Niels van Doorn is Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture in the Department of Media Studies (Faculty of the Humanities) at the University of Amsterdam. He is also a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS), Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science (KNAW). He holds an MSc and PhD in Communication Science from the University of Amsterdam.
His research is guided by two main questions: how do people sustain themselves and each other in precarious circumstances?; and how does the notion of value come into being at the intersection of political and moral economies? These questions converge in his current research project, which investigates what has been variously called the "sharing", "collaborative" "on-demand", or "gig" economy. Digital platforms like Uber and Airbnb are transforming how people work, create and share value, and sustain themselves in their everyday lives. As such, platforms are becoming increasingly ubiquitous as new institutional actors that redraw relations between civil society, the market, and the state. Yet, as many scholars have shown, such relations have historically been shaped by pervasive gender, class, and racial subordination. It is therefore crucial to ask to what extent platforms, as new sites of capital accumulation, governance, and norm-making, remediate existing inequalities and if/how they also generate new vulnerabilities or tools for empowerment. Accordingly, this research project aims to determine how digital platforms are reconfiguring the gendered, classed, and racialized organization of labor and social reproduction in post-welfare societies.
Research keywords : (digital) ethnography; value and valuation; digital platforms; sharing/collaborative economy; future of work; precarity; inequality; citizenship; intimacy; race; gender; sexuality.
Teaching activities (selection)
Course Coordinator – “New Media Theories”, core course in the Graduate Program New Media and Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam (2012 - current)
Course Coordinator – “Platform Capitalism: Creating Value in the Digital Economy”, theme course in the Graduate Program New Media and Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam (2016 - current)
Course instructor – “Platform Life” module of the course “Digital Objects and Research Practices”, Media Studies Undergraduate Program, University of Amsterdam (2014-2016)
Co-Coordinator of the Research MA tutorial in Media Anthropology, Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (2014-2015)
Course Co-Coordinator – “The Value of the Social”, theme course in the Graduate Program New Media and Digital Culture, University of Amsterdam (2013-2014)
Grants, Fellowships and Awards
NIAS Fellowship (Sep-Dec 2016), awarded by the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS-KNAW).
ASCA Article of the Year Award 2014, awarded by the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (ASCA).
Rubicon Grant (2010), awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO).
Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2012), Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD (USA).
Postdoctoral Fellowship (Sep-Dec 2009), awarded by the Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences (VKS-KNAW).
Founding member of the Digital Emotions research group, ASCA.
Member of the New Political Ecologies research group, ASCA.
Member of the Gender and Labour in New Times International Research Network, led by Professor Lisa Adkins (University of Newcastle, Australia)
Publications (international peer-reviewed)
Doorn, N. van (2016) ‘The Fabric of our Memories: Leather, Kinship, and Queer Material History’, Memory Studies 9(1): 85-98.
Doorn, N. van (2015) ‘Forces of Faith: Endurance, Flourishing, and the Queer Religious Subject’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian & Gay Studies 21(4): 635-666.
Doorn, N. van (2014) ‘The Neoliberal Subject of Value: Measuring Human Capital in Information Economies’, Cultural Politics 10(3): 354-375.
Doorn, N. van (2013) ‘Treatment is Prevention: HIV, Emergency, and the Biopolitics of Viral Containment’, Cultural Studies 27(6): 901-932.
Doorn, N. van (2013) ‘Architectures of The Good Life: Queer Assemblages and the Composition of Intimate Citizenship’, Environment and Planning D: Society & Space 31(1): 157-173.
Doorn, N. van (2013) ‘Assembling the Affective Field: How Smartphone Technology Impacts Ethnographic Research Practice’, Qualitative Inquiry 19(5): 385-396.
Doorn, N. van (2012) ‘Between Hope and Abandonment: Black Queer Collectivity and the Affective Labor of Biomedicalized HIV Prevention’, Culture, Health & Sexuality 14(7): 827-840.
Doorn, N. van (2011) ‘Digital Spaces, Material Traces: How Matter Comes to Matter in Online Performances of Gender, Sexuality, and Embodiment’, Media, Culture & Society 33(4): 531-547
Doorn, N. van (2010) ‘Keeping It Real: User-Generated Pornography, Gender Reification, and Visual Pleasure’, Convergence: the International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 16(4): 411-430
Doorn, N. van (2010) ‘The Ties That Bind: the Networked Performance of Gender, Sexuality, and Friendship on MySpace’, New Media & Society 12(4): 583-602
Doorn, N. van, S. Wyatt, and L. van Zoonen (2008) ‘A Body of Text: Revisiting Textual Performances of Gender and Sexuality on the Internet’, Feminist Media Studies 8(4): 357-374.
[Reprinted in: M.C. Kearny (ed.) (2011) The Gender and Media Reader. London: Routledge]
Doorn, N. van and L. van Zoonen (2008) ‘Theorizing Gender and the Internet: Past, Present, and Future’, in A. Chadwick and P.N. Howard (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Internet Politics, pp. 261-274. London: Routledge
Doorn, N. van, L. van Zoonen, and S. Wyatt (2007) ‘Writing from Experience: Presentations of Gender Identity on Weblogs’, European Journal of Women’s Studies 14(2): 143-159