Niels van Doorn is an Assistant Professor of New Media and Digital Culture in the Department of Media Studies and the Principal Investigator of the ERC-funded Platform Labor research project (2018-2023). He holds PhD in Communication Science (2010) 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 Platform Labor research project, which investigates what has been variously called the "sharing", "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, the Platform Labor 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; labor; value and valuation; digital platforms; gig economy; future of work; precarity; inequality; citizenship; intimacy; race; gender; sexuality.
Grants, Fellowships and Awards
ERC Starting Grant (2018-2023), awarded by the European Research Council.
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 (2010-2012), 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).
Publications (international peer-reviewed)
Van Doorn, N. (2019) Civic Intimacies: Black Queer Improvisations on Citizenship. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Van Doorn, N. (2019) 'On the Conditions of Possibility for Worker Organizing in Platform-based Gig Economies', Notes From Below 7. Available: https://notesfrombelow.org/article/conditions-possibility-worker-organizing-platform
Van Doorn, N. (2018) 'The Parameters of Platform Capitalism' [Review of Nick Srnicek's Platform Capitalism], Krisis 37(1). Available: https://krisis.eu/the-parameters-of-platform-capitalism/
Van Doorn, N., & Velthuis, O. (2018) 'A good hustle: the moral economy of market competition in adult webcam modeling', Journal of Cultural Economy, 11(3): 177-192.
Van Doorn, N. (2017) 'Platform labor: on the gendered and racialized exploitation of low-income service work in the ‘on-demand’economy', Information, Communication & Society, 20(6): 898-914.
Van Doorn, N. (2016) ‘The Fabric of our Memories: Leather, Kinship, and Queer Material History’, Memory Studies 9(1): 85-98.
Van Doorn, N. (2015) ‘Forces of Faith: Endurance, Flourishing, and the Queer Religious Subject’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian & Gay Studies 21(4): 635-666.
Van Doorn, N. (2014) ‘The Neoliberal Subject of Value: Measuring Human Capital in Information Economies’, Cultural Politics 10(3): 354-375.
Van Doorn, N. (2013) ‘Treatment is Prevention: HIV, Emergency, and the Biopolitics of Viral Containment’, Cultural Studies 27(6): 901-932.
Van Doorn, N. (2013) ‘Architectures of The Good Life: Queer Assemblages and the Composition of Intimate Citizenship’, Environment and Planning D: Society & Space 31(1): 157-173.
Van Doorn, N. (2013) ‘Assembling the Affective Field: How Smartphone Technology Impacts Ethnographic Research Practice’, Qualitative Inquiry 19(5): 385-396.
Van Doorn, N. (2012) ‘Between Hope and Abandonment: Black Queer Collectivity and the Affective Labor of Biomedicalized HIV Prevention’, Culture, Health & Sexuality 14(7): 827-840.
Van Doorn, N. (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
Van Doorn, N. (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
Van Doorn, N. (2010) ‘The Ties That Bind: the Networked Performance of Gender, Sexuality, and Friendship on MySpace’, New Media & Society 12(4): 583-602
Van Doorn, N., 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]
Van Doorn, N. 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
Van Doorn, N., 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