Information Studies


Marcel Knöchelmann

Marcel Knöchelmann is a sociologist, focussing on the intersection of culture, publishing, and literature.

Marcel Knöchelmann


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 since what it means to being human and the constitution of Western societies is intricately intertwined with the thought and tradition of the Geisteswissenschaften. 

Find out more about my intellectual programme here.

I finished my PhD at UCL in July 2021. The title of my thesis was: Rationalities of Scholarly Discourse. A Cultural Sociological Analysis of Authorship and Publishing in the Humanities. I currently work as a part time researcher at the DZHW (German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies), Berlin, after having finished a research stay at the Department of Sociology at Yale University.

My 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). 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.


Scholarly interests include:

  • The decision making of cultural intermediaries
  • Ethics of publishing
  • Scholarly communication in the humanities
  • Open access practices and discourses
  • Social theory and democratic theory


I give lectures on the following topics:

  • Ethics in publishing (UCL)
  • Marketing and strategy in scholarly publishing (UCL)
  • The history of scholarly publishing (UCL)
  • Digital publishing processes (UCL)
  • Academic writing and discourse (HTWK Leipzig)
  • Managerial accounting (HTWK Leipzig)
  • Find out more about my teaching and supervision here.


Contact: marcel.knochelmann.15 [a] ucl.ac.uk