Koen Leurs

Personal website: www.koenleurs.net|

Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow – Intra-European Fellowship for Career development

Dr. Koen Leurs is a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Media and Communications, LSE. He holds a PhD in Gender Studies (Utrecht University), an MA in Media and Performance Studies and a BA in Communication and Information Studies (both from Utrecht University) as well as Minors in Cultural Geography (Utrecht University), Communications and New Media (National University of Singapore) and Philosophy (Radboud University). His research focuses on new media and digital culture. He has published in English, Dutch and German. He has taught on media and space; philosophy of science; media, culture & society; introduction to film studies and postcolonial studies.

His PhD was conducted in the context of the Utrecht University High Potential Wired Up project: Digital Media as Innovative Socialization Practices for Migrant Youth under the guidance of Sandra Ponzanesi. His doctoral thesis combined in-depth interviews, virtual ethnography and surveys to explore the relationships between digital media, migration, gender and youth culture. Subsequently, working at Utrecht University as a post-doc member of the 7th European Framework Programme MIG@NET| project, he extended his focus to education and knowledge in the context of transnational digital networks, migration and gender (2011-2013). From September-December 2012 he held a post-doctoral position at the Department of Literary and Cultural Studies, Radboud University, the Netherlands. After winning a stipend from the Royal Dutch Academy for Arts and Sciences Council for the Humanities  in January 2013, he conducted a pilot study on digital media use among Somali refugee youth in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From September 2013 onwards, he collaborates with Dr. Myria Georgiou on UPLOAD, Urban Politics of London Youth Analyzed Digitally’.

Current Research

'U.P.L.O.A.D – Urban Politics of London Youth Analyzed Digitally’

This project investigates the lived experience of cultural difference among young Londoners (between 12-18 years) of different cultural backgrounds. Taking a comparative approach, Leurs focuses on the networked belonging of youths from across various London boroughs on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. As digital practices have become a significant part of their life, it is urgent to achieve greater insights in whether their use of Internet applications corroborates pan-European sentiments of failed multiculturalism and ethnic segregation or whether their experiences rather showcase conviviality, cross-cultural exchange and cultural hybridisation. Thus far, the ways in which diverse ethnic/gender/religious identities digitally encounter, negotiate and appropriate one another across online/offline spaces have remained understudied. Koen Leurs innovatively brings new media, gender and postcolonial studies into dialogue. He combines large-scale digital methods to study geographically tagged user-generated content, qualitative in-depth interviews with 90 youths and virtual ethnography with 30 young people.

Current and recent research projects

2013-2015 Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship: (UPLOAD) Upload. Urban Politics of London Youngsters Analyzed Digitally. EU Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for Career development (Supervision: Myria Georgiou)

2013 Technology as a refuge? Digital media use among young asylum seekers. Royal Dutch Academy for Arts and Sciences Council for the Humanities. (Pilot fieldwork in the Netherlands and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) 

2011-2013 Transnational Digital Networks, Migration & Gender. Knowledge and Education. EU 7th European Framework Programme. (Researcher conducting study on the Netherlands context).

2008-2013 Wired Up: Digital Media as Innovative Socialization Practices for Migrant Youth. Utrecht University High Potential Funding. (PhD researcher).



Digital Passages. How diaspora, gender and youth culture intersect online. (Forthcoming, 2014), Amsterdam University Press.

Everyday Feminist Research Praxis. Co-edited with Olivieri, D. (Forthcoming 2014), Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press.

Book Chapters

Leurs, K., De Haan, M. & Leander, K. (forthcoming 2014). Multi-geographical circuits of affectivity: locating YouTube viewing practices of migrant youths. In B. Aslinger & G. R. Halegoua (Eds.), Locating emerging media. New York, NY: Routledge.

Leurs, K. & Ponzanesi, S. (forthcoming 2014). Remediating religion as everyday practice: Postsecularism, postcolonialism and digital culture. In R. Braidotti, E. Midden, & B. Blaagaard. Post-secular Publics. Hampshire: Palgrave McMillan.

Leurs, K. (2014). Diaspora/migration. In K. Harvey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of social media and politics. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Leurs, K. (2014) Instant Messengers, IRC, ICQ. In K. Harvey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of social media and politics. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Leurs, K. & Shepherd, T. (2013) Platforms. (social media and politics). In K. Harvey (Ed.), Encyclopedia of social media and politics. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Leurs, K. (2013). Der Nutzung digitaler Medien Niederländische Jugendlicher mit Marokkanische Migrationshintergrund. In V. Dander, V. Gründhammer, D. Pfurtscheller, M. Rizzolli and H. Ortner, Medienräume: Materialität und Regionalität. Innsbruck: Innsbruck University Press.

Leurs, K. & Ponzanesi, S. (2013). Intersectionality, digital identities andmigrant youths. In C. Carter, L. Steiner & L. McLaughlin (Eds.), Routledge companion to media and gender. London: Routledge.

Leurs, K., Hirzalla, F. & Van Zoonen, L. (2012). Waar moslimjongeren hun eigen koers kunnen varen. In A. Benschop & C. Menting (Eds.) ZinZoekers op het Web. Internet en verandering van geloofsbeleving, (pp. 129-139). Vught: Skandalon.

Leurs, K. (2012). Migrant youth invading digital spaces: Intersectional performativity of self in socio-technological networks. In R. Gajalla & Yeon, J.O. (Eds.), Cyberfeminism 2.0, (pp. 285-304). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Leurs, K. & Ponzanesi, S. (2012). Dutch Moroccan girls performing their selves in instant messaging spaces. In K. Ross (Ed.), The handbook of gender, sex and media, (pp. 436-454). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Leurs, K. & Ponzanesi, S. (2011). Gendering the construction of instant messaging.

In M. Ames & S. Burcon (Eds.), Women and language: Essays on gendered communication across media, (pp. 199-214). Jefferson, NC: McFarland.


Leurs, K. & Ponzanesi, S. (forthcoming 2014). Introduction. In K. Leurs & S. Ponzanesi(Eds.). Special issue on Digital Crossings in Europe. Crossings, Journal of   Migration and Culture, 4. 

Leurs, K. (2013) “Ow god, die snobs zien ons weer aan voor een levend laboratorium”. Participatief internet onderzoek over/met Marokkaans-Nederlandse jongeren. Kwalon. Kwalitatief Onderzoek, 18 (2), p. 106-112.

Leurs, K. & Ponzanesi, S. (2013). Bits of homeland. Generational and gender transformations of Moroccan-Dutch youth using digital technologies. In C. Ponte & M.Georgiou (Eds.) Special issue on Media, technology and the migrant family. Observatorio, 7 (1). p. 89-110

Leurs, K., Midden, E. & Ponzanesi, S. (2012). Digital multiculturalism in the Netherlands: Religious, ethnic, and gender positioning by Moroccan-Dutch youth. Religion and Gender, 2 (1), p.150-175.

Leurs, K. & Ponzanesi, S. (2011). Mediated crossroads: Youthful digital diasporas. M/C Journal, 14(2).

Leurs, K. & Ponzanesi, S. (2011). Communicative spaces of their own. Migrant girls performing selves using Instant Messaging software. Feminist Review, 99, 55-78.


Roggero, G., Grappi, G., Hatzoupolos, P., Priftis, T., Leurs, K., Ponzanesi, S., (2012). Synthesis report.  Transnational Digital Networks, Migration and Gender. European Union Framework Programme 7 Mig@Net| project. Work Package 6: Thematic Study on Knowledge and Education. http://www.mignetproject.eu/?p=557|