Summer School: Narratives of Peace, Conflict and Reconciliation

Online Summer School | 26-30 July 2021

Organized by: Universidad de Antioquia, University of Groningen and OSL

Academic coordinators: Pablo Valdivia, Konstantin Mierau, Elizabeth Pinilla, Esther Andela, Oihane Iglesias and Rosmery Boegeholz (University of Groningen); Juan Camilo Domínguez (Universidad de Antioquia)

Credits: OSL students can obtain 5ECs from the summer school.


The last two decades have seen the increase of conflicts of an ethnic, cultural, racial, environmental, religious, political or economic nature around the world. Hence, it is urgent to reflect on the hostilities that have come to be characteristic of our contemporary societies. Of equal relevance is to address the processes of negotiation and peace building that were pursued during this time. These processes have multiplied in various conflictive situations, prompting creative ways of narrating the historical memories of wars and confrontations and fostering spaces prone to dialogue between belligerent actors and their victims. The main questions of the Summer School are based on the hypothesis that the recent peace process in Colombia —as well as new-fashioned cases of negotiation of other internal armed conflicts— represent fertile scenarios to understand or visualize the narratives through which societies confront, explain and process the effects of the conflict from both, a local and a global perspective. The aim of this Summer School is to reflect on these processes of conflict, transition and peace, and on how cultures strive to imagine and build future horizons of peace. The central theme of this edition is cultural narratives of conflict, post-conflict and reconciliation.

Key questions like the following will be addressed in the Summer School: How narratives of conflict, transition and reconciliation can be addressed from a theoretical perspective? What relevant features and perspectives explain conflict and social transformation around the world? How cultural narratives relate to, activate, orientate and represent conflict? In which ways the relationship between the notions of peace and truth enlighten the peace-making process in Colombia? What are the main challenges for pursuing a state of peace? How to address conflict resolution in the future?


Please click here for more info on the programme, credits and registration.

PDF: Summer School Flyer

OSL PhD Day 2021: Full Programme

Online or hybrid (format to be confirmed) | 11 June 2021 

Date: June 11, 2021 | Time: 9.30-17.00 | Venue: Online or hybrid (format and possible venue to be confirmed) | Open to: OSL PhD’s (NB: The event is also open to ReMA students and other members of the OSL community, although OSL PhDs will be given priority)

Registration is open


To all OSL PhD students: save the date!

We are delighted to announce that we have secured a date and two wonderful keynote speakers for our upcoming PhD Day on the theme “The Different Uses of Literature Today and Possible Futures for Literary Studies”. The PhD day will take place on 11 June 2021 and will consist of a full-day program.

The opening lecture will be given by dr. Merve Emre, who is based at Oxford University and is a frequent contributor of literary criticism to a.o. The New York Review of BooksThe New Yorker, and The Atlantic. Emre will share her analysis-in-progress of the current “post-discipline era,” in which the value of literature is partly or even mostly determined outside of literary criticism and scholarship.

Later in the day, dr. Sinan Çankaya will provide us with a second keynote lecture. Çankaya is a cultural anthropologist at Vrije Universiteit and has recently written Mijn ontelbare identiteiten (“My Countless Identities,” 2020), an autobiographical work of non-fiction about growing up as the child of immigrants in The Netherlands. He will share with us his experiences with extra-academic publishing.

In addition to these keynote speakers, we will give the floor to some of you, our own PhD students, to present your work in progress.


OSL PhD representatives:

Judith Jansma (University of Groningen)

Kim Schoof (Open University)



9:45-10:00 Registration / coffee and tea

10:00-10:15 Welcome and Introduction

10:15-11:15 Keynote lecture Merve Emre (45 mins) + Q&A (15 mins)

11:15-11:45 Coffee break

11:45-13:00 Panel session 1: Literature and the unseen: Societal change and literary activism 

  • Clara Vlessing: “Intersectionality in the Cultural Memory of Sylvia Pankhurst”
  • Anneloek Scholten: “Rethinking ‘Genre’: Local Colour in Constellation”
  • Andries Hiskes: “Present absences: reading for the reproduction of affect patterns in literary texts” 
  • Q&A + panel discussion (30 mins)

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:15 Panel session 2: Going digital: Change within the field of literary studies

  • Elizabeth Pinilla Duarte: “Methodological approach to study Twitter narratives from a dynamic view”
  • Floor Buschenhenke & Lamyk Bekius: “Track Changes: Textual scholarship and the challenge of digital literary writing”
  • Q&A + panel discussion (30 mins)

15:15-15:45 Coffee break

15:45-16:45 Keynote lecture Sinan Çankaya (45 mins) + Q&A (15 mins)

16:45-17:00 Closing remarks

17:00 Drinks

OSL/NICA Symposium ‘Posthuman Futures in Literature and Art’: Preliminary Programme

Posthuman Futures in Literature and Art

Online | Thursday 3 June (10:00-15:30) and Friday 4 June 2021 (10:00-16:00)

Organizers: Amalia Calderón and José Bernardo Pedroso Couto Soares (UvA)

Open to: PhD candidates and RMA students; OSL and NICA members have first access.

