OSL Symposium ‘Decentering Narratives in Latin America: Shaping Possibilities from Resistance’

Online | 1 October 2021, 14:00-18:10 CET

Organizers: Juan Del Valle Rojas, Elizabeth Pinilla Duarte and Gonzalo Albornoz Barra (University of Groningen)
Open to: Everyone; OSL PhDs and RMA students have first access.
Credits: 1EC. More details on the assignment are provided below.
NB 1: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.
NB 2: The event will take place in Spanish, with the exception of Panel Session 2 (which will be given in English).

Registration for the event will open September 8, 2021. 

Multiple narratives contribute to the shaping of individual and communal beliefs and practices — even more so today. However, what makes some of these narratives more pervasive than others? In the processes of sense- and decision-making, hegemonic narratives are positioned in the centre, namely the place from which institutions exert their influence.

These ‘central’ narratives tend to naturalize the unequal production and distribution of meaning, thereby marginalizing, invisibilizing and excluding many peripheral voices. Latin America is a prime example of how central narratives can generate social injustice, but also of emerging counter-hegemonic narratives. One example is the explosion of protests (street protests and civil disobedience actions) by citizens against inequality, exclusion and injustice, reaching its climax in Chile in 2019 and later spreading to many other neighbouring countries. To date, and despite the COVID epidemic, Latin American social mobilisation is still evolving and renewing in different formats. These recent mobilisations can be identified, in Gramsci’s words, as social actors of resistance countering criminalisation and repression on the part of the state. By so doing, these collective actions seek to decenter dominant narratives by redistributing the possibilities of the production of meaning. Nevertheless, much work remains to be done when it comes to the production and the impact of these movements in the cultural imagination. For example, following Kenneth Roberts’ article “(Re)Politicizing Inequalities: Movements, Parties, and Social Citizenship in Chile” (2016), could we say that we are experiencing insurrection rather than revolutionary movements? Which are the narratives portraying social mobilization in Latin America? To what extent do they have an impact on the cultural imaginary fabric?

In this international symposium experts from literary and cultural studies, politics and related fields analyse the production of diverse and decentered voices of resistance in Latin America. Together they will discuss the demands, struggles and cultural expressions of peripheral actors pursuing the design of inclusive spaces of dialogue.


14:00-14:10      Welcome: Elizabeth Pinilla Duarte; Juan del Valle Rojas; Gonzalo Albornoz Barra

Keynote Session

14:10-14:50“Narrativas descentradas amenazadas en Sudamérica. Elementos de análisis del disenso oral y visual”Jacqueline Fowks

14:50-15:05      Q&A session (Chair: Elizabeth Pinilla Duarte, MA)

15:05-15:20      Break

Session 1

15.20 – 15:40     “Cuando las calles hablan: performatividad política y reclamación en el marco del paro nacional en Colombia 2021” – Dr. Diana Moreno Rodríguez

15:40 – 16:00    “Agendas de ampliación de derechos y discursos de odio. Tensiones entre el universo de las fake news y la organización nacional-popular en Argentina” – Dr. Pablo Bilyk

16:00-16:15      Q&A session (Chair: Gonzalo Albornoz Barra, MA)

16:15-16:45      Break

Session 2

16:45 – 17:05    “Resistance to “Racism à brasileira” in contemporary Afro-Brazilian arts” – Dr. Peter W. Schulze

17:05 – 17:25    “Cultural Narratives of Crisis, Migration and Social Nativism in Latin America” – Prof. Dr. Pablo Valdivia Martin

17:25 – 17:45    “The ecosystem of the cultural representation of marginality. Contributions to an integrated research perspective” – Dr. Konstantin Mierau

17:45 – 18:00    Q&A session (Chair: Juan del Valle Rojas, MA)

18:00 – 18:10      Final remarks


Bios and Abstracts

Assignment: ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities can obtain 1EC by attending the event and submitting a short critical reflection (approx. 800 words) on a chosen panel/session. The reflection should include references to a minimum of two relevant secondary sources; it should not only summarize the content of the session, but also engage with the arguments presented by the speakers as well as discussing possible links with the student’s own research interests. The assignment should be submitted to osl@rug.nl (in Spanish or English) by Friday 22 October, end of day.

