Dr. Karin Fikkers is assistant professor at Utrecht University since January 2019. Within the department of Languages, Literature, and Communication, she will teach classes in the Bachelor program Communication and Information Sciences and in the Master program Communication and Organization. Her research is situated in the context of the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, specifically in the Language and Communication group.
Between 2015 and 2018, Karin worked as postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam. Specifically, she worked at the Center for research on Children, Adolescents, and the Media (CcaM) which is part of the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). At CcaM, Karin aimed to better understand the role of narrative media entertainment in children’s and adolescents’ lives.
Between 2011 and 2015, Karin conducted her PhD research also at CcaM on Professor Patti Valkenburg’s ERC-funded project called “The entertainization of childhood.” In this project, Karin investigated the effects of media violence on aggression, specifically asking which adolescents are (most) susceptible. In 2014, she spent two months as a visiting scholar at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. In February 2016, Karin obtained her PhD title cum laude after defending her dissertation titled “A different(ial) perspective: How social context influences the media violence-aggression relationship among early adolescents”.
Before working on her PhD project, Karin obtained her Bachelor’s degree at the Business Communication department of the Radboud University Nijmegen (2007), after which she graduated cum laude from the research master Language and Communication (Radboud University, University of Tilburg, 2010). Her master thesis on mechanisms of narrative persuasion (supervised by Professor Hans Hoeken) is published in Poetics.
Karin is an active member of the academic community. Within the Netherlands-Flanders Communication Association (NeFCA), she co-founded the Young Scholars Network and organized sessions at the Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap. Within the International Communication Association (ICA), Karin was Secretary of the Children, Adolescents, and the Media (CAM) division for two years. During that time, she set up the monthly interview series “CAMmer in the Spotlight“. Karin also served as a member of the Student and Early Career-scholars Advisory Committee (SECAC), and co-organized the young scholars Reception and several Blue Sky Workshops at the annual conference of the ICA.
Karin is also interested in thinking about ways to improve the scientific process and scientific conduct more broadly. She participated in the LERU summer school in Helsinki, Finland (2014) themed “Doing the right things right –Research Integrity in a Complex Society”. Within the Consortium on Individual Development, she was a member of the working group on “Innovation of measurement”. In 2017, Karin and her colleague dr. Bert Bakker co-organizes a preconference for the Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap themed Moving beyond self-report: Measuring arousal, emotional, and cognitive responses to media through physiological measures.
In addition to these activities, Karin is an active reviewer for both ICA and NeFCA, as well as for several journals such as Media Psychology, Journal of Children and Media, Journal of Media Psychology, Pediatrics, and Journal of Communication. She was social media editor of the Journal of Children and Media until May 2020. Karin is currently a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Children and Media and Media Psychology.
When she’s not busy teaching or research, Karin likes to travel, read books, go to the cinema, visit a museum, take photos, and eat cake (preferably as much as possible). She is the proud mother of a son and twin girls.