E.A. (Liesbet) van Zoonen

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Liesbet van Zoonen is professor of Sociology and dean of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Professor Van Zoonen joined the department as professor in Popular Culture in March 2009. Previously, she worked at the University of Amsterdam, most recently as head of the Department of Communication, and till December 2015 she was professor in Media and Communication at Loughborough University (UK). She also held various positions at other universities in the world, most notably as professor II at Oslo University, and as visiting professor at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica) and the Hochschüle für Film und Fernsehen (Germany).

Her research covers a wide range of issues in the social sciences and humanities, but all concern the question whether and how popular culture is a relevant resource for civic understanding and social participation. Her work currently is focused on public and individual taboos and desires around ‘identity management’; research which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council of the UK.

Her book Entertaining the citizen: when politics and popular culture converge (Rowman and Littlefield, 2005) received positive reviews in leading international academic journals, and is considered an important innovation in political communication research. She is furthermore internationally known for her work on gender and media (Feminist Media Studies, Sage, 1994), which has been translated into Chinese, French, Portuguese, Serbian and Italian.

Visit her personal website for more information.

  • F. Hirzalla & E.A. van Zoonen (2016). “The Muslims are coming”; the enactment of morality in activist Muslim comedy. Humor. International Journal of Humor Research, 29 (2), 261-287.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2016). Privacy concerns in smart cities. Government Information Quarterly, 33 (3), 472-480. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.giq.2016.06.004[go to publisher's site]
  • M. Vosmeer, J. Jansz & E.A. van Zoonen (2015). I’d like to have a house like that: female players of The Sims. Academic Quarter. Journal for Humanistic Research, 11 (11), 129-142.
  • F. Müller, E.A. van Zoonen & F. Hirzalla (2014). Fitna, Fear-based Communication and the Moderating Role of Public Debate. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, 7 (1), 82-100.
  • E.A. van Zoonen, G. Turner & J. Harvey (2014). Confusion, control and comfort: premediating identity management in film and television. Information, Communication and Society (print), 7 (8), 986-100. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2013.870592
  • S. Wagemakers & E.A. van Zoonen (2014). Giving meaning to a RFID or cochlear implant: Technology as tool, the normal self, and the enhanced self. IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, 33 (2), 73-80.
  • S.R.J.M. van Bohemen, E.A. van Zoonen & S. Aupers (2014). Negotiating Gender through Fun and Play: Radical Femininity and Fantasy in the Red Hat Society. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 43 (5), 582-600. doi: 10.1177/0891241613505865
  • N.N. Hamid, G.M.M. Kuipers & E.A. van Zoonen (2014). Try a taste of Turkey: An analysis of Turkey's representation in British newspapers' travel sections. Journalism Studies, 15 (6), 743-758. doi: 10.1080/1461670X.2013.857479
  • N.N. Hamid (Turksoy), E.A. van Zoonen & G.M.M. Kuipers (2014). “I Dumped My Husband For a Turkish Toyboy”. Romance tourism and intersectionality in British tabloid newspapers. Feminist Media Studies, 14 (5), 806-821. doi: 10.1080/14680777.2013.792855
  • E.A. van Zoonen & G. Turner (2014). Exercising identity: agency and narrative in identity management. Kybernetes, 43 (6), 935-946. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/K-06-2013-0126
  • F. Hirzalla, E.A. van Zoonen & F. Müller (2013). How Funny Can Islam Controversies Be? Comedians Defending Their Faiths on YouTube. Television & New Media, 14 (1), 46-61. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1527476412453948
  • N.H. Hamid, E.A. van Zoonen & G.M.M. Kuipers (2013). I dumped my husband for a Turkish toyboy. Romance tourism and intersectionality in British Tabloid Newspapers. Feminist Media Studies, onlinefirs. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2013.792855
  • M. de Kreek & E.A. van Zoonen (2013). New directions in research about local memory websites. Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice, 22 (2), 113-130.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2013). From identity to identification: fixating the fragmented self. Media Culture & Society (print), 35 (1), 44-51.
  • S.R.J.M. van Bohemen, E.A. van Zoonen & S. Aupers (2013). Performing the "Fun" Self: How Members of the "Red Hat Society" Negotiate Cultural Discourses of Femininity and Ageing. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 16 (4), 424-439. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367549413484306
