Karen Klijnhout is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture. Her PhD research focuses on the impact of cultural diversity on urban cultural organisations. It is part of the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens; a collaboration between the Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS), the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC), and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS). The research is supervised by prof. dr. Susanne Janssen, dr. Isabel Awad and dr. Marc Verboord.
Karen obtained her bachelor degree in Social Sciences from Utrecht University in 2015. She subsequently enrolled in the Research Master Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication. In her master thesis From Inclusion to Indifference, Cultural openness as a layered repertoire of urban Dutch youth she builds on theory on cosmopolitanism, boundary making, and city culture to develop a framework of situational forms of cultural openness. She thus reveals the specific cultural resources needed to navigate an urban environment where a highly diverse and dense public space is combined with private niches of likeminded people.
Before joining the academic world Karen worked in the Rotterdam art scene in positions ranging from museum guard to theatre director and policy advisor. She always strived for a more inclusive arts and culture scene – in programming, education and policies. As a project manager she developed many local and international cultural projects. In her academic work she similarly aims for mutually inspiring partnerships, both inside academia and with her former work field.