Visiting Fellows/Students


T.L. Taylor
Visiting Fellow

T.L. Taylor is associate professor in the Center for Computer Games Research at the IT University of Copenhagen. She has been working in the field of internet and multi-user studies for over fifteen years and has published on topics such as play and experience in online worlds, values in design, intellectual property, co-creative practices, game software modification, play as assemblage, avatars and online embodiment, gender and gaming, pervasive gaming, and e-sports. Her book Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture (MIT Press, 2006) uses her multi-year ethnography of EverQuest to explore issues related to massively multiplayer spaces. She is currently at work on a book about professional computer gaming (MIT Press, forthcoming) and a co-authored volume on ethnography and virtual worlds (Princeton University Press, forthcoming).

T.L. Taylor visits the VKS from 8 until 21 November 2010.

Björn Hammarfelt
Visiting Student

Björn Hammarfelt (1980) is a PhD student at the department of ALM (Archives, Libraries & Museums) at Uppsala University, Sweden. His PhD project ‘Following the footnotes: A citation analysis of literature studies’ investigates the problem area of bibliometrics and the humanities. The project has a twofold aim: first, to study if and how bibliometric methods can be used on the humanities and second, to investigate what bibliometric methods – and the results they bring – say about knowledge structures within the humanities. His research focus incorporates fields as scholarly communication, bibliometrics, visualization of knowledge, and social studies of science. During his four month stay – from November 2010 until February 2011 – he will mainly focus on two projects: a paper on bibliometrics and the humanities with the provisional title: ‘The challenge of the humanities’ and a bibliometric study of the Swedish literature journal TFL.

Esteban Romero-Frías
Visiting Fellow

Esteban Romero-Frías (1979) studied business administration in the University of Granada (Spain; In October 2006, he was appointed as an associate lecturer at the Accounting and Finance department of the University of Granada. In May 2010, he finished his PhD research in this department under the supervision of Liwen Vaughan and Lázaro Rodríguez. In his PhD, he applied Webometric methods to the study of business. He has joined the VKS from 15 September 2010 for a 3 month period. His research interests include Webometric analysis of companies and other entities and the application of Web 2.0 to management and education on business. An English CV can be found at

Richard P. Smiraglia
Visiting Fellow

Richard P. Smiraglia is Professor of Knowledge Organization at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, Brookville NY. He has spent two decades investigating the meaning of “a work” in bibliographical contexts, and has discovered the attendant phenomenon of instantiation, which holds among all information objects. His monograph, The Nature of ‘A Work’ (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2001), was the first monograph-length treatment of the topic of works and their role in knowledge organization, and was followed soon by the 2002 anthology Works as Entities for Information Retrieval (Haworth Press), in which an international panel of authors focus on domain-specific research about works and the problems inherent in their representation for information storage and retrieval. His most recent journal publication is “A meta-analysis of instantiation as a phenomenon of information objects” in Culture del testo e del documento anno 9 n.25 (April 2008). He is preparing a textbook on the domain of knowledge organization in which he seeks to survey domain-distinct approaches to basic concepts such as taxonomy, typology, and ontology. He is also working with phenomenology (specifically with the concept of noesis) to explain variation in social tagging, and with cultural heritage ontology for data-mining. He is editor-in-chief of the quarterly journal Knowledge Organization, published by Ergon-Verlag of Würzburg.

Richard is a frequent visitor of the VKS in 2010.

Stefan Dormans
Visiting Fellow


Stefan Dormans (1976) studied Human Geography at the Radboud University Nijmegen. In the period 2001-2007, he was both a junior lecturer and a PhD-student in urban and narrative geographies at the Human Geography department of the Radboud University Nijmegen. His dissertation entailed a narrative analysis of urban tales from two medium-sized Dutch cities. From 2008 until 2010, Stefan worked as a postdoc researcher on academic collaboration and the use of virtual research environments at the Virtual Knowledge Studio. In September 2009, Stefan was appointed as an Associate Professor at the Planning department of the Radboud University Nijmegen. His research interests are in qualitative methodologies, narrative and discursive approaches, urban studies and academic collaboration.

