Literary scholars: teachers, advisors and creative thinkers
The research group Literature is specialised in the writing and reception of literature, in the past and present, both in Europe and outside of it. We are interested in why certain works are prized while others are popular; in new trends and older traditions; in the interactions between literature and other media; in the future of the book.
Many of our researchers are involved in commissioned research projects concerning literary heritage and the relationship between cultural memory and identities. They are able to advise on the cultural representations of societal developments such as migration, nationalism, and climate change. Furthermore, our researchers have often contributed to exhibitions and the creation of cultural artefacts such as books, games or apps.
Are you interested in the possibilities for collaboration? Please contact Prof. Ann Rigney.
Translation and education
Translation studies are an important part of Comparative Literature in Utrecht. Specialists in this field are concentrated in the Expertisecentrum Literair Vertalen (Expertise Centre for Literary Translation).
Furthermore, our research group has experts in the field of reading and literary education. They can be called upon think about innovations in these fields and of the ways in which literature can enrich our lives and foster creativity.
Literary knowledge for a wide audience
In cooperation with the National Library of the Netherlands, Dr Jeroen Salman organised an exhibition of children’s prints entitled ‘Sterke Verhalen' (Strong Stories'), which told a story of five centuries of narrative culture. A collection of essays bearing the same name was created to accompany the exhibition, authored by a number of different scholars of literature.
Developing digital research methods
On 14 January 2015, Prof. Els Stronks presented her research findings on ideas about the youth in Dutch texts (1500-1800), during the lecture 'Jeugdige overmoed. Denkbeelden over jongeren digitaal duiden' (pdf).
Together with the National Library of the Netherlands, Stronks developed the DBNL ngram-viewer. This tool enables researchers to search through the Royal Library's digitalised texts, for instance for the occurence of particular words, which are then presented in a graphic. The ngram-viewer is now available for other researchers.
Bringing literary studies to a broad audience
All of our researchers can be contacted for media appearances, to talk about their own projects or about literary phenomena in general.
On a regular basis, they also give public lectures during symposia, cultural events and for social or political institutions.
- Dr Susanne Knittel gave a lecture at Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam, in which she elaborated on the ways in which reports of eye witnesses can be interpreted.
- Prof. Geert Buelens lectured at the Ministery of Foreign Affairs, about the representation of the First World War.
- Prof. Ann Rigney gave a lecture at the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (The Hague) on practices of commemoration in post-conflict societies.
- Each year the researchers of Early Modern Culture organise a public event, at which their specialists deliver lectures for a wider audience about a particular literary theme: most recently (in January 2016), 'Markt en moraal in de vroegmoderne tijd'.