OSL: Educational Programme 2019-2020

We are currently finalizing our educational programme for 2019-2020. We expect to offer the following educational activities:

  • Ravenstein Seminar: Literature and Law
  • OSL Seminar: Life Writing
  • OSL Seminar: Europe as Narrative
  • Computational Literary Studies
  • Schrijfcursus
  • Creative Writing
  • Workshop: (Un)timely crises
  • OSL Master class: Science fiction

Full programme will be available by the end of August. Registration will open begin September.

We wish you all a wonderful Summer!

(‪Un)timely Crises in Europe and Beyond: Chronotopes and Critique‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Dates: 17-18 October 2019 | Time: Oct 17 9.00 – 18.00 – Oct 18 10.00 – 17.00 | Venue: University of Amsterdam, exact location TBA | Open to: PhD Candidates and RMa Students, OSL members will have first access | ECTS: 1, more details, see below | Registration will open on September 2, 2019

Please note that you can only register for the Workshop on October 17 via OSL.


Maria Boletsi (Leiden University and University of Amsterdam), Jeff Diamanti (University of Amsterdam), Natashe Lemos-Dekker (University of Amsterdam), Kasia Mika (University of Amsterdam), Ksenia Robbe (currently: Leiden University; from August 2019: University of Groningen)

Theme description

This 2-day workshop will probe contemporary crisis-scapes in order to explore the ways ‘crisis narratives’ structure experiences and representations of time and space, i.e., the ways ‘crisis’ as a framework, concept, rhetoric, affective or discursive structure forms or taps into specific chronotopes.

Historically, the term ‘crisis’ has denoted choice, decision, judgment or critique; it can signal a turning point but also a perpetual state without prospect of resolution. Discursive uses and experiences of ‘crisis’ may involve a sense of disconnection and disorientation, collapsing linear temporality. Crisis can also function as an immobilizing framework for regions deemed to be in chronic crisis. ‘Crisis’ in Europe and elsewhere today often becomes an instrument of rule in neoliberal governmentality, legitimizing ‘states of emergency’ that limit people’s rights and access to public space. Crisis-scapes, however, can also trigger a heightened awareness of the present and foster critical or creative practices that question received notions of the past, initiate different conceptions of history and futurity or form alternative communities and infrastructures.

By approaching crises as chronotopes—what Mikhail Bakhtin termed the enmeshing of temporal and spatial experience into a common condition of a given era—we seek to explore questions of crisis, time and space, as experienced, imagined and represented across a range of contexts, and particularly in Europe and its margins. Chronotopes of crisis partake in complex constellations of meanings, discourses, and affective structures that call for interdisciplinary engagement. The workshop will thus combine perspectives from literary and cultural studies with sociology, cultural anthropology, memory studies, migration studies, post- and decolonial studies, and the energy and environmental humanities, to consider how recent and contemporary crises—economic, environmental, social, political, humanitarian—trigger memories of earlier historical narratives, traumas or practices of resistance, and how they foster or foreclose specific visions of the future.

We are also interested in the ways alternative narratives—what Janet Roitman has called “noncrisis” narratives (2013)—that sidestep ‘crisis rhetoric’ may form alternative chronotopes in the present. Through exploring crises as chronotopes, the workshop also aims to revisit the relation of “crisis” with its cognate, critique, in order to ask which narratives or practices could effectively address problematic mobilizations of ‘crisis’ today and shape other, more inclusive, chronotopic structures. To that end, emphasis will be laid on literary narrativizations of ‘crisis’ as a means of disrupting or reconfiguring the chronotopic structures involved in contemporary crisis-scapes.

The workshop will thus ‘think through’ how the study of crises as chronotopes can take shape across diverse disciplinary contexts and critical debates (e.g., in the context of debt and economic crises; in rethinking infrastructures and repair; in (re)tracing and conceptualizing memory-scapes emerging in crisis-situations); and how crisis figures or disfigures the ongoing question mark about the fate of critique in a postcritical world.