Credits: 2 ECs can be obtained either by presenting a paper/performance or by submitting a critical reflection on two chosen panels after the event (more details will be provided soon to all registered participants).

Registration opened February 3, 2021


Within late capitalism, developments in the natural sciences, digital information technologies, and the study of ecological systems have altered the shared understanding of the basic unit of reference for the human. Critical posthumanism (Braidotti, 2016) works as an analytical tool that allows one to expose restrictive structures of dominant subject-formations as well as expressing alternative representations of subjectivity. This posthumanist agenda intersects with New Materialism (van der Tuin, 2012), building a discursive and material production of reality. Knowledge production is understood as situated and embodied visions (Haraway, 1988). Materialist feminism, with the speculative turn (van der Tuin, et al. 2015), develops analytical tools to think beyond the limit of human perception, refusing to make a separation from (non)human subjecthood.

The emergence of divergent epistemic processes have opened the spectrum of scrutiny to other disciplines, such as spiritual (Griffin, 1978), embodied (Alaimo, 2016) and artistic research (Cotter, 2017). From Kae Tempest’s feminist ecopoetics to the corporeality of  Yoko Ono’s world-making narratives, artistic methodologies are challenging the normative structures of present ontologies. Instead, art is presented as a planetary necessity and method for survival (Haraway, 2016); artistic processes reclaim spaces of contested heritage (Skawennati, 2016) and further reformulate themselves as a disruptive force beyond hierarchical epistemology. They envision a future wherein humanity has reformulated its own ontology in relation to the living, breathing world it coexists with; and whose power is gathered through alternative knowledge methods in the pursuance of a radical reality.

This symposium is co-sponsored by the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL) and the Netherlands Institute for Critical Analysis (NICA); it reflects a shared wish to increase hybridity between artists and scholars, in order to create spaces for affirmative ethics (Braidotti, 2017) and “thinking with” (de la Bellacasa, 2012) alternative onto-epistemologies. The interdisciplinary framework of this event intends to foment collaboration between artists, scholars and researchers, with the purpose to explore and reflect on the advancement in artistic research and literary studies in questions of the posthuman.


Preliminary Programme:*

(* More details on the introductory lecture and the roundtable with invited speakers will follow soon)


Day I: Thursday 3 June 2021

10:00-11:00 Welcome & introductory lecture  

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:15 Panel 1: Not Human at All? (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Jori Snels, ‘An Analysis of Lu Yang’s The Great Adventure of Material World
  • Pedro Manuel, ‘Theater Without Actors: Shapeshifting Actants’
  • Julia Visser: ‘Fictioning extended sensory systems in the meditative practice of 0rphan-Drift’ 

12:15-13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:15 Panel 2: Locating Crip Worldings (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Nina Spa, ‘Perceiving otherwise: Art as a lure towards thinking and living the “more-than”‘ 
  • Sonakshi Srivastava, ‘Res(crip)ting the Gaze: An Enquiry into the Posthuman Disability Aesthethics of “Animal’s People”‘
  • Lonneke van Kampen, ‘Employing Glitchspeak: Glitch Theories for a Crip Anthropocene’

14:15-14:30 Coffee break

14:30-15:30 Panel 3: Composting Bodies (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Karen van Minnen, ‘Post-Human: A Terrific Neoliberal Prosthetic’ 
  • Ren Ewart, ‘Work with the Hands: Mending and Repair in late 20th century art’
  • Rosa Marie Mulder, ‘Fermenting Posthuman Futures’


Day II: Friday 4 June 2021

10:00-11:00 Panel 4: Tech Language Wetware (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Emilio A. Aguilar, ‘Creativity or Paranoia? Machine (mis)Translation in the Interlingual Ecology’
  • Nuno Atalaia, ‘Resonant Memories: Voice and the Synthetic Wounding of History’
  • Bethany Crawford, ‘The evolutionary concrescence of Bethany Crawford’  

