New Academic Staff in the Media & Communication Department as of September/ October 2020

The Department of Media & Communication will be welcoming new colleagues starting in September and/ or October.

The newly appointed academics will join either the staff of the International Bachelor Communication and Media and Master Media Studies as lecturers or will start a PhD trajectory in the M&C department. We expect more new colleagues in Fall, more about them later!

Below are some short bios to briefly introduce students, staff, and other interested parties to these new lecturers and researchers in our department. 

  • Portrait of lecturer

    Milena Eickhoff

    Milena Eickhoff is a lecturer at the Media and Communication department of Erasmus University Rotterdam for the IBCom programme. She is involved in teaching, among other things, Quantitative Methods in Media & Communication, Academic Skills, Introduction to Statistical Analysis and Media Systems in Comparative Perspective.

    Overall, she is interested in quantitative research and the role of the media in public debates such as climate change. Milena obtained a Master’s degree in Media & Creative Industries at Erasmus University that was awarded cum laude. Milena wrote her Master Thesis about Climate Change Scepticism in the German Online News. She also participated in the Master Honours Programme The Consortium where she created a magazine about the future of the Water, Food and Energy industries with fellow students and in collaboration with the government of South-Holland. Milena further holds a bachelor’s degree in European Management.  

  • Portrait of lecturer

    Zhen Ye

    Zhen Ye is a PhD candidate in the Department of Media & Communication at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication.

    Under the supervision of Prof. dr. Susanne Janssen and dr. Tonny Krijnen, Zhen studies the live-streaming industry in China. Her research particularly focuses on (gendered) live-streaming production and labour under the framework of platformization.

    After obtaining her Bachelor in Japanese Language and Literature from Beijing Foreign Studies University (2017), Zhen obtained a Master degree in Media & Communication at Goldsmiths, University of London (2018). Followed by this MA, she enrolled in the Research Master of Media Studies at University of Amsterdam from 2018 to 2020, where she also worked as a teaching assistant (BA course Digital Objects and Research Practices) and as a student assistant (research project DATACTIVE).

    Zhen's research interests include platform studies (digital labour), gender studies, and popular culture.

  • Portrait of lecturer

    Chiara Modugno

    Chiara Modugno is a lecturer at the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research is focused on gender, diversity and media representation in popular culture, especially within the realm of television. Her interest lays in how television production, reproduction and consumption influence the way minorities are represented on screen.

    She holds a bachelor degree from LUISS University in Rome and a Research Master degree from Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Outside of academia, she is a Vinyasa yoga teacher!


    Modugno, C. & Krijnen, T. (2020) Through the Black Mirror. Discourses on gender and technology in popular culture. Catalan Journal of Communication & Cultural Studies, 12(1), pp. 3-19

    Modugno, C. (2019). ‘Rest in Peach’. The relevance of emojis in the gender manoeuvring of language. In P. Guerra & T. P. Alberto (eds.), KISMIF. An approach to underground music scenes (vol.4) (p. 282-289). Porto: University of Porto.

    Modugno, C. (2018). Book Review: Gender in the Post-Fordist urban: The gender revolution in planning and public policy. Cultural Sociology, 12(4), 562-564.

  • Portrait of lecturer

    Kaixin Cheng

    Kaixin Cheng is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus Research Center for Media, Communication & Culture. Supervised by promotors prof. dr. Susanne Janssen and dr. Marc Verboord, his research project concerns immersive journalism, news culture and innovation. Specifically, Cheng’s PhD studies the development and audience reception of 360-degree news video and VR news.

    Cheng holds a BA in Russian Studies (Shanghai International Studies University, China) and a MA in Global Journalism (The University of Sheffield, UK). He studied at Moscow City Pedagogical University in Russia as an exchange undergraduate student in 2017-2018. Besides journalism audience and innovation, his research interest also includes media language and geopolitical journalism. To the advantage of his PhD project, Cheng has relevant work and apprentice experience in the news industry, including the BBC and China’s leading Xinhua News Agency.

  • Portrait of lecturer

    Xiaoyu Zhang

    Xiaoyu Zhang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Media & Communication at Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication.

    With Prof. dr. Jeroen Jansz and Dr. Delia Dumitrica respectively being her promoter and daily promoter, Xiaoyu studies cyber nationalism in the Chinese context. The research program throughout her PhD study is entitled “The Nationalism of Youth Netizens in Mainland China: Identities, Discourse, Mobilization, and Production”.

    Before coming to Erasmus University Rotterdam, she got her bachelor degree with a major in Broadcasting and Television from Anhui University (AHU, China) in 2017, followed by a research master degree with a major in philosophy from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2020.

    Xiaoyu’s research interest includes cyber culture, social media and online civic engagement. She is particularly interested in how citizens engage in public affairs through new media in the Chinese context.

  • Portrait of lecturer

    Massimo Fattori, LL.M

    Massimo is a PhD candidate in Urban Security Processes at the Department of Media and Communication of Erasmus School of History, Communication and Culture. His research is part of the European ICARUS project, here supervised by Prof. Dr. Daniel Trottier.

    Massimo received a Bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at LUISS University in Rome in 2018. His Bachelor’s thesis explored the debated position of the Holy See within the spectrum of international law. Specifically, the focus of the research verted upon the role of the Holy See within the UN system, its powers and its highly discussed privileges.


    Later in 2019, Massimo received a Master’s degree in International Law at Tilburg University. He acquired a double specialization in two legal strands covering Human Rights Law and International Relations. With a spotlight on the prohibition of torture, his final Master’s thesis examined the validity and interpretation of peremptory norms of the international legal order.


    Massimo has previously worked as a legal adviser at an international law firm in the Netherlands, gaining experience in legal research and consultancy.