Holger Strassheim
Visiting Fellow

Holger Strassheim is a research fellow at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) at the department “Cultural sources of Newness“. For the summer term 2009, he also holds an assistant professor position at the Institute of Political Science at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany.

His current research focuses on new policy instruments such as benchmarking or peer reviewing. He investigates their impact on political expertise comparing The Netherlands and Germany. Currently, he finalizes his PhD thesis on “Network politics – public management collaborations in comparison”. His main research interests are: Interorganizational networks; New modes of governance; Europeanization of expertise and knowledge orders; Employment policy and comparative welfare research. Holger is a visiting fellow at the VKS in 2009-2010.

Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung
Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin
T: 0049-30-25491-228
F: 0049-30-25491.209

Nick Jankowski
Visiting Fellow

Nick JankowskiNicholas W. Jankowski is Associate Professor at the Department of Communication, University of Nijmegen. He has been involved in the investigation of community media and other small-scale communication facilities since the mid-1970s. His publications include: The People’s Voice: Local Radio and Television in Europe (with O. Prehn and J. Stappers, Libbey, 1992); The Contours of Multimedia (with L. Hanssen, Luton, 1996); Community Media in the Information Age (Hampton, 2002); and A Handbook of Qualitative Methodologies for Mass Communication Research (with K.B. Jensen, Routledge, 1991). He is preparing a methodology textbook on new media research with Martine van Selm (Sage, 2003). One of his current research interests involves the study of public discourse through Internet-based discussions. Jankowski is initiator and co-editor of the journal New Media & Society, and Associate Editor of Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research. He is founding board member of the European Institute of Communication and Culture (Euricom) and editorial board member of the journal Javnost-The Public.
Nick is visiting fellow with VKS since June 2006.


Postdoc Fellows

Christina Dunbar-Hester

Christina Dunbar-Hester joins the VKS as a 3-month Postdoc fellow from New York, where she is a Fellow in Technology and Activism and adjunct instructor in Media, Culture & Communication at New York University. She earned her Ph.D. in Science & Technology Studies in 2008 from Cornell University. Her dissertation explored the efforts of a contemporary U.S.-based group of activists who, even while steeped in the emancipatory rhetoric of the Internet, have attempted to expand citizens’ access to an older, low-tech, and much more local communication technology—radio. Through this ethnographic accounting of low-power FM activism, she demonstrates that the interplay of old and new media can tell us more about digital media than looking at new media in isolation.

During Dr. Dunbar-Hester’s fellowship term at the VKS, she will focus on research methodology for studying technological activism spanning online and offline interaction, for a new ethnographic project about gender advocacy in open source software development. She will also develop an article based on her dissertation research, which examines the construction of technical identity around activist work. Her publications have appeared in Social Studies of Science, New Media & Society, Science, Technology & Human Values, and the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. Her research interests include: media, technology, and activism; users and technical (sub)cultures; gender and technology; ethnography; sociology of work/professions; radical media and incarceration.

Niels van Doorn

Niels van DoornOver the next three months, Niels van Doorn will be visiting the VKS as a postdoctoral research fellow. Some of you might already know Niels from his past affiliation with the VKS in 2006, when he was involved in the Dynamics of Digitization project as a research assistant. Niels has recently completed his dissertation at the Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR), which investigates how gender, sexuality and embodiment are performed on internet platforms that feature user-generated content. The dissertation pays particular attention to the way that digital spaces and artifacts are incorporated into these performances, transgressing boundaries between digital and physical space, representation and performance, and private and public interactions, among others.

