Inspiring inaugural lecture of Martine Bouman

27 January 2016
On Friday January 22nd 2016 Prof. Dr. Martine Bouman gave her inaugural lecture ‘Amusing ourselves to Health and Happiness’ on the occasion of the public acceptance of her Endowed Professorship on Entertainment Media and Social Change at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication.

Around 300 people attended this special event in the auditorium of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Martine Bouman started her inaugural lecture with a reference to the motto of the Erasmus University: Make it Happen! She explained that this is a motto to her heart, because she highly values the integration of theory, policy and practice in her academic work.
Neil Postman, in 1985, published his polemic book ‘Amusing ourselves to Death’ about the corrosive effects of television on our politics and public discourse. While Postman chose a culturally pessimistic view and emphasized the potential negative influence of television on public discourse and culture, Martine Bouman flips the coin and explores and investigates the potential positive role of entertainment media on social change. In Martine Bouman’s eyes ‘Amusing ourselves to Health and Happiness’, is as much a promising proposition than the one put forth by Postman.

“Martine’s lecture was great and a very passionate story. I am happy to see that there is an increasing interest in entertainment with an added value.” (Entertainment media professional)
“Martine Bouman gave an impressive speech and a clear explanation about her current and future research perspectives. I found it very inspiring and I heard the same impressions from others in the auditorium.” (Researcher)
 “Congratulations, what a great lecture! Compliments!” (Health professional)

During her inaugural lecture Martine Bouman addressed various chances and challenges with respect to entertainment with an added value. As the holder of the Special Chair on Entertainment Media and Social Change, it is her ambition to design an interdisciplinary research program to develop and test new communication methods and innovative media formats in order to reach vulnerable groups in society.

You can download the English version of the inaugural lecture here.

Interviews and articles about the inaugural lecture (Dutch):
- NRC article: Hoogleraar: amusement, goed voor u
- BNR Newsradio interview: Het nut van soaps

Photo Martine Bouman: Casper Cameraat.

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