OSL Awards 2022

The call for the 2022 OSL Awards is now open! Just like last year, OSL will award a prize for five categories: ‘published scholarly book’, ‘published article’, ‘PhD dissertation’, ‘ReMA thesis’ and ‘valorization‘. The Awards are intended to acknowledge original and innovative contributions to the field of literary studies and to highlight the work of talented OSL students and scholars. Each OSL Award comes with prize money of € 500,-.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Published scholarly book’ and ‘published article’: Participants must be OSL members who have obtained their PhD from 1 January 2018 onwards at OSL or a university outside the Netherlands. A completed PhD is not a requirement. The works must have been published in one of the modern European languages within the period 1 January 2018 – 15 September 2022. Publications that have been submitted for the OSL Awards in previous years are not eligible for the 2022 edition.
  • PhD dissertation’: Participants must be OSL PhD candidates who have submitted the final version of their dissertation between 1 January 2021 and 15 September 2022. Participants will have to provide evidence that the file they submitted constitutes the final version of their dissertation. A completed PhD is not a requirement.
  • ReMA thesis’: Participants must be OSL ReMA students who have submitted the final version of their thesis between 1 January 2021 and 15 September 2022. Participants will have to provide evidence that the file they submitted constitutes the final version of their thesis. A completed ReMA is not a requirement, but the thesis must have received a minimum grade of 8,0 by the date of submission.
  • Valorization‘: Any OSL member can participate by submitting a brief description (max. 1000 words) of a valorization activity or project they have conducted between 1 January 2021 and 15 September 2022. Participants are welcome to also provide additional evidence regarding their valorization activity (e.g. websites, newspaper articles, links to video recordings, etc.).


  • Articles and other files should to be submitted as PDF to osl@rug.nl. Books can be submitted in digital form as well (if available), otherwise a hardcopy should be sent to Netherlands School for Literary Studies (Prof. Dr. Pablo Valdivia), Harmony Building, Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat 26, 9712 EK Groningen.
  • The deadline for proposals for the 2020 OSL Award is 15 September 2022.
  • The winners of the OSL Awards will be announced in December 2022.

Awards Committee: to be announced.

We look forward to your submissions!


Winners of previous editions

2021: Marit van de Warenburg and Wouter Woltering (ReMA thesis); Kila van der Starre and Roel Smeets (PhD thesis); Carlijn Cober (published article); Kila van der Starre (valorization)

2020: Dr. Marc Farrant and Jesse van Amelsvoort

2019: Dr. Marieke Winkler and Dr. Tom Idema

OSL Academic Programme 2022-2023

The first overview of the OSL academic programme for 2022-2023 is now available! For the activities taking place in Semester 1, registration will open in September (more details will follow soon). If you have any questions, you are welcome to send an email to osl@rug.nl.

NB1: Unless stated otherwise, all events are being planned as onsite.

NB2: More details (and event-specific webpages) will be available in late August / early September. Stay tuned for more updates!


Semester 1 (September 2022 – January 2023)


What Next? Life After Your ReMA/PhD | Amsterdam, 30 September 2022, 14:00-18:00 CET. Organizers: Dr Alberto Godioli (University of Groningen), Kim Schoof (Open University), Clara Vlessing (Utrecht University) and Kaspar Hendrichs (Leiden University)

What does life look like after a ReMA or PhD in literary studies / the humanities? How can you find out what professional path is most suitable for you? During this event, OSL ReMAs and PhDs will have an opportunity to discuss these questions with early career academics as well as OSL alumni working in policy making and the cultural sector.


OSL Research Day | Leiden, 7 October 2022, 10:00-18:00. Organizers: Prof. Maria Boletsi and Prof. Frans Willem Korsten (Leiden University).

The Research Day aims to celebrate and cultivate OSL’s sense of community, and hopes to stimulate more collaboration between literary scholars and existing research groups in the Netherlands. While literature is our primary focus, we explicitly encourage multidisciplinary research. The programme will combine plenary sessions with a series of panels organized by OSL research groups.