The talks, discussion, and writing that will take place during the workshop will be organized around the following thematic streams:

  • Crisis Rhetoric and Alternative Grammars: Dominant representations of subjects of/in crisis (e.g. the tropes of the “victim” or “threatening agent” in the ‘migrant crisis’) often fall short of accounting for dispossessed individuals and their experiences. Which ‘grammars’ can help articulate alternative subjectivities and accounts of agency? Which expressive forms, narrative structures, and reading practices can articulate alternatives to the “slow cancellation of the future” (Berardi, Fisher) and disrupt restrictive or violent chronotopes of crisis?
  • Crisis and Memory: How are the periods of revolution and eventful socio-political transformation remembered in current times? This stream will address the ways in which 20th-century global historical junctures are recollected in political rhetoric, projects of memorialization, critical discourses, and artistic productions. It will explore the temporalities and cultural sensibilities shaped through these interpretations of turning points. How can past crises be imagined beyond narratives of traumatization which have spread globally, producing subject positions of victimhood and moral superiority? Which critical approaches to remembering crises could foster ‘redistribution of the sensible’?
  • Critique Under Duress: What is the role of critique and radical critical theory in times of crisis? Rather than decrying an ‘’end of theory’’, the theme aims to rigorously engage with the Frankfurt School, opening it up to the concerns of postcolonial, decolonial (Allen 2016), and environmental theory and its theorizations of the present in crisis. If critique aims to historicize the present, which periodizing schemes have helped bring the contemporary into relief, such as Ernst Mandel’s “late capitalism,” Elizabeth Povinelli’s “late liberalism,” or Eugene Stoermer and Paul Crutzen’s “the Anthropocene”? And which no longer bring descriptive or diagnostic weight to the structures of feeling folding in on the changing climate of crises (and crisis of climate) today? In this context, we will take up the task of trying to ‘think otherwise’ and challenge, in Ann Stoler’s gloss, some of the “ready-made concepts on which we rely and [the] work we call on them to do.” As such, the theme, among others, aims to work across meanings of duress (Stoler 2016)—as “a relation to a condition, a pressure exerted, a troubled condition borne in the body, a force exercised on muscles and mind”—and conceptualize what can critique be and do across shared, yet asynchronous, crises.
  • Chronic Crisis: This theme addresses instances where crisis becomes chronic. It asks how the duration and integration of the disruptive and the normal reorient our engagement with past, present, and future as it affects modes of anticipation, waiting, and endurance. Crisis and uncertainty can produce what Rebecca Bryant (2016) has termed the ‘uncanny present’, disrupting the possibility of imagining and acting upon the future. When and how do crises, including illness and economic and environmental crises, fade into chronicity and normality, and what futures does this enable or foreclose? How do we continue living in the face of chronic disruption and finitude?

Workshop format

The format for this event aims to facilitate collaboratively generated output. Instead of sharing finalized research in a traditional conference format, our primary aim is to establish key concepts, questions, and frames for interdisciplinary research on crisis across the humanities and social sciences. This will unfold across the following structures during the 2 days of the workshop:

Day One (October 17)

Plenary Talks and discussion; the program of Day 1 is open to a wide academic public. Confirmed Plenary Speakers: Rebecca Bryant (Utrecht University); Nick Nesbitt (Princeton University); Dimitris Papanikolaou (University of Oxford); Oxana Timofeeva (European University in St. Petersburg).

Day Two (October 18)

This part of the workshop will involve the plenary speakers as well as a group of invited scholars that will form reading and writing groups. The main objective will be to start co-writing a prospectus on the present and future of crisis research, to be submitted to an open access journal. Format:

  1. Parallel reading & discussion groups on the 4 thematic streams
  2. Collaborative writing in break-off groups on the 4 thematic streams
  3. Reconvening: Conclusions and Next Steps

The reading groups on Day 2 will discuss selected pre-circulated articles and set the ground for moving to the writing groups with a shared sense of the major positions, debates, and findings brought together under each thematic heading.

