Kees van Rees PhD

Research Fellow

Biographical Note

Kees van Rees (b. 1942), a native of Voorburg, the Netherlands, is presently a visiting research fellow at the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC) of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Kees graduated from the Free University of Amsterdam (1967) and took his PhD at Groningen University (1986). From 1967 to 1981 he taught at the Free University in the Faculty of Arts. He then joined the Department of Communication and Culture at Tilburg University where, from 1986 to 2007, he was Associate Professor of Sociology of Culture. He has been a visiting research fellow in the Department of Sociology at Princeton University (1999–2000; 2005–2007). He is married to Els van Rees, painter, sculptor, engraver.

Kees served as associate editor of Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, the Media and the Arts from 1980 to 1990 and as editor from 1991 to 2009. He was also the editor of the “Culture and the Arts” section of the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed., Elsevier, 2015).

He codirected several research programs funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, including “The Impact of Conceptions of Literature on the Literary Field” (1994-2003, with Gillis Dorleijn) and “Cultural Canons and Cultural Competences” (1997-2003, with Harry Ganzeboom).

His research focuses on the institutional analysis of the cultural field—the collection of organizations and agents performing particular tasks and pursuing specific interests in the production, distribution, and consumption of symbolic goods. More specifically, this approach asks how organizational forms and practices in the cultural field evolve; the aim is to illuminate the dynamics of institutional change in a field-theoretic and institutional logics perspective.

Kees has written widely on  sociology of culture, institutional analysis of the cultural field, and the composition of cultural repertoires. Among the several books and special issues he has written or edited are the following:

  • Empirical Sociology of Literature and the Arts 1983
  • Empirical Sociology of Cultural Productions 1985
  • The Impact of Conceptions of Literature on the Literary Field (with Gillis Dorleijn) 1993
  • Literary Theory and Criticism: Conceptions of Literature and their Application 1986
  • The Eighteenth-century Literary Field in Western Europe (with Gillis Dorleijn) 2001
  • De Productie van Literatuur: Het Literaire Veld in Nederland 1800-2000  [The Production of Literature: The Literary Field in the Netherlands, 1800–2000] (with Gillis Dorleijn) 2006