During his time at the VKS in Fall 2009, Niels will be working on a proposal for a research project, which will be submitted to the NWO as part of a Rubicon Scholarship application. The intended research project will further focus on the intersections between digital and physical space, by examining how people exercise their sexual citizenship through the creation of affective networks and spaces that are intertwined with new media technologies. Next to this proposal he will also be working on a journal article based on the concluding chapter of his dissertation.

Alkim Almila Akdag Salah

Almila Akdag SalahAlkim Almila Akdag Salah has received her BS in industrial design and MA in art history from Istanbul Technical University. Her master thesis was on semiotic analysis of perfume bottles, which exemplify how industrial objects carry artistic and historical meaning through an ever-developing symbolic language. She continued her doctoral studies at the Art History Department of UCLA, under the supervision of Prof. Donald Preziosi, focusing on technoscience art and its place in the art historical canon. She obtained her PhD degree in 2008.

During her PhD at UCLA, she worked two years as an ITC (Instructional Technology Consultant) at the Center for Digital Humanities. She was one of the first Digital Humanities Fellows of UCLA. Her focus as a fellow was on citation networks, through which she aimed to map out the network of three semi-related discipline’s (cognitive science, visual culture and art history) interaction with each other. For her Postdoc fellowship at VKS in Spring 2009, she follows up on her digital humanities project, but this time trying to locate a single journal’s place in the interdisciplinary arena by using Bibliometrics.

Currently, she lives in Amsterdam, and teaches a course on Information Visualization at Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU).

Smiljana Antonijevic

Smiljana AntonijevicSmiljana Antonijevic (PhD, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) investigates social aspects of information and communication technologies, focusing on nonverbal communication in virtual environments, virtual ethnography, and virtual communities. Smiljana is a co-editor of Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs (University of Minnesota, 2004); her work appears in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes such as The Sage Handbook of Rhetoric (2008), Information, Communication, and Society (2008), The American Behavioral Scientist (2008), Internet Research Annual: Selected Papers from the Association of Internet Researchers Conferences (2004), First Monday (2002). During her VKS fellowship in Fall 2008, Smiljana will work on the following two projects: Techniques of the Virtual Body and Virtual Ethnography in Multiuser, 3D Virtual Environments.

Kyriaki Papageorgiou

Kyriaki Papageorgiou Dr Kyriaki Papageorgiou is a recent graduate from the Cultural Anthropology Programme of the University of California, Irvine, and has pursued extensive fieldwork in Cairo. Her work addresses the intersection of modernity with tradition, and the changing boundaries between science and religion. During her fellowship, Kyriaki will work on the topic of ‘Time, Space, Cyberspace and Beyond: towards a sense of the field’ and further analyze the mediated knowledge practices that figure in her fieldwork. She has joined us from February 2008, for a period of three months.

Sebastian Olma

Sebastian OlmaSebastian studied Political Science, Sociology and Philosophy at Leipzig, Rutgers and Binghamton. He wrote a Ph.D.thesis on organisational mutations in contemporary capitalism (Vital Organising: Capitalism’s Ontological Turn and the Role of Management Consulting) at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College, London. A regular contributor to Theory, Culture & Society as well as Mute Magazine, he has published on Vitalism, Autonomist Marxism, and questions of temporality and creativity in contemporary capitalism. He has continued on these themes while he was at the VKS in fall 2007.

Former Visiting Fellows

Annamaria Carusi
Visiting Fellow

Annamaria Carusi is Senior Research Associate at the Oxford e-Research Centre.
Annamaria  studies social and philosophical aspects of computational technologies for research in science, social science and humanities. Her recent work has focused on ethics, trust and social epistemology as applied to digital data, data sharing and re-use, computational visualisations and imaging, distributed access to medical images, and Web2.0 technologies for collaborative work. Prior to this, Annamaria conducted research on e-learning, textual studies and theory of interpretation, with specific focus on post-colonialism.  She holds a Masters in Comparative Literature, and a PhD in Philosophy, and has lectured extensively in a wide range of topics:  computers and society, general research skills for science and engineering students (including ethics and the responsible conducts of science),  philosophy and critical theory.  

