DH Projects (selection)

Present

DHu.F

Digital Humanities Flandres (DHu.F) is a FWO funded WOG that aims to bring together researchers and their projects in Digital Humanities across Flanders. ACDC (and its spokesperson Dirk Van Hulle) is DHu.F's coordinator. 

CLARIAH-VL

As a research group, ACDC is affiliated to CLARIAH-VL – one of three consortia within DARIAH-BE. Through this project, the University of Antwerp contributes to the development of The DARIAH-VL Virtual Research Environment Service Infrastructure (DARIAH VRE-SI). Dirk Van Hulle is the University of Antwerp's spokesperson for this project, and Wout Dillen its coordinator. 

 

INSIGHT

Intelligent Neural Systems as InteGrated Heritage Tools (INSIGHT) is a BRAIN project funded by Belspo that aims to deploy the recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (language technology and computer vision in particular) to support the enrichment of these collections with descriptive metadata. The project is coordinated by Mike Kestemont, Dirk Van Hulle, and Walter Daelemans.

Digitization of Philippine Periodicals and DH Training

This TEAM project funded by VLIR-UOS is a collaboration between the University of Antwerp and the University of the Philippines that combines an exchange of DH expertise and training with a specific digitization project of rare Philippine newspapers and magazines. The Universtity of Antwerp's project promotor is Mike Kestemont, and it will be implemented by Rocío Ortuño.     

Past

Creative Undoing and Textual Scholarship (CUTS)

The European Research Council awarded an ERC Starting Grant to Dirk Van Hulle, to further develop the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project. The project (2013-2017) is called Creative Undoing and Textual Scholarship (CUTS): A Rapprochement between Genetic Criticism and Scholarly Editing. Its research hypothesis is that a rapprochement between the disciplines of scholarly editing and genetic criticism would be mutually beneficial.

DiXiT

Funded under Marie Curie Actions within the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme (2013-2017), the Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network (DiXiT) was an international network of high-profile institutions from the public and the private sector that are actively involved in the creation and publication of digital scholarly editions. DiXiT offered a coordinated training and research programme for early stage researchers and experienced researchers in the multi-disciplinary skills, technologies, theories, and methods of digital scholarly editing. Affiliated ACDC members are Dirk Van Hulle (UAntwerp supervisor), Elli Bleeker (Early Stage Researcher), Aodhán Kelly (Early Stage Researcher), and Wout Dillen (Experienced Researcher)

 

Ongoing projects

Decolonizing media discourses in the Philippines: representations of Chinese and Muslim minorities. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

The hypothesis from which this project departs is that current representations of Chinese and Muslim minorities in the Philippine media resemble and are to an extent based on discourses forged during the colonial eras. We will examine this through an analysis of newspapers from three timeframes: (1) the end of the 19th century, (2) the period of the Commonwealth in the Philippines (1935-1942) and (3) the decolonization period (1946-1960). It will be later compared to contemporary media as examined by other projects. By exposing this connection we will contribute to studies on the coloniality of power in the contemporary Philippines and to contemporary decolonial movements both in the Philippines and Europe along with existing projects that will serve as platforms for dissemination: PhilPeriodicals and DigiPhiLit.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Play-White: Racial Passing and Decolonial Images. 01/12/2020 - 30/11/2024

Abstract

This research introduces a critical approach to "racial passing" and its complicity with image production. In sociology "passing" is a person's ability to be regarded as a member of an identity group different from their own e.g. racial identity, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation. Someone who can pass for white is socially designated as one racial construct but performatively plays out whiteness. My research proposal grows out of a personal experience of racial passing. In my late 20s I learnt that in 1984 my mother was legally reclassified as white in apartheid South Africa She passed as white, or "played-white" (in South African vernacular) all of my childhood. Through this realisation along with a reflection on my image-making practice I embark on an investigation into passing, embodiment, self-presentation, and the aesthetic thresholds of identity. Current public debates on many European country's colonial history, its material and structural legacy, show there is no better moment to problematize this by encouraging a decolonial research approach to visual culture. Through my proposed research, I would like to extend this discussion further to the question of how colonialism is embodied in its subjects and images?

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Born in the Wrong Story: An Embodied Approach to Transgender Narratives in Dutch Fiction 01/11/2020 - 31/10/2022

Abstract

In today's society, we can observe a gap between the complex gender identities, experiences and embodiments of transgender people and the dominant reductionist scenario of gender transition as a movement from a "wrong" body towards a "right" body. This project turns to fictional transgender narratives in Dutch literature, focusing on various narrative structures and their capacity to render visible a large range of transgender subjectivities. The literary imagination opens up possibilities for narrating the multidimensional embodied experience of transgender characters beyond the formal and social conventions of transgender autobiographies. The analysis of transgender narratives is based on a corpus consisting of fictional literary works published in the Netherlands since the mid-twentieth century, when the public discourse surrounding transgender people started to take shape. In that literary corpus, I will investigate how metaphors, storyworlds and specific modes of narration and focalization evoke complex subject positions. As a result, my research will not only contribute to the growing field of transgender studies, but also demonstrate the valuable role of narratological approaches in emancipatory projects.

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Research team(s)

Francqui Chair 2020-2021 Prof. Ann Rigney. 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

Stories we live by: Collective narrative between memory and hope In this lecture series, Francqui professor Ann Rigney (University of Utrecht), will reflect on the narratives we share to make our lives meaningful.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Innovations in Methodologies and Syllabus: Digital Humanities and Philippine Literature (DigiPhiLit) 01/09/2020 - 31/08/2023

Abstract

CONTEXT The wider context for this project is determined by: a) The unbalanced application of Digital Humanities to education in comparison to its growth as a research field, which is changing perspectives on the history of literature and has a great potential in contributing to understand discourses in context, cultural connections and the flow of topics across the time. b) The necessity to further develop distance learning didactics due to growing numbers of working students, the unavailability of specialists in certain areas, and possible future lockdown situations. c) The restriction of syllabi in Hispanic Studies around the world to studies on Spain and Latin America, leaving behind other historical Spanish speaking communities around the world and ignoring transnational and transcultural connections beyond national borders. MAIN OBJECTIVES This project focuses on the improvement of methods for teaching literature and covering a gap in syllabi in Hispanic Studies around the world. In this way, we intend to narrow the gap between research trends and educational practices in the Humanities. In particular, its main objectives are (1) facilitating the incorporation of Digital Humanities methods and resources to the teaching of Literature in Higher Education, (2) enabling the study of Philippine Literature in Spanish despite the lack of specialists in most of the universities in Europe and (3) improving the didactics of distance learning to get the students to acquire skills and practice them instead of being recipients of the information. RESULTS 1) Compile, examine and compare the syllabi and methodologies in literature teaching in different European countries identifying good practice in successful collaboration across borders. 2) Analyze the different types and resources of distance learning that involved universities are engaged in and identifying areas for development and improvement. 3) Contribute to the debate on transnationalism and on the importance of literature teaching by focusing on the interdisciplinarity of the Philippine Literature in Spanish, which helps to understand trends in History, Sociology, Anthropology, Art, English Studies, Asian Studies, Language evolution and Languages in contact. 4) Design guidelines and tools for the development and running of courses on Literature using Digital Humanities, on Distant Learning and on Philippine Literature in Spanish which can be used by any European university. 6) Contribute to the training of docents in methodologies of distance learning that allow an optimization of the efficiency to get closer to the actual classroom experience, and promoting open education. PARTNERS The transnational context in which this project is set is that of a network of 5 young universities from 3 different European countries: Universiteit Antwerpen (Belgium), Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain), UNED (Spain), Université Paris Nanterre (France) and Université Clermont-Auvergne (France). We work in collaboration with an extensive network of colleagues around the world including Universidad Ateneo de Manila (Philippines) as associate partner. IMPACT At the European level, the project paves the way for diversifying the syllabi in Literature and the Humanities, the revalorization of literature, as well as narrowing the gap between research and education. It reaches well beyond the consortium, to have a strong impact on institutions that have expressed an interest in the project as can be in the annexes. It will be ensured with a range of multiplier events. In the short-term, the outputs of this project should provide institutions in Europe with the necessary tools and resources to incorporate Digital Humanities and Philippine Literature to their teaching. Sustainability of the project is guaranteed by the use of both, universities and European platforms to publish the expected intellectual outputs (guidelines, teaching materials, and MOOCs).