  • E.A. van Zoonen & D. Wring (2012). Trends in political television fiction in the UK: Themes, characters and narratives, 1965¿2009. Media Culture & Society (print), 34 (3), 263-279.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2012). I-pistemology: changing truth claims in popular and political culture. European Journal of Communication, 27 (3), 56-67.
  • E.A. van Zoonen, S. Coleman & A. Kuik (2012). The elephant trap: politicians performing in television comedy. In K. Brants & K Voltmer (Eds.), Political Communication in Postmodern Democracy: Challenging the Primacy of Politics (pp. 146-165). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan
  • M. Klijn, F. Müller & E.A. van Zoonen (2012). Disability, prejudice and reality TV: Challenging disablism through media representations. Telecommunications Journal of Australia, 62 (2), 1-13.
  • L. Duits & E.A. van Zoonen (2011). Coming to terms with sexualization. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 14 (5), 491-506. doi: 10.1177/1367549411412201
  • S. Mihelj, E.A. van Zoonen & F. Vis (2011). Cosmopolitan communication online: YouTube responses to the anti-Islam film Fitna. British Journal of Sociology, 62 (4), 613-632.
  • F. Hirzalla, E.A. van Zoonen & J.A. de Ridder (2011). Internet Use and Political Participation: Reflections on the Mobilization/Normalization Controversy. The Information Society, 27 (1), 1-15.
  • R. Vliegenthart & E.A. van Zoonen (2011). Power to the frame: bringing sociology back to frame analysis. European Journal of Communication, 26 (2), 101-115.
  • F. Vis, E.A. van Zoonen & S. Mihelj (2011). Women responding to the anti-Islam film Fitna: voices and acts of citizenship on YouTube. Feminist Review, 97, 110-129. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/fr.2010.29
  • E.A. van Zoonen & E. Harmer (2011). The visual challenge of celebrity politics. Female politicians in Grazia. Celebrity Studies, 2 (1), 94-96.
  • E.A. van Zoonen, F. Vis & S. Mihelj (2011). YouTube interactions between agonism, antagonism and dialogue: Video responses to the anti-Islam film Fitna. New Media & Society, 13 (8), 1283-1300.
  • F. Hirzalla & E.A. van Zoonen (2010). Beyond the Online/Offline Divide: How Youth¿s Online and Offline Civic Activities Converge . Social Science Computer Review, 29 (4), 481-498. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0894439310385538
  • E.A. van Zoonen, F. Vis & S. Mihelj (2010). Performing citizenship on YouTube: activism, satire and online debate around the anti-Islam video Fitna. Critical Discourse Studies, 7 (4), 249-262.
  • R. van Santen & E.A. van Zoonen (2010). The personal in political television biographies. Biography an interdisciplinary quarterly, 33 (1), 46-67. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/bio.0.0157
  • F. Hirzalla & E.A. van Zoonen (2010). Affective Political Marketing Online: Emotionality in the Youth Sites of Greenpeace and WWF. International Journal of Learning and Media, 2 (1), 39-54.
  • F. Hirzalla & E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Beyond online and offline participation: the meaning of internet for the social and political participation of the young. Tijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap (print), 37 (3), 215-237.
  • L. Duits & E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Against amnesia. Thirty + years of girls' studies. Feminist Media Studies, 9 (1), 111-125.
  • S. Coleman, A. Kuik & E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Laughter and liability. The politics of Dutch and British television satire. British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 11 (4), 652-665.
  • R. van Santen & E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Personalisering en popularisering in de politiek. Een conceptuele verkenning. Tijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap (print), 37 (2), 155-176.
  • M. de Kreek & E.A. van Zoonen (2016). Collective Digital Citizenship through Local Memory Websites. In A. McCosker, S. Vivienne & A. Johns (Eds.), Negotiation Digital Citizenship – Control, Contest and Culture (pp. 247-263). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield
  • E. Harmer & E.A. van Zoonen (2016). Representations of Women Voters in Newspaper Coverage of UK Elections 1918–2010. In H. Danielsen, K. Jegersted, L. Muriaas & B. Ytre-Arne (Eds.), Gendered citizenship and the politics of representation (pp. 161-185). London: Palgrave MacMillan
  • F. Hirzalla & E.A. van Zoonen (2015). Online voting applications. Foci, findings and future of an emerging research field. In S Coleman & D Freelon (Eds.), Handbook of Digital Politics (pp. 87-103). Northampton: Edward Elger
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2013). Reflections on a passport. In P Bennett & J McDougall (Eds.), Barthes¿ "Mythologies" Today. Readings of Contemporary Culture (pp. 80-86). London: Routledge
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2011). The rise and fall of online feminism. In M Christensen, A Jansson & C Christensen (Eds.), Online territories: Globilization, Mediated Practice and Social Space (pp. 132-147). New York: Peter Lang Publishers