 Annamaria Carusi visited the VKS from 2 until 19 October 2010.

Diana Lucio-Arias

Diana Lucio-Arias studied Economics in the Externado University in Colombia and later did her Master in Information Science and Documentation in the Carlos III University in Spain. She has joined the VKS from 15 March 2010 for a 3 month period to collaborate with the Knowledge Space Lab team specially on a project on the history of mathematical models to study science. Diana has just finished her PhD research in the Communication Science Department of the University of Amsterdam where she worked under the supervision of Loet Leydesdorff. In her dissertation she provides heuristics to model and measure the dynamics of scientific disciplines and research topics using a literary representation of science; the public defense will be held on the 25th of June. Diana will join the Colombian Observatory of Science and Technology ( as a research associate in early august.

Meghan Dougherty

Meghan DoughertyMeghan Dougherty earned her PhD in Communication at the University of Washington. She is an adjunct faculty member in Information Design & Technology at SunyIT where she teaches graduate courses on communication/information technology, and undergraduate research writing. Meghan’s research interests are in preservation of digital cultural heritage; she focuses on the reciprocal relationship between information/communication technologies and knowledge production.

Her current work is on interfaces for engaging a broad range of knowledge brokers in the preservation and interpretation of Web culture. As a research assistant for, she develops new tools and techniques for preserving and studying Web artifacts. She is a coauthor of the digital installation of Web Campaigning (MIT Press, 2006) and of several chapters of The Internet and National Elections (Routledge, 2007), and coproducer of several Web archives. She is currently working on the 911@10 Web archive project.

During her stay at VKS, Meghan will work with Charles van den Heuvel and Sally Wyatt to explore Web archiving as a scholarly method.

Meghan worked with VKS for 3 months in Fall 2008.

Richard P. Smiraglia

Richard P. SmiragliaRichard P. Smiraglia is Professor of Knowledge Organization at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, Brookville NY. He has spent two decades investigating the meaning of “a work” in bibliographical contexts, and has discovered the attendant phenomenon of instantiation, which holds among all information objects. His monograph, The Nature of ‘A Work’ (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2001), was the first monograph-length treatment of the topic of works and their role in knowledge organization, and was followed soon by the 2002 anthology Works as Entities for Information Retrieval (Haworth Press), in which an international panel of authors focus on domain-specific research about works and the problems inherent in their representation for information storage and retrieval. His most recent journal publication is “A meta-analysis of instantiation as a phenomenon of information objects” in Culture del testo e del documento anno 9 n.25 (April 2008). He is preparing a textbook on the domain of knowledge organization in which he seeks to survey domain-distinct approaches to basic concepts such as taxonomy, typology, and ontology. He is also working with phenomenology (specifically with the concept of noesis) to explain variation in social tagging, and with cultural heritage ontology for data-mining. He is editor-in-chief of the quarterly journal Knowledge Organization, published by Ergon-Verlag of Würzburg.

Richard visited VKS in September 2008

Kalpana Shankar

Kalpana ShankarKalpana Shankar is an Assistant Professor in the School of Informatics and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her research projects focus on the uses of documents and data (digital and otherwise) in science and emergent work practices in science and technology. She is also interested in research ethics and methodologies for understanding these topics from social science perspectives.

She is also a co-Principal Investigator on ETHOS, a 3 year project sponsored by the National Science Foundation of the United States, to study the ethical and social dimensions of home-based computing for the elderly.

Her website is:

Kalpana was a VKS visitor during May and June 2008.