Researcher(s)

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Project website

This Is Who I Could Be: Storyworld Possible Selves and Fictionality. 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

How to describe and analyse engagement with narrative? This project combines cognitive narratology, cognitive linguistics and social psychology for seminal research on this process. A 'storyworld' is a mental model constructed by the reader, which provides answers to the essential questions for the comprehension of a narrative: who did what to and with whom, when, where, why, and in what manner (D. Herman). 'Possible selves' are the selves we would like to become or want to avoid becoming (Markus and Nurius). 'Storyworld possible selves' are "imagings of the self in storyworlds" (Martinez) that may enhance the reader's involvement and that are activated by various narrative cues. This project investigates whether perceived fictionality and perceived non-fictionality will have a different bearing on the nature, construction and relevance of 'storyworld possible selves'. To answer the research question, the project will carry out a mixed-method empirical investigation in two stages. First a small group of experts will select relevant sections from _A Million Little Pieces_ (2003) by James Frey, which was published as non-fiction but eventually 'became' fiction after revelations about its lack of verisimilitude. In the second stage of the investigation, members of three small groups of readers will provide their reactions in relation to these sections. Group 1 will be told they are reading a memoir, group 2 they are reading a novel, and group 3 won't get any extra information.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Silent voices: A Digital Study of the Herne Charterhouse as a Textual Community (ca. 1350-1400). 01/01/2020 - 31/12/2023

Abstract

The Carthusian monastery of Herne has had a profound impact on the cultural history of the Low Countries, as a true hotspot in the production, negotiation and dissemination of vernacular literature for lay audiences, in a time where most written texts were still in Latin. In a short time span (ca. 1350-1400), the members of the community collectively copied a fantastic collection of 25+ Middle Dutch and Latin manuscripts, many of which contain unique texts. The Herne monks, who took a monastic oath of silence, were unusually productive and modest scribes, as suggested by the remarkable lack of self-attributions in their material. It is somewhat anachronistic therefore that recent literary scholarship has almost exclusively focused on an elusive search for the identification of specific individuals in the monastery (such as the famous Bible translator of 1360). In this project, we propose to study the charterhouse as a tight textual community, driven by a shared goal. To this end, we will focus on the scribal practice in the monastery, as a privileged gateway into the collaborations between the monks. Using stylochronometry we will study the evolution of the copying practice of the individual scribes and convergences therein. Because a significant share of these manuscripts are still inaccessible to the scholarly community, we will apply handwritten text recognition to produce diplomatic transcriptions that scholars can search, analyze and edit further.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Facilitating data-level access to KBR collections for Open Science (DATA-KBR-BE). 15/12/2019 - 15/03/2022

Abstract

This project facilitates data-level access to the collections of the KBR (Royal Library, Brussels) for Open Science (DATA-KBR-BE), notably by means of a study of the development of the 'feuilleton' as a genre in Belgian newspapers between 1830 and 1930.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Constructing Gay Identities and Communities through Literary Style in French Gay AIDS Literature between 1989 and 1999. 01/11/2019 - 31/10/2021

Abstract

'Constructing Gay Identities and Communities through Literary Style in French Gay AIDS Literature between 1989 and 1999' investigates the way literary style creates identity and community in literature. Even though style has been used to analyze a (shared) identity outside literature, this knowledge has not found its way back into literary analyses. At the same time, (gay) identity and community are central to contemporary French debate. Between 1989 and 1999 different authors transformed their experiences in literature, hereby focusing on the life of gay men in contemporary France during the AIDS crisis. Focusing on such a short period of time allows a thorough analysis of the way style constructs identities and communities. My research starts with the idea that identity and community consist of different shared objects, for example a shared music genre, a specific interpretation of a film or a shared canon of authors. These shared objects also share a style, and by mentioning them the authors make a stylistic choice. An overview of the multiple interpretations of the notion 'style' does not yet exist, which is a gap that my research bridges. Moreover, my research creates a cartograph of different gay identities and communities as they are represented in the literary works of my corpus. By means of this cartograph, my research responds to generalizations of queer critics and conservatives.

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Research team(s)

The traditions of mandolin music in the regions of Asia Minor and the Ionian Islands. 08/10/2019 - 07/10/2023

Abstract

The cultural presence of the mandolin in Greece is linked to four different musical traditions coming from four different regions: Asia Minor, the Ionian Islands, Athens, and Crete. However, since the music has traditionally been passed on from generation to generation by means of oral transmission, and since traditional musicians are now in old age, all this heritage is about to be lost. During this project, I will focus on the musical traditions of Asia Minor and the Ionians islands. Fieldwork will provide an overview of the repertoire and an accompanying range of insights about unknown playing techniques and pedagogical processes that are severely lacking at the moment. The purposes of the project are to explore, document and record the repertoire, as well as the playing techniques that have evolved throughout the musical traditions of Asia Minor and the Ionian Islands; to develop and document a specific performance practice method for these two traditions; to enrich the mandolin's repertoire by bringing unknown repertoire and performing techniques to light; to improve improvisation skills of classical musicians; to inspire new composers to use the already existing instrumental techniques and stylistic characteristics that have been spread orally through the four traditions and create new contemporary music for mandolin.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The traditions of mandolin music in in the regions of Crete and Athens. 08/10/2019 - 07/10/2023

Abstract

In Greece, the cultural presence of the mandolin – as a musical instrument expressing local musical traditions – dates back to the late 19th century. It is linked to four different musical traditions (the Smyrnean songs, the Athenian song, the Heptanisian serenade, and the Cretan music, dances) originating in four different regions: Asia Minor, Athens, the Ionian Islands, and Crete. The music differs from tradition to tradition and evolves continuously over the years. Moreover, it is characterized by an impressive diversity of rhythms, harmonies, scales, and melodies – due to the creative assimilation of both Oriental and Western European influences. The mandolin's repertoire in the musical tradition of Athens has been rich and varied, including works by international composers such as Verdi, Donizetti, Puccini, von Suppé, Bach, Glück, and Gounod, and works of Greek composers such as Samaras, Rodiou, Chatziapostolou, Dromazou, Karreri, and others. In addition, it includes works by further Italian composers, excerpts from Greek and international operas and operettas, and arrangements of symphonic works. Cretan music undoubtedly belongs to the family of the tropical musical traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean and has also remarkable common elements with other traditions of the wider region such as Arabic, Turkish and, of course, traditions of different regions of Greece. The mandolin music in Crete has been identified with Cretan dances. Contemporary Cretan dances are especially energetic, fast and characterized as warlike and aggressive. The most interesting aspect of Cretan dances is that they are performed without a score and each dance is defined by specific motifs that are being developed in an improvisational manner during the performance. The purposes of this project are to explore, document and record the repertoire, as well as the playing techniques that have arisen in the musical traditions of Crete and Athens; to develop and document a specific performance practice method for these two traditions; to enrich the mandolin's repertoire by bringing unknown repertoire and performing techniques to light; to improve improvisation skills of classical musicians; to inspire new composers to use the already existing instrumental techniques that have been spread orally through the four traditions, and create new contemporary music for mandolin. The fieldwork will provide an overview of the repertoire and an accompanying range of insights about unknown playing techniques and pedagogical processes that are severely lacking at the moment.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The politics of publishing; researching encounters between artists' books and intersectional feminist tools. 08/10/2019 - 07/10/2023

Abstract

My research project addresses artists' books and the politics of publishing, creating forms to uncover forgotten histories in this field, through a critical design approach which includes feminist tools. I will work on a series of hybrid publications (paper, digital, spatial, oral) to re·activate objects and histories and re·circulate them. The goal of the research project is to make untold narratives visible and activate the relation with historical, present and initiatives and narratives. How to tell these stories: through individual figures, groups of people, through objects? How to fill in the blanks — address the things that disappeared and integrate them? How to archive and transmit these stories? How to shift the traditional focus on monographic objects to collective ones, from books to "ephemeras"? The artistic context of this research is that of artists' books and artistic publishing. The theoretical context is art history, and more specifically the history of artists' books, as well as gender and postcolonial studies. The political context is that of activists working to shape the way we deal with knowledge and history (depatriarchising and de-colonialising). The research methodology is built on critical, research-based design methods. Throughout, intersectional feminist (design) tools will be used, notably an attention to who speaks for whom, in order to find a balance between speaking about/for and letting the primary source speak.

