Dr Katharina Schmoll


My work takes an interest in contemporary relationships. Our relationship with the people we encounter in our everyday lives and the media, with ourselves, and with God. How we try, and at times struggle, to find meaning, purpose and belonging in our borderless, globalised and media-saturated world. How we create bonds with each other or fail to relate meaningfully, how we fight for our convictions and our desire to be recognised and listened to. How we find agency and empowerment. I am particularly interested in exploring these concerns in the context of the Arab Muslim world and what has been called the post-secular West. My approach is ethnographic and interdisciplinary, drawing inspiration from and contributing to debates in communication and cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, as well as Middle Eastern and critical Muslim studies.

I am currently writing up my first monograph which will provide an ethnographic account of the rise of non-elitist women’s activism in the Arab world from a communication studies perspective, exploring a rising female Islamic-oriented middle class in urban Morocco and the women’s struggles to be recognised within media, politics and wider society in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

I am also working on a research project which explores Muslim dating apps and young British Muslims’ use of these apps. I investigate how we can conceptualise these dating apps in the context of Muslim empowerment and rising Islamophobia in contemporary Western societies.

I hold a PhD in Media Studies and an MA in Global Creative and Cultural Industries from SOAS, University of London as well as a BA in Politics and Administration from University of Konstanz in Germany.

I am the Reviews Editor of the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication and a Fellow at the Muslim Institute.

I am also a member of the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion working group within the School of Media and Communication at the University of Leeds and acting as a mentor for British Muslim scholars of the Aziz Foundation.


  • Postgraduate Assessment Lead
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • MeCCSA

Student education

I teach various undergraduate and postgraduate modules including:

  • Digital Cultures
  • Communication and International Affairs
  • Feminism, Identity and Media
  • The Media and Democratisation: Global Perspectives