Greg Elmer

Greg ElmerGreg Elmer is Bell Globemedia Research Chair & Director of the Infoscape Research Lab, Ryerson Univerity, Toronto. Greg is author and co-editor of three books, including Profiling Machines: Mapping the Personal Information Economy (MIT Press). Greg’s most recent articles have appeared in the journals Scan, Cultural Studies, Convergence, and The Communication Review. He is principal investigator of two funded projects, the 3 year “Code Politics” Project, and the 2 year international “Migrating Media Initiative” []. Greg is also co-editor of the journal Space and Culture, and is on the editorial boards of The Information Society, New Media and Society, and Topia.

Greg visited VKS early 2007.

Beate Elvebakk

Beate ElvebakkBeate Elvebakk is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo. She has a MA in philosophy, and a Ph. D in science and technology studies. Her post.doc project deals with the digitization of scholarly journals, with a special focus on differences between disciplines. Given that various disciplines have used the same medium – paper journals – for their communication, it might appear as though they are all doing the “same thing”. In fact, however, publications have very different meanings and functions in different academic disciplines.
The project seeks to study:

a) what these differences are

b) whether/how these differences become apparent or are reflected in the digitization process

c) whether the digitization process changes the nature of the publication.

Beate stayed a few months with VKS in Fall 2006.

Former visiting students

Sara Kjellberg

Sara KjellbergSara Kjellberg is a PhD student at the Department of Cultural Sciences, Lund University, Sweden. Her background is in Library and Information Science and she worked as a librarian for several years especially with developing digital library services. In her PhD thesis she will investigate how the increased access to digital scholarly information influences scholarly communication practice. The main interest is researchers use of the blog as a tool and how they argue for the use of blogs with respect to the two possible target groups peers/public. The aim is to create a deeper understanding of how blogs as a sociotechnical system is used in scholarly communication practice. Can for example the blog act as mediator of the norms and values and creation of trust in the scholarly communication practice, and thereby say something further about the interaction between technology and people? The theoretical approach will draw on differences between disciplines and the concept epistemic culture. Sara will stay for four months at VKS in spring 2009, and will during this time be working with an interview study where she will interview blogging researchers in Holland. The work with the empirical material from this study will make it possible to discuss it with the members of the institute and to get new perspectives regarding both methodological and theoretical issues.

More information can be found on Sara’s blog:

Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner

Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner Wolfgang Kaltenbrunner studied Comparative Literature in Vienna and Brussels. He currently holds the HSP Huygens scholarship and is enrolled in the research master’s programme ‘Cultures of Arts, Science And Technology’ at Maastricht University. He has published peer-reviewed papers on African literature and on science as a literary motif. He is especially interested in the relation between text, epistemology, and technology.

During his four month stay at the VKS in Fall 2008, Wolfgang will investigate the controversy around the recent digitization of the BNTL (Bibliografie van de Nederlandse Taal- en Literatuurwetenschap). Together with Paul Wouters, he will aim to understand how this technological innovation was perceived to affect academic knowledge production in Dutch text scholarship, and how the digital BNTL finally took shape in a social dynamic of negotiation.

Adolfo Estalella

adolfo estalellaAdolfo Estalella, a Ph. D. candidate working at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya will visit the VKS four months in Spring 2008. His current PhD work is an ethnography of blogging practices among a group of Spanish blogs and bloggers. The theoretical approach for this research is the Actor-Network Theory.

The aim of his visit is to discuss and obtain feedback from the VKS members in relation to two issues: the empirical data and the methodological approach developed in his fieldwork. Adolfo will work in collaboration with Anne Beaulieu in three different issues:

(i) discussing some aspects of the analytical model for analyzing the field data of his ethnography.

(ii) working out some issues of his methodological approach to the fieldwork, in particular the notion of co-presence and the use of a ‘field blog’ as a strategy to sustain relationships with other bloggers.

(iii) discussing some substantive topics of his field data, in particular those relates to hyperlinking practices among bloggers.

Adolfo will also be sharing with the VKS members his expertise on multi-methods fieldwork, and present on his experience of using a ‘field blog’ [] as an ethnographical strategy to establish rapport and build relationships with informants.