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Research team(s)

100 year surrealism – In dialogue with surrealist creation methods. 08/10/2019 - 07/10/2023

Abstract

This doctoral project articulates how surrealist creation methods and thinking tools influence and are used by contemporary artists today. Therefor a surrealist toolbox will be created (a non-exhaustive description of surrealist methods and thoughts) that forms a base for dialogue, interviews and collaborations with contemporary artist and art students today. By means of workshops and surrealist 'sparkling water-salons', specific themes, methods and international legacies of the surrealist movement are treated by students, experts and artists. Through collaborations with contemporary artists, the surrealist methods are practiced and analysed from the inside. These dialogues and collaborations result in a toolbox, a constellation of collaborative artworks, and a thesis with findings.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The Philippines and Equatorial Guinea in the Spanish Literary Production of the Early Francoism (1939-1955). 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

This dissertation project will investigate the representations of race and gender in a selected corpus of Spanish literary works about the Philippines and Equatorial Guinea. These works were written during the early Francoism (1939-1959), a period in which Equatorial Guinea was still a Spanish territory while the Philippines, not a Spanish colony any longer, was the object of imperial nostalgia in Spain. Recent studies have examined the existence of a colonial consciousness in Spanish modern literature although imperialistic dreams became especially pervasive during the Francoist period. At that time, the idea of the former Empire became an organizing symbol of Spanish nationalism and agglutinated several groups with expansionist aspirations. The doctoral student would undertake this project in the context of larger research conducted by the promotor and co-promotor around Peninsular literary works about the Philippines and Equatorial Guinea written between the late 19th century and the independence of Equatorial Guinea in 1968. Studies about the intersections between Spanish (post)colonial identity and its cultural production have mostly concentrated on the portrait of Latin America, while Spanish literary works concerning former and current territories in Asia and Africa have been far less explored. Comparative approaches between the Spanish treatment of the Philippines and Equatorial Guinea are also scarce despite presenting significant parallels as peripheral colonies. Among other parallels, this dissertation will focus on the representations of race and gender, which in these two territories did not respond to the phenomenon of mestizaje developed in Latin America. As part of its analysis on racial representation, this dissertation will investigate how the discourse of La Hispanidad appeared in these literary works. A reactionary ideology deployed by Francoism, La Hispanidad was presented as an egalitarian spiritual community composed of the past and current Spanish colonial territories. This dissertation will explore how these literary texts racialized the colonial other and employed the rhetoric of La Hispanidad. It will examine the tensions, contradictions or rhetorical strategies derived of these discursive coexistence. For its theoretical framework, this dissertation will drew upon numerous scholarly works on gender, race and nationalism in colonial discourse (Burbank and Cooper 2010, Gilroy 1993, McClintock 1995, Stoler and Cooper 1997; Wilder 2007) as well as in recent scholarship (Fischer Tiné) that has remarked the relevance of undertaking colonial discursive analysis from the perspective of affect and emotion theories (Ahmed). The approach will combine a close and distant examination of representation in texts. The distant reading will be done with digital tools and the corpus will be digitized. As a first step, the student will perform a topic modelling of the corpus and then the student will proceed to do a close reading analysis to explain the results of the key topics obtained during the first step.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

James Joyce's Unpublished Letters: A Digital Edition and Text-Genetic Study. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

James Joyce is one of the twentieth century's most admired and mythologized writers of prose fiction. Although he produced a relatively small oeuvre, he was a voluminous writer of letters. Selections from his correspondence, which is addressed to many of the major figures of the modernist period, have been published in six volumes and approximately twenty-five articles. And yet, only half of the surviving corpus of Joyce's letters has been published to date: of the 3,793 items known to be extant, 1,868 remain unpublished. These contain a wealth of material of interest to scholars and non-academic readers alike. The proposed PhD project 'James Joyce's Unpublished Letters: A Digital Edition and Text-Genetic Study' will interrelate the correspondence of a major modernist writer, James Joyce, to the composition of his novels and will determine Joyce's place within his wide network of correspondents. Central to this literary-critical undertaking will be the creation and launch of a digital edition of Joyce's unpublished letters, to be hosted by the University of Antwerp. This edition will use Joyce's letters to link his reading and writing habits to his source texts and draft materials, and to locate the author's literary and epistolary output within an intricate network of Modernist authorship. As such, the project aims to reassess and extend our current knowledge of Joyce's writing process in the context of the New Modernist Studies.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Constructing Age for Young Readers (CAFYR). 01/02/2019 - 31/01/2024

Abstract

CAFYR starts from the observations that Europe has recently witnessed a few pertinent crises in intergenerational tension, that age norms and ageism frequently go unchecked and that they are part of children's socialization. It aims at developing pioneering research for understanding how age is constructed in cultural products. CAFYR focuses on fiction for young readers as a discourse that often naturalizes age norms as part of an engaging story and that is endorsed in educational contexts for contributing to children's literacy, social and cultural development. The effect of three factors on the construction of age in children's books is studied: the age of the author, the age of the intended reader, and the age of the real reader. CAFYR aims to lay bare whether and how the age and aging process of children's authors affect their construction of the life stages in their works. It will show how various crosswriters shape the stages in life differently for young and adult readers. It considers the age of young readers as varied in its own right, and investigates how age is constructed differently for children of different ages, from preschoolers to adolescents. Finally, it brings together readers of various stages in the life course in a reception study that will help understand how real readers construct age, during the reading process and in dialogue with each other. CAFYR also aims to break new theoretical and methodological ground. It offers an interdisciplinary approach that enriches children's literature research with concepts and theories from age studies. It combines close reading strategies with distant reading and tools developed for digital text analysis. It provides a platform to people of different stages in life, contributing to their awareness about age, and facilitating and investigating dialogues about age, with the aim of ultimately fostering them more.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Constructing Age For Young Readers 01/02/2019 - 31/01/2024

Abstract

CAFYR starts from the observations that Europe has recently witnessed a few pertinent crises in intergenerational tension, that age norms and ageism frequently go unchecked and that they are part of children's socialization. It aims at developing pioneering research for understanding how age is constructed in cultural products. CAFYR focuses on fiction for young readers as a discourse that often naturalizes age norms as part of an engaging story and that is endorsed in educational contexts for contributing to children's literacy, social and cultural development. The effect of three factors on the construction of age in children's books is studied: the age of the author, the age of the intended reader, and the age of the real reader. CAFYR aims to lay bare whether and how the age and aging process of children's authors affect their construction of the life stages in their works. It will show how various crosswriters shape the stages in life differently for young and adult readers. It considers the age of young readers as varied in its own right, and investigates how age is constructed differently for children of different ages, from preschoolers to adolescents. Finally, it brings together readers of various stages in the life course in a reception study that will help understand how real readers construct age, during the reading process and in dialogue with each other. CAFYR also aims to break new theoretical and methodological ground. It offers an interdisciplinary approach that enriches children's literature research with concepts and theories from age studies. It combines close reading strategies with distant reading and tools developed for digital text analysis. It provides a platform to people of different stages in life, contributing to their awareness about age, and facilitating and investigating dialogues about age, with the aim of ultimately fostering them more.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Reassessing Intertextuality: The Case of James Joyce's Digital Library. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

The project's aim is to reassess the notion of 'intertextuality' by means of the case study of James Joyce's personal library and reading notes. When Julia Kristeva coined the term 'intertextuality' in the 1960s, she did so partly as a reaction to what she called 'critique des sources' ['study of sources']. Increasingly, the reader was seen as a crucial agent in the workings of intertextuality. By the beginning of the 21st century, the situation was formulated as a choice between two contending paradigms: influence on the one hand, intertextuality on the other. Current developments in the age of digital reproduction, notably 'text re-use' software, reinvigorate the influence/intertextuality debate with a new urgency. Intertextuality is less a matter of writing than a matter of reading, as Michael Riffaterre noted. He defined the concept of 'intertextuality' as the reader's perception of the links between one work and others, which preceded or followed it. This project builds on his definition, but adjusts one important detail: 'the' reader is a generalisation, which this project replaces by a concrete reader, a reader who is also a writer: James Joyce. The fact that we study not just a reader, but a writing reader, offers us the opportunity to use material traces to examine how intertextuality operates. In concrete terms, this will result in a monograph published by Oxford UP and a Digital Library of James Joyce, the first project to study the library in its entirety.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Constructing Adolescent Minds in Experimental Fiction for Young Readers: A Genetic Approach to Aidan Chambers' Dance series. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