OSL Seminar: Europe as Narrative

Amsterdam | 6, 13, and 20 October 2021; 3, 10 and 17 November 2021 (15:00-18:00 CET) | Room: PCH 5.19 (University of Amsterdam) [NB: The seminar is planned as hybrid, but will move online if necessary]

Organizers: Prof. Dr. Margriet van der Waal (University of Groningen) and Dr. Astrid Van Weyenberg (Leiden University)
Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access. Interested (regular) MA students are welcome to participate, but are not able to receive official credits for the course.
Credits: 5EC. More details on the assignments will be provided at a later stage. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration for the event will open in September 8, 2021.
PLEASE NOTE: When registering, please indicate (at remarks) whether you would like to attend the event onsite or online.


OSL – The Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL@rug.nl)
Prof. Dr. Margriet van der Waal (m.c.van.der.waal@rug.nl)
Dr. Astrid Van Weyenberg (a.l.b.van.weyenberg@hum.leidenuniv.nl)
For questions regarding content, please contact either Margriet or Astrid. For questions regarding practical matters, please contact the OSL office.



As Delanty (1995) reminds us, Europe is more than a geo-political reality, it is also an idea that is continuously reinvented as collective identities transform. In essence, ‘Europe’ is a signifier that different actors fill with competing narratives and meanings. But although the way in which Europe is given meaning has never been stable or unifold, in the contemporary political climate the debate about what and where ‘Europe’ is, and who Europeans are or should be, seems increasingly heated. In this debate various types of narratives about ‘Europe’ can be discerned: some refer to Europe as a culture and as a civilization, while others primarily understand Europe as a polity, de facto using it as a synonym for the EU. Within and between these different approaches, the narratives that circulate vary in terms of how Europe and who is a European is conceptualized, leading at times to severe and fundamental ideological clashes.

In this seminar we will explore different narratives of/on/about Europe. For this, we will depart from a number of questions. Firstly, how are ideas about the past utilized, for example by constructing Europe as a teleological narrative with clear historical origins, or by rewriting history in order to serve a contemporary political agenda? Secondly, how do narratives of Europe function as a space of in- and exclusion, by formulating an ‘us’ in opposition to a range of specific and less specific ‘others’? Thirdly, what do narratives of Europe tell us about the way in which Europeans are perceived, either as a homogeneous group, or diversely as a social constitution of different identities that overlap or conflict? We will approach these questions by focusing on a number of concepts that are central to how Europe is narrated: migration, Afropeanness, populism, heritage and citizenship, and future imaginaries of Europe. In our discussions, we will engage with a selection of topical theoretical texts and we will close-read different cultural objects that reflect, talk back, deconstruct and challenge specific narratives of Europe.


Study material and costs

The reading material will be announced shortly; secondary readings will be made freely available via OSL.




1)      Group presentation (40%): students give a 20-minute presentation in groups of 2 – 3 students in which they connect the theoretical texts of that session to a cultural object (i.e. text) of their own choice, by means of a close-reading of the object/text. This cultural object is made available to the other participants in advance.

2)      Research project (60%), in which students engage, individually or in pairs, with the material from at least one of the sessions (theoretical/secondary readings and discussion) and use this to close-read one cultural object of their choice. They are also required to further develop their own theoretical framework with additional theoretical sources. The project needs to contain a well-formulated research question/problem statement, as well as a convincing motivation of the relevance of the research. It needs to be situated within a broader framework of existing scholarship and to present a relevant analysis and interpretation of specific (narrative) primary material (a single case, or a selection of cases such as a novel, a film, a painting, songs, etc.).


The research project can take one of the following forms:

  • A paper of 2000-2500 words (MLA format)
  • A publishable podcast (20 minutes)
  • A video-essay (20 minutes)

In the latter two cases, the project needs to be accompanied by the full script, including references to the sources that were used


The submitted projects will be checked for plagiarism.

In order to receive the credits for this seminar, students need to obtain a minimum grade of 5,5 for the two assignments combined.

We take it that you understand the conventions of the genre you have selected for the second assignment, and that you have the required technical expertise to carry it out.