Seminar ‘Eco-Collapse in Transatlantic Perspective’ | Nijmegen, 28 September, 12 October, 26 October, 9 November, 23 November, 7 December 2022. Organizers: Prof. Michael Boyden (Radboud University). 5-6 ECs.

Disasters – whether or not man-made – often catalyze the emergence of a sense of national self-consciousness. In the Netherlands, for instance, ingenuity and resilience in the face of successive floods constitute central ingredients of the Batavian myth around which a Dutch national imaginary took shape. But the Batavian myth also displays remarkable parallels with other narratives of historical self-legitimation, particularly those of settler or pioneer cultures in the United States and elsewhere.

In reconfigured form, such localized tropes of national self-fashioning now resurface in speculative and science fiction about planetary collapse as well as Indigenous counter-epistemologies. An understanding of the cultural work that such eco-collapse narratives do, and how they reverberate and are recycled, is an essential step toward meeting the challenges of a warming planet today.

This course specifically considers how stories that depict the impact of eco-disasters on the identity and mentalities of a given group of people take shape in relation to similar narratives circulating elsewhere. Mobilizing critical insights from recent scholarship in ecocriticism and Anthropocene Studies, we will explore such multidirectional borrowings in selected examples of eco-collapse narratives and other cultural expressions.


Skills Course ‘Fiction: A Practitioner’s Guide’ | Groningen, 29 September, 6 October, 13 October (15:00-17:00) + 27 October, 3 November and 10 November (14:00-16:00). Organizers: Dr Suzanne Manizza-Roszak and Dr David Ashford (University of Groningen). 5 ECs.

This course will introduce participants to the craft of fiction writing, enabling them to develop or to expand upon their own practice as creative writers. In the first half of the course, participants will study fiction in diachronic perspective from a variety of traditions, from the epistolary genre to semi-autobiographical writing. Over this series of seminars and creative writing workshops, participants will investigate how earlier forms of fiction-writing have been (and might be) adapted for the creation of contemporary fiction.

In the second half of the course, participants will read very recently published flash fiction and short stories with an eye toward specific questions of craft. Can the musicality of the line inform our fiction writing in the same way that it does our poetry? How is dialogue shaped by what we omit as well as what we include? Throughout the block, students will produce creative work of their own that draws on these readings and conversations. A final reflective meta-writing assignment will create space for student authors to consider how their thematic preoccupations and aesthetic choices connect to the reading list, to the writing of their peers, and to a larger body of both earlier and contemporary fiction.


Seminar ‘Africa Beyond “Africa”‘ | Amsterdam, 4,11, and 18 October; 1, 8 and 15 November 2022. Organizers: Prof. Margriet van der Waal (University of Groningen) and Dr. Astrid Van Weyenberg (Leiden University). 5 ECs.

Although political, sociological, ethnographical or anthropological perspectives from, on and about Africa are frequently examined and discussed, African artistic domains remain relatively underexposed in the Netherlands. This is remarkable, especially when taking into account that African artistic practices are booming – both at home and around the world. In this course, we will problematize a number of assumptions about Africa and explore how contemporary African literature and film invite us to imagine and rethink Africa as part of the world and the location of the future. The seminar is not meant to represent a general overview of African literature and film, but aims to explore a number of topical issues with regard to contemporary literary and cultural production from and about Africa. We will apply an interdisciplinary perspective, drawing on the knowledge and expertise from different academic fields working on the topic of African literature and film.


Workshop ‘Regional Literature in Transnational Contexts’ | Nijmegen, 11-13 January 2023. Organizer: Prof. Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University). 2 ECs.

This workshop combines an introduction to regional literature from c.1840-1940, and its current themes and approaches, with a skills-based workshop that prepares RMA students and PhD candidates for attending academic conferences. It involves attending the conference ‘Cultural Representations of the Region in Transnational Contexts, c.1840-1940’, hosted by researchers in the NWO-funded VICI project ‘Redefining the Region’, as well as a complementary introductory workshop session.
This introductory session takes place on the morning before the conference (Wednesday 11 January 2023), and students will discuss assigned readings on regional writing in transnational contexts, as well as read selected abstracts from conference speakers. These will serve as a starting point for students to write their own mock abstract for the conference collaboratively during the session, based on the literature read in preparation for the workshop and text they are familiar with.  Moreover, in groups, students develop potential questions for the keynote speakers, which they are invited to ask at the conference itself.