Since the late 1960s, children's literature studies has developed into a vibrant field of research that unites literary, social and educational approaches to books for young readers (including fiction for adolescents). Over the same period, genetic criticism has grown into an area of study that surpasses traditional philology and text-critical analysis, focusing on the so-called avant-texte (documents preceding the publication of a literary work) as interesting literary material in its own right. To this date, the two fields of children's literature studies and genetic criticism have rarely engaged with each other. In this project, theoretically framed and in-depth genetic research is used to explore the construction of adolescence and the defining notion of the young addressee in the writing process of children's books. The project also pays attention the collaborative process that precedes the publication of a book for young reader – a process that always involves gatekeepers such as publishers, and sometimes also graphic designers and young readers themselves. It focuses on a canonical, particularly challenging author who has been both lauded and criticized for his approach to adolescent literature: Aidan Chambers. This British author won the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2002 for his experimental approach to adolescent fiction. Chambers' Dance series (1978-2005), named after its best known title Dance On My Grave (1982), is considered a milestone. For this project, selected items from Chambers' notebooks, sources, manuscripts, typescripts and correspondence are transcribed and digitized. The researchers involved reconstruct and interpret the writing process of Aidan Chambers' Dance series, thus contributing to a better understanding of this seminal author's adolescent fiction. In doing so, they aim to supplement the field of children's studies with state-of-the-art approaches from genetic criticism, including tools from digital humanities, in order to get a better understanding of the creative processes of adolescent fiction in particular, and vice versa, to introduce the aspect of "age" (including the author's own age and the concept of the "young addressee") to genetic criticism. Finally, they also develop practice-based methodological reflections on doing genetic research with a living author. Chambers' writing process will be visualized and studied with Manuscript Web, a digital scholarly editing platform developed at the University of Antwerp to accommodate the needs of genetic editions, allowing the editor to process and visualize not only the scans and transcriptions of draft materials, but also the intricate relations between those documents. By plotting out genetic pathways between different types of documents (like personal library items, notebooks, manuscripts, or published versions), the user can follow the progression of the text as it developed over time. At the end of the project, an online, educational manual will be developed to help teachers and secondary-school pupils navigate the genetic edition of Chamers' works, raise their textual awareness and critical reading skills, and add further depth to their understanding of Chambers' books and children's literature in general.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Cities of concrete: literature, film and urbanization in the Franco period (1939-1975). 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

From the late 1940s, cities in Spain began to grow rapidly. The mass migration of rural inhabitants resulted in the emergence of slums and shantytowns in the outskirts of the cities. The Franco regime, initially hostile to urban areas, which it saw as antithetical to its vision of society, sought to combat this phenomenon and developed a series of urban plans in an attempt to regulate—and segregate—the city. The urban discourses of the period were complex, however, and the government also encouraged, and facilitated, the construction of massive and uniform apartment complexes, which changed the face of the city. Unsurprisingly, cultural production in this period does not ignore these radical transformations. Throughout the Franco dictatorship, novelists and filmmakers interrogated aspects of the new city, often using novel forms and narrative techniques to do so, such as neorealism, science fiction, etc. The goal of this project is to analyse in what ways these narratives engaged with the Francoist city. It will argue that literature and film did not merely reflect the changing city. Rather, novelists and filmmakers actively participated in the creation of the imaginary around the city, by adopting, subverting and challenging urban discourses of the time. By looking at both Madrid and Barcelona, the project will seek to provide a full picture of the cultural reactions to Spain's large-scale urbanization during the Franco period.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Al stories: interactive narratives for hospitalised children. 01/01/2018 - 28/02/2022

Abstract

AI Stories is a language technological project based around the paediatrics wards of two Flemish hospitals. The project intends to push forward state of the art natural language generation, in order to implement a system capable of autonomously telling stories, and revealing invaluable psychological data to healthcare staff. In turn, the same technology could be used by companies and sectors outside of healthcare. Such advances will facilitate educational and caring Artificial Intelligence software, and allow companies in those sectors to build and analyse usable systems. The paediatrics ward is an acute example of a socially challenging linguistic context for children, that also exists more generally. By researching there, and developing an intelligent system capable of prolonged dialogue, which incorporates the feedback of healthcare staff, a robust solution across care industries is achievable.

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Research team(s)

Strengthening digital research at the UP system: digitization of rare periodicals and training in digital humanities. 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

This TEAM project funded by VLIR-UOS is a collaboration between the University of Antwerp and the University of the Philippines that combines an exchange of DH expertise and training with a specific digitization project of rare Philippine newspapers and magazines. The Universtity of Antwerp's project three promotors are Mike Kestemont, Dirk Van Hulle, and Rocío Ortuño. The project aims to improve the competitiveness of Philippine Humanities research in a globalized world, including the possibilities of student and professional mobility offered by the ASEAN confluence, by training faculty members and students in the field of Digital Humanities. The first and crucial step towards this objective (1) is the digitization of materials and the creation of a freely accessible environment with user friendly search facilities. Several periodicals published before World War II are in a precarious state of preservation and, located in Metro Manila, they are not accessible to all universities in the Philippines. By digitizing these periodicals and hosting them in a freely accessible online repository, they could be made available to all peripheral universities, and used in DH related research. Subsequently, (2) training in DH will be provided at different campuses of the University of the Philippines System. This training fits in the Philippine government's priority for promoting digital literacy both among scholars and the larger public. It also allows the University of the Philippines to participate in the global emergence and collaborative hallmark of DH.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Artificial Hearing: Neural Networks and the Acoustic Identifiability of Children with Cochlear Implants. 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

Approximately 1 of out of 1,000 neonates is diagnosed with a bilateral severe-to-profound hearing loss. Hearing aids, such as cochlear implants (CI), have opened up unprecedented perspectives for these children. Although CIs generally lead to remarkable gains in the spoken language proficiency of hearing-impaired children, their speech remains deviant from normal hearing children's speech, even after several years of device use. Adult speakers are able to discriminate between the speech of CI-children and that of normally hearing children. In other words, CI children's speech remains identifiable as the speech of a hearing impaired individual. Surprisingly, the exact characteristics on which adults base such decisions have so far remained elusive, which makes it difficult for clinicians to finetune speech rehabilitation programs. In this project, we aim to exploit recent advances in "Deep" Representation Learning to close in on these characteristics. Recent connectionist models (neural networks) have shown a promising performance in modelling raw audio signals, such as recorded speech. Through the careful inspection, visualization and interpretation of such models, we aim to uncover which specific features in the speech of cochlear-implanted children are responsible for the identifiability of their speech production.

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Intelligent Neural Systems as InteGrated Heritage Tools (INSIGHT). 15/12/2016 - 31/07/2022

Abstract

The INSIGHT project aims to advance the application of automated algorithms from the field of Artificial Intelligence to support cultural heritage institutions in their effort to keep up with their ongoing annotation initiatives for their expanding digital collections. We will focus on recent advances in Machine Learning, where the application of neural networks (Deep Learning) has recently led to significant breakthroughs, for instance, in the fields of Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision. We will determine how state-of-the-art algorithms can be used to (semi-)automatically catalogue and describe digital objects, especially those for which no, little or incomplete metadata is available. The project focuses on making the digital collections of two federal museum clusters in Brussels ready to be exported to Europeana, i.e. the Royal Museums of Fine  Arts of Belgium and Royal Museums of Art and History.

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Past projects

Editing services for the Comment c'est/How It Is module of the Beckett Digital Manuscripts Project. 23/06/2020 - 30/09/2020

Abstract

This project offers technical services for the development of a digital scholarly edition of Samuel Beckett's work of fiction 'Comment c'est' / 'How It Is', one of the modules in the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project.