In the second part of the day, the groups will engage in collaborative writing: each group will be asked to compose a document on each thematic stream. Each group will receive a set of common questions in advance to facilitate the writing and ensure the coherent structure of the final output (prospectus).

This workshop is sponsored by OSL and ASCA. It is organized by members of the following networks: the ASCA Cities project and its “Repairing Infrastructures” seminar, the ASCA research group “Crisis, Critique and Futurity,” the “Memory and Identity” reading group at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS), and the “Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body” program group of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at the UvA.

Registration and credits

Members of the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL) and other National Research Schools can register to participate in the first day of the workshop. OSL members will have first access. NB: It is not possible to register for the second day of the workshop, which will only involve a smaller group of invited scholars. OSL RMA and PhD students can acquire 1 EC by:

  • Attending the first day of the workshop and participating actively in discussions
  • Reading a set of theoretical texts related to the workshop theme that will be circulated in advance
  • Writing a 600- to 800-word response to one of the discussion questions or topics that will be circulated in advance

More details on the schedule will follow soon; registration via OSL website will open on 2 September 2019.

Download a poster of the event here.

OSL Research Day (11 October 2019, Groningen)

The fourth OSL Research Day will take place on October 11, 2019 at the University Library in Groningen. We invite scholars from all Dutch universities to explore affinities in their research interests and possibilities for future collaboration around a number of research topics (mentioned below).

The Research Day hopes to stimulate more collaboration between literary scholars and existing research groups in the Netherlands. Although literature is the main scope of the OSL Research School, we explicitly encourage multidisciplinary research.

The Research Day will start with the presentation of the 2019 OSL Award, followed by a PhD Forum and a session on Research Funding. After a short lunch break, our special guest Prof. David Alworth (Harvard) will give a keynote lecture presenting his current research project on ‘Paratextual Art’.

In the afternoon, the participants will discuss their own research projects and interests in sessions organised by existent and emerging research groups. Sessions are planned on the topics of literature and law, European crises, literature and the region, literary prizes and cultural transfer, as well as arts and the public sphere. These sessions take 1.5 hour each, and are open to all researchers; they will take different shapes and forms, dependent upon the ideas of the organizers and participants (please see descriptions below).

Seed Money
We would explicitly like to invite participants to think about future collaborations with other OSL members. The OSL Board will make € 1000,- of seed money available for the most promising initiative, including for instance:

  • planning of symposia
  • book publications
  • joint funding applications
  • organization of OSL budgeted academic events such as the Ravenstein Seminar in January 2020 (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 collaborative project and estimation of expenses, approx. 500 words) should be sent to the OSL office by 15 November 2019 (osl@rug.nl). The OSL Board will notify the recipients by Dec 9.

Participants can register for the Research Day by sending an email to osl@rug.nl before 7 October 2019; please be aware that places are limited, and will be granted on a ‘first come first served’ basis. NB: Please indicate in your email in which sessions you would like to participate, including the parallel sessions in the afternoon.

The event will take place in the RUG University Library, Broerstraat 4, Groningen.

We look forward to meeting you all in Groningen on Oct 11!

Pablo Valdivia, Alberto Godioli, Judith Jansma, Camilla Sutherland, Florian Lippert, Elizabeth Pinilla and the OSL Board


10:00-10:15Coffee Reception-Welcome by Prof. dr Pablo Valdivia & Dr Alberto GodioliJantina Tammeszaal (University Library, Broerstraat 4, 4th floor)
10:15-10:30OSL AwardsJantina Tammeszaal
10:30-11:30PhD Forum (Judith Jansma, Elizabeth Pinilla, Clara Vlessing, Kim Schoof, Juan del Valle Rojas, Gonzalo Albornoz Barra — Chair: Dr Camilla Sutherland)Jantina Tammeszaal


11:30-12:00 Life Beyond ERC & NWO: Research Funding (Presentation: Gema Ocaña RUG Senior Advisor in European Affairs / Funding)Jantina Tammeszaal
13:00-14:00Paratextual Art