Ravenstein Winter School ‘New Perspectives on the Novel: Histories, Forms, Representations’ | Utrecht, 18-20 January 2023. Organizers: Dr Roel Smeets (Radboud University), Dr Inge van de Ven (Tilburg University) and Lucas van der Deijl (University of Groningen). 5-6ECs.

The Ravenstein Seminar 2023 will offer an exciting program of both Dutch and international scholars specialising in the study of the novel, including confirmed keynotes Richard Jean So (McGill University), Karin Kukkonen (University of Oslo) and Caroline Levine (Cornell University). Besides plenary lectures and panel sessions on the history, form, and politics of novels from various language fields and cultural contexts, the program contains hands-on workshops about research methods tailored for the study of both individual cases and large collections of novels. Particular attention will be paid to digital humanities approaches to close and distant reading.


Semester 2 (February – July 2023)


OSL/NICA Seminar ‘Laughing Matters: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Humor and Society’ | Groningen / Leiden; 3, 10 and 7 February and 3, 10 and 17 March 2023. Organizers: Dr Alberto Godioli (University of Groningen) and Dr Yasco Horsman (Leiden University). 5ECs.

What social functions can humor perform, from literary satire to stand-up comedy? How does a society negotiate the cultural, moral or legal boundaries of humor, i.e. what can and cannot be joked about? How is the production and circulation of humor changing, in the age of social media and viral memes? Questions like these can only be effectively tackled from an interdisciplinary perspective – i.e., by combining literary, cultural, sociological and linguistic approaches to the multifaceted nature of humor as a social phenomenon.

This seminar builds on recent cross-disciplinary developments in humor research, with a special emphasis on the contextual dimensions of humorous communication and the complex roles played by humor in the public sphere. After a general introduction to humor studies as an interdisciplinary field, the sessions will focus on topics such as humor and free speech (in a literary, cultural and juridical perspective), the politics of stand-up comedy, and humor as a tool for political resistance.


Seminar ‘Forms of Postcolonial and Postsocialist Time: Eternal Presents and Resurfacing Futures’ | Amsterdam, 8 February, 22 February, 8 March, 22 March, 5 April 2023. Organizers: Dr Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen), Dr Sanjukta Sunderason (University of Amsterdam) and Dr Hanneke Stuit (University of Amsterdam). 5 ECs.

This course addresses the ways in which literature and art, in their generic capacity for multi-perspective representation, reimagine place and agency within the eternal present inaugurated by the end of the Cold War at the turn of the 1990s. This global discourse of contemporaneity was meant to deconstruct the linear progressive time of modernity that dominated the 20th century. However, arrested within such perceptions of new spatio-temporal fluidities of “the contemporary” were the heterogeneous temporalities of decolonization and democratization in societies that had been negotiating the impacts and afterlives of empire and ideological conflicts of the Cold War across the long 20th century.

Today, we observe a certain “return of history” in calls for decolonization that have come to define militant imperialisms and nationalisms across the globe, as well as activist resistance to nation-statist hegemonies. The war in Ukraine, and continuing conflicts over postcolonial sovereignty across former colonial sites like Hong Kong, Kashmir, or Palestine reveal such circularities of eternal presents and resurfacing futures. These temporalities, while appealing to new calls for liberation, are nonetheless often dominated by nation-state driven essentialist past-orientedness and the wish to preserve the existing hegemony.

Our course will foreground the proposition that postcolonial and postsocialist societies of the past three decades can be approached as repositories of braided temporalities of struggle, affirmation, memorialization, and utopian horizons. We can encounter here new and alternate versions of contemporaneity that materialize the spectre of emancipatory history via aesthetic form and develop ways of engaging with the past that “resurface” futurity.