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Clothing and Age in Fairy Tales and their Modern Adaptations (MW). 01/05/2020 - 30/04/2021

Abstract

Fairy tales represent an important site where relationships between age and gender are shaped and materialized by the use of clothing. Adulthood, body and age conceptions have recently been a central focus in scholarship on children's literature. Clothing in fairy tales is informed by the undressing and dressing of characters crossing different developmental stages: Cinderella's dress not only denotes a new social boundary but depicts her as having developed into a potential mating partner for the prince. This project examines fashion in folkloric and literary fairy tales and looks at age boundaries expressed by different modes of dress. Age represents one of the cardinal formative forces in fairy tales and decides how characters unfold in the course of the narrative. It is exactly the intersection between age and gender that drives the development of the characters in literary and folk tales. Clothing not only contributes to the construction of age and gender in fairy tales, but also marks a social distinction between the child's and the adult's body (Joosen 2018). In scholarship about age and gender in fairy tales, clothing has been rarely analyzed. While Catherine Orenstein, Lori Baker-Sperry, Liz Grauerholz and Carol Scott mention that clothing becomes the agent of many kinds of magical transformations of identity, they do not look at the relationship between age and clothing and their effect on gender identity. While Vanessa Joosen examines the construction of age and bodily conceptions in fairy tales, and Christina Bacchilega and Alessandra Levorato look at gender questions in fairy tale literature, there has been a complete gap in bringing the question of age and gender into discussion when looking at the use of clothing and accessories in fairy tales. The meaning that we attach to certain bodily features is socially and culturally determined (Ferguson 1994; Fraser and Greco 2004; Lesnik-Oberstein 2007, Joosen 2018). When thinking about age in children's literature, clothing represents new social and historical benchmarks. One might think of clothing as a social skin (Joosen 2018). Textile features and bodily features come into play when it comes to reading the body in terms of the social categories that constitute stages of life (Joosen 2018). This research project offers the first systematic, international, interdisciplinary and gender-connoted study of clothing and accessories in international folkloric fairy tales. Clothing informs new developmental stages of social and gender identities in fairy tales, while undressing as a form of unmasking in fairy tales often introduces the desire to pervert the process of aging in order to become young again; it refers back to jumping nakedly into the fountain of the youth in the 18th and 19th century (Just 204). The way people use and consume clothing as a process is fairly studied in sartorial studies (Turney & Franklin 2014, Almila 2016,) but has barely been examined and connected with respect to the study of fairy tales.

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Reinventing The Philippines: Images and Literary Representations of the Islands in Late 19th Century Spanish Narratives (1872-1896). 09/12/2019 - 29/05/2020

Abstract

The study of Spanish colonial texts has been traditionally limited to the context of Latin America and conditioned by claims of difference in the Spanish colonial methods and discourses with regard to other European experiences. The distinct character of Spanish imperialism was typically argued to derive from practices of miscegenation and its divergent historical trajectory. The main objective of this study is to provide a theorization of the Spanish colonial discourse about the Philippines during the final years of the Spanish rule, in the last third of the nineteenth century. While other colonial powers were at their zenith in Asia, the Spanish colonial administration underwent significant readjustments at the same time as intellectuals wrote extensively about the nature of Spanish colonialism and its future in Asia. This project will analyse the literary representations of the islands in ten unknown narrative works of eight Spanish authors who travelled and lived in the Philippines. These literary articles and short stories aimed to produce knowledge in Spain about the remote colony, in line with other different political initiatives proposed by the Spanish government. The combination of all these administrative, economic, and social actions pursued a common twofold goal: to strengthen the relations between the metropolis and the colony in order to reinforce the Spanish control of the territory and prevent a possible revolution of the population of the islands – as it had previously occurred in the Latin American colonies-. Thus, in their works, the authors presented their personal experiences and considerations about the islands but offered a convenient image of the territory for the Spanish colonial interests. The research is based on a postcolonial approach, building upon different analysis of European colonial discourses about other colonized territories -mainly English and Spanish discourse about Africa and America-. This study will examine both the representation of the Filipino colonial subjects and the Spanish colonizers and it will be structured in different sections regarding the main topics described in the text: the influence of the environment, traditions and practices, gender issues - representations of masculinity and femininity-, education in the islands, and the role of the Spanish Church. The study of these subjects not only seeks to provide a holistic but detailed picture of the Spanish colonial discourse about the Philippines, but also intends to prove its close connection with the political and economic reforms implemented during this period. Finally, this research also attempts to rescue these unknown writings, which often have gone unnoticed by the critics despite their testimonial, social and literary value. The study of the Spanish colonial discourse about the Philippines in these works will provide a better understanding of the relations between the two nations, in their common colonial past and even during the years to follow.

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CLARIAH-VL: Open Humanities Service Infrastructure. 01/02/2019 - 31/01/2021

Abstract

CLARIAH-VL: Open Humanities Service Infrastructure is the Flemish contribution to the European DARIAH and CLARIN infrastructures. It brings together and extends the portfolio of services enabling digital scholarship in the Arts and Humanities offered by the DARIAH-VL Virtual Research Environment Service Infrastructure (VRE-SI; Hercules & FWO 2015-2018) with the digital tools and language data that are offered through CLARIN-DLU/Flanders. The consortium which includes the network of Digital Humanities Research Centres at the universities of Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Leuven has been extended with the Dutch Language Institute (INT) – the CLARIN-ERIC certified B-Centre for Flanders. CLARIAH-VL will implement a modular research infrastructure embedding high-quality, user-friendly tools and resources into the workflows of humanities researchers in the five focus areas of linguistics; literature; socio-economic history; media studies; ancient history and archaeology. CLARIAH-VL aims to provide sustainable services, while fostering experimental development and innovation. Offering an open infrastructure which facilitates public humanities is a guiding principle for CLARIAH-VL. It will ensure the accessibility and relevance of the humanities to the general public, specific (heritage) community groups and policy makers. It will make it technically possible to share knowledge, including sharing and co-creating knowledge with non-specialist users, such as facilitating citizen science and crowdsourcing projects. Furthermore, by implementing international best practices in FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability) Research Data Management (RDM), CLARIAH-VL will pave the way to Flemish participation in the European Open Science Cloud.

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Networks of Resistance: The Ágora Literary Circle in Post-War Spain. 01/10/2018 - 28/02/2021

Abstract

This project focuses on a literary network active in Madrid in the decades following the Spanish War. Known as Ágora (1955-1973), the group ran a publishing house, a literary journal and a poetry prize and hosted a weekly soirée that attracted some of the most notable dissident writers and intellectuals in post-war Spain. Remarkably, the group was run by a woman, Concha Lagos, in a period when women were generally excluded from public life and relegated to domestic roles. After the Civil War, Franco implemented a policy of autarchy and isolationism. Scholars have often regarded the culture of this period as cut off from both Europe and the rest of the Spanishspeaking world. This project attempts to revise this inward-looking vision of post-war literature by showing how the Ágora circle managed to create a network of writers that extended not only throughout Spain but also beyond its borders, including Latin American, American, European and exiled Spanish authors. The goal of the project is to recuperate the exchanges among these writers and to trace the role of Ágora in creating a space for dissident literature and thought in post-war Spain. More specifically, it will examine how the circle promoted writers excluded from official literary circles (women, dissidents, etc.) and created contacts with foreign writers who helped to disseminate Ágora authors abroad and whose works were in turn translated and published by Ágora in Spain.

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Sabbatical 2018-2019 Prof. Dirk Van Hulle 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

During this sabbatical (Oct 2018 - Sep 2019) I would like to realize the following editorial and book projects: - a monograph called 'Genetic Criticism' for Oxford University Press; -­ prepare an application for an ERC Proof of Concept on teleological and dysteleological methods of genetic criticism; -­ the coordination and edition of the 'Oxford Handbook of Samuel Beckett'; -­ edit 2 issues of the Journal of Beckett Studies; -­ direct the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project (www.beckettarchive.org), notably the production of the next two volumes (The Making of Samuel Beckett's Radio Plays; The Making of Samuel Beckett's Play and Film) -­ edit the first four volumes in the new series 'Elements of Beckett Studies' (Cambridge University Press).

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CATCH 2020: Computer-Assisted Transcription of Complex Handwriting. 01/05/2018 - 30/04/2021

Abstract

CATCH 2020 aims to provide a working infrastructure for the computer-assisted transcription of complex handwritten documents. It will do so by building on the existing Transkribus platform for Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) – which allows us to process handwritten textual documents in a way that is similar to how OCR processes printed textual documents.. Rather than producing flat transcripts of digital facsimile images, however, CATCH 2020 will produce structured texts, providing tools to add textual and linguistic dimensions to the transcription by combining the state of the art of the research field of textual scholarship with the state of the art of the research field of computational linguistics.

