Mikkel Bækby Johansen

Mikkel Bækby Johansen

Research Assistant

My current research project is an investigation of the changing conditions of public intellectualism in Western societies with a specific focus on changes in the institutional structure around mediated public spheres and the emergence of new intellectual platforms. I am currently developing a theoretical model aiming to explain the complex process of constructing public intellectual authority in relation to various social institutions and media platforms. I study how both platform arcitechures (e.g. affordances, policies, and regulation) and user culture influence the practice of public intellectuals. The project includes case study analysis of the so-called "Intellectual Dark Web" and its followers, focusing on their activities on YouTube, Patreon, Reddit, etc.

Other research interests include: cultural critique, journalism, public opinion and democracy, and the changing institutional orders of Western societies. My academic profile is situated between the disciplines of Media Studies, Journalism Studies, and Philosophy, while also History and sociological theory have had a special impact on my general analytical approach. 

Besides my research, I teach both BA and MA courses at Film and Media Studies at University of Copenhagen. 

Fields of interest

  • Cultural criticism
  • Journalism
  • Political philosophy and public sphere theory
  • Public intellectuals, experts and opinionators
  • Digital platforms
  • Culture wars and the configuration of cultural values



  • Journalism, Culture and Society: Theory and analysis (MA).
  • Academic Internship (Projektorienteret forløb), 30 ECTS (MA).
  • Introduction to Film- and Media Studies (BA).


  • BA projects in Media Studies.
  • MA theses in Media Studies.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Public Intellectuals on New Platforms: Constructing Critical Authority in a Digital Media Culture

    Johansen, Mikkel Bækby, 2021, Rethinking Cultural Criticism: New Voices in the Digital Age. Kristensen, N. N., From, U. & Haastrup, H. K. (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 17-42 25 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

ID: 212554169