Symposium ‘Science, Superstition and the Supernatural: From the Gothic to the Present’ | Amsterdam, 2 February 2023. Organizers: Marijke Valk and Bart Mulderij (University of Groningen). 1 ECs.

A full description will be available in September.


Schrijfcursus voor geesteswetenschappers: Framen, schrappen en herschrijven | Utrecht, Semester 2 (exact dates to be confirmed). Organizer: Prof. Geert Buelens (Utrecht University). 3EC.

Valorisatie wordt in de wetenschap steeds belangrijker. En dan gaat het er niet alleen over dat je onderzoek aansluiting vindt bij maatschappelijke thema’s, maar ook dat je aan het brede publiek duidelijk kunt maken waar het over gaat en wat er interessant aan is. In deze korte, intensieve schrijfcursus leer je in verschillende tekstgenres je onderzoek te presenteren. Hoe kun je in een opiniërende column de aansluiting zoeken bij de actualiteit? Welke offers moet je (niet) brengen wanneer je in de media komt of een boek schrijft voor een publieksuitgeverij? Hoe kun je je onderzoek ‘framen’? De cursus bestaat uit schrijfoefeningen en discussies.


Seminar ‘Contemporary Debates in Life Writing’ | Amsterdam, April – May 2023 (5 sessions). Organizers: Dr. Marleen Rensen (UvA) and Dr. Babs Boter (VU). 5 ECs.

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.


Symposium ‘Genre and Gender Bending in Trans* Literature’ | Groningen, 13 April 2023. Organizers: Dr Judith Jansma and Dr Jeanette den Toonder (University of Groningen). 1-2 ECs.

In this symposium we propose to examine the bending of gender and genre in recently published works of fiction written by trans* authors. The keynote lectures will present novel methodological frameworks and theoretical concepts for the analysis of such texts, allowing students to study their transcending character. During the panel round, several researchers in the Netherlands and beyond will be invited to talk about their current projects. During the workshop, we will study four texts in detail – applying the newly acquired knowledge and insights: Akwaeke Emezi, Dear Senthuran (2021); Andrea Lawlor, Paul takes the Form of a Mortal Girl (2017); Torrey Peters, Detransition Baby (2021); and Jordy Rosenberg, Confessions of the Fox (2018).

Different variants of the beyond-the-binary model will be explored as well as the concept of intersectionality as a basis for trans feminism, which concerns both trans-specific oppression and sexist oppression, as Emi Koyama has argued in “Whose Feminism Is It Anyway? The Unspoken Racism of the TransInclusion Debate” (2006). Finally, a reflection on the much-criticized “trapped in the wrong body discourse” will allow for an exploration of the bodily matter of sexual difference, as well as possible alternatives.


Seminar ‘Computational Literary Studies’ | Amsterdam / Online, April – May 2023. Organizer: Dr Karina van Dalen-Oskam. 3-6 ECs

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.


OSL PhD Day | June 2023.

More details will follow soon.


Hermes Summer School | Siena (Italy), June 2023.


Institute of World Literature Summer Program | Venue TBA, July 2023.

Oceans as Archives Conference, 4-6 July, University of Amsterdam

Date: 4-6 July, 2022 | Location conference: University Theater and The Black Archives, Amsterdam

The Oceans as Archives conference contributes to the growing field of critical ocean studies, while intervening in the erasures and occlusions performed in scripting the field as a new terrain of inquiry. This three-day interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars, poets, artists, and activists to share and discuss work that centers the ocean as a source of knowledge and a method for thinking, writing, and critical praxis. The conference provides a space for sharing ideas and theories anchored in the longstanding critical traditions of Black (diaspora) studies, Pacific Islander studies, Critical Indigenous studies, Caribbean philosophy, postcolonial theory, and decolonial and anticolonial critique. There will be panel discussions, film screenings, poetry readings, performances, visual art, workshops, and conference papers. The conference will take place from 4 – 6 July 2022 at the University of Amsterdam. We are honored to announce that Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs will present the keynote lecture entitled “Relevant is Different Points on a Circle”: Audre Lorde and the Ocean Blue.” The keynote lecture will take place on July 5th and will be virtual. We will host a live screening gathering at The Black Archives.