Session 1 (6/10): Introduction (Astrid and Margriet)

Session 2 (13/10): Migration (Florian Lippert, University of Groningen)

Session 3 (20/10): Black Europe/Afroeurope (TBA)

​​Session 4 (3/11): Populism in Europe (Sabine Volk, Jagiellonian University, Kraków)

Session 5 (10/11): European Heritage and Citizenship (Astrid and Margriet)

Session 6 (17/11): Imagining the future of Europe (Astrid and Margriet)

OSL Workshop: Eternal Presents and Resurfacing Futures: Postcolonial/Postsocialist Dynamics of Time and Memory in Literature and Art

Groningen | 28-29 October 2021
[NB: The event is planned as hybrid, but will move online if necessary]

Organizers: Ksenia Robbe (University of Groningen), Hanneke Stuit (University of Amsterdam) and Sanjukta Sunderason (University of Amsterdam)
Keynote speakers: Ilya Kukulin (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow), Andrew van der Vlies (University of Adelaide), Françoise Vergès (Collège d’études mondiales | Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris)
Venue: University of Groningen, Harmoniecomplex Oude Kijk in t Jatstraat 26, Groningen.
(Day 1) 1315:0049 and (Day 2) 1315:0043
Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.
Please note that places for the workshop are limited, and priority will be given to OSL students. However, there are no limits for remote attendance to the keynote lectures. If you are only interested in attending the keynote sessions online, please register here for the individual keynotes.
Credits: 1-2ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration is closed. The workshop is fully booked.
You can still register for the individual keynotes here

The end of the Cold War at the turn of the 1990s initiated a global discourse of contemporaneity that was meant to deconstruct the linear progressive time of modernity as well as its dialectics that dominated the 20th century. In literature and artistic imagination, this postmodern sensibility was meant to institute a new “politics of time” (Osborne) marked by globalization – both open and seamless, as well as generative of a new expansive, fluid episteme. The heavily Eurocentric myopia of this view found starkest expressions in the idea of the “end of history” (Fukuyama) that declared the end of politics itself. Yet arrested within such perceptions of new spatio-temporal fluidities of “the contemporary” were the heterogeneous temporalities of decolonization and democratic change in societies that had been negotiating the impacts and afterlives of empire and ideological conflicts of the Cold War itself across the long 20th century.

As the West’s accelerated histories perpetuated a politics of presentism, marked by the fear of time itself – chronophobia (Lee) – the “non-West”, implicated otherwise in the very dialectics that was now deemed “over” – has been left to grapple with epistemological hegemonies of homogeneous time. Yet, it is amidst the new postcolonial and postsocialist societies of the 1990s that we can encounter braided temporalities of struggle, affirmation, memorialization, and utopic horizons. We can seek here new and alternate forms of contemporaneity that do not eclipse the spectre of history but materialize it via aesthetic form. In this workshop, we foreground such forms, and ask: are connected questions around the dynamics of time and memory in postcolonial and postsocialist aesthetics possible? We turn to literature and art to seek new frontiers of dialogues, questions and potentialities.

This workshop addresses the ways in which literature and art, in their generic capacity for multi-perspective representation, reimagine place and agency in the impasse of an eternal present and develop ways of engaging with the past that “resurface” futurity. We propose to begin thinking about these questions from the “peripheries” of the Global South and the Global East which, despite their key role in the global transformations of the 1980-1990s, are mostly regarded as recipients rather than producers of theoretical and critical perspectives.  At the same time, the dynamics of transformation in these contexts continue to be largely divorced from each other and mediated via comparison to the West. We begin to think about and through the dynamics of time and memory since the 1990s beyond the “failures” of postcolonial and postsocialist transitions, and beyond traumatic repetition and postmodern cynicism. Drawing upon Jean and John L. Comaroffs’ proposition that African and other Global South societies are where key practices and ideas are being developed and tested before they “travel” to the West, we open a dialogue between these and postsocialist contexts of the Global East. We suggest that these entangled contexts generate alternative temporalities and constellations of time as they grapple with ambiguities of “post-transitional” experience and experiment with a variety of post- /alter-postmodernist modes.

Memory and place have been at the foreground of social and political contestation in postcolonial and postsocialist contexts, and so, these are the “sites” from which we begin our exploration. We approach memory in the broad sense as socio-cultural acts (Bal) of engaging with the past that shape, in each new iteration, specific connections between pasts, presents and futures, and determine the logic and the spatial coordinates of these temporal constructions. Through remembering, time is resignified and connected to (or disconnected from) place, and various acts of remediating constitute further temporal-spatial dynamics (Erll & Rigney). We aim to initiate new theorizations of postcolonial/ postsocialist entanglements by focusing on configurations of time and memory in practices of literature and art, for which “(post)colonialism” and “(post)socialism” are relevant markers (i.e. also including Western and diasporic practices). This inquiry brings together theoretical perspectives on historical time and memory, which often run parallel courses in cultural history and memory studies scholarship.

