OSL Workshop: From Crisis to Critique: Languages of Resistance, Transformation, and Futurity in Mediterranean Crisis-Scapes

ONLINE, 4-5 March 2021 | 13:30-16:00 and 17:00-18:30 + evening film programme (March 4th); 14:00-16:00 and 17:00-18:30 (March 5th) | Organizers: Prof. Dr. Maria Boletsi (Leiden/UvA), Dr. Liesbeth Minnaard (UvA) and Dr. Janna Houwen (Leiden) | 1-2 EC | Open to: PhD Candidates and RMa Students, OSL members will have first access

Registration opened October 28th. NB: This link is only valid for ReMA/PhD students and for OSL members. If you do not fall into either category, please register via this link.


Today, the term crisis is often ‘hijacked’ by far-right, xenophobic, and anti-democratic agendas that shrink the space of political choice and the imagination of alternative futures. In this workshop we ask if there are ways to salvage crisis as a concept that can do the work of its cognate—critique—and participate in the articulation of alternative languages, literary narratives, and other modes of representation in visual, digital and social media, cinema, and art.

Our rethinking of crisis and critique will take shape through the prism of a region that has become the epicenter of various declared crises in recent years: the Mediterranean. By rethinking contemporary Mediterranean crisis-scapes, we will probe interconnections between new languages of resistance, protest, transformation, and futurity emerging primarily from literary, artistic, and other forms of cultural expression and political activism in the region, both in physical spaces and on the web. Aim of the workshop is to explore how we can move from crisis to critique; from crisis as a restrictive framework to crisis as a form of critique that triggers alternative interpretations of the present and mobilizes these as occasions for social and historical change in Mediterranean societies and beyond.


Workshop Program


Thursday 4 March 2021


13.30: Checking in

13.45: Welcome and introduction

14.00 – 16.00: Panel discussion “From Crisis to Critique”

With contributors to the volume Languages of Resistance, Transformation, and Futurity in Mediterranean Crisis-Scapes. From Crisis to Critique:

  • Ipek Çelik Rappas, Koç University, Istanbul & Diego Benegas Loyo, National University of General San Martín, Buenos Aires
  • Geli Mademli, University of Amsterdam
  • Liesbeth Minnaard, Leiden University
  • Dimitris Papanikolaou, Oxford University

Chaired by Maria Boletsi and Janna Houwen, Leiden University

16.00 – 17.00: Break

17.00 – 18.30: Keynote lecture by Nilgün Bayraktar (California College of the Arts, USA):

Refugee Futurity: From Perpetual Crisis to Critical Dystopia in Contemporary Film and Video Art

Respondent: Julian Ross, Leiden University

20.00: Film program organized in cooperation with Leiden Shorts


Friday 5 March 2021

14.00-16.00: Master Class for RMA & PhD students by Stijn De Cauwer, KU Leuven, Belgium

For more information see below, registration through OSL

16.00 – 17.00: Break

17.00-18.30: Keynote lecture by Nicholas De Genova (University of Houston, USA):

Viral Borders

Respondent: Leo Lucassen, Leiden University



The lectures and panel discussion are open to anyone who wishes to attend. Participation in the OSL Master Class with Stijn De Cauwer (Friday 5 March 2021, 14.00-16.00) is restricted to Research MA students and PhD candidates. RMA and PhD students who wish to earn 1 or 2 EC credits by actively preparing, participating and contributing to the workshop should register through OSL (please see link above). OSL members will have first access to the master class.