1 EC can be obtained by submitting a critical reflection (800-1000 words, excl. bibliography) to nica@hum.leidenuniv.nl before 1 August 2022, 23:59. Students from OSL or other research schools are also invited to send their assignment to NICA. In their reflections, students should discuss one selected panel in light of relevant secondary sources (at least three); students are also welcome to elaborate on how the selected panel relates to their own research interests. It is also possible to obtain 2 ECs by submitting two reflections following the same format. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Organizers: Dr. Kristie Flannery (Australian Catholic University), Dr. Renisa Mawani (University of British Columbia), and Dr. Mikki Stelder (University of Amsterdam)

For details and registration: www.oceansasarchives.org

OSL Seed Money Call 2022

Groningen, 26 January 2022

The OSL seed money grant aims to foster collaboration within and beyond the OSL community. The OSL Board will make € 1000,- available as seed money for the most promising initiative, including for instance:

  • Planning of symposia, workshops and conferences in 2023 or 2024
  • Publications (e.g. contribution to publishing fees, editing services, etc.)
  • Assistance for joint funding applications
  • Organization of OSL budgeted academic events (in this case, the seed money will be added as an extra to the budget already made available by OSL).

Applications (short description of the project and estimation of expenses, approx. 500 words) should be sent to osl@rug.nl by 29 April 2022, end of day. The OSL Board will notify the recipients by the end of May 2022.

OSL Awards 2021: Congratulations to the Winners!

22 December 2021

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 OSL Awards:

ReMA Thesis: Marit van de Warenburg (first prize) and Wouter Woltering (runner-up)

PhD Thesis: Kila van der Starre (first prize) and Roel Smeets (runner-up)

Peer-reviewed article: Carlijn Cober

Valorization and public outreach: Kila van der Starre

Our warmest congratulations to the winners, and to all those who submitted their work — the general quality of this year’s entries was extremely high!

Please find more details below, with excerpts from the jury’s motivation:


ReMA Thesis


Marit van de Warenburg, ‘Songs That Stick: Songs of Protest and Their Cultural Afterlives’, Utrecht University

  • Van de Warenburg’s thesis explores the specific role that music plays in the relationship between cultural memory and activism, and—quite ambitiously—it aims at “provid[ing] a new conceptual model for addressing the intersection between memory, music and activism” (8). Analyzing a corpus of four songs—two of American, one of French, and one of Italian origin—and a selection of contemporaneous and later (national and/or international) re-uses of these songs, she demonstrates that the selected songs and their afterlives share important characteristics. She shows how the formal qualities of these protest songs and the (multidimensional) memory processes that they set in motion create a sense of community and how it is that these songs can have the mobilizing power that they so evidently do.
  • The thesis is presented in a very professional and pleasing to look at manner (cover and lay-out). It consists of four chapters in which the author analyses four songs (North American and European cases) according to the method of analysis discussed — combining historiography and close reading in a convincing and insightful manner. It is impressive how Van de Warenburg creates her own analytical framework by combining the two dimensions from memory studies and musicology. The contribution of this thesis is evident in the author’s finding that although protest songs may come from various traditions, the factors that lead to their re-use are rather similar. This insight contributes to understanding the use and specifically the phenomenon of and reasons for the re-use of protest songs in social activism.


