On 8 and 9 February 2018, Ghent University’s Department of Communication Sciences hosted the Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap 2018. During these two days, over three hundred scholars from a variety of Dutch and Flemish universities and university colleges gathered to exchange ideas, present their latest work and engage in vivid discussions. The conference welcomed over 200 papers that were presented in 60 sessions, all highlighting different aspects of the broad field of communication sciences and media studies in the Low Countries.

The overarching theme of the conference was Transcultural Exchanges & Communication Flows, focusing on the cultural exchange and relationship between the Netherlands and Flanders, which was the main theme of the plenary session on 8 February. We were honored to be joined by internationally awarded Prof. Dr. Em. Geert Hofstede who presented an academic reflection on the cultural differences between the Netherlands and Flanders. Following this, scholars were invited to intellectually engage in a debate with experts and practitioners. Although Rick de Leeuw unfortunately had to cancel last minute, the audience was provided with food for thought by Wim Vanseveren (director of deBuren and former director of Flemish public broadcaster VRT) and Hilde Van Mieghem (Flemish actress, author and director) who discussed the similarities and differences between the two regions in the field of media and culture, under the supervision of VRT journalist Sabine Vandeputte who moderated the debate.

The notorious and anticipated Etmaal dinner and party took place in Ghent’s city center at ‘De Oude Vismijn’ which was transformed into a boiler room and high-end culinary heaven. Welcomed by NeFCA’s president Jeroen Jansz, the evening set off with the traditional award ceremony. We congratulate Gertjan Willems (Ghent University) who received the NeFCA Young Scholar Award 2018 and Stefan Bernritter (University of Amsterdam) for winning the NeFCA Dissertation Award 2016.

We look back on a very successful edition of the Etmaal and wish to thank all the speakers, the audience, NeFCA and especially all colleagues of the Department of Communication Sciences who helped to make it all happen! Pictures by our professional photographer Maxine Stevens can be found here.

The Etmaal 2018 organizers