About Us

Meet the members of the Rotterdam Popular Music Studies (RPMS) research group. 

  • Portrait of Michaël Berghman

    Michaël Berghman

    Michaël Berghman is assistant professor of sociology of art and culture at the Department of Art and Culture Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research focuses on cultural taste and perception in the domains of visual art, product design and popular music and how these are patterned along social lines.
  • Portrait of Pauwke Berkers

    Pauwke Berkers

    Academic lead

    Pauwke Berkers is Head of Department and Full Professor of Popular Music at the department of Arts and Culture Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research interests focus mainly on inequalities in popular music but his academic curiosity often lures him away into topics like awkwardness, well-being, resilience. Anything that is fashionable, basically.
  • Portrait of Thomas Calkins

    Thomas Calkins

    Thomas Calkins is a postdoctoral researcher at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Arts and Culture Studies department. His research interests include the sociology of culture, urban sociology, and social stratification. He uses quantitative, qualitative, GIS, and mixed methods to explore the linkages between music and inequality.
  • Wessel Coppes

    Wessel Coppes is head of Jazz, Pop and World Music at Codarts Rotterdam (University of the Arts) and part of the management team of Codarts. He is currently writing his dissertation about popular music departments at higher music education institutes.
  • Portrait picture of Koen van Eijck

    Koen van Eijck

    Koen van Eijck is a full professor of cultural lifestyles at the department of Arts and Culture Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research interests include (changes in) cultural taste patterns and audience research, while recently the focus is on innovative classical music practices.
  • Portrait of Rick Everts

    Rick Everts

    Rick Everts is a PhD candidate in the sociology of arts and culture at the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Rick’s PhD focuses on the careers of pop musicians in the Dutch music ecology and how they navigate the demands of the precariousness of creative work.
  • Portrait of Didier Goossens

    Didier Goossens

    Didier Goossens is a lecturer and external PhD candidate. His research focuses on the articulation and validation of local identities in the popular music industry, focusing on metal music in the Global South. He has presented his research and fiercely defended the legitimization of metal music studies in academic and popular media, including Metal Music Studies, Sociologie Magazine, Cultural Studies Leuven, Studio Brussel and the Vlaamse Scriptiekrant. He recently contributed a chapter on Aotearoa/New Zealand Indigenous metal to 'Defiant Sounds: Heavy Metal Music in the Global South' (2022). In his leisure time, you can find him selling merchandise at Psychonaut and Pothamus shows.
  • Portrait of Frank Kimenai

    Frank Kimenai

    Frank Kimenai is an independent consultant, researcher and cultural professional, specialized in the creative industry in general and popular music in particular. Frank operates from Amsterdam, and is involved in several European and national projects, for example the development of Music Moves Europe, the chairmanship of POPnl and the business management of the Grauzone festival. He is currently conducting PhD research on the resilience of music ecosystems, where he combines his formal education as an ecologist with 20 years of experience in the music sector. Frank feels most at home at the intersection of culture, economy and policy. He likes Excel sheets and listens to Black Flag.
  • Portrait picture of Martijn Mulder

    Martijn Mulder

    Martijn Mulder is a PhD candidate at the Media and Communication department. As part of the POPLIVE project, his research focuses on live music venues, music festivals and live music audiences. Martijn is also a senior lecturer at the Leisure and Events department of Willem de Kooning Academy and author of the book Leisure!
  • Portrait of Julian Schaap

    Julian Schaap

    Julian Schaap is assistant professor sociology of music. His research focuses on two pillars: first, he studies social inequalities on the basis of class, gender and race-ethnicity in (cultural) consumption and production practices, with a focus on (popular) music. Second, he works on the myriad intersections between cognitive studies and cultural sociology, particularly Bourdieusian analyses.
  • Portrait of Britt Swartjes

    Britt Swartjes

    Britt Swartjes is a PhD Candidate at the department of Arts and Culture studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research engages with sociological approaches to music in the city, focusing on how music festivals can be public spaces where people from diverse backgrounds meet.
  • Chris Thompson

    Christopher Thompson is a postdoctoral researcher funded by the Swedish Research Council. He specializes in popular music and the processes of memory and commemoration. His current project is on archivalization and music heritage in the American South through the lens of the Southern Folklife Collection.
  • Portrait of Femke Vandenberg

    Femke Vandenberg

    Femke Vandenberg is a PhD candidate and lecturer at the Department of Arts and Culture Studies at Erasmus University, Rotterdam. As a cultural sociologist, her research is interested in the role of popular music in society, with a special focus on the collective experience of live music.

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