Wouter Woltering, ‘Intervening Bodies: Disability, Queerness, and Crip Theory in Virginia Woolf’s On Being Ill, Mrs. Dalloway, and Orlando’, Leiden University

  • The thesis avoids simple interpretation/reductionism in the analysis, showing how complex it is to read Woolf’s work through the lens of disability and ‘crip theory’. Woutering’s analysis is very well written, and achieves a good balance between close-reading and contextualization.
  • The thesis conducts an insightful close-reading of three texts by Virginia Woolf, supported with a broad range of secondary literature in order to present a crip reading of Woolf’s work. This allows the author to conclude that Virginia Woolf – despite her own problematic statements concerning illness and physical and other disability – may be considered a “nascent crip theorist” (8). Such an interpretation enables the work of a key figure of modernist writing to be read and understood as contributing to new and more inclusive ways to think about disability and impairment.
  • The contribution of this ReMA thesis is most evident as a suggestion/example of how “cripping modernist literature” may be achieved (i.e. challenge able-normative ideas and practices regarding impairment, eugenics and degeneration). The student also showed his awareness of and ability to handle a diversity of (at times conflicting) positions within the field of Woolf scholarship.


PhD Thesis


Kila van der Starre, Poëzie buiten het boek. De circulatie en het gebruik van poëzie, Utrecht University

  • This is a socially significant research topic that takes the function of poetry beyond book publications and highbrow academia, examining how people today (and in the past) experience(d) poetry, revalued it and reused it. Relevant works have been included in the theoretical scope. The quantitative research that has been conducted is exciting, and the ways in which issues of memory and heritage are brought into the analyses are refined.
  • The thesis is one of these studies that change a field in terms of orientation. Instead of considering the Dutch poetry landscape as a marginal literary field in which the happy few meet one another on small-scale festivals, Van der Starre convincingly shows that poetry is everywhere.
  • The thesis surprises and is innovative in disclosing areas where one would not expect poetry to be dealt with seriously, as when tattoos are a topic of interest when dealing with poetry. But the thesis is also innovative methodologically, as when Instagram poetry is studied extensively (not just on the basis of individual cases), or when the focus on how real readers deal with poetry is worked out systematically.
Roel Smeets, Character Constellations: Representations of Social Groups in Present-Day Dutch Literary Fiction, Radboud University
  • This dissertation explores the very intriguing intersections of narratology and data set analysis. Its cutting-edge combination of qualitative and quantitative research sheds new light on community formation and conflict in recent Dutch novels.
  • The thesis presents an original combination of narratology and digital humanities, managing to synthesize a broad range of perspectives while maintaining a clear focus. Despite being locally grounded in Dutch literature, it is written in a way that can also appeal to an international audience.

Peer-reviewed article

Carlijn Cober, ‘My Landskap is myne verhard: A Topopoetics of Displacement in Ingrid Jonker’s Ontvlugting (1956) and Ek dryf in die wind (1966)‘, Imbizo: Journal of African Literary and Comparative Studies, 2018
  • Cober’s article presents a skilfully executed scholarly argument: she explores whether it is possible to present a novel reading of a canonised poet’s work (Ingrid Jonker) by introducing a topographic approach (the theoretical foundations lucidly explained in the theoretical section), and operationalising this approach in order to make it useful for a critical close-reading of the selected poems.
  • In her article, Carlijn Cober presents a careful close reading of two poems by South African poet Ingrid Jonker. Cober’s theoretically informed and meticulous close readings of the aforementioned poems lead her to conclude that Jonker’s play with the genre of the topographical poem is tied up with the motif of displacement, arguably a meaningful motif not only in the analyzed poems, but in Jonker’s oeuvre at large. Cober’s interpretation of the two poems effectuates a richer reading than the reductionist biographical readings that are prevalent in the reception of Jonker; and in this way, her article forms a valuable contribution to Jonker scholarship and reception.




Kila van der Starre, website https://straatpoezie.nl/

  • With her website and activities, Van der Starre managed to reach a national or transnational audience (if we include Flanders), with almost the full scope of media involved, including some really prominent ones, in an ongoing, interactive process between users who became participants. With her work, and impact, van der Starre has managed to change the poetry landscape of the Netherlands; not a small feat.
  • Van der Starre’s project is enormously simple and effective, based on citizen science (activity / participation) and crowd funding. Very well done that more than 200.000 viewers visited the site.
  • This project takes a clear and strong position in relation to literature education, explaining the worth and value of including alternative formats of literature in the literature education classroom as a means to create enthusiasm and interest in further literary reading. The impact of the research conducted for this argument in a non-academic context is evident. Following the discussions on the state of literature education in the Netherlands at the moment, it is clear that a more inclusive, less conservative approach to literature education is very much needed: one that takes seriously the importance of literature and reading (literature) as steps towards developing critical thinking skills and literacy.


