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Research interests

Susanne Janssen is Full Professor of Sociology of Media and Culture, Research Director of the Department of Media and Communication, and Academic Director of the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC) at Erasmus University Rotterdam. In 2021, she was appointed a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Her research and teaching activities lie in the fields of cultural sociology, media and communications research, and the sociology of the arts and literature. Susanne Janssen has published widely on the role of cultural mediators (e.g., critics, journalists, curators, editors, marketers) in the creation, dissemination and valuation of literature, music and other art forms; changes, continuities and cross-national differences in the classification of culture; the social and cultural significance of popular music heritage; and processes, structures and impacts of cultural globalization. Her current research projects focus on the consequences of increased diversity and digitalization for agents, institutions, structures, processes and practices in the fields of media, culture, education, and politics.

Susanne Janssen currently leads a large-scale Horizon 2020 research project, entitled INVENT: European Inventory of Societal Values of Culture as a Basis for Inclusive Cultural Policies in the Globalizing World. This EU funded international collaborative project runs from 2020-2024 and involves leading scholars and research institutions based in nine different countries. Previously, Janssen was awarded the prestigious VICI grant (2003) for her Cultural Classification Systems in Transition project from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). From 2010 to 2014, she directed another large-scale international collaborative research project: Popular Music Heritage, Cultural Memory and Cultural Identity which was funded as part of the HERA Joint Research Programme Cultural Dynamics: Inheritance and Identity. Janssen also received several other major project grants, including an Erasmus Research Excellence grant (REI), four NWO PhD in the Humanities grants, a HERA Knowledge Exchange grant, and funding from the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens. In addition, she is part of the research team of the NWO funded Creative Industries-Smart Culture project on Sustainable Live Music Ecologies (POPLIVE). In the past twelve years, eighteen PhD candidates have successfully completed their PhD thesis under Janssen’s supervision. Currently, she (co-)supervises fourteen PhD projects (cf. her full CV).

Susanne Janssen is the founding chair of the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam, which she headed from its inception in 2008 until 2020. She is the founding co-director of the MA in Media Studies and the research master in the Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts (top-rated programme 2014, 2016 and 2017) and the founding Dean of the International Bachelor in Communication and Media (IBCoM) which was awarded the NVAO Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation and the European Certificate for Quality in Programme Internationalisation (2014; re-accredited in 2019).  

She is also the founding academic director of ERMeCC, the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (2008). ERMeCC is currently home to more than fifty researchers and over fifty PhD students from a variety of international and disciplinary backgrounds, and has grown into one of the largest research groups focusing on the social dimensions of media, culture and the arts worldwide. 

Susanne Janssen performed manifold executive and advisory services in academia and the cultural sector, including serving as member of the national Council for Culture in the Netherlands, chair-elect of the European Research Network for the Sociology of the Arts (ESA), member founding committee of the Netherlands-Flemish Communication Association (NEFCA), and member of the NWO Cultural Dynamics programme. From 2010-2012, Janssen was co-editor-in-chief of Poetics, the premier journal for empirical research on culture, media and the arts and a leading journal in sociology, for which she presently  serves as an advisory editor. Current memberships include the academic executive board of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus (LDE) Centre for the Governance of Migration and Diversity, the  National Panel for Quality and Relevance in the Humanities, the international editorial advisory boards of Sociologie de l’Art and the International Journal of Music Business Research, and the advisory boards of the International Association for Popular Music (IASPM) and the national Research School for Media Studies (RMeS). Janssen was appointed an Honorary Professor (2010-2016) in the Centre for Cultural Research at Griffith University, Australia, a member of the Royal Dutch Society of Sciences and Humanities (KHMW) in 2015, and a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in 2021.

View Susanne Janssen's full CV.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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