RMA and PhD students can acquire 1 or 2 EC credits by:

  • Attending all four parts of the workshop (the film program is highly recommended, but not obligatory)
  • Reading a set of theoretical texts related to the workshop theme that will be circulated in advance (for 1 EC: the required readings for the Masterclass; for 2 EC: all below-mentioned texts)
  • Formulating a number of questions for reflection in response to the readings. These are sent to Stijn De Cauwer in advance of the Masterclass and will be used as food for discussion during the meeting.
  • Actively participating in discussions during the Masterclass.
  • Writing a position paper on one of the topics discussed during the panel discussion (length of the paper for 1 EC: 600–800-words, for 2 EC: 1400-1600 words; deadline 12 March 2021). Students who want to earn 2 EC are required to critically reflect on (at least two of) the articles by the participants in the panel discussion in their paper.
  • Instructions regarding the position paper: Participants should reflect on at least two articles presented during the panel, and ideally also on aspects of the discussion during the panel. “Position paper” suggests that they should not only summarize / present the argument(s) but also position themselves vis-á-vis the argument(s) they engage with, reflect (critically) on them or (if they want) connect them to their own work and research interests. They are free to pick the specific angle of the paper, also based on their specific interests, as long as they engage with the overall themes and problematics of the panel (and workshop). They are also welcome to reflect on other parts of the workshop, if they wish.


Preparatory readings (NB: More details will be provided to all registered participants closer to the date of the event)


For the masterclass:


Stijn De Cauwer (ed.), Critical Theory at a Crossroads: Conversations on Resistance in Times of Crisis. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018.

– “Introduction: Resistance in a Time of Crisis,” pp. xi-xxxviii.

– “The History of the Notion of Crisis: Interview with Joseph Vogl,” pp. 61-74.


Maria Boletsi, Janna Houwen and Liesbeth Minnaard (eds.), Languages of Resistance, Transformation, and Futurity in Mediterranean Crisis-Scapes. From Crisis to Critique. London: Palgrave Macmillan (Palgrave Studies in Globalization, Culture and Society), 2020.

– Maria Boletsi, Janna Houwen and Liesbeth Minnaard, first part of the “Introduction: From Crisis to Critique,” pp. 1-12.


Franz Kafka, “The Great Wall of China.” Selected Short Stories by Franz Kafka. New York: The Modern Library, 1993, pp. 136-155.



For the panel discussion:

The chapters in Maria Boletsi, Janna Houwen and Liesbeth Minnaard (eds.), Languages of Resistance, Transformation, and Futurity in Mediterranean Crisis-Scapes. From Crisis to Critique (London, Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) that were written by the participants in the panel discussion:

– Ipek Çelik Rappas & Diego Benegas Loyo, “In Precarity and Prosperity: Refugee Art Going Beyond the Performance of Crisis,” pp. 63-79.

– Geli Mademli, “Moving Images, Moving Archives: Fracturing the Crisis in Interactive Greek Documentaries,” pp. 231-248.

– Liesbeth Minnaard, “Lampedusa in Europe; or Touching Tales of Vulnerability,” pp. 145-162.

– Dimitris Papanikolaou, “Greek Weird Wave; Or, on How to Do a Cinema of Biopolitics,” pp. 209-230.

OSL Workshop: How Not to Write a Novel

OSL Workshop: How Not to Write a Novel

Amsterdam, Eye Filmmuseum | Organizer: Prof. Dr. Pablo Valdivia (Groningen); Invited author: Jesús Carrasco | 1-2 EC | Open to: PhD candidates and RMA students; OSL members have first access

NB: This event has been postponed to Spring 2022 (exact date to be announced).


How not to Write a Novel seems to be a joke but it is not. This workshop delivered by the Spanish writer Jesús Carrasco (De Vlucht 2013, De Grond Onder Onze Voeten, 2016, both published in Dutch by Meulenhoff) tries to be a record of his experience in writing his third novel. But why should the writing of a third novel be so difficult? Why not the second? The answer is simple. The second novel was written just after the first one was finished and before it was published. That means that neither of them was written with real readers in mind. This makes a difference, and this idea is the starting point for this workshop. The paradox of directing a literary work to the readers (without whom fiction writing is incomplete) and, at the same time, the necessity of getting rid of the presence of the readers in order to finish the work free from external influence. It is absurd to write fiction pretending no one is waiting for the text. Writing, unless you write a diary strictly reserved for your own eyes, is an act of communication. Literature is a message in a bottle cast into the sea in the belief that forces that the author can’t control, like the tides in the ocean, will drive the text to the readers on the shores. What the author did wrong in that attempt will give the workshop participants a glimpse of what amazing things can happen when trying to write a novel.

