Pauwke Berkers was born - earlier than expected - on December 6, 1977, the year that punk exploded. Unwilling to leave the beautiful province of Noord Brabant, he studied sociology at Tilburg University, specializing in the sociology of arts and culture. His MA thesis Rock tegen de rollen: Een onderzoek naar vrouwenpunk en feminisme in Nederland rond 1980, addresses the extent and ways in which female band members have dealt with gender boundaries, drawing on both do-it-yourself and feminist ideologies. After obtaining his master's degree, he started his PhD project at the department of Arts and Culture Studies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Reluctantly leaving the sociology of music behind him, his dissertation Classification into the Literary Mainstream? Ethnic Boundaries in the Literary Fields of the United States, the Netherlands and Germany, 1955-2005 discusses how and to what degree ethnic minority authors have become part of the literary mainstream (criticism, policy and history) in the United States, the Netherlands and Germany from 1955 to 2005.
Pauwke Berkers is full professor Sociology of Popular Music, specifically in relation to Inclusion, Well-Being, and Resilience in the Department of Arts and Culture Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Recent work includes RESILIENCE, particularly in the context of popular music as an ecosystem. In the NWO Smart Culture project Staging popular music (POPLIVE), initial ideas on popular music as a more or less resilient ecosystem have been developed, resulting on several publications. Moreover, he supervises the PhD project of Wessel Coppes (Codarts Head of Pop, Jazz and World Music) addressing the connection between higher popular music education and the music industry, touching upon issues of resilience. Pauwke is currently doing a pilot study – with Frank Kimenai (ESHCC), Codarts Rotterdam, and dr. Joost Vervoort (Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University) – in the context of a NWO KIEM and an Erasmus Trustfonds project to explore how resilience principles can be applied and adapted to the music sector, particularly in relation to inclusion and well-being.
Spearheaded by dr. Julian Schaap, Pauwke aims to (help to) develop an integrated, transdisciplinary approach on popular music and WELL_BEING, synthesizing physical, psychological, and social well-being, building on preliminary work and in close collaboration with Codarts Rotterdam.