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:15 Panel 5: Queer Critters (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Ohad Ben Shimon, ‘Animal’
  • Emily Shin-Jie Lee & Sheng-Wen Lo,Becoming-Animals through Sheng-Wen Lo’s Artistic Research and Practices’
  • Gordon Meade, ‘Zoospeak’

12:15-13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:15 Panel 6: Entangled Becomings (10-minute presentations + Q&A)

  • Natalia Anna Michna, ‘Being in the More-Than-Human World: Posthumanist Imagination of Olga Tokarczuk and Patricia Piccinini’
  • Jilt Jorritsma, ‘A View From a Distance: Transcending the (Non)Human in Posthuman Futures’
  • Aldo Kempen, ‘Diffractive Multi-Media Encounters: Reading Karen Barad´s diffractively through film’

14:15-14:30 Coffee break

14:30-16:00 Roundtable (with invited speakers) and conclusion 



Alaimo (2016) “Nature”, pp. 530 – 550 in Disch, L., & Hawkesworth, M. (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory. In The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory. Oxford University Press USA – OSO.

Braidotti, R. (2017) Posthuman Critical Theory. Journal of Posthuman Studies. Vol. 1, No. 1. pp. 9-25. Penn State University Press

Braidotti, R. (2017). Generative Futures: On Affirmative Ethics. Critical and Clinical Posthumanities: Architecture, Robotics, Medicine, Philosophy. pp.288-308. Edinburgh University Press

Cotter, L. (2017). Reclaiming Artistic Research – First Thoughts. MaHKUscript. Journal of Fine Art Research, 2(1), 1–.

Griffin, S. (1978). Woman and nature : the roaring inside her. Harper and Row

Haraway, D. (1988). Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. Feminist Studies 14 (3):575-599.

Åsberg, Cecilia & Thiele, Kathrin & Tuin, Iris. (2015). Speculative Before the Turn: Reintroducing Feminist Materialist Performativity. Cultural Studies Review. 21. 145. 10.5130/csr.v21i2.4324.

de la Bellacasa, M. P. (2012). ‘Nothing Comes Without Its World’: Thinking with Care. The Sociological Review, 60(2), 197–216.

Skawennati, 2016. She Falls for Ages. Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace. Montreal: Obx Labs. Watch film (21 min.)

Terranova, Fabrizio and Haraway, Donna. 2016. Donna Haraway: Storytelling for Earthly Survival.

Van der Tuin, I., Dolphijn, R. (2012) New Materialism: Interviews & Cartographies. Michigan: Open Humanities Press.

New Regularization Law in Colombia: Event with Pablo Valdivia

Online | 19 March 2021, 16:00-18:00 (Groningen time)

OSL Academic Director Pablo Valdivia (University of Groningen) is one of the experts who contributed to the drafting of the recently approved new regularization law that will benefit 2 million Venezuelan migrants in Colombia. This law was signed by the Colombian Government and welcomed by United Nations, US and Human Rights institutions from all over the world.

On 19 March 2021, prof. dr. Valdivia will participate in the event “Migración y Regularización: Más Allá del Estatuto Temporal de Protección” where he will discuss, together with other experts, the challenges, the scope and the audacity of this new legal protection instrument for migrants.
The event is organized by USAID, United Nations, Presidency of the Colombian Government and Universidad de Antioquia. Advance registration is required (limited spaces).
NB: The event is in Spanish. Please click here to register: 
Upon registration, you will receive the Zoom link to join this event, and some readings.
Alternatively, the event can be followed via Facebook Live:

Summer School: Literature and the Digital Humanities

Online | 31 May – 2 June 2021 | 2EC

Registration is now open. OSL members will have free access to the summer school, and can register via our website. Non-OSL members can register by sending an email to

From May 31 to June 2, 2021, an online Summer School for Literary Studies & Digital Humanities will be hosted by Leiden University with the support of the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL). The focus will be on recent academic research in Literary Studies at the intersection with Digital Humanities. Lectures and interactive workshops will be given by experts in the field, such as Mike Kestemont, Bertrand Westphal, Fred Truyen, Jan Baetens, Peter Verhaar, Krista Murchison, Fresco Sam-Sin e.a.

More details will follow soon! Should you have any questions, please send an email to

Promotie – Kila van der Starre (Universiteit Utrecht)

Kila van der Starre (Universiteit Utrecht) Talen, Literatuur en Communicatie) verdedigt haar proefschrift Poëzie buiten het boek. De circulatie en het gebruik van poëzie op vrijdag 12 februari 2021 om 16:15 uur aan de Universiteit Utrecht.