OSL/NICA Symposium: Posthuman Futures in Literature and Art

Posthuman Futures in Literature and Art

Online OSL/NICA symposium | 3-4 June 2021

Organizers: Amalia Calderón and José Bernardo Pedroso Couto Soares (UvA)
Credits: 2 EC
Open to: PhD candidates and RMA students; OSL and NICA members have first access.
Deadline for abstract submissions: 15 December 2020.
Notification of acceptance/rejection: 13 January 2021.
Conference program available: 30 March 2021.

NB: This event will be fully online.

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. The organizing committee welcomes proposals on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Ecopoetics & ecofeminism
  • Speculative fiction
  • The science/art divide; fabulation and factuality
  • Posthuman rights
  • Multispecies and entanglement
  • Indigenous studies & reclaiming territories
  • Queer (in)humanities
  • Ecological exile & spatial justice
  • Gaia & systems beyond the Anthropocene
  • Caring as earthly resistance
  • Prosthetic memory
  • Storytelling as decolonial resistance
  • The posthuman artist´s methods
  • Oppressive art & propaganda narratives
  • Pandemic bodies
  • Neurodiversity as emancipation
  • Posthuman consciousness & psychedelics
  • Irrational epistemes of madness, spirituality, nature

We encourage proposals from scholars, artists, scholar-artists and researchers, including emerging and early-career professionals. Proposals can take the form of academic and/or artistic interventions i.e. research presentations, panels, video screenings, performances, installations. While there is a focus on textual work, we welcome research from any practice that actively engages with posthuman art forms. The presentation duration is of max. 10 minutes (plus 5 minutes for q&a) and submissions should include: (i) a title; (ii) a 400-word abstract of the presentation/performance; (iii) a brief biography of the author(s); (iv) duration of presentation; and if necessary, (v) an attachment with an illustrative example of the material (if applicable). These will need to be submitted electronically as a single document to: osl@rug.nl .

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 (deadline Wednesday 30 June 2021).

Organizing committee

  • Amalia Calderón
  • José Bernardo Couto Soares

Advisory Board

  • Alberto Godioli (OSL)
  • Pepita Hesselberth (NICA)


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–. https://doi.org/10.5334/mjfar.30

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. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.2012.02070.x

Skawennati, 2016. She Falls for Ages. Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace. Montreal: Obx Labs. Watch film (21 min.) http://www.skawennati.com/SheFallsForAges/

Terranova, Fabrizio and Haraway, Donna. 2016. Donna Haraway: Storytelling for Earthly Survival. https://earthlysurvival.org/

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

Open call: the Journal of Literary and Intermedial Crossings

The Journal for Literary and Intermedial Crossings (ISSN 2506-8709) offers an online publication platform to researchers who wish to explore various aesthetic ‘crossings’ concerning media, genres and/or spaces. Targeted squarely at investigating the ‘in-between,’ the journal seeks contributions from scholars broadly covering medial, literary, generic, spatial and cultural crossings that bridge a plurality of potential discourses, modalities, and methodologies. We particularly welcome articles focusing on e.g. intra-, inter- and transmedial phenomena, hypermedia, genre hybridization and mixing, (inter-/cross-)cultural exchange, networks, interactions, contact zones, entanglements, cross-border movements, multilingualism, transnationality, topographies, etc.

We welcome contributions between 5,000 and 6,000 words (references and footnotes included) in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian or Spanish. All manuscripts are peer-reviewed. JLIC supports textual as well as multi-media formatting. All work submitted to JLIC should reference and be formatted according to our Author Guidelines. Articles may be submitted in Word format. Figures, video and audio files etc. should be saved separately from the text.

