OSL Workshop: Moving Europe: A Podcast Series


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.


When and where: September 25th (Amsterdam), October 9th (Leiden, podcast workshop), October 30th and November 6th (Amsterdam), November 27th (Leiden, podcast recording), December 11th and 18th (Amsterdam). Exact rooms, see below.
NB: All classes will take place at 15:00-18:00, with the exception of the recording session on 27/11 (13:00-17:00).
Participation: This course is open to PhD Candidates and RMA students; OSL members will get priority access. Interested MA students are welcome to participate but will not be able to receive official credits for the course. Due to practical reasons, the maximum number of participants is 12.
Format: Hands-on, three-hour workshops.
Credits: 5 EC

Registration will open on 2 September 2025 via THIS LINK.


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 filled 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 two types of narratives about ‘Europe‘ can be discerned, with some referring to Europe as a culture and as a civilization, and others primarily understanding Europe as a polity, de facto using it as a synonym for the EU. That these types of narratives can clash violently is clear, for example, from the populist rhetoric of politicians such as Geert Wilders in the Netherlands or Victor Orban in Hungary.

In this workshop, we will investigate how literature is able to reflect, talk back, deconstruct and challenge different narratives of Europe that circulate in the European public sphere. Narratives, for example, that teleologically construct Europe as having a clear historical origin; that rewrite European history to serve a specific political agenda; that function as bordering spaces of in- and exclusion; that imagine Europeans as a homogeneous group; or that conceive of Europe as a social constitution of overlapping and potentially conflicting identities.

We will use the popular format of the podcast to communicate our scholarly findings to a broader audience. Therefore, this course is also a practical exercise in science communication. Our plenary sessions will serve as editorial meetings where students and staff collectively act as an editorial board with a shared responsibility for the podcast production. This requires a professional work attitude from those who choose this course. Participants will receive practical training in podcasting from Thomas Vorisek (Leiden University), who will also supervise the recording and editing of the podcasts.  The goal is to publish four podcasts.


Each milestone assignment (portfolio, proposal, draft) needs to be completed with a minimal “passing grade” (i.e. 5.5 or higher) before proceeding to the final podcast.

  • Portfolio, proposal, draft (group, 30%)
  • Final podcast (group, 50%)
  • Participation, contribution, peer review (individual, 20%)
Primary material 
  • Bernardine Evaristo, Soul Tourists (2005) 
  • Olga Tokarczuk, Flights (2007)
  • Jenny Erpenbeck, Go, Went, Gone (2015)
  • Robert Menasse, The Capital (2019)

Students will be divided into podcast groups. Each group is allocated one of the listed novels, which will form the backbone of that group’s podcast. All participants are required to read  all four of the novels, to be able to meaningfully participate as an editorial board member in the editorial meetings.

Secondary material  

Each podcast group will receive a research portfolio containing starting material (relevant secondary literature etc.) to kick-start the process. These portfolios have to be developed further (additional secondary material, relevant newspaper articles, relevant primary material, etc), in order to reflect the research process.

Podcast practicalities 

A template for the podcasts will be provided, which will form the basis for each podcast. A hands-on training session will be given by Thomas Vorisek at Leiden University. After that, each group will continue to develop their podcasts. This work in progress will be discussed during the editorial workshops. The recording of the podcasts will also take place at Leiden University under the supervision of Thomas, who will subsequently edit the podcasts in consultation with the editorial board. The finished podcasts will be collectively reviewed and we will conclude this course by looking at issues such as marketing and publication; in short, how to reach the intended audience.


25 September 2024 | University of Amsterdam, PC Hoofthuis – room 308
9 October 2024 (Leiden t.b.c., podcast workshop)
30 October 2024 | University of Amsterdam, PC Hoofthuis – room 404
6 November 2024 | University of Amsterdam, PC Hoofthuis – room 2.10-2.11.
27 November 2024 (Leiden t.b.c., podcast recording)
11 December 2024 | University of Amsterdam, PC Hoofthuis – room 2.10-2.11
18 December 2024 | University of Amsterdam, PC Hoofthuis – room 404

University of Amsterdam – P.C. Hoofthuis
Spuistraat 134, Amsterdam