We ask: which temporalities are involved in acts of remembering as a “post-transitional” experience? And what ways of engaging with the past can we observe in narrative and visual constructions of the past in Southern and Eastern knowledges? How do imaginations from the Global South and East produce theoretical insights that rework hegemonic transnational cultural repertoires across the world?


  • Bal, Mieke. “Introduction.” Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present. Ed. by Mieke Bal, Jonathan Crewe and Leo Spitzer. Hanover & London: University Press of New England, 1999. Vii-xvii.
  • Comaroff, Jean, and John L. Comaroff. Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America is Evolving toward Africa. Boulder & London: Paradigm, 2012.
  • Erll, Astrid, and Ann Rigney. “Introduction: Cultural Memory and Its Dynamics.” Mediation, Remediation, and the Dynamics of Cultural Memory. Ed. by Astrid Erll and Ann Rigney. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2008. 1-14.
  • Fukuyama, Francis. The End of History and the Last Man. New York: Free Press, 1992.
  • Lee, Pamela. Chronophobia: On Time in the Art of the 1960s. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2004.
  • Osborne, Peter. Politics of Time: Modernity and Avant-Garde. London: Verso, 1995.


[NB: All times are CET]

Day 1

10.00 – 10.15 – Welcome and introduction

10.15 – 11.30 – Keynote Françoise Vergès

11.30 – 12.00 – Coffee break

12.00 – 13.30 – Panel “Troubling Transitions: Postcolonial/Postsocialist Interventions”

13.30 – 14.30 – Lunch

14.30 – 16.00 – Panel “Beyond Impasses of Rural Time”

16.00 – 16.30 – Coffee break

16.30 – 17.45 – Keynote Ilya Kukulin


Day 2

10.15 – 11.30 – Keynote Andrew van der Vlies

11.30 – 12.00 – Coffee break

12.00 – 13.30 – Panel “Memory and Displacement”

13.30 – 14.30 – Lunch

14.30 – 16.00 – Roundtable

16.00 – 16.30 – Closing discussion


The workshop is sponsored by the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL), the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA) and the Amsterdam School for Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM).  It is organized by members of the OSL research group “Theories from the South and the East in Literature and Culture” and the AHM research group “Global Trajectories of Thought and Memory: Art and the Global South”.

Panels and participants

Keynotes: Abstracts and Bios

Credits and assignments

OSL Seminar ‘How We Read: Interpretation, Relation, Mediation’

Groningen and Utrecht | 19 November 2021 (Groningen), 26 November (Utrecht), 3 December (Utrecht), 10 December (Groningen), 17 December (Utrecht, exact date tbc). Exact times will be confirmed soon.
[NB: The seminar is planned as hybrid, but will move online if necessary]

Organizers: Prof. Dr. Laura Bieger (University of Groningen), Prof. Dr. Kiene Brillenburg Wurth (University of Utrecht)
Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.
Credits: 5ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration for the event will open September 8, 2021.
PLEASE NOTE: When registering, please indicate (at remarks) whether you would like to attend the event onsite or online.

What happens when we read a literary text? How and why do we (like to) read it? How do the expectations, questions and perspectives we bring to a text contribute to making it meaningful? How does the materiality of a text affect the way we read?  How does reading literature differ from other types of reading?

Generations of scholars have puzzled over these questions and their significance for our understanding of what literature is and does. This course explores a range of critical perspectives, among them those by Sigmund Freud, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Wolfgang Iser, Édouard Glissant, and Lauren Berlant. And those by our guests: Alexander Starre (FU Berlin), Liedeke Plate (Radboud University), Anna Poletti (University of Utrecht), Philipp Loeffler (Heidelberg University/FU Berlin), Jessica Pressman (UC San Diego). Literary texts include: Henry James, “The Real Thing” and M. Nourbese Philip, Zong!

The aim of the course is to familiarize students with both canonical and new methodologies of engaging with literary texts. We will explore approaches anchored in the practice of interpretation while also critically interrogating this form of literary engagement and challenging it with material and affective approaches to reading literature.

