René Boomkens conducts research in the field of contemporary urban and popular culture. He has published articles and books on pop music, urban development, urban culture, globalisation and cultural politics, including Een Drempelwereld: Moderne ervaring en stedelijke openbaarheid [Thresholds: Modern Experience and Urban Public Sphere] (1998), De nieuwe wanorde: Globalisering en het einde van de maakbare samenleving [The New Chaos: Globalisation and the End of the Constructible Society] (2006) and Erfenissen van de Verlichting: Basisboek cultuurfilosofie [Heritage from the Enlightenment: A Cultural Philosophy Primer] (2011). His current research focuses on the future of cultural politics in the Netherlands, the changing role of artists and art in the public arena, as well as the significance of day-to-day culture.
Boomkens has been professor of Social and Cultural Philosophy at Groningen University since 1999, and was professor by special appointment of Popular Music at the UvA from 1998 until 2002. He has also served as visiting professor at Jacobs University in Bremen and the University of Antwerp. Boomkens fulfils numerous other academic and social positions: as an Advisory Board member at the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA), a guest lecturer at the Netherlands School for Public Administration (NSOB) in the Hague, and a member of the steering committee for ‘Obtaining a Doctorate in the Arts’, run by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Mondriaan Fund. He was a member of the Council for Culture from 2006 until 2012.