dr. (Kristina) KJ Kolbe


Kristina is an Assistant Professor in Sociology of Arts and Culture at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. She joined ESHCC after completing her PhD in Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science and working as a postdoctoral researcher in Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. Overall, her work explores how intersectional inequalities of ‘race’, class and gender are reworked in and through culture, ranging from wider cultural discourses of migration, citizenship and belonging to concrete processes of material culture, media representations, creative labour and cultural production. Her particular research interests lie in the field of music and its relationship to urban multiculture, and in the contingent social effects of on-going diversity and inclusion discourses in the cultural industries, as well as in the relationship between a politics of cultural production and a politics of care. Kristina’s work draws from current debates in sociology, cultural studies, critical ‘race’ and migration scholarship and is informed by Feminist and postcolonial epistemologies. 




(In preparation) The Sound of Difference: Race, class and the politics of diversity in classical music. Forthcoming at Manchester University Press.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

(2022) The Global Rise of Private Art Museums: A Literature Review. Submitted to Poetics. [with Johannes Aengenheyster, Andrea Friedmann Rozenbaum, Olav Velthuis, Mingxue Zhang]

(2022) The aesthetic critique and the challenge of inequality. Cultural Sociology. [with Chris Upton-Hansen and Mike Savage]; originally published online in 2020.

(2022) Producing (musical) difference: Power, practices and inequalities in diversity initiatives in Germany’s classical music sector. Cultural Sociology; originally published online in 2021.

(2021) Unequal entanglements: How arts practitioners reflect on the impact of intensifying economic inequality. Cultural Trends.

(2021) Playing the system: ‘Race’-making and elitism in diversity projects in Germany’s classical music sector. Poetics.

(2018) Figures of crisis: The delineation of un/deserving refugees in Germany. Sociology 52(3): 534-550. [with Billy Holzberg and Rafal Zaborowski]

Book chapters

(forthcoming) (Un)settling hegemonies – The institutional challenge of diversity initiatives in the classical music sector. In: Bull, Anna; Nooshin, Laudan; Scharff, Cristina (eds.) The Classical Music Profession: Inequalities and Exclusions. Forthcoming at Oxford University Press.

Book reviews

(2021) Black Utopias: Speculative Life and the Music of Other Worlds. Ethnic and Racial Studies. DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2021.2009895

(2021) Access, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Cultural Organizations Insights from the Careers of Executive Opera Managers of Color in the US. Journal of Arts Management, Law, & Society 51(4): 270-272.

(2020) Entitled: Discriminating Tastes and the Expansion of the Arts. Cultural Trends 29(4): 320-322.


(2019) Report on the art world’s response to the challenge of inequality. LSE Research Online (http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/103146/). [with Chris Upton-Hansen, Mike Savage, Nicola Lacey, and Sarah Cant]

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Assistant professor | Department of Arts and Culture Studies
Burg. Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam


  • Kristina Kolbe (2023) - Early Career Fellowship
  • Kristina Kolbe (2023) - NWO veni grant
  • Kristina Kolbe (2022) - CUS SAGE PRIZE

British Sociological Association

Start date approval
March 2024
End date approval
September 2024
Editorical Board member, Cultural Sociology

London School of Economics and Political Science

Start date approval
August 2024
End date approval
August 2026
This is a research fellowship without fees/hours

Sociology of Arts and Culture

Year Level
BA-1, BA-1, Pre-master
Course Code

Art Audiences: Developing Cultural Parti

Year Level
MA, MA, MA-1, Pre-master, MA
Course Code

Cultural and Creative Industries

Year Level
Course Code

News regarding dr. (Kristina) KJ Kolbe

Twelve Veni grants for Rotterdam researchers

Twelve scientists from Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus MC will receive Veni funding from the NWO to further develop their research ideas.
Sunny day on campus Woudestein.

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