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Project website

Philippines at the crossroads: mapping the international presence in the Philippine literary field in Spanish between 1872 and 1945. 01/04/2018 - 31/03/2019

Abstract

The Philippines, the only country in Asia with a major cultural production in Spanish, is geographically and has been historically a spot of intersection among routes between Asia and the Spanish Speaking world. This strategic position has had two consequences: (1) the multicultural composition of its national identity and cultural production, (2) that the country has been overshadowed as place of its own, to be only a transit point in international relations. By forgetting Philippine production, Hispanic studies have left behind a missing link that can contribute to explain the phenomenon of Hispanismo after 1898, and to trace the steps of cultural actors and mediators in the Spanish speaking world after the loss of the colonies, at the beginning of the new regime. This research aims to (1) map the literary field of the Philippines between 1872 and 1946 with special emphasis on the different ways of presence of international geo-cultural areas in it (2) to place the Philippine Studies in a wider interregional context of Hispanic Studies and Asian Studies. This is to be done using digital methodology, that allows considering a wide amount of data, to draw the literary field as Pierre Bourdieu considers it, with the international implications hinted by Pascale Casanova. In this way, we will be also bridging a traditional gap between Digital methodologies and critical applied research. The expected outcomes are: a database of cultural actors in the Philippine context, three articles to be published in journals, one international conference to be held in the University of Antwerp and a batch of digitized magazines and newspapers to be added to the repository being constructed by a VLIR-UOS funded project. This project should also set the grounds for future collaborations with other groups mapping the circulation of culture in the Spanish speaking world and Asia between the end of 19th and beginning of 20th centuries.

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Project website

Timemachine. 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2020

Abstract

What if you could travel through time as easily as we travel through space? With the Time Machine consortium, we work towards a large-scale FET Flagship project to build a large-scale simulator capable to map more than 2000 years of European history. This big data of the past, a common resource for the future, will trigger pioneering and momentous cultural, economic and social shifts. Understanding the past undoubtedly is a prerequisite for understanding present-day societal challenges and contributes to more inclusive, innovative and reflective societies. Researchers from all over the world are spearheading joint forces within the Time Machine FET Flagship project to reinvigorate the past through one of the most ambitious projects ever on European culture and identity. The fundamental idea of this project is based on Europe's truly unique asset: its long history, its multilingualism and interculturalism.

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The measure of Middle Dutch: rhythm and prosody reconstruction for Middle Dutch literature, a data-driven approach 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

What does it mean when the rhythm of a literary text is called 'snappy' or 'fluid'? And what are the characteristics of literature that is 'easily engraved on one's mind'? The rhythmical qualities of literature are often described on an intuitive basis, while using vague terms. This is especially true for Middle Dutch literature. The many rhymed texts of our literary history's earliest stages frequently receive labels like these. However, it is often unclear what is actually meant by them. With this research, it is my ambition to provide the highly necessary scientific backing to these intuitive – and therefore potentially biased – statements. Contrary to previous research, I will make use of computational techniques to investigate the rhythmical qualities of Middle Dutch literature. Because these techniques are unprejudiced, subjectivity can be ruled out. As a result, we will achieve a precise and understandable notion of the rhythmicities of literary texts. For the first time ever, we will be able to pinpoint precisely the reasons for certain intuitive observations. Also, by not restricting ourselves to the analysis of individual texts, we will compare the rhythms present in different genres of literature. Without losing ourselves in a jungle of vague impressions, we will therefore be able to put our finger on, for example, the rhythmical differences between the famous texts 'Van den vos Reynaerde' and 'Karel ende Elegast'.

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Project website

Reading in Europe today - Reading and writing literary texts in the age of digital humanities. 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

This project does focus on the necessary links between reading and writing in the age of digital humanities. Text 'consumption' (Valéry) and text 'production' have always been very close to each other. New technologies for writing and reading do intensify the relations between poth poles. The project has special interest for research in the field of french and francophone literature. The 'postextual' dimension (Schuerewegen) if literary criticism (the word 'text' designates a proces, not a product) is used here as a central methodology. Reading is another name for writing .

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Project website

Beyond the Archival Turn: Bridging the Gap between Digital Archives and Critical Editions. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

A renewed interest in archival research is currently being referred to as 'the archival turn'. This is a welcome development, but hopefully the term will soon be unnecessary, for a 'turn' suggests that what is momentarily on the rise may just as quickly vanish again, like a fashion; and archival research is not a fashion. It has always been part of literary studies. What needs 'refashioning', however, is the way we can do archival research in the digital age. In textual scholarship, a distinction is being made between 'digital archives' and 'critical editions'. The proposed editorial model aims to bridge this gap and create a continuum between the two, by integrating a set of innovative tools.

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'James Joyce's Geographies of Reading: Trieste-Zurich-Paris'. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

Ulysses (1922) is among the cardinal texts of literary modernism. As an émigré Irishman living on the Continent during and immediately after the First World War, James Joyce wrote the novel in 'Trieste-Zurich-Paris, 1914-1921', as its final line famously proclaims. Academic criticism has suffered, however, from focusing too narrowly on the individuals and social networks to which this European itinerary introduced the writer. Moreover, while generations of readers have noted the densely allusive nature of the novel, they have entirely overlooked the role that Joyce's migrations played in creating this multilayered, reiterative effect. My project unites place with the page. By focusing on the changing accesses to print culture that Joyce had in neutral Zurich, wartime and post-war Trieste, and peacetime Paris, I trace the immediate impact that relocation around Europe had on Ulysses. What books could have crossed Joyce's desk while he was reading and researching? What itineraries or trajectories did his reading material follow? My analysis relies on recent changes in our own access to the twentieth-century print record, brought on by the mass digitization underway since the turn of the millennium. The project combines over a decade of original research on Joyce's prepublication dossier with new insights gleaned from book history and the application of database technologies to literary manuscripts in order to explain how and why certain texts contributed directly to Ulysses.

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AI Poems: Digital Poetry for Hospitalised Children. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

The aim of AI Poems is to develop a software and surrounding service to give hospitalised children access to creative language, and utilise this knowledge to offer a concise and multilingual program to pediatric wards in Flanders and abroad. Using the latest Natural Language Processing technology, the software will produce poetic and visually appealing text, controlled by a child's input. The research project will test multiple forms of physical input, so that children with disabilities can use the program, but also to make the project creatively and socially appealing to a child. The project is partnered with University Hospital Antwerp (UZA) and University Hospital Leuven (UZLeuven), where research will be conducted in pediatric wards. The project will be avised and supported by; partners in Belgium, The Ghent Health Psychology Lab (GHP), Experimental Psychology at The Free University of Brussels (EXTO), The Computational Linguistics & Psycholinguistics Research Center at The University of Antwerp (CLiPS); and international partners, Natural Interaction at The University of Madrid, The Creative Language System Group at The University of Dublin, and Apple Computer.

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InterStylar: A Stylometric Approach to Intertextuality in 12th century Latin Literature. 01/10/2016 - 30/09/2020

Abstract

In authorship studies, scholars use quantitative techniques from stylometry to attribute anonymous texts to known authors on the basis of writing style. Intertextuality – the phenomenon where authors integrate and/or allude to other texts in their own work – poses an interesting issue here: should all 'intertext', such as citations or allusions, be removed from a text before we can reliably analyze its style? This project challenges the traditional view in stylometry that such 'Fremdkörper' are pure noise and seeks to verify the hypothesis that intertext constitutes a crucial aspect of an author's individual writing style. To this end, we analyze a representative corpus of 12th century Latin literature, circling around the impressive oeuvre of Bernard of Clairvaux, in which (biblical and other) intertextuality plays a dominant role. This project will employ recent advances in 'deep' representation learning which allows to model texts from the character-level upwards.

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Wallace Stevens in the World. 05/09/2016 - 30/06/2017

Abstract

During my stay as Fellow-in-Residence at NIAS in Amsterdam, I intend to deepen the critical understanding of the many ways in which Wallace Stevens' writings simultaneously relate to the world and may be considered relevant to world literature. I will do so by developing a variety of complementary angles that will be pursued over three interrelated book projects. My first and main goal is to write a book whose working title is "Wallace Stevens' World Wide Web." My second goal consists of a collection of essays on "Wallace Stevens and France" that I will be coediting for Editions Rue d'Ulm/Presses de l'Ecole normale supérieure. This will explore Stevens' uses of French, the influence of French poetry and painting on his writings, the reception of his work in France, French translations of his poetry, and the relevance of French theorists for reading his work. My third and final goal is to finish an annotated selection of 101 poems by Stevens that I have been translating into Dutch over the years.

