Dr Isis Hjorth

 Dr Isis Hjorth

Isis is a cultural sociologist focusing on emerging practices associated with networked technologies. She is currently researching microwork and virtual production networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

Email: isis.hjorth@oii.ox.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)1865 612775


Isis Hjorth is a Researcher at the OII. She is a cultural sociologist, who specialises in analysing emerging practices associated with networked technologies. She completed her AHRC-funded DPhil (PhD) at the OII in January 2014. Her thesis "Networked Cultural Production: Filmmaking in the Wreckamovie Community" was an ethnographic study of four crowdsourced feature films, tackling the emergence of distributed collaborative production models spanning the boundaries between non-market and market-orientated production. Grounded in critical sociological theory, it examined the division of labour, and theorized the dynamics of the various forms of capital enabling the realisation of these novel forms of cultural goods.

Isis is currently working on the project "Microwork and Virtual Production Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia" investigating the economic and social implications of new forms of economic activities in the context of ICTs for development. Before that Isis was involved with research on learning and interaction in MOOCs, and on participatory digital tools for artistic production.

In 2010/11 Isis was awarded AHRC SLI grant under the Beyond Text programme enabling the delivery of a two-day international conference on Remix Cinema, and various related public engagement initiatives.

Trained in the social sciences as well as the humanities, Isis holds a BA and MA in Rhetoric from the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen, and an MSc in Technology and Learning from the Department of Education, University of Oxford. Prior to joining the academic community, Isis worked in broadcast journalism and screenwriting in her native Copenhagen.

Research interests

networked cultural production, virtual labour, microwork, crowdsourcing, digital ethnography, creative industries, critical sociology, symbolic capital, global inequalities, crowd-based learning, ICT for development

Positions held at the OII

  • DPhil Alumnus, March 2014 -
  • Researcher, March 2014 -
  • DPhil student, October 2009 - February 2014


Current projects

Past projects

  • Evaluating Digital Tools for Theatre and Dance: BAC Scratch Online

    October 2011 - November 2012

    Theatre and dance have fallen a long way behind music in the way they connect with audiences digitally. This project aims to understand how audiences can be engaged in the creative process, by evaluating the BAC's Scratch Online platform.




Conference papers

  • Lehdonvirta, V., Barnard, H., Graham, M., and Hjorth, I. (2014) Online labour markets - levelling the playing field for international service markets? Paper presented at the IPP2014: Crowdsourcing for Politics and Policy conference, University of Oxford, 25-26 September 2014.
  • Eynon, R., Hjorth, I., Gillani, N. and Yasseri, T. (2014) Vote Me Up If You Like My Ideas! Experiences of Learning in a MOOC. International Communications Association Pre-Conference, Innovation in Higher Education: Building a Better Future? May 2014, Seattle, WA.
  • Meyer, E.T., and Hjorth, I. (2012) Connecting performance artists with digital audiences: A case study of Scratch Online. Paper presented at Electronic Visualization and the Arts, London.
  • Hjorth, I. (2012) Managerial mechanisms and leadership in peer produced films. Paper presented at the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Annual Meeting, Salford, UK.
  • Hjorth, I. (2012) Is fuzziness a given: the boundaries of ethnographic enquiry online. Paper presented at the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) Doctoral Symposium, Salford, UK.
  • Hjorth, I. (2012) The forms of capital in peer-production. Paper presented at the WikiSym Doctoral Colloquium, Linz, Austria.
  • Hjorth, I. (2011) Independent filmmaking in the Wreckamovie community. Paper presented at ECREA's 3rd Digital Culture and Communication Workshop, Barcelona, Spain.


  • Hjorth, I. (2014) The social dynamics of crowdfunding. Invited talk at the Departmental Research Seminar Series Computing and Communications, Open University, UK.
  • Eynon, R., Gillani, N. and Hjorth, I. (2014) Conceptualizing learning and interaction in MOOCs. Presentation at the ESRC Breaking Boundaries Seminar Series, University of Oxford, UK.
  • Graham, M. and Hjorth, I. (2014) Economic activity gone virtual: What does it mean for Development? Invited talk at DIFD's 2nd Digital for Development Showcase, Department of International Development, Whitehall, UK.
  • Hjorth, I. (2011) Peer-production of culture. Invited talk at the Open Media Seminar Series, Department of Media and Communication, Coventry University, UK.
  • Hjorth, I. (2011) Wreckamovie productions as Socio-Technical Interaction Networks. Invited talk CHI Jam Session, Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, University of Helsinki, Finland.
  • Hjorth, I. (2010) Participatory Cultures and online agency. Invited talk at the Department of Digital Design and Communication, IT University Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Hjorth, I. (2009) Tagging for audience: building knowledge in communities of practice. Invited talk at Department of Digital Design and Communication, IT University Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Hjorth, I. (2008) New media literacy and e-mail cultures. Department of Media Studies, Southern University, Odense, Denmark.



  • Hjorth, I. (2014) Networked Cultural Production: Filmmaking in the Wreckamovie Community. PhD thesis. Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, UK.
  • Hjorth, I. (2009) Digital Literacy: A critical investigation of definitions, applications and assumptions. MSc Thesis. Department of Education, University of Oxford, UK.
  • Hjorth, I. and Bergstrom, D. (2008) Emailen som retorisk artefact: Teoretiske udfordringer belyst gennem analyse af 419 letters. MA thesis. Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen.

Working papers


Thesis title to be confirmed.