Poëzie buiten het boek

Poëzie maakt deel uit van ons dagelijks leven. Mensen gebruiken gedichten om te rouwen, troosten, onderwijzen, herinneren, liefde te uiten, geld te verdienen en als versiering en protest. Uit het onderzoek van Van der Starre blijkt dat poëzie circuleert, vaak geheel buiten boeken om, en dat de betekenis van een gedicht kan verschillen per persoon, per moment en per materiële drager, zelfs wanneer de tekst van het gedicht ongewijzigd blijft.

Zes casussen in Nederland en Vlaanderen stonden centraal, gericht op poëzie buiten het boek (Plint en straatpoëzie), poëzie buiten de auteursfunctie (tatoeages en rouwadvertenties) en poëzie buiten de traditionele literaire poortwachters (Candlelight en Instagram). Het onderzoek laat vooral zien dat een breed perspectief op poëzie nodig is, omdat als we enkel kijken naar poëzie in boeken, we het grootste gedeelte van het poëziepubliek, het poëziegebruik en de poëzie zelf over het hoofd zien.

De resultaten van dit onderzoek kunnen gebruikt worden (en zijn deels al gebruikt) om het literatuuronderwijs aantrekkelijker en effectiever te maken op scholen, om literaire organisaties en uitgevers een breder publiek te laten bereiken en om regionale en nationale poëziebevorderingsinitiatieven te verbeteren.

Wil je de verdediging van het proefschrift Poëzie buiten het boek. De circulatie en het gebruik van poëzie bijwonen via de livestream en/of die dag een link ontvangen naar de gratis online publicatie van het proefschrift als e-boek? Vul dan dit formulier in.

Voor meer informatie, zie website Universiteit Utrecht.

Foto’s v.l.n.r.: Omslag boek Poëzie buiten het boek – foto: Sanne Donders. Omslagontwerp: Elgar Snelders; Kila van der Starre met straatpoëzie – foto: Myrthe van Veen; Verdere foto’s straatpoëziewandeling met Kila van der Starre

Book Presentation: Christel N. Temple, Black Cultural Mythology

Online event | 19 February 2021

Time: 16:00-17:30 (Amsterdam time)
Credits: 1-2 EC (attendance and preparatory assignment + extra assignment for additional EC), for PhD candidates and RMa students. OSL members have first access.

THE BOOK PRESENTATION IS FULLY BOOKED, please send an e-mail with your name, university and research school to We will put you on our waiting list.

Christel N. Temple is Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her latest book, Black Cultural Mythology (SUNY, 2020), provides a highly innovative conceptual framework for exploring the complex relations between cultural memory, heroic narratives, activism and creative production within and beyond the African diaspora.

The event will start with a lecture by Dr. Temple, followed by a response by Ann Rigney (Professor of Comparative Literature at Utrecht University; Principal Investigator of the Remembering Activism project) and an open Q&A.

Registration will open October 28th; more details will follow soon.

NISIS/OSL Workshop: Muslim Worlds / World Literatures

Online workshop (NISIS/OSL) | 12 February 2021, 12:00-18:00 | 2-3 ECs

Organizers: Prof. Christian Lange (NISIS) and Dr Alberto Godioli (OSL)

Open to: PhD candidates and RMA students; NISIS and OSL members have first access.


THE WORKSHOP IS FULLY BOOKED, please send an e-mail with your name, university and research school to We will put you on our waiting list.

This workshop is the first collaboration between the Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies (NISIS) and the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL). As suggested by the plurals in the title, the event aims to question univocal views of both Muslim culture and world literature. On the one hand, we will consider Muslim worlds in their diversity, as opposed to representations of Islam as a dominant, stable essence. On the other, we will problematize the notion of world literature by way of interrogating its multiple definitions and socio-political implications. From One Thousand and One Nights to the latest novel by Jokha Alharthi, we will explore the different ways in which Muslim cultures have shaped (and have been shaped by) the world’s literary landscape.

The workshop will consist of three online sessions led by international experts in Islamic and/or literary studies (12:00-13:30, 14:30-16:00, 16:30-18:00, with short breaks during each session). Speakers will include: Dr Petra de Bruijn (Leiden University), Dr Hiyem Cheurfa (Lancaster University), Dr Richard van Leeuwen (University of Amsterdam) and Dr Liesbeth Minnaard (Leiden University). A more detailed program will be circulated closer to the date of the event.

