Sharing Knowledge

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

Prof. Frits van Oostrom developed the app 'Vogala', which lets you hear what medieval Dutch sounded like.

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.

About the exhibition 'Sterke Verhalen' (in Dutch)

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.

Prof. dr. Els Stronks
Prof. Els Stronks at the Royal Library of the Netherlands.

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.