Lecture by Prof. David Alworth (Chair: Dr. Marguérite Corporaal)

Jantina Tammeszaal


14:00-15:30Parallel Session 1: Research Group Literature, Law and Society (Convenors: Dr Ted Laros, Dr David Napolitano and Dr Alberto Godioli)


Parallel Session 2: Literature and the Region: Transnational Perspectives (Convenors:
Dr Marguérite Corporaal & Dr Tom Sintobin)


Parallel Session 3: Roundtable on academic publishing (Convenor: Masja Horn, Brill)


Parallel Session 1 – Jantina Tammeszaal


Parallel Session 2 – room to be confirmed


Parallel Session 3 – room to be confirmed


15:30-16:00Coffee BreakJantina Tammeszaal
16:00-17:30Parallel Session 4: Research Group Beyond Borders in Cultural Transfer, session on Literary Prizes and Cultural Transfer (Convenors Dr Petra Broomans, Prof. dr Mathijs Sanders, Dr Jeanette den Toonder)

Parallel Session 5: Arts and the Public Sphere (Convenors: Prof. dr Laura Bieger and Prof. dr Margriet van der Waal)

Parallel Session 6: European Crises (Convenor: Dr Florian Lippert)

Parallel Session 4 – Jantina Tammeszaal



Parallel Session 5 -room tbc

Parallel Session 6 – room tbc

17:30-18:00BreakJantina Tammeszaal
18:00-19:00Book presentation Dr Konstantin Mierau, Capturing the Pícaro in Words: Literary and Institutional Representations of Marginal Communities in Early Modern Madrid (Routledge, 2019).

Chair: Prof. dr Pablo Valdivia

Jantina Tammeszaal

Description of Parallel Sessions:

  1. Literature, Law and Society: Format = invited speakers + open discussion; description will be uploaded in early July.
  2. Literature and the Region: Format = invited speakers + open discussion; description available here
  3. Roundtable on academic publishing: Description will be uploaded in early July
  4. Literary Prizes and Cultural Transfer: Description available here (NB: the description also contains a call for papers; deadline for submitting abstracts is 1 September 2019)
  5. Arts and the Public Sphere: Description will be uploaded in early July
  6. European Crises: Format = invited speakers + open discussion; Description = ‘Crises are omnipresent in today’s discourses on Europe – from the 2008 financial breakdown to the current debates on migration, democracy, history and cultural memory. In this panel, contributors will discuss and exemplify how Literary Studies, and the Humanities and Social Sciences as a whole, can contribute to the critical analyses of the conflicts and discourses underlying these scenarios.’

Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies: New Approaches to World Literature

Amsterdam | 27 June 2019

21st Meeting of the Platform for Postcolonial Readings

27 June 2019, 10.30-17.00h | E0.09, Roeterseilandcampus UvA, Roetersstraat 11, Amsterdam

The interest scholars such as Pascale Casanova and David Damrosch took in world literature fifteen to twenty years ago has recently been criticized by, for instance, Michael Allan and Aamir Mufti as (too) generalizing and universalizing. These and other critics have started to think about location and multilingualism in order to bypass the globalizing tendencies of earlier scholarship. Already as a field world literature tends to exclude non-Western traditions, canons and languages. Francesca Orsini proposes to speak of “multilingual locals” and “significant geographies” with the aim of pluralising our understanding of world literature and foregrounding the subjectivity and positionality of its actors. After all, many of the literary works that travel beyond their original contexts of production never become visible in a truly global way, but circulate in particular geographies and across specific languages.

In this meeting of the Platform for Postcolonial Readings, we take a cue from Orsini to consider the production of world literature from the perspective of multilingual locals and significant geographies. We interrogate how these new approaches problematize and reinvigorate the concept of world literature, and examine its applicability to postcolonial studies, globalisation studies, migration and minority studies, and other fields.