We are very thankful to this year’s jury, which consisted of OSL Board members Marguérite Corporaal, Ann Rigney, Frans Willem Korsten, Margriet van der Waal, Ted Laros and Miriam Meissner.

Elections OSL Student Board

Groningen | 8 September 2021


Dear Students,


In the coming months, there will be changes in the student representation at the School Board, also due to one of your representatives completing her PhD trajectory.

In this regard, we will run elections for a newly created Student Board (Student Raad) following the new guidelines for national research schools. The Student Board will consist of two PhD candidates and two ReMA students who will liaise with the OSL Management Team and the OSL School Board. 

The role of the new Student Board will be to provide advice to the Management Team and the School Board on academic matters related to OSL’s training programme and academic activities. Two members of the Student Board (preferably 1 PhD candidate and 1 ReMa student) will have seats in the School Board meetings (two/three meetings per year).

In the forthcoming elections, three places will be available for election (1 PhD and 2 ReMA) as your PhD representative Kim Schoof will remain in service until the completion of her doctoral trajectory.

Further details about the election dates and procedure will be communicated to our OSL student community in the coming weeks. In the meantime, prospective candidates can contact the OSL Management Team until 30 September 2021 (end of day) by sending an email to osl@rug.nl stating their student status (PhD or ReMA), full name and university affiliation.


Many thanks for your cooperation. We look forward to welcoming you to our Student Board.


On behalf of the OSL management team,


Prof. Dr. Pablo Valdivia

Academic Director OSL

Message on Covid-19 Safety Measures

Groningen | 8 September 2021


Dear Students and Colleagues,


From OSL, we hope you enjoyed a great summer holiday. Over the last months, we have been working hard to make sure you will benefit from a new exciting academic year despite all the challenges we face ahead due to the ongoing pandemic.

Unfortunately, the Covid-19 Delta variant is still posing a strong risk according to national and international health authorities. Even after receiving the complete vaccination, the scientific community has provided evidence that attests vaccines are only offering protection at 66%-72% from severe Covid-19 Delta infection and they do not prevent the disease from spreading.

In this regard, we would like to advise that you keep using masks (preferably ffp2 type) when engaging in OSL academic activities and very especially when safe ventilation cannot be maintained. OSL activities will be held in hybrid format or online — in the former case, basic security measures (masks, safe ventilation, hands and surface hygiene) will be respected.

We will keep supporting our students and staff to the best of our ability so you can enjoy a fruitful and stimulating learning experience. Given the extreme uncertainty, we will work together with the organizers, instructors and students participating in each academic activity and we will adapt our support and advice depending on the specific conditions present at each time.

Finally, we would like to wish you a great start to the new academic year. Please, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the specific arrangements of your academic activities, training and/or courses.

On behalf of the OSL management team,


Prof. Dr. Pablo Valdivia

Academic Director OSL

Call for Papers: MLA Session on Literature and Human Rights

You are invited to propose a paper for the MLA session ‘Literature and Human Rights’, convened by members of the OSL research group Literature, Law and Society. The 2022 MLA convention will take place in Washington, DC from 6 to 9 January 2022. If interested, please send a 200-400 word abstract (+ short CV) to the contacts indicated below by Saturday 20 March 2021, end of day (Central European Time). NB: The session is not yet guaranteed at this stage. The general timeline for session proposals is described below:

  • 20 March 2021: Deadline for abstracts
  • 1 April 2021: Session proposal is submitted to MLA; Those who submitted an abstract are informed about the outcome of the selection.
  • May 2021: MLA informs convenors regarding the outcome of their session proposal.
  • 6-9 January 2022: MLA Convention.


Contacts: Dr Ted Laros, Open University (ted.laros@ou.nl) and Dr Alberto Godioli, University of Groningen (a.godioli@rug.nl).