Cultural Sociology and Literature

I research and write about the intersection of culture and publishing: how do publications shape subjects, communities, or societies culturally? And how are published artefacts shaped by the cultures of their formation?

Cultural intermediaries and literary production: I look at processes of gatekeeping in contemporary literary production, particularly the work of cultural intermediaries. Literature is said to be one of the fundamental cultural products of Western societies, but knowledge about how it is produced vis-a-vis existing culture structures tends to be scarce. Cultural products not only influence culture, they are influenced by culture just as well. How so, and how the decision-making of agents, editors, and critics reflects this, is the concern of my research.

Scholarly communication and the humanities: I also look at how scholars communicate and how, by means of this communication, scholarship impacts society, or how societal developments impact scholarly communication. I’m particularly interested in the humanities and the Geisteswissenschaften.

Scholarly interests include:

  • The decision making of cultural intermediaries
  • Ethics of publishing
  • Scholarly communication in the humanities
  • Open access practices and discourses
  • Social theory (the strong programme in cultural sociology & civil sphere theory)


I finished my PhD at University College London with the doctoral dissertation: Rationalities of Scholarly Discourse: A Cultural Sociological Analysis of Authorship and Publishing in the Humanities in July 2021.

I currently work as a researcher at the DZHW (German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies), Berlin, and teach on the MA in Publishing at UCL, especially on MA dissertations. My work former work was funded and supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, through the London Arts and Humanities Partnership, and the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes). Find out more about me and my work here.

I’m a member of the German Sociological Association (Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie), the European Sociological Association, and the Society for Social Studies of Science.

Reach out: marcel.knochelmann.15[at]