Our meeting starts with a keynote lecture by Prof. Francesca Orsini, whose expertise spans the literary history of South Asia, world literature and multilingualism with a focus on the Global South. Her lecture is followed by a discussion of her ideas and by a joint close reading of essays by Orsini and other scholars. In the afternoon, we continue our exploration of world literature, multilingualism and spatiality by means of contributions on the meeting’s topic by (junior) researchers working in this field. We conclude our meeting with a joint on-the-spot analysis of a striking case-study.

The meeting is open to all researchers – junior and senior – working in the fields of postcolonial and globalization studies. Participation is free of charge, but please register with NICA (nica-fgw@uva.nl). For more information, contact Liesbeth Minnaard (e.minnaard@hum.leidenuniv.nl) or Jesse van Amelsvoort (j.d.van.amelsvoort@rug.nl). A reader will be distributed in preparation of the seminar and on the day itself foods and drinks will be provided.




10.15 Walk-in and registration with coffee


10.30 Welcome & introduction of participants

by Platform co-ordinator Liesbeth Minnaard (Leiden University)


10.45 Introduction

by guest-organiser Jesse van Amelsvoort (University of Groningen/Campus Fryslân)


11.00 Keynote lecture “Located, Multilingual: New Keywords for World Literature”

by Francesca Orsini (SOAS, University of London)


12.00 Discussion of readings


Readings in preparation of discussion (a reader will be sent to all registered participants):


Text 1: Orsini, Francesca. “The Multilingual Local in World Literature.” Comparative Literature 67.4 (2015): 345-74.

Text 2: Laachir, Karima, Sara Marzagora and Francesca Orsini. “Significant Geographies: In lieu of World Literature.”  Journal of World Literature 3.3 (2018): 290-310.

Text 3: Mufti, Aamir. “Prologue: The Universal Library of World Literature.” In Forget English!: Orientalisms and World Literatures. Harvard University Press, 2018. 1-13.


13.00 Lunch


14.15 Further Food for Thought and Discussion: Paper Presentations

moderated by Platform co-ordinator Elisabeth Bekers (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)


14.15 “Postcolonialism, Postcritique, and the Politics of Untranslatability” by Marc Farrant (Amsterdam University College) followed by discussion


14.45 “Writing (Beyond) the Oral Tongue: Gender and Multilingualism in the Works of Najat El Hachmi and Chika Unigwe” by Núria Codina Solà (KU Leuven) followed by discussion


15.15 “Defending Chandrakanta: Analysing the Rise of Hindi and Devakinandan Khatri’s Defense of Hindustani in Chandrakanta” by Abiral Kumar (University of Delhi) followed by discussion


15.45 Coffee break


16.00 Joint on-the-spot-analysis of three poems by Tsjêbbe Hettinga

moderated by guest organiser Jesse van Amelsvoort


16.45 Concluding remarks


17.00 Drinks


The Platform for Postcolonial Readings organizes seminars for all (junior) researchers in the Netherlands and Belgium who are committed to issues of postcoloniality and globalization.

Organizers of this meeting: Elisabeth Bekers (VUB), Liesbeth Minnaard (UL) and Jesse van Amelsvoort (RUG).

The event is co-sponsored by NICA and OSL.


Summer School ‘Law, Literature and Human Rights’

Groningen | 13-20 July 2019

Are you interested in taking a new perspective on human rights and discovering their hidden meanings in literature and law? Would you like to learn how contemporary interdisciplinary studies such as Law and Literature and Law and Humanities help to unveil the cultural and social message of human rights law? Would you like to spend a week discussing the cutting-edge ideas in the Law and Literature studies focused on dimensions of marginality, relations between human rights and sovereignty, literary meanings and hidden structures of the ECHR jurisprudence?

This summer school aims to engage with law and literature not only to consider how these fields treat human rights and engage in human rights discourse, but also to explore how human rights alter the face of both literature and law, particularly through modifying their aesthetic forms. In this sense, the school strives to shift the accent from a sentimental kind of discourse about human rights within Law and Literature to the comprehension of how we talk about human rights and how this manner of talking strengthens or weakens them.