The deadline for articles is 26 April 2021. Please send an abstract of maximum 500 words (in English and, if applicable, also in the language of your article, i.e. Dutch, French, German, Italian or Spanish) and a list of 5 keywords (in the same (two) language(s)) and a 100-word author bio (in English only) to jlic@vub.be by 28 February 2021. Potential contributors should bear in mind that a two-stage review process is envisaged for full essays. In the first stage, articles will be reviewed by one of the journal editors. In the second stage, articles will be double-blind peer-reviewed by at least one external anonymous expert referee.

JLIC considers all manuscripts on the strict condition that:

  • the manuscript is your own original work, and does not duplicate any other previously published work, including your own previously published work.
  • the manuscript has been submitted only to the Journal of Literary and Intermedial Crossings; it is not under consideration or peer review or accepted for publication or in press or published elsewhere.
  • the manuscript contains nothing that is abusive, defamatory, libellous, obscene, fraudulent, or illegal.
  • the author has obtained the necessary permission to reuse third-party material in their article. The use of short extracts of text and some other types of material is usually permitted, on a limited basis, for the purposes of criticism and review without securing formal permission. If you wish to include any material in your article for which you do not hold copyright, and which is not covered by this informal agreement, you will need to obtain written permission from the copyright owner prior to submission.

OSL Awards 2020: Congratulations to the Winners!

5 January 2021


We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 OSL Awards: Marc Farrant (best article, first prize) and Jesse van Amelsvoort (best article, runner-up). Our warmest congratulations to Marc (left) and Jesse (right)!


Marc Farrant (University of Amsterdam) won the first prize with his article ‘Earth, World, and the Human: Samuel Beckett and the Ethics of Climate Crisis‘, Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd’hui, 32 (2), 207-221. In the words of the jury:

  • Farrant’s article combines literary analysis with philosophical and theoretical approaches, setting up a productive and insightful dialogue between Beckett (and particularly his short story “The End”), Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Maurice Blanchot and more recent approaches in ecocriticism, particularly Roy Scranton’s remarkable contribution to ecocritical debates through his insights on ‘learning how to die’ in the face of impending ecological catastrophe. The article is marked by analytical depth and a firm theoretical and philosophical grounding. It makes an original contribution to scholarship by revisiting Beckett through the lens of ecocritical problematics: Farrant’s nuanced analysis shows that literature may not provide clear-cut answers or solutions to the great challenges that we face in the contemporary world – and the climate crisis in particular – but can help us find the terms in which to address the significant ethical questions that arise from these challenges.
  • The study focuses on an early short story by Beckett, surprisingly relating it to the contemporary issue of climate change and the changing conceptions on man and environment stemming from it. The reading of Beckett in the light of climate crisis gives a strong originality to this article. It is quite a daring approach, asking what Beckett’s more than 60 year old story has to tell us about this urgent societal but also ethical question. The article gives an insightful reading of the short story, against the backdrop of Beckett’s work as a whole but also embedding it in an analysis of modern philosophical conceptions of the relationships between humankind and the environment from Heidegger to Derrida.


Jesse van Amelsvoort (PhD candidate, University of Groningen and Campus Fryslân) was awarded the runner-up prize for his article ‘“I Heard Homer Sing”: Tsjêbbe Hettinga and the Paradoxes of European Multilingualism‘, Global Perspectives 1 (1): 12551. Quoting from the jury’s motivation:

  • A solid, well documented study, putting a spotlight on an author in the margins of literary canon. Hettinga’s work is both approached by close reading and embedded in the larger issue of the increased place of multilingualism in contemporary Europe and how this affects the ‘symbolic capital’ of literature in minority languages like Frisian. The article offers a welcome contribution to current debates about the place of the local in World literature – strengthening this field with an excellent case study which demonstrates the international embedding of ‘minor literatures’ and its historical affordances.
  • Jesse van Amelsvoort’s article on Tsjêbbe Hettinga makes a valuable contribution to discussions on literary authors writing in regional or minority languages and the problems of their representation in the European literary map. The article uses the case of this author in order to address some of the “paradoxes of European multilingualism,” as the author calls them, and he does that convincingly and eloquently. Van Amelsvoort succeeds in sketching the complexities of the European (literary) scene and the tensions between a still powerful monolingual paradigm (that ties the nation state to language) and new, bottom-up possibilities that allow other kinds of (multilingual) communities to take shape and claim their presence in the European literary scene.