OSL Course: Computational Literary Studies

OSL Course: Computational Literary Studies

Online | 22 March, 29 March, 12 April, 19 April, 10 May, 17 May 2021, 14:00-17:00 | 3-6 ECs | Organiser: prof. Karina van Dalen-Oskam (UvA) | With guest lectures from Joris van Zundert, Peter Boot, Floor Buschenhenke, Lamyk Bekius (Huygens Institute) | Open to: PhD Candidates and RMa Students, OSL members will have first access. 

NB: Members of the Huizinga research school should sign up via the Huizinga website.

Registration will open February 3, 2021

Bring your own laptop to all classes


Scholars working in computational literary studies make use of computer software that helps them to analyze digital textual data. Software can support the exploration of a much larger amount of data in systematic ways than was possible before. In this course, students will get introduced to the most important current approaches in computational literary studies, ranging from the analysis of style and methods for the verification and attribution of authorship to various forms of ‘distant reading’ and discourse analysis.


The first part of the course explores the new horizons and possibilities as well as the limitations of computational approaches in literary studies. Several computational tools will be demonstrated such as concordance software that can be used for discourse analytical approaches and specialized R-scripts for authorship attribution and stylistic analysis. The questions to be addressed in the first four sessions of the seminar include: How can different authors be distinguished from each other using computational tools? In which ways do their writing styles exactly differ? What are the options for computer-assisted discourse analysis? What kinds of reasoning and logic play a role when computational tools are applied and what are their epistemological implications? How can we evaluate the results of the new methods and techniques? Each class, a new tool will be introduced and the students will learn the basics of their use hands-on.


The second part of the course is optional and more practical. In two workshop-like hands-on meetings students will conduct small research projects of their own. In this way, they will learn to use the computational tools themselves and gain practical experience with their possibilities and limitations. The research projects can be devoted to the cases presented in the first part of the course but also be proposed by the students themselves.


Course objectives:

  • Students learn to employ empirical and computational methods in literary studies, including the selection of tools and the reflection on their possibilities and
  • Students get an overview of international discussions in the fields of computational literary studies and digital humanities and learn to relate their research to these
  • Students learn to reflect on the relation of research questions and digital methods in literary studies.




March 22: Introduction: Authorship attribution and Proper Names (Karina van Dalen-Oskam)

March 29: Stylometry: quantifying literary style (Karina van Dalen-Oskam & Joris van Zundert)

April 12: Application of Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) (Peter Boot)

April 19: Analyzing the genesis of digital-born literary works (Floor Buschenhenke & Lamyk Bekius)

May 10 and 17: Hands-on sessions: using the presented tools and designing the experiment for the paper (Karina van Dalen-Oskam)




Students receive 3 EC for active participation (readings and small assignments) in the first four meetings and an additional 3 EC for participation in the hands-on sessions and the preparation of a final assignment (= paper of 3000 words).



3 ECs (84 working hours) for first four classes plus assignments:
Contact hours = 12 hours
Assignments = 72 hours
The assignments will not be graded. All four assignments need to be handed in for the 3ECs to be awarded.
Students need to hand in all four assignments before they are allowed to take part in the second part of the course.
Optional: Additional 3 ECs (84 working hours) for two hands-on sessions plus paper:
Contact hours = 6 hours
Preparation = 76 hours
The first version of the paper will get detailed feedback, the second, final, version of the paper will be graded and the grade needs to be 5,5 or higher for the 3ECs to be awarded.

For more information please send an email to

OSL Seminar: Contemporary Debates in Life Writing

OSL Seminar: Contemporary Debates in Life Writing

Online | Dates: Wednesdays 7, 14, 21 April, 12 and 19 May 2021 – 14.00-17.00, five sessions | Instructors: Dr. Marleen Rensen (UvA) and Dr. Babs Boter (VU) | 5 EC | Open to: RMA students and PhD candidates, OSL members will have first access


THE SEMINAR IS FULLY BOOKED, please send an e-mail with your name, university and research school to We will put you on our waiting list.

This course focuses on contemporary debates in life writing as a newly emerging field across disciplines. Life writing is an umbrella term for a wide range of writings about one’s own or someone else’s life, such as biography, autobiography, memoir, diary, bio-fiction and travel writing. In the course we will explore various life stories of men and women in the 20th and 21st centuries, who each had their own unique set of life experiences, beliefs and perceptions. This will help gain a richer understanding of how individuals move through, interact with, and are affected by the major events of their time — and how their lives are narrated, either by themselves or by others.