More information available here

European Literature Night 2019

Amsterdam | 16-17 May 2019

The European Literature Night 2019, on 16 and 17 May will be celebrating the Library, in collaboration with the OBA, the Amsterdam Public Library, which marks its 100th anniversary. Twelve writers and poets from all over Europe will talk of librarians and readers, about accidental encounters with books and people, about the first library they ever visited, about nostalgia for paper and dust, endless rows of books on shelves, the thrill of digital texts available world-wide. About the past and future of reading.

The programme includes talks by Jasin Mohamed and Jannah Loontjens; Zoe Strachan, Kerem Eksen and Andrei-Paul Corescu; Marek Šindelka, Andrej Blatnik and Felicitas von Lovenberg; Lina Buividavičiūtė, Delphine Lecompte and Gandolfo Cascio; Almudena Grandes interviewed by OSL Director Pablo Valdivia.

More details available here.

OSL Awards 2019

This year, OSL will reward three of its members with an Award for the following categories: published scholarly book, published article, and PhD thesis manuscript. The Awards are intended to acknowledge original and innovative contributions to the field of literary studies and to highlight the work of talented scholars at the beginning of their careers. The OSL Awards come with prize money of € 500,- for each award.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Recipients must be OSL members who have obtained their PhD no longer than four years ago at OSL or a university outside the Netherlands; a completed PhD is not a requirement.
  • The award will be granted for works in the field of literary studies of outstanding quality and originality in three different categories: published scholarly book, published article, and PhD thesis manuscript.
  • The works must have been published (or submitted, in the case of the thesis) in one of the modern European languages, within a period of four years prior to the granting of the award, i.e. within the period 2015-2019 for the 2019 OSL Award. Publications that have been submitted for the OSL Award in previous years are not eligible for the OSL Award 2019.


  • Publications can be submitted by the authors themselves or anybody else. Submissions should be accompanied by a brief motivation in which the merits of the publication are outlined.
  • Articles should to be submitted as PFD-files 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 2019 OSL Award is July 1, 2019.
  • The OSL Awards will be presented to the winners during the OSL Research Day on October 11, 2019 in Groningen.

Awards Committee: Dr. Marguérite Corporaal (Radboud University), Dr Monica Jansen (Utrecht University), Dr Florian Lippert (University of Groningen).

We look forward to your submissions!

Message from the Groningen team

As previously announced, on 1 January 2019 OSL officially moved from the University of Amsterdam to the University of Groningen. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the UvA team – Director Henk van der Liet, Programme Director Stephan Besser, Managing Director Paul Koopman, and Office Manager Chantal Olijerhoek – for their amazing work and their invaluable contribution to OSL’s constant growth.

We are very much looking forward to working with the OSL Board and members on the School’s future activities, with the shared aim of taking active part in the most exciting developments for Literary Studies within and beyond the Netherlands.

The School’s new email address is osl@rug.nl. The previous one (OSL-fgw@uva.nl) should still be used for the following matters: Ravenstein Seminar and Keynote Lecture (Winter School 2019), OSL Schrijfcursus voor geeteswetenschappers 2018-2019, OSL Seminars ‘Perspectives on African Literature’ and ‘Postcolonial Remembrances’ (2018-2019).

Best wishes,

Pablo Valdivia (OSL Director)

Alberto Godioli (OSL Programme Director)

The OSL Award winners 2018

The OSL Award winners of 2018 are Anne-Fleur van de Meer and Alex Rutten. They received their prize during the annual OSL Research Day in Groningen on October 12, 2018.

Each year, OSL rewards two of its members with an OSL Award for the publication of an excellent scholarly book and article. The Awards are intended to acknowledge original and innovative contributions to the field of literary studies and to highlight the work of talented scholars at the beginning of their careers. The OSL Awards come with prize money of € 500,- for each award.