OSL would also like to express its gratitude to this year’s jury — prof. dr. Maria Boletsi (Leiden University / University of Amsterdam), dr. Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen) and dr. Annelies Schulte Nordholt (Leiden University).

Promotie: Marileen La Haije (Radboud Universiteit)

— for English, see below —

Op maandag 8 februari om 16.30 verdedigt Marileen La Haije (RU) haar proefschrift  “Memorias locas: Una lectura de la ficción centroamericana (de los años noventa a la actualidad) desde la conexión entre locura y trauma”. Helaas kunnen slechts enkelen hierbij fysiek aanwezig zijn, maar gelukkig is er de optie om via de livestream toch deel te nemen aan de plechtigheid. Dat kan via deze link: https://www.ru.nl/over-ons/diensten-faciliteiten/vm/aula/livestream/livestream-academiezaal/. Hopelijk tot dan!

Voor praktische vragen over de verdediging kun je contact opnemen met Marileen La Haije (m.lahaije@let.ru.nl).

On February 8, at 16.30, Marileen La Haije (RU) will be defending her dissertation “Memorias locas: Una lectura de la ficción centroamericana (de los años noventa a la actualidad) desde la conexión entre locura y trauma”. Unfortunately, only a limited number of guests are allowed to be present at the venue of the defense. However, it is possible to watch the ceremony via a livestream, which will be available at this webpage: https://www.ru.nl/over-ons/diensten-faciliteiten/vm/aula/livestream/livestream-academiezaal/. You are very welcome to attend the defense online.

For practical questions about the defense please contact Marileen La Haije (m.lahaije@let.ru.nl).

KNAW Webinar: Perspectieven op Literatuur. De toekomst van de letterkunde in Nederland

Workshop with David Alworth

Online | 7 December 2020


De letterkunde in Nederland is springlevend en innovatief, ondanks de ‘ontlezing’ en de precaire situatie van taal- en literatuuropleidingen. Tijdens dit webinar tonen vijf experts hoe, in een veranderend literair veld, nieuwe zienswijzen richting geven aan de toekomst van literatuur en letterkunde in Nederland.



  • Jelle Koopmans, universitair hoofddocent Romaanse taal- en letterkunde, Universiteit van Amsterdam – Inleiding
  • Geert Buelens, dichter en hoogleraar moderne Nederlandse letterkunde, Universiteit Utrecht – Alsof gewoon lezen niet volstaat. Wat kritiek en literatuurwetenschap kunnen bijdragen
  • Anna Poletti, universitair hoofddocent Engelse taal- en letterkunde, Universiteit Utrecht – Minor world literatures: A perspective on the challenge of teaching literary studies in the Netherlands and Australia
  • Pablo Valdivia Martin, hoogleraar Europese cultuur en literatuur, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen – Towards literary science: from the national to the knowledge metaphor
  • Anne Vegter, dichter en voorzitter van de Akademie van Kunsten

N.B. De lezingen van Anna Poletti en Pablo Valdivia Martin zijn in het Engels.

Please click here for more information.

Promotie – Roel Smeets (Radboud Universiteit)

Promotie - Roel Smeets (Radboud Universiteit)
— for English, see below —
Aanstaande 24 november om 16.30 stipt verdedigt Roel Smeets zijn proefschrift Character Constellations: Representations of Social Groups in Present-Day Dutch Literary Fiction
Daar zullen helaas slechts enkelen fysiek bij aanwezig kunnen zijn. Maar gelukkig is er de optie om via de livestream toch deel te nemen aan de plechtigheid, dat kan via deze link.  Jullie zijn van harte uitgenodigd om het evenement op deze manier toch virtueel bij te wonen. Het is ontzettend jammer dat de promotie in kleine kring moet plaatsvinden, en juist daarom zou Roel jullie belangstelling en aanwezigheid op afstand extra waarderen.
Voor praktische vragen over de verdediging kun je contact opnemen met Lucas van der Deijl (l.a.vanderdeijl[at]uva.nl).
Roel Smeets will be defending his dissertation Character Constellations: Representations of Social Groups in Present-Day Dutch Literary Fiction on November 24th, 4.30 p.m. sharp.
Unfortunately, only a limited number of guests are allowed to be present at the venue of the defense. However, it is possible to watch the ceremony via a livestream, which will be available at this webpage. You are very welcome to attend the defense online. Especially now that only a few people can be present in person, Roel would appreciate your online attendance very much.
For practical questions about the defense please contact Lucas van der Deijl (l.a.vanderdeijl[at]uva.nl).

