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Dr. K.J. (Kristina) Kolbe

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Cultural Sociology

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Postal address
  • Postbus 15508
    1001 NA Amsterdam
Contact details
Social media
  • Profile

    Dr Kristina Kolbe is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam, primarily working on the ‘Return of the Medici? The global rise of the private museum’ project. She previously was a Research Associate at the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science where she co-led the project ‘Arts, Inequality & Social Change’. Kristina moreover worked as a Teaching Associate at the LSE Sociology Department from which she also received her PhD in 2019. In her thesis, she explored the relationship between contemporary cultural production practices and wider discourses of citizenship, migration and belonging in Germany by critically investigating processes of ‘race’-making and elitism in diversity projects in Berlin’s classical music sector. Kristina holds a M.Sc. in ‘Culture and Society’ (LSE) and a B.A. in social sciences, media studies and musicology (Humboldt University Berlin) and was a Visiting Researcher at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales during her doctoral studies. Her work focuses on the reproduction of raced, classed and gendered inequalities and is located the intersection of cultural sociology, cultural studies, urban studies and postcolonial thought. Kristina has taught courses on classical and contemporary social theory, cultural studies, sociology of ‘race’, racism and empire, sociology of gender, and on the sociology of class.

  • Publications


    (In preparation) The Sound of Difference: race, class and the politics of 'diversity' in classical music. Manchester University Press.

    Peer-reviewed journal articles

    (2021) Producing (Musical) Difference: Power, Practices and Inequalities in Diversity Initiatives in Germany’s Classical Music Sector. Cultural Sociology

    (2021) Unequal entanglements: how arts practitioners reflect on the impact of intensifying economic inequality. Cultural Trends.

    (2021) Playing the system: ‘Race’-making and elitism in diversity projects in Germany’s classical music sector. Poetics.

    (2020) An Institutional Politics of Place: Rethinking the Critical Function of Art in Times of Growing Inequality. Cultural Sociology. [with Chris Upton-Hansen and Mike Savage]

    (2018) Figures of crisis: The delineation of un/deserving refugees in Germany. Sociology 52(3): 534-550. [with Billy Holzberg and Rafal Zaborowski]

    Book chapters

    (Forthcoming) (Un)settling institutional hegemony: Challenges of diversity strategies in the Western classical music sector. In: Bull, Anna; Nooshin, Laudan; Scharff, Cristina (eds.) The Classical Music Profession: Inequalities and Exclusions. Forthcoming at Oxford University Press.

    Book reviews

    (2021) Access, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Cultural Organizations Insights from the Careers of Executive Opera Managers of Color in the US. Journal of Arts Management, Law, & Society. In press.

    (2020) Book review of 'Entitled: Discriminating Tastes and the Expansion of the Arts' by Jennifer C. Lena, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press. Cultural Trends (29)4: 320-322.

    (In preparation) Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds. Ethnic and Racial Studies.

    Other writings

    (2019) The art world’s response to the challenge of inequality. LSE Research Online ( [with Chris Upton-Hansen, Mike Savage, Nicola Lacey, and Sarah Cant]




  • Ancillary activities
    No known ancillary activities