The jury’s praise

With “‘Ik kan niet genezen van een kwaal die ik niet ken.’ Depressie en intertekstualiteit in Kikker gaat fietsen (2008) van Maarten van Buuren,” Anne-Fleur van der Meer has written a highly accomplished and original article on autobiographical texts on depression. Her article stresses the important point that as literary scholars, we have to withstand the temptation to emphasize the non-fictional content of novels like Maarten van Buuren’s. This temptation runs rampant in society, as is evidenced by talk shows that will invite authors who write novels with autobiographical content, and then fail to address the literary nature of such texts. Van der Meer urges us to consider the literary merits and devices of literary works on depression. She has a masterful grip on the theories she uses. She impressed us with the meticulous and sophisticated nature of her close readings and narratological analyses of the primary source. She then manages to embed these close readings in an extra-literary scientific discourse and social context in convincing ways. This makes her work both technically precise and socially relevant, which is quite an achievement for an early-career literary scholar.

Anne-Fleur van der Meer. “‘Ik kan niet genezen van een kwaal die ik niet ken.’ Depressie en intertekstualiteit in Kikker gaat fietsen (2008) van Maarten van Buuren.” Nederlandse Letterkunde 23.1 (2018): 11-39.

Alex Rutten’s monograph De publieke man: Dr. P.H. Ritter Jr. als cultuurbemiddelaar in het interbellum (Hilversum, 2018) offers a first comprehensive examination of the legacy of (radio) critic, journalist and writer Dr. P.H. Ritter Jr. in a cultural-historical framework. What struck us as extraordinary is the originality of Rutten’s work. Not only in terms of its object of study, as Ritter’s output has never before been systematically researched in an academic study, but also in its innovative contextual and literary-sociological method. Rutten’s analysis includes a whole range of media, organizations, and cultural institutions that have not been traditionally considered part of literary history, such as newspapers, movie theatres, and radio shows. He convincingly argues that an examination of these is not only vital for understanding Ritter’s oeuvre, but for Dutch literary history as a whole.

The jury consisted of prof. dr Hans Bertens (UU), prof. dr Jos Joosten (RU) and dr Inge van de Ven (TU).

Congratulations, Anne-Fleur and Alex, on behalf of the jury and OSL Board!

LACE Winter School: Narrative Values, the Value of Narratives

University of Groningen
January 28 – February 1 

Since the narrative turn, the interest in the concept of narrative and its values has become widespread, both inside and outside the academy. There is a growing interest in narrative fiction as an ‘experimental values laboratory,’ studying both the value of narrative fiction in society and the values that are circulated through narrative fiction. Outside the academy, storytelling has become the focus of interest in many professional practices, such as psychology, counselling, medicine and health, and journalism, where it is used as a tool to piece together broken lives and make sense out of chaos and destruction. Narrative thus appears to be everywhere.

The Winter School, organized in affiliation with the Literature and Change in Europe (LACE) network, offers cutting-edge narratological research with contributions from leading narrative scholars, such as Jan Baetens (Leuven), Hendrik Skov Nielsen (Aarhus), Marina Grishakova (Tartu) and Liesbeth Korthals Altes (Groningen). In it, a broad array of disciplines and practices will be showcased, exploring how narratives are shaped by ethical, aesthetic, epistemological, and social values, and how narratives function as varied and complex transmitters of values in contemporary society.

Special attention will be paid to the ‘dark side’ of the omnipresence of storytelling in contemporary virtual and mediatized culture: on the impact of simple stories catching people’s imagination and spreading like wildfire and the use of stories in politics and marketing to manipulate voters and consumers. There is a need for “narrative savviness”: the ability to critically assess narratives as constructed representations of reality, rather than reality itself, and to be aware of their implies yet often hidden values.

Participants of the Winter School will follow a series of lectures and participate in interactive workshops during which they can present their research projects. Included in the programme is a day-long symposium, organized in honour of prof. dr. Korthals Altes and her contributions to the field of narrative, where additional international speakers will present their work and engage in a lively debate on the negotiation of values in and through narratives.

Please note that if your programme includes a requirement to earn credits from a national research school, the credits for this winter school do not count towards that requirement. 

More information