De kunst van het boekomslag

De kunst van het boekomslag

Woensdag 2 december 2020 | 14:00-17:00 | Online

Registratie opent op 28 oktober.

Ontwerpers, uitgevers en schrijvers stoppen veel tijd in het creëren van aantrekkelijke omslagen. Een geslaagde omslag kan een boek maken of breken, lezers verleiden tot een aankoop of ze juist afstoten. Tegelijkertijd wordt ook op andere manieren aandacht besteed aan omslagen: denk bijvoorbeeld aan de Volkskrant-rubriek waarin trends en terugkerende thema’s in ontwerpen voor boekomslagen worden besproken.

Dit najaar verschijnt het boek The Look of the Book: Jackets, Covers, and Art at the Edges of Literatures. In dit boek buigen literatuurwetenschapper David Alworth en ontwerper Peter Mendelsund zich over de geschiedenis, betekenis en toekomst van boekomslagen. Zij komen 2 december virtueel naar Nederland om over hun boek te vertellen en in gesprek te gaan met ontwerpers, studenten, boekhandelaren en andere professionals uit het boekenvak.

Deze middag zullen we in gesprek gaan over de huidige staat van het vak. Wat is anno 2020 een goede cover? Welke ontwikkelingen zien ze in het veld? Wat zijn de uitdagingen waar ze zich voor gesteld zien? Wat is de kunst van het boekomslag?

Bevestigde gasten zijn onder meer Lisa Kuitert, hoogleraar Boekwetenschap aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, Jaap Biemans, de prijswinnende ontwerper van onder meer de covers van Volkskrant Magazine, en uitgever Menno Hartman van Van Oorschot.

De inschrijving gaat open op 28 oktober. Meld u aan voor de OSL-nieuwsbrief om op de hoogte te blijven.


13.45: Zoom open

14.00: Welkom

14.10: Lezing David Alworth en Peter Mendelsund

14.40: Korte lezingen door:

Lisa Kuitert (hoogleraar Boekwetenschap, Universiteit van Amsterdam), Bart Rouwhorst (ontwerper Rouwhorst + Van Roon), Erwin de Vries (boekhandelaar Godert Walter, Groningen), Menno Hartman (uitgever, Van Oorschot)

15.30: pauze

15.45: Q&A, discussie

17.00 uiterlijk einde


‘De kunst van het boekomslag’ wordt georganiseerd door Jesse van Amelsvoort en Ron van Roon, met ondersteuning van de Beroepsorganisatie Nederlandse Ontwerpers (BNO), de Onderzoeksschool Literatuurwetenschap (OSL) en het PictoRight Fonds.



Ravenstein Seminar 2021: Literature, Language and Belonging

Online winter school | 20-22 January 2021

Organizers: Jesse van Amelsvoort (Groningen), Dr. Birgit Kaiser (Utrecht), Dr. Aukje van Rooden (UvA), prof. dr. Margriet van der Waal (UvA/Groningen)
Venue: Online
Credits: 5-6 EC (with assignments) or 2 EC (attendance and participation only).
Open to: PhD candidates and RMA students; OSL members have first access.

Registration will open November 4th.