More details on the programme and assignments will be provided soon.

Schedule (the dates are fixed but the times are pending)

The course will (hopefully) take place on-site at the Universities of Groningen and Utrecht, with two of our five guests joining us online.

  • Nov. 19, 11:00-18:00, Groningen – Guest: Alexander Starre
  • Nov. 26, 11:00-18:00, Utrecht – Guest: Liedeke Plate
  • Dec. 3, 11:00-14:00, Utrecht – Guest: Anna Poletti
  • Dec. 10, 11:00-14:00, Groningen – Guest: Philipp Loeffler
  • Dec. 17, 17:00-20:00, Utrecht – Guest (online): Jessica Pressman


OSL Workshop: Women and Transnational Modernisms

Online | Monday 1 November 2021 (10:30-16:30) + Tuesday 2 November 2021 (13:00-17:30)

Organizers: Camilla Sutherland (University of Groningen), Ruth Clemens (Utrecht University) and Kathryn Roberts (University of Groningen)
Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.
Credits: 1-2ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration for the event will open September 8, 2021.


Responding to the recent ‘transnational turn’ in Modernist Studies, as well as the growing field signalled by the establishment of the Feminist Modernist Studies journal in 2018, this workshop will explore the relationship between gender and transnational modernism. Bringing together scholars of a variety of national and regional modernisms (North America, Europe, Latin America, and beyond), we seek to assess where women fit into the redrawing of the geographical borderlines of Modernist Studies and how to account for not only the geographic but also symbolic marginalisation of these figures. Spread over two days, the workshop will combine presentations, discussion groups and collaborative writing sessions.

Day One: 15-minute “work in progress” talks given by organizers and guest speakers – in these sessions we will share and receive feedback on current research being done in the area of gender and transnational modernism.

Day Two: Morning discussion seminar responding to a selection of recent articles published in the field; Afternoon peer group discussions and collaborative writing/brainstorming sessions setting down our thoughts on new directions for the field and possible future co-authored publications and projects.


Full programme

Preparation and assignments

OSL Schrijfcursus voor geesteswetenschappers: Framen, schrappen en herschrijven

Online | 10, 11, 12 & 14 Januari 2022

Coördinator: Prof. Dr. Geert Buelens (Universiteit Utrecht)
Credits: 3 EC, NB credits kunnen alleen worden toegekend aan ReMA studenten en Promovendi, verbonden aan Nederlandse universiteiten
Bestemd voor: Promovendi en RMa Studenten, OSL leden hebben voorrang bij inschrijving

Registratie opent 8 november 2021

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.

Docent: Geert Buelens, hoogleraar Moderne Nederlandse Letterkunde Universiteit Utrecht en meermaals bekroond en vertaald essayist, columnist en schrijver van literaire non-fictie.

Voorlopig programma

10 januari 11.15 – 12.15
11 januari 10.00 – 17.00
12 januari 14.00 – 17.00
14 januari 10.00 – 17.00


Ravenstein Winter School: Literature, (Neo)liberalism, and Public Culture

Amsterdam | 19-20-21 January 2022 
[NB: The event is planned as hybrid, but will move online if necessary]

Organizers: Prof. Dr. Maria Boletsi (Leiden University / University of Amsterdam), Dr. Marc Farrant (University of Amsterdam), Divya Nadkarni (University of Amsterdam), Dr. Marco de Waard (Amsterdam University College).

Confirmed keynotes:

  • Sarah de Mul (Open University NL), “Feminist and Postcolonial Artistic Responses to Burnout Culture”
  • Rachel Greenwald Smith (Saint Louis University), “Compromise: The Aesthetics of Liberalism and Liberal Aesthetic”
  • Pieter Vermeulen (KU Leuven), “Swarms, Trees, Fungi, Markets, and Other Fictions of Spontaneous Order”
  • Johannes Völz (Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main), “The Post-Liberal Aesthetic, or: Can Literary Studies Help Unsettle Polarization?”

Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.

Credits: 5-6ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

Registration for the event will open November 15, 2021
PLEASE NOTE: When registering, please let us know your study programme and potential research interests.

