the dynamics at work in a cycling city like Amsterdam. The bicycle is more than just a means of transportation – it is also a symbol that is a key part of many movements related to the right to the city, safe and accessible streets for all, and imagining a society where the car is no longer the only status symbol worth living for. Join us, Marco te Brommelstroet, and George Liu as we briefly investigate the history, present, and future of cycling. Want to read more about this topic? Visit our website and immerse yourself in our cycling city.
July 07, 2020
Mokum E6: Reclaiming the Right to the City
In our sixth episode, we build on the concept of home we explored in our previous episode and ask: what does it mean to have a claim on a particular place for the future? In urban settings, this is often about the right to the city, and includes important questions about who undertakes planning and redesign projects to help sculpt the city of the future. We are joined by Anna Dekker and Javier Koole as we explore the methodology and philosophy of placemaking, a 'tabula scripta' form of urban planning and design that asks all stakeholders - from residents to local business, and even in some cases, non-human entities - to play an important role in (re)designing a specific place. Ultimately, it is about letting the spirit of a place - the unique or particular qualities - shine through, and turning to the experts themselves (the people who live there) to help guide the development of cities for an equitable and inclusive future. If you want more information on placemaking, check out the Further Readings section of our website: we have gathered resources on placemaking projects at the University of Amsterdam, as well as key texts from a variety of perspectives. 
June 18, 2020
Update from Amsterdam: Continuing Education in Challenging Times
In this brief update, we introduce you to our new Multidisciplinary Online Course, and the topics that we are tackling as we look for strategies to rethink the present with an eye for the future. Interested in hearing more? Visit our website. 
June 05, 2020
Mokum E5: To Build a Home
In this week's episode of Mokum, we start our next series focusing on urban studies, and how we navigate and produce our built environments. In this episode, we dive into the concept of home from a number of perspectives, including cultural questions about how the concept of home changes from place to place, as well as the importance of housing, and urban infrastructure in co-creating home in a variety of ways. Home is a many-faceted concept that also raises questions about access and equity, as human beings try to make sense of what the term means to them in diverse settings around the world. Interested in further developing your own concept of home and other topics in urban studies? Visit our website to read and watch more.
June 04, 2020
Mokum E4: Storytelling for the Present and Future
In this episode of Mokum, we interview six different guests and ask them to update us on a story they've been following that makes them pause and reflect on the present, or gives creative strategies for thinking through the future. Storytelling is a powerful affective tool that enables us to reflect on a variety of circumstances, and see how objects of the cultural imaginary - like novels, tv series, articles, art, and music, to name a few - not only comment on, but also give shape to the world around us. Interested in practicing your own version of storytelling with a purpose? Check out the exercise at the end of this interview with French philosopher and cultural commentator, Bruno Latour. 
May 22, 2020
Mokum E3: Journalism in the Information Age
In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Benjamin Roberts, historian and journalist, and we examine the role of journalism in the Information Age. In a time where media is produced in overabundance, what stories do we turn to to help us navigate our ever-changing world? And what effect does this have on our shared visions of the future? Craving more content on these topics? Visit our website to read and watch more. If you're curious, the independent documentary from 2020 discussed by Ian and Grace is called Out of Shadows. You can find it on their website. 
May 07, 2020
Mokum E3: Trailer
Next week on Mokum we slide from conspiracy thinking and suspicious mindsets into the world of journalism and media. Join host Ian Kenny and special guests Dr. Benjamin Roberts, Historian and Journalist, and Grace Yano as they explore kindling hope in a fake-news world.  Craving more content on these topics? Visit our website to read and watch more. 
May 01, 2020
Special Episode: Guided Compassionate Breathing Meditation by Dr. Maja Wrzesien
Dr. Maja Wrzesien will lead you through one of her go-to compassionate breathing meditations. Need something to start your day, feel more centered, or help you make sense of what you're experiencing and what is going on around you? This guided meditation is the perfect place to begin.  You can find more mindfulness resources from Maja and others on our website. 
May 01, 2020
Mokum E2: The Truth is Out There
What is a conspiracy theory, how does it function, and how does it affect your daily life? The answers to these questions aren't straightforward, but they are visible in the world around us. In this episode, we are joined by Boris Noordenbos (Assistant Professor of Literary & Cultural Analysis at the UvA) and Grace Yano to help demystify why cultures of suspicion are on the rise, and the effects they have on everything from our politics, to the media we engage with, and the people we talk to. Though the present may be rife with suspicion, there is no better moment to unpack this interwoven and engaging topic with examples we see at large in the world around us, and theories to help make sense of it all. Want to know more about the conversation Grace and Ian had? Watch the 2018 Netflix documentary Behind the Curve for more info. 
April 23, 2020
Mokum E2: Trailer
Tune in next week as we delve into the world of suspicious mindsets and conspiracy theory.
April 17, 2020
Mokum E1: Welcome to Mokum
In our inaugural episode, we take the time to introduce you to Mokum and the people behind it, as well as the topics we will cover in our first season. Brought to you from the heart of Amsterdam, we'll tackle rising cultures of suspicion and fake news, creating a sense of home from an urban studies perspective, and acting in the Anthropocene. Curious, have a question, or want to stay in touch? Contact us on Instagram or via email.  For more information, visit our website. 
April 09, 2020