Dina Friis

dina-friisDina Friis, visiting student to the VKS from December 2007 until July 2008, obtained her Master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Aarhus on 26 August 2008. As part of the requirements for her degree, she submitted a dissertation entitled ‘The Dilemma of Standardisation versus Local Adaptation in Electronic Patient Records.’ This piece of work tackles arduous methodological and theoretical issues about the study of complex technological objects in-the-making, such as software and infrastructures. It will not come as a surprise to those who heard and discussed with Dina during her stay that she obtained the highest possible grade for this piece of research. She has started a PhD project on ‘user-driven innovation in Virtual Worlds’ at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.

In her PhD project she will contemplate on Viral Marketing, by questioning the interests of the users, normally avoiding commercials using spam filters pop-up and add blockers, as these at the same time spreads commercials and brands in a virus like way by forwarding them to their whole network of connections.

Tove Faber Frandsen

tove frandsenTove Faber Frandsen is a PhD student at the Royal School of Library and Information Science in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her project deals with open access and research evaluation. The key issue is to investigate if traditional sources for research evaluation can be supplemented and thereby enhanced by exploiting some of the new possibilities that have emerged with the increased use of open access repositories and archives. A vast amount of information is available and using this may enhance the evaluation process. These repositories could potentially contain far more material than the citation indexes that only contain journal literature. This could be particularly interesting to investigate in relation to the humanities and social sciences that traditionally publish a smaller share of their research output in journals. It is well known that especially the publications from the humanities but also to some extent the social sciences are not covered sufficiently in the citation indexes to perform acceptable evaluations.

During the stay at VKS in the first months of 2008 Tove will work on the data material for the thesis and get broader perspectives on the issues addressed in the thesis.


Johannes von Engelhardt

johannes-von-engelhardtJohannes currently works as a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam. He holds a BA in Communication Science and a Research Master in the Social Sciences (both cum laude). Before moving to the Netherlands from his home town in Bavaria, South Germany in 2003, Johannes had sporadically been freelancing in the field of new media production. At the moment, his main teaching and research interests include the role of media in conflict and post-conflict settings, statistics and critical quantitative methodology, and research on/about the Internet. During his 10 weeks stay at the VKS (two days per week) in early Spring 2007, Johannes mostly looked into social scientific approaches to the study of hyperlinks on the world wide web. With his work, Johannes contributed to a workshop on Internet methodology at the Open University of Catalonia (Barcelona) and to developing and planning further VKS research projects within this field.

Please find more information in his internship report.

Katrina Boulding

staff photoKatrina Boulding received her Masters (cum laude) of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Amsterdam in September 2005 (toespraak). Her research interests include exploring how images and the technology of the Internet influence cross-cultural research and communication in science. With guidance from Anne Beaulieu, she wrote her thesis “Picturing the Pieces, the Body in Images on the World Wide Web”, a study of three anatomy Web sites for teenagers, examining how the structure of images and the technology of the Web mediate knowledge of the body.

She graduated cum laude from Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, with a B.A. in geology. Prior to her Masters in STS, she spent several years as a Senior Science Educator at The Bakken Library and Museum of Electricity in Life in Minneapolis, Minnesota, exploring interests in science education, exhibit design, and invention processes. She will begin a PhD in the Science Studies Programme of the Communication Department at UCSD in Fall 2006.

Elena Simakova

staff photoElena Simakova is pursuing her DPhil in Management Studies degree within the Science and Technology Studies doctoral programme at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford ( Her current interests concern the development of STS approaches to marketing.

With Anne Beaulieu, Nerdi, she’s been looking at the function of web-based databases as interface between science and the “public” as a part of “The Public Face of Databases” project. Elena holds a degree in biophysics, has several years of professional experience in public relations and received her MSc in “Science, Culture and Communication” from the University of Bath, UK.

For futher details have a look at her website or contact her by e-mail: or phone:+44 1865 28 89 65