28 October 2016

José van Dijck to become a Distinguished Professor of Utrecht University

José van Dijck
Photography: Milette Raats

Professor Dr José van Dijck will be appointed Distinguished Professor of Utrecht University as of 1 January 2017. Van Dijck is a prominent academic who specializes in media sciences and is the President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Utrecht University has appointed a select group of professors to the position of Distinguished Professor. They are international, first-rate academics with discipline-transcending visions as well as charisma. Utrecht University is very happy with José van Dijck joining us.

In the upcoming years, José van Dijck will primarily do research into questions involving the digital society and media culture at the Faculty of Humanities. Her appointment in Utrecht will not have any consequences for her Presidency of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. She will serve her term as planned until mid-2018.

José van Dijck (1960) studied Dutch and Literary Studies at Utrecht University; she had her PhD Defence in 1992 at the University of California, San Diego (USA). Following her return to the Netherlands, she worked at the University of Groningen, Maastricht University and finally the University of Amsterdam. After serving as a Dean at the University of Amsterdam Faculty of Humanities (2008-2011), she was appointed President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2015. In 2016, the Dutch monthly magazine Opzij proclaimed her to be the most influential woman.

Van Dijck does research in the fields of media technology, digital culture, social media and television and culture. Her latest book, The Culture of Connectivity, is published by Oxford University Press (2013).


Since the 1990s, Utrecht University has had a limited group of academics who were appointed to the position of Distinguished Professor. A Distinguished Professor guarantees innovative teaching programmes as well as innovative research and can work on both completely as they see fit. Distinguished Professors also play characterizing roles in academic and social debates. Right now, the following staff members at Utrecht University are Distinguished Professors:

  • Professor Dr Rosi Braidotti
  • Professor Dr Hans Clevers
  • Professor Dr Sierd Cloething
  • Professor Dr Naomi Ellemers
  • Professor Dr Rick Grobbee
  • Professor Dr Gerard ’t Hooft
  • Professor Dr Henk Kummeling
  • Professor Dr Ieke Moerdijk
  • Professor Dr Frits van Oostrom
  • Professor Dr Herman Phillipse
  • Professor Dr Paul Schnabel
  • Professor Dr Peter van der Veer
  • Professor Dr Frans de Waal
  • Professor Dr Elsken van der Wall


Sietzke Vermeulen, Spokesperson Utrecht University, (+31) 06 4815 3548, s.vermeulen@uu.nl