  • E.A. van Zoonen & M. Pantti (2010). And the Winner Is ¿ Authenticity Work and Gender in Reality TV. In L Baruh & J.H Park (Eds.), Reel Politics: Reality Television as a Platform for Political Discourse (pp. 265-285). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Imagining the fan democracy. Selected reprint of a 2004 publication. In B. Gunter & Macchin D. (Eds.), Media Audiences. London: Sage Benchmarks in Communication
  • F. Muller, F. Hirzalla & E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Multicultureel televisie-entertainment. In M. Aarts & M. van der Haak (Eds.), Popvirus: Popularisering van cultuur en religie. Amsterdam: Aksant
  • L. Duits, F. Hirzalla & E.A. van Zoonen (2009). As the world Spunks: Does internet help to transform youth journalism? In P. Dahlgren & T Olsson (Eds.), Young citizens, ICTs and democracy. Gothenburg: Nordicom
  • E.A. van Zoonen, F. Hirzalla & F. Muller (2009). Fitna: de slag op YouTube. In M. Aarts & M. van der Haak (Eds.), Popvirus: Popularisering van cultuur en religie. Amsterdam: Aksant
  • E.A. van Zoonen & H. van der Meulen (2016). Meer controle door burgers over hun persoonsgegevens. Rapport voor Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken. : Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken
  • E.A. van Zoonen, F. Muller & M. Klijn (2009). Populaire cultuur als interventie in de beeldvorming over gehandicapten. Een onderzoek naar de effecten van populair televisie-entertainment voor de beeldvorming over gehandicapten in de Nederlandse samenleving. (Extern rapport). Bilthoven: Revalidatiefonds
  • R. van Santen & E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Popularization and personalization in Dutch politics. A conceptual exploration. Etmaal voor Communicatiewetenschap. Awarded top student paper: Nijmegen.
  • F. Vis, E.A. van Zoonen & S. Mihelj (2009). Gender, women and Islam in the Fitna-propoganda. CRESC conference Media reception and religion: London.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Gender, media and religion. ECREA Conference Media and the Spectacle.: Rotterdam.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Fitna, the video battle. Nordic Media and Religion Network: Stockholm.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2009, februari 8). Mediapaniek of Mediaproblemen? Zwolle, Docentendag van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Maatschappijleraren.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Participation and media production. Critical reflections on content creation [Bespreking van het boek Participation and media production. Critical reflections on content creation]. Journal of Communication, 59(3), E9-E12.
  • F. Vis, E.A. van Zoonen & S. Mihelj (2009). Gender, women and Islam in the Fitna-propoganda. ECREA Conference, Media and the Spectacle: Rotterdam.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2014, april 1). Survey 3.0. Sociologie Magazine
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2014, november 14). Een part-time baan voor Van Rijn. Het Parool, pp. 26.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2014, december 1). Sandpit science. Sociologie Magazine
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2014, juli 1). Data Delirium. Sociologie Magazine
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2009, september 4). Vrouwen en lokale politiek. Den Bosch, Werkprogramma Vrouwen en Lokale Politiek, Provincie Brabant.
  • E.A. van Zoonen (2009). Coming to terms with sexualization: feminist audience research. University of Hamburg Series on Gendered Media: Hamburg.
  • E.A. van Zoonen, F. Hirzalla & F. Muller (2009). Fitna; the video battle. Etmaal voor Communicatiewetenschap: Nijmegen.


Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building T15-41
Burg. Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam

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Call for submissions 2017 "Graduate School Award for PhD Excellence"
To further stimulate and reward PhD research, the Graduate Schools invites its PhD candidates and recent graduates to submit their work for the "Graduate School Award for PhD Excellence". The deadline for submission is December 22 (Friday) 2017.
Graduate School awarded €400.000 EU Erasmus+ grant to improve PhD education
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February 13 | Dean's Master Class: research theme 'The City'
The upcoming edition of the Dean's Master Class will focus on the research theme 'The City' from four disciplinary angles: Sociology, Development Studies, Media Studies and Philosophy. The respective speakers are: Prof.dr. Jack Burgers, Dr. Helen Hintjens, Dr. Erik Hitters and Dr. Henk Oosterling.
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In order to further support it’s PhD programme, the EUR Institute of Health Policy and Management (iBMG) will on November 17 (16.00-17.00) sign an agreement enabling its PhD candidates to take part in the Graduate School's course programme. To celebrate this productive cooperation, iBMG and the Graduate School will hold an official launch by showcasing iBMG’s PhD research in the field of healthy aging.