PLEASE NOTE: When registering, please indicate following:

  • Whether you want to obtain 5-6 EC (with assignments) or 2 EC (attendance and participation only)
  • Indicate your research interest


Short description

Literature distinguishes itself from other art forms through its use of language. Without language, no literature. At the same time, language also binds groups of speakers together through its everyday use as means of communication and the intimate ties that exist between language and culture. Therefore, language is closely related to notions of (national) belonging: it offers an individual membership of a particular cultural and political collective. Writers contribute to shape these social collectives, even though some writers do not find themselves at home there and have consequently asked probing questions about the cultural politics of their writing, their use of language and the community-constituting effects of their writing. In this winter school, we will explore the various ways in which literature, through its use of language, creates, sustains and contests notions of belonging. We take our keywords – ‘literature’, ‘language’ and ‘belonging’ as invitations to think about what the connection between these keywords mean or could mean.

Topics we will discuss include:

  • literary multi- and translingualism;
  • translation and (un)translatability;
  • language variety and the aesthetics of difference;
  • meaning-making and the instability of language;
  • language standardization and the nation-state;
  • literary and linguistic expressions of belonging;
  • minority languages and literatures;
  • colonialism and language politics.

We will be joined by national and international scholars who will present their current research projects and discuss the challenges of interdisciplinary and multilingual research. Our aim is to connect literary studies on the one hand with linguistic concerns, and on the other hand build bridges with social scientific disciplines such as anthropology and cultural geography engaging with questions of language and belonging.

The purpose of the winter school is to give participating RMa and PhD students an introduction that is both broad and deep into the complex and changing configurations of literature, language and belonging; to provide them with an overview of current debates and innovative research practices; and to give them the opportunity to explore possible topics for research activities of their own.

Suggested readings

The actual reader with prescribed texts will follow. In the meantime, students wishing to prepare themselves can turn to the following texts:

  • Anderson, Benedict, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (London: Verso, 2006).
  • Apter, Emily, Against World Literature: On the Politics of Untranslatability (London: Verso, 2013).
  • Dowling, Sarah, Translingual Poetics: Writing Personhood under Settler Colonialism (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2018).
  • Gal, Susan, “Migration, Minorities and Multilingualism: Language Ideologies in Europe,” in: Language Ideologies, Policies, and Practices: Language and the Future of Europe, edited by Clare Mar-molinero and Patrick Stevenson (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006), 13-27.
  • Gilmour, Rachael, and Tamar Steinitz (eds.). Multilingual Currents in Literature, Translation and Culture (London/New York: Routledge, 2018).
  • Gramling, David, The Invention of Monolingualism (London/New York: Bloomsbury, 2016).
  • Grönstrand, Heidi, Markus Huss, and Ralf Kauranen (eds.), The Aesthetics and Politics of Linguistic Borders: Multilingualism in Northern European Literature (London/New York: Routledge, 2019).
  • Helgesson, Stefan, and Thomas Mads Rosendahl, Literature and the World (London/New York: Routledge, 2019).
  • Kellman, Steven, The Translingual Imagination (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000).
  • Laachir, Karima, Sara Marzagora, and Francesca Orsini, “Significant Geographies: In lieu of World Literature,” in: Journal of World Literature 3.3 (2018): 290-310.
  • Lennon, Brian, In Babel’s Shadow: Multilingual Literatures, Monolingual States (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010).
  • Lionnet, Françoise, and Shu-mei Shih (eds.), Minor Transnationalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005).
  • Orsini, Francesca, “The Multilingual Local in World Literature,” in: Comparative Literature 67.4 (2015): 345-74.
  • Sommer, Doris, Proceed with Caution, When Engaged by Minority Writing in the Americas (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).
  • Walkowitz, Rebecca, Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in the Age of World Literature (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015).
  • Yildiz, Yasemin, Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Postmonolingual Condition (New York: Fordham University Press, 2012).


We have confirmed the following speakers as keynote speakers:

  • Philip Leonard (Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom)
  • Rachael Gilmour (Queen Mary, London, United Kingdom)
  • Sarah Dowling (University of Toronto, Canada). Title: “Settler Monolingualism: Language Politics and Racialization in North America”
  • Helena Bodin (Stockholm University, Sweden).


The full programme will be uploaded soon.