Asher Boersma

Ehemaliger wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter

+49 (0)271 740 3057

Media scholar working at the intersection of workplace studies, STS, and historiography, specialised in:

  • media archaeological history of control
  • mobile ethnography of infrastructure
  • historical anthropology of skill and media
  • sociology of amphibious work
Infrastructured Islands (Arbeitstitel)
My dissertation is an ethnography and historiography of inland navigation ships and control rooms. Through following actors involved in these places an itinerant project has developed that touches upon, passes by and engages a variety of different disciplines, particularly science and technology studies, workplace studies, ethnology and media history. Central to this is trying to understand how near constant mobility in an otherwise mostly settled society is organised.
‘Mediatisation of Work: A History of Control Room Practice’, in Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 2: 113-132.

Unknowing Algorithms: On Transparency of Unopenable Black Boxes’, in The Datafied Society: Studying Culture through Data, eds. Mirko Tobias Schäfer and Karin van Es, Amsterdam: Amsterdam U.P. First author: Johannes Paßmann

‘Schizophrenia under the Straits of Dover.’ in British Politics Review 11.4: 12-13.

‘Hijgen spreekt boekdelen.’ [essay on dominance of affect online] in Rekto:verso
‘#TheFamily Ties: Performing the Network and Sexuality on Twitter.’ Co-authors: Liliana Bounegru, Maya Livio, Lucy Chinen, and Natalia Sanchez Querubin, Digital Methods Wiki, University of Amsterdam

‘Pornografie als folklore.’ [essay on folk culture and sexuality] in Tirade

‘De ontsnappingskunstenaar.’ [essay on ideology of cosmopolitanism] in De Filmkrant

‘A flow odyssey: De transformaties van televisie’ in BLIK 0.1: 14-23.


  • ‘“Leben in überlieferten Ordnungen” – on Ethnography and Historiography of Inland Navigation’, at ETH Zürich
  • ‘How Bodies Give Way: The TimeSpace of Modern Amphibious Order in the Low Countries’, at ‘On time: Temporal and Normative Ordering of Mobilities’, International Workshop of the CRC ‘Media of Cooperation’, Siegen University
  • ‘Isolated yet Profoundly Networked: A Mobile and Multi-sited Ethnography of Control Rooms’, at EASST, Lancaster
  • ‘Formalisation of Work as Mediatisation’, at Sub-theme ‘Exploring Bodies, Technologies and Routines in Organizational Processes’, EGOS, Tallinn


  • ‘(in)visible work(s)’, at ‘Sommerakademie Situationen der Teilhabe’, Universität Konstanz
  • ‘Dutch inland waterway control rooms: anticipating and creating future events’, at 15th Annual STS Conference, Graz

‘Presence as a Heuristic Tool: Media Literacy and Public Debate.’ at ‘Ida Blom Conference Gendered Citizenship’, University of Bergen

‘Nationalist Sentiments as an European Identity: Alternative Use of Civil Media.’ Co-author: Henry Allen at ‘Civil Media Unconference’, Salzburg

  • 2012: Research Master in Media and Performance Studies, Utrecht University, Cum Laude. Thesis: ‘The Illusion of Control: The Military War Room as Model for Contemporary Media Practice.’ (graded: 9.0)
  • 2008: Master in Film and Television Studies, Utrecht University, Cum Laude
  • 2008: Semester at National University of Singapore
  • 2007: Bachelor in Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Utrecht University
  • 2013 – 2015: Lecturer ‘Social Media in Context’, ‘New Media and Participatory Culture’, ‘Philosophy of New Media’, ‘Television Genres: Seriality’, Utrecht University
  • 2008 – 2011: Junior Teacher, ‘Current Debates on New Media’, ‘Film Theory’ (English), Utrecht University
  • 2018: Organiser workshop ‘Media, Materiality and the Performance of History’ together with
    William Uricchio
  • 2015: Organiser ‘Lunch Lecture’ series, New University (protest movement against financialisation
    of higher education)
  • 2005-2008: Founding editor of BLIK, student journal on audiovisual culture, Utrecht University