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Digital textanalysis. 01/12/2015 - 30/11/2020

Abstract

In the Humanities, scholars study the products of the human mind, such as language, paintings, music, etc. Texts too are an important research object across many field in the Humanities. Until recently, most textual analyses in the Humanities were carried out manually by individual experts, via "close reading" or the careful, sustained reading of small sets of works. With the advent of personal computing in recent decades, an increasing number of texts are becoming available in digitized, electronic forms. This allows scholars to analyze much larger text collections via computer programs. "Distant Reading" is nowadays often used to denote such "macro"-forms of digital text analysis in the Humanities. Mining insights from large text collections via Distant Reading proves to be challenging. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that, as the size of the datasets increases, we see that research methods often become less sophisticated. In many "Big Data" studies, we see for instance that scholars do little more than computing word frequencies across texts. If we want computers to become smarter and be able to read texts like humans can (cf. Artificial Intelligence), we therefore need to develop more complex forms of "Artificial Reading". Interestingly, we see that humans always have highly personal interpretations of texts, because they are influenced by their specific background. Many computer programs read texts in a more generic way and forget about the individual background that human readers have. Universities, as well as many large tech-companies in the world, such as Facebook or Google, are therefore currently developing smarter computer algorithms, which can automatically learn from stimuli in the outside world, just as humans would. These computer programs are called "Deep Learning" in computer science and have proven to be extremely successful in many real-world applications (e.g. face detection in pictures on social media). Surprisingly, these techniques have been rarely applied in Humanities research. The broad aim of this project is to transfer these promising "Deep Learning" methods to digital text analysis.

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Wallace Stevens as a World Poet. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

This research project is meant to contribute to the process of reading the canonical modernist poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) as a transnational and global poet. It seeks to provide a more systematic focus to such readings, present a variety of relevant data not yet available to Stevens scholarship, evaluate what is critically at stake in transnationalizing the poet, and recalibrate current theories on world literature and ecocriticism by confronting them with Stevens' complex poetic thinking in this regard. The project will investigate Stevens as a "world poet" from a variety of complementary angles that may be organized into three main parts, consisting of two large case studies each: "Wallace Stevens in the World" (which is to be based on archival research into the poet's library and correspondence), "The World through Wallace Stevens" (which will draw on theories of world literature and ecocriticism), and "The World after Wallace Stevens" (which will involve case studies about Stevens' influence on a cluster of non-American poets, on the one hand, and the painter David Hockney, on the other).

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Jewgreek is greekjew. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

This project studies the manner in which the Greco-Latin cultural tradition interacts with the Jewish-Christian one in the work of James Joyce and in the way this work has been read by literary critics, philosophers and theologians.

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Digital Humanities Flanders 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This is a fundamental research project financed by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). The project was subsidized after selection by the FWO-expert panel. It builds a scientific community that focuses on the organisation of two types of recurrent events: training initiatives and networking events to keep up to date with recent cross-disciplinary advances in the application of digital methods in Humanities research and provide a platform to exchange innovative technologies across different humanities disciplines.

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DICIS - Transnational textual cultures: study textual condition, translation, mediation and literary historiography. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This is a fundamental research project financed by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). The project was subsidized after selection by the FWO-expert panel. It focuses on the textual condition, translation and litearary historiography.

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Telling Lists: A Dynamic Study of the Nature and Function of Literary Lists. 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

The project has a two-fold objective. First, it wants to come up with a hermeneutic tool to interpret lists found in modern novels, i.e. is novels written from the second half of the nineteenth century up till now. Second, it wants to use this tool to trace the development of literary listing from the first modern Dutch novel (Multatuli's Max Havelaar 1860) to the present day (Grunberg 2010).

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Revising Mid-Twentieth-Century American Poetics: Correspondences in the Poetry and Prose of Wallace Stevens, John Ashbery, and Frank O'Hara. 01/10/2014 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

My proposal stems from state-of-the-art criticism that attempts to bring Stevens and postwar American poetry together in order to uncover continuities and affinities that should help us move beyond the reductively applied and frequently unhelpful labels of high modernism, late modernism, and postmodernism.

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Narrative interest and religious belief in contemporary American fiction. 01/10/2014 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

This project will attempt to apply post-classical narrative theories about narrative interest to contemporary U.S. fiction that evokes the diverse cultural dialogue about belief. As a means of investigating the ways in which narrative interest is affected by the transmission of cultural material during the reading process, the literary corpus of this dissertation will consist of popular and critically-acclaimed American writers who choose to thematize their religious beliefs - Marilynne Robinson, Allegra Goodman, Louise Erdrich, and Fae Myenne Ng.

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ESFRI-project DARIAH. 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2018

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Literature and teh Extended Mind: A reassessment of Modernism. 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

This project applies the notion of the 'extended mind' to Modernist literature, by combining cognitive narratology with genetic criticism. A writer's interaction with his or her manuscripts is regarded as part and parcel of the 'extended mind'. This interaction during the writing process can have direct results for the evocation of a character's thought process. Modernism's interest in characters' cognitive processes has often been presented in terms of an 'inward turn'. The project reassesses this view on Modernism.

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Digital Humanities. 13/11/2013 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

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Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network (DiXiT). 01/09/2013 - 31/08/2017

Abstract

For this reason ten leading European institutions from universities and academies closely collaborating with the private sector and cultural heritage institutions intend to form one of the most innovative training networks for a new generation of scholars in the field of digital scholarly editing. DiXiT training programme offers a combination of network-wide training modules (Camps & Conventions) and local specialist training in connection with individual research projects, which not only will stand out in Europe, but will be able to compete with the worldwide leading centres and networks in the field of Digital Humanities research, cultural heritage, software and publishing industries. Moreover, DiXiT will help to create a training trajectory for the emerging supradisciplinary field of Digital Humanities and thus anchoring it in an institutionalized, structured education scheme.

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The Multiple Languages of Modernism: Joyce, Beckett, Nabokov, and the Making of Modern Fiction 01/07/2013 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

The dissertation, "The Multiple Languages of Modernism: Joyce, Beckett, Nabokov, and the Making of Modern Fiction," shows that there are important differences between multilingual and monolingual writers and documents the creative tension resulting from writing that is informed by more than one language. I argue that a deeper awareness of the way in which multilingual literature diverges from that of monolinguals not only sheds new light on these three authors and their writings but on the workings of language in multilingual fiction, and ultimately on the workings of language in literature generally. Joyce, Nabokov, and Beckett were all thoroughly multilingual. Although multilingualism takes a different form in each of their works, for all three authors a multilingual background is indissolubly connected to the writing, both on the formal level of the text (the use of foreign words, multilingual puns, a play with accent and pronunciation) and as theme and content. Through close readings of texts by Joyce (Ulysses and Finnegans Wake), Nabokov (Король, дама, валет (King, Queen, Knave), Lolita and Ada) and Beckett (Watt in English and French), of letters (both published and unpublished), interviews, recollections of the writers by their contemporaries, recordings, (auto) biographies, and notebooks, I demonstrate the effect that multilingualism has on the written language of the three writers, and on their relation with English.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Expanding the Online Froissart, a resource for the study of late-medieval book production 01/02/2013 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

A lot of scholarly attention has recently been paid to medieval book production. It was complex to produce the voluminous manuscripts that survive from e.g. early fifteenth century Paris. A major scholarly problem involves the scribes of manuscripts: sometimes up to 20 copyists seem to have contributed to a copy, but their handwritings can be extremely difficult to distinguish. Developing objective methodologies to discriminate between these fellow scribes, is therefore an important challenge in medieval studies. In my PhD I have argued for the potential of "stylometric" approaches in this respect. Typically scribes adopted a highly individual spelling profile in such a consequent way that algorithms are often able to automatically detect a scribe's handwriting in a previously unseen copy. Such text-based identifications can be achieved using a combination of quantitative techniques from Computational Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence. The Online Froissart is a valuable digital resource in this respect, presenting a machine-readable edition of many early fifteenth century, Parisian manuscripts of the Chroniques by Jean Froissart. This Small Project targets the focused expansion of the Online Froissart, because it is ideal for research into the text-based recognition of late-medieval scribes. In a variety of ways, the present proposal complements my recently started postdoc project, in which linguistic scribal attributions are a major interest.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Creative undoing and textual scholarship: a rapprochement between genetic criticism and scholarly editing (CUTS). 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2017