Against the rapidly accelerating ravages of neoliberalism across the globe, the term “liberal” has, more than ever, come to be contested in public debate. Yet the idea of the novel as a “liberal” genre – dating to the heyday of nineteenth-century realism – persists, even as it may (at times) struggle to break free of its Western heritage. In the effort to imagine alternative forms of social organization and political community beyond an individualist ontology, and to come to terms with new modes of reading and critique beyond the neoliberal imprint, fiction writers are developing modes of expression that innovatively negotiate continuities with older forms and literary traditions – precisely as they seek to respond to what is new. In tracking and mapping the new forms of literary expression and practices of critique that are emerging in and for (late, neo,- or post-)liberal times, this winter school aims to hold the different meanings of “liberal” – indeed, the full spectrum – in play: from political and economic (neo-)liberalism, on the one hand, to literary or aesthetic liberalism (especially in the context of old and new realisms in the novel) on the other, while also making room for decolonial and critical race approaches.

The winter school will focus on the kinship between the novel and its liberal heritage along two theoretical axes: the question of critique (in theory and practice) and the question of political community in the public sphere. Revisiting the valence of critique today, in proclaimed “post-critical” times, the school seeks to explore new critical grammars to address the challenges of our neoliberal “now,” including the shrinking of public space, rising inequality, the so-called culture wars, and the polarization of discourse in contemporary politics of language. Concerning the question of publicness, it seeks to examine how contemporary literatures across the globe represent, negotiate, or otherwise respond to tensions and contradictions at work in today’s public spheres – seen, for instance, in terms of new forms of protest and contestation around post-truth politics, putatively “liberal” notions of freedom of speech and expression, and the challenges posed to public assembly in times of a global pandemic. Insofar as today’s public spheres are being hollowed out by neoliberal dynamics of depoliticization, what new possibilities for political speech and action are being created, proposed, or (re)imagined in literary writing? And what function or role (if any) is being played in this by the “liberal” as a site of discursive contestation and a persistent historical referent?

Topics we will discuss include:

  • Literature (esp. the novel) and liberalism (cf. Nancy Armstrong, 2005: Amanda Anderson, 2011)
  • Neoliberalism, late liberalism, postliberalism
  • Literature and public culture, public spaces, the commons
  • Critique and postcritique
  • Politics of language, speech acts, identity, and community in contemporary cultural texts
  • The “contemporary” in literature, alternative temporalities, futurity
  • Literary responses to contemporary challenges (the pandemic, post-truth, environmental destruction)
  • Decolonial and critical race approaches to liberalism and literature

More details on the programme and assignments will follow soon.

This event is sponsored and co-organized by OSL with generous support of ASCA (Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis).



OSL Skills Course: Creative Non-Fiction Writing

Groningen | 4, 11 and 25 February 2022; 4 March and 11 March 2022, 14:00-16:00
[NB: This is planned as an onsite event, but will move online if necessary]

Organizer: Dr Suzanne Manizza Roszak (University of Groningen)
Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.
Credits: 5ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.

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

This course will introduce students to contemporary works of creative nonfiction and invite students to develop their own writing practice within this rich and diverse genre. Participants will read recent short-form works that incorporate memoir alongside biography, historical narrative, and cultural commentary using a variety of formal strategies. Treating these works as mentor texts, students will also produce their own creative nonfiction and will cultivate an awareness of the various ways in which they might choose to draw inspiration from as well as innovate on current approaches to the genre. Every seminar meeting will include a workshop component, with students presenting drafts for peer feedback. Polished versions of these drafts will then be submitted at the end of the block. A final reflective meta-writing assignment will create space for student authors to consider how their thematic preoccupations and aesthetic choices connect to the course readings and to the larger body of contemporary creative nonfiction writing. Guidance will also be provided for students who are interested in submitting their work for possible publication in literary magazines.

OSL Skills Course: Computational Literary Studies

Hybrid (Amsterdam) and online | 11 April, 25 April, 9 May, 16 May, 23 May 2022, and 30 May 2022, 12:00-15:00

Organizer: Prof. Dr. Karina van Dalen-Oskam (University of Amsterdam)
Venue: PC Hoofthuis 5.02
Open to: PhDs and RMA students; OSL members have first access.
Credits: 3-6ECs. NB: Credits can only be awarded to humanities ReMA and PhD students from Dutch universities.


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

PLEASE NOTE: When registering, please indicate (at remarks) whether you would like to attend the event onsite or online.

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

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

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

Course objectives:

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

More details on the programme will follow soon.