Current PhD Research

Kim Schoof | Literature as “compearance-attestation”

Kim Schoof | Open Universiteit
In the last decades, the popularity of autobiographical literature has increased in such a way that today, ‘it qualifies as a cultural obsession’. (diBattista and Wittman, The Cambridge Companion to Autobiography 2014: 1) While postmodern philosophy criticized the idea that anyone can attest directly to their “true” experiences in written text, writers – feeling encouraged rather than disheartened – never stopped finding creative and aesthetic ways to do so.

Clara Vlessing | Defiant Women

Clara Vlessing | Utrecht University
My project looks at the cultural afterlives of women activists from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. It serves as a case study within the wider ERC project ReAct (Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe since 1871), which analyses the relationship between civil resistance and cultural memory in Europe since the late nineteenth century.

Juan Del Valle Rojas | Imagining the Unpredictable: Communication, Power and Technology in José Ricardo Morales’ Transnational Theatre

Juan Del Valle Rojas | University of Groningen
My PhD research is mainly focused on the transnational and interdisciplinary dimension of Communication, Power and Technology in the work of Spanish-Chilean playwright José Ricardo Morales. In particular, my goal is to shed light on the problematization of communication processes and power appropriation in Morales’ plays and essays.

Judith Jansma | From Submission to Soumission: Populist Perspectives on Culture

Judith Jansma | University of Groningen
In today’s political discourse the idea of a culturally-grounded national identity has made a strong come-back. One can think of Theresa May’s (in)famous  statement that “citizens of the world are actually citizens of nowhere”, or Dutch Christian-democratic party CDA insisting on the integration of the national hymn in the primary school curriculum. Yet this adherence to national identity as a way to deal with complex societal challenges (globalization, multiculturalism) is performed to a much greater extent by populist parties associated with the far right. Their understanding of citizenship being based on the notion of “ethnos” rather than “demos” – leading to a strong “us vs. them” narrative – it should not come as a surprise that culture is an important tool to unite “us” and to exclude “them”.

Marloes Mekenkamp | Violence and Affect in Female Poetic Activism in Contemporary Mexico

Marloes Mekenkamp | Radboud University
Contemporary Mexican cultural production is strongly influenced by the extreme violence that has engulfed the country in recent years. A literary phenomenon that emerged within this context is the production of political poetry written by women that combines commemoration with mobilization. This form of poetic activism recounts violent episodes of Mexico’s recent past by appropriating testimonies by victims. In addition, these poems are remediated in the public sphere, during protest marches and performances that seek to denounce violent acts committed by the state and/or criminal groups and demand justice and peace.

Elizabeth Pinilla Duarte | Twittering for Peace? The construction of meaning and Otherness in digital media representations of the Colombian Peace Process

Elizabeth Pinilla Duarte | University of Groningen
My research project studies the production of narratives of the Colombian peace process in Colombian digital media, both in official communication and in the comments left by consumers of news on the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram websites.

Lamyk Bekius | Genetic Criticism applied to born-digital works of literature

Lamyk Bekius | Huygens ING (KNAW) and University of Antwerp
Up until now, literary scholars working in textual scholarship studied the genetics of literary texts that where produced using analogue methods. However, contemporary literature is produced within an environment where digital methods dominate; the NWO-funded project Track Changes: Textual Scholarship and the Challenge of Digital Literary Writing therefore investigates if and how this medium change affects the creative process of literary writing.

Sophie, Hsin-lin Su | Paths with/out Us: Three Case Studies of Environmental Changes and Environmental Aestheticism in Taiwanese Literature

Sophie, Hsin-lin Su | Utrecht University
This project draws on and positions itself partially within the field of ecocriticism to examine three case studies involving aesthetic representations of environmental changes in Taiwanese literature and culture: representations of butterflies, flying fish, and nuclear radiation in the region of the Pacific Ocean.