About Irene

I am a senior lecturer at Erasmus University College (ESSB), Erasmus University Rotterdam.

My research concentrates on concrete practices of knowing, valuing, and decision-making. Drawing on pragmatist philosophy and material-semiotics, I am especially interested in the ways professionals negotiate and work through different sources of knowledge and different registers of value in practice. I explored these issues during my dissertation research, focusing on judicial and social-scientific practices of case-making. Having recently received a three-year Marie Curie Skłodowska Fellowship grant, I will start a research project on how environmental management professionals draw on situated knowledges and judgments to produce ‘good environments’ in an age of climate change. Trained as an ethnographer, I see social inquiry as an art of staying with the trouble.

I defended my dissertation called Ways of Case-Making in 2018 (cum laude) at the sociology department of the EUR. Cambridge University Press is soon to publish my monograph The Law Multiple: Judgment and Knowledge in Practice (see here for more!). In this book, I seek to trace how knowledge is made in and about legal practices. Ethnographically attending to the irreducibly material and temporal character of knowing and judging work, this book takes issue with overtly abstracted understandings of both ‘the Law’ and ‘Science’ and develops a conception of knowing and judging as concrete and material practices.

Working as a postdoctoral researcher at the anthropology department of the University of Amsterdam (Program Group Health, Care, and the Body), I focused on forensic and genetic knowledge production in the context of Prof. Amade M’charek’s RaceFaceID project, zooming in on the role of biological race in forensic and legal settings. Meanwhile, as the main applicant on the project ‘Good Sex: How Young People Perceive and Practice Good Sex‘ (Dutch Fund for Sexuality Research, 2015 call), I connected my interest in valuing practices to the study of young people’s sexualities, examining how young people negotiate ‘good sex’ in practice.

My research on the intimate connections between knowing, valuing, and decision-making practices continues to this day. My three-year Marie Curie fellowship (starting date: Dec. 1 20121) aims to conceptualize knowledge and valuation as they take place in environmental management practices, particularly where these are organized around the notion of ecosystem resilience. Drawing on the sociology of resilience, the environmental humanities, and Science and Technology Studies, it represents an interdisciplinary and ethnographic engagement with newly emerging ethics and epistemologies of environmental management in an age of climate calamity.

I can be found on google scholar and on research gate – and since very recently, on twitter.