WE ARE Stephens

HELLO YOU, Stephens

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About JOIA

Creation is my main passion, whether it concerns academic critical essays or creative films and photography. I love to play with visuals and words to tell the story, not only of myself, but also of others who are not heard or overseen. I want to capture the ordinary in our everyday lives which secretly reveals much more than we expect it to.


As a born and bred Rotterdammer, I constantly feel the need to pull up my sleeves and get to work. My best performances are under pressure or when I need to pull myself back together and get going again. Yet, I am not robot, not yet at least, and therefore I do believe we need to be attentive to our surroundings and the people within it.

Academically, critical theory is my main fascination. My favorite philosophers are Marx, Gramsci and Foucault. Intriguing about their work is how they illuminate power relations that are at stake and how all recognize the complex structures of reality which do not only serve domination but also resistance in the form of agency.


As these philosopher have revealed, ideas can change the world, no matter how simplistic they are. Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to use my design heritage to translate abstract ideas into understandable notions for the general public. As an academic we are not only observers, we are also part of society and therefore have to act in it.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou


Adobe Spark Page

The Return of Post-Truth Politics

“You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

How appropriate is this observation, when you consider that post-truth is the concept that has been coined this year. It refers to the world in which emotional appeals are dominant and able to disdain facts as mere assertions. This kind of perspective has also been adopted by Geert Wilders who has photoshopped Alexander Pechtold in one of his tweets.

The age of precarity

What do you think of when you think of time? Is it making you stressed? Are you thinking of deadlines? Are you thinking about how fast it goes? Does it point out to you that life is insecure? In this video, I argue that the flexibilization of labour markets and ever more insecure times are a way of governing us. I adopt the Foucauldian lens which shows that we are often governed by ourselves and that this is expressed especially in our common sense language.

The Affective Governmentality of Pornography Discourses
Ladette to Lady

The AFFECTIVE governmentality of pornography discourses

In this research proposal, it is argued that scholarly discourses about porn and discourses in pornography itself have a major impact upon how women can consume pornography and develop their sexuality. This mainly happens through affective governmentalities, which guide our behaviour through negative emotions such as disgust or disgrace. In order to combat this overly negative conceptions, a reparative reading has to been adopted by feminists. Yet, what is till missing is the interpretations of readers themselves.

Ladette to lady: the evolution of neoliberal governmentality

This pilot study investigates the neoliberal discourses in Ladette to Lady, a stereotypical reality TV format. It has become clear that regulation, the self as project and social mobility are part of the grand narrative of Ladette to Lady. However, this does not mean that the discourses are all very consistent, instead many paradoxes are present. For instance, one the one hand social mobility is the main goal of the show, on the other hand the show illustrates that one never completely transforms. Find out more on the spark page!




I love to create imaginary worlds and tell stories visually. CUE Magazine was my pride and joy. Together with my partner Boy Vijlbrief, I was responsible for the first two issues. Now, we hope other talented Erasmus University College students set forth the tradition.

Erasmus Institute for Public Knowledge

Research Poster

Erasmus Institute for Public Knowledge coordinates discussion of and research on public issues. It brings together social scientists and humanities scholars and representatives of various publics and organizations to foster critical reflection on key issues of public concern.

Erasmus University College


Erasmus University College (EUC) is the international honour's college of Erasmus University, offering intense multi-disciplinary education. I am part of the marketing team and responsible for design and social media.

My most beautiful project is our Virtual tour, in which we aim to offer international students the EUC experience online.


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Creative Academic

Icons by Bogdan Rosu