25 May 2018

Neil ten Kortenaar KNAW Visiting Professor in Comparative Literature

Neil ten Kortenaar
Neil ten Kortenaar

Professor Neil ten Kortenaar, University of Toronto, will be a KNAW Visiting Professor attached to the Comparative Literature section [afdeling Literatuurwetenschap] in 2018-2019.  He will be making a total of three short-stays in Utrecht.  The aim is to intensify the collaboration between scholars in Toronto and Utrecht through a series of scholarly meetings centred on the development of enhanced tools for the transcultural teaching and study of literature.


Professor Ten Kortenaar is Professor of Comparative Literature and  a leading scholar of postcolonial literature from Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean. His research focuses on how the study of literature from the Global South forces a re-examination of key assumptions in literary research and a rethinking of such categories as the novel, history-writing, and even the nature of writing. He is currently the director of a Mellon-funded project called Aesthetic Education: A South-North Dialogue, a multi-year collaboration between the Jackman Humanities Institute (Toronto) and the Centre for Humanities Research (University of the Western Cape). 


His many publications include  Self, Nation, Text in Salman Rushdie's Midnight’s Children (McGill UP, 2004) and Postcolonial Literature and the Impact of Literacy (Cambridge UP 2011).  He is currently completing a new book called Debts, Gifts, Bribes: African Writers Imagine the State at Independence, which examines the ways in which the first generation of black African novelists, those who came of age at the same time as the states of which they were citizens became independent, responded to the political task of understanding and imagining the the state and its institutions.

Visiting Professors Programme

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has established the Visiting Professors Programme to improve research in the Netherlands, to enable top researchers from abroad to work in the Netherlands, and to encourage collaboration and mutual learning.