Abstract

In the past few decades, the disciplines of textual scholarship and genetic criticism have insisted on their respective differences. Nonetheless, a rapprochement would be mutually beneficial. This research project endeavours to innovate scholarly editing with the combined forces of these two disciplines.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Homonegativity and Gender Deviance: A Comparative Analysis of the Relationship between Ideas on Gender and Sexuality in Flanders, The Netherlands, and the United States. 01/10/2012 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This project investigates to what extent and in what manner attitudes toward non-heteronormative sexualities can be explained by attitudes toward gender. The corpus of analyzed texts consists of book and film reviews from the period 1960 until today. For each compared region (Flanders, The Netherlands, the U.S.), two written media (a newspaper and a weekly) will be analyzed.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The Planet on the Table: Wallace Stevens as a World Poet. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This research project is meant to contribute to the process of reading the canonical modernist poet Wallace Stevens as a transnational and global poet. It seeks to provide a more systematic focus to such readings, present a variety of relevant data not yet available to Stevens criticism, evaluate what is critically at stake in transnationalizing this poet, and recalibrate current theories on world literature, ecocriticism, and cultural topography by confronting them with Stevens' complex poetic thinking in this regard. Borrowing its main title from the poem in which Stevens looked back on his own poetic career, "The Planet on the Table," the project will investigate Stevens as a "world poet" from a variety of complementary angles that may be organized into three main parts: "Wallace Stevens in the World" (which is to be based on archival research), "The World through Wallace Stevens" (which will draw on theories of world literature, ecocriticism, and a combination of rhetorical analysis and cultural topography), and "The World after Wallace Stevens" (which will involve case studies about translations, adaptations, and the poet's afterlife on the internet).

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Narrative interest and religious belief in contemporary American fiction. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This project will attempt to apply post-classical narrative theories about narrative interest to contemporary U.S. fiction that evokes the diverse cultural dialogue about belief. As a means of investigating the ways in which narrative interest is affected by the transmission of cultural material during the reading process, the literary corpus of this dissertation will consist of popular and critically-acclaimed American writers who choose to thematize their religious beliefs - Marilynne Robinson, Allegra Goodman, Louise Erdrich, and Fae Myenne Ng.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

American maximalist fiction between global and local knowledge – Richard Powers, David Foster Wallace, and the novel of information. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This project investigates a pivotal response in contemporary American fiction to the representational aporias of canonical postmodernism. In answer to their literary forebears-self-conscious writers such as John Barth or Thomas Pynchon, who turned toward irony, metafiction and fragmentation¿Richard Powers and David Foster Wallace revalorize narrative as the ideal vehicle for the creation of meaning. They envision the "novel of information" (Powers 2008) as a text that combines diverse fields of knowledge so as to enable the reader to develop a personal and yet integrated perspective on the world. The central question that consequently needs to be addressed is: how can their novels create the illusion of totality without being totalitarian? This question will be answered on the levels of form and content. Drawing on recent instances of reader-oriented narratology, the project first intends to show how various formal aspects of The Gold Bug Variations (Powers 1991) and Infinite Jest (Wallace 1996) can entice the reader to continuously reconstruct his or her mental representation of the narrative. This cognitive approach will be further developed in a thematic analysis, which will focus on the novels' many passages about mental mapping as potential beacons in the reader's search for coherence.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Metafiction and the writing process. A genetic approach to 'autography' in Samuel Beckett's Molloy, Malone meurt, and L'Innommable. 01/10/2011 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

The aim of this project is to offer a new perspective on Abbott's theory by linking Beckett's autography to his manuscripts, thus returning to the term's original definition of 'signature'. As such this project aims to determine why Beckett incorporated the author's writing process into his works, and what this can tell us about his poetics. Moreover, by clearly separating the author's writing process from the narrator's, the project aims to delineate the distinction between autography and autobiography.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Publication "The Making of Samuel Beckett's Stirring Still / Soubresauts and Comment dire / what is the word, volume 1 van The Beckett Digital Manuscript Project." 07/02/2011 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

'The Making of Samuel Beckett's Stirrings Still / Soubresauts and Comment dire / what is the word' is the first volume of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project (BDMP). This electronic genetic edition of Samuel Beckett's works is a cooperative project of the Universities of Antwerp and Reading, under the auspices of the Center for Manuscript Genetics, the Beckett International Foundation and the Harry Ransom Center, and with the support of the Samuel Beckett Estate. The project consists of: - 26 electronic modules, covering Beckett's complete works. Each module consists of digital facsimiles and transcriptions of all extant manuscripts of one of Beckett's works, with apparatus variorum. - 26 corresponding monographs in print, with bibliographical descriptions of the documents and the reconstruction of the textual genesis.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Contemporary American fiction between local and global knowledge - Richard Powers, David Foster Wallace, and the novel of information. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

This project investigates a pivotal response in contemporary American fiction to the representational aporias of canonical postmodernism. In answer to their literary forebears-self-conscious writers such as John Barth or Thomas Pynchon, who turned toward irony, metafiction and fragmentation¿Richard Powers and David Foster Wallace revalorize narrative as the ideal vehicle for the creation of meaning. They envision the "novel of information" (Powers 2008) as a text that combines diverse fields of knowledge so as to enable the reader to develop a personal and yet integrated perspective on the world. The central question that consequently needs to be addressed is: how can their novels create the illusion of totality without being totalitarian? This question will be answered on the levels of form and content. Drawing on recent instances of reader-oriented narratology, the project first intends to show how various formal aspects of The Gold Bug Variations (Powers 1991) and Infinite Jest (Wallace 1996) can entice the reader to continuously reconstruct his or her mental representation of the narrative. This cognitive approach will be further developed in a thematic analysis, which will focus on the novels' many passages about mental mapping as potential beacons in the reader's search for coherence.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Finishing two book projects: *Devorando a Cuba* and *Cinco ensayos sobre narrativa dominicana contemporánea*. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

In "Devorando a lo cubano"¨a gastrocritical approach, i.e. an interpretation based on culinary references in a dialogue with other approaches, is applied to a series of narrative texts that are dealing with Cuba in the nineteenth century and in the so called Special Period in Cuba (from 1990 on). "Cinco ensayos sobre narrativa dominicana contemporánea" treats issues as the city, diasporaq and the historical trauma caused by Trujillo's dictatorship.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Research in the field of children's literature in the Low Countries. 22/02/2010 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Spanish American Canonical Writers in the contemporary narrative prose of the Hispanic Carribean, Argentina and Chili (1990-2010). 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

The project aims to demonstrate the importance of Spanish American canonical writers in relation to individual poetics and to reveal the constellations and recurrent elements in the way of rewriting canonical texts by men and women. The concept of a Spanish American canon (transnational and national) can be questioned by the comparative approach. At the same time the purpose is to formulate a critical reflection on the formation of the canon and on the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. The applicability of sociological-literary theories concerning the formation of the canon (Bourdieu, Casanova) will be checked.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project website

Beckett's library: reading traces and their interpretative implications. 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

The marginalia in Samuel Beckett's personal library in his apartment in Paris are the core of this research project. The aim is to (1) investigate the relevance of extant reading traces for the interpretation of Beckett's works; (2) chart the lacunae in Beckett's extant library. The project will result in a monograph 'Samuel Beckett's Library', to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Positioning Rebecca Brown's work within contemporary English literature. 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

The project focuses on the (hitherto largely unexamined) oeuvre of the American author Rebecca Brown. It comprises, firstly, an intertextual component centering on Brown's minimalism and positioning her work within contemporary English literature; and, secondly, a sociological study that will examine what makes her worldview such an unpopular one as well as track the influence of the current American literary market on the reception of Brown's work."

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The totalizing genre: William Gaddis, Thomas Pynchon and the encyclopedic novel in the United States. 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

William Gaddis's The Recognitions and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow are often referred to as the two most important examples of the post-war "Encyclopedic Novel" in The United States. They succeed in creating an encyclopedic illusion of totality, but simultaneously undermine this totality. As such, they can be connected to Denis Diderot's definition of the encyclopedia as a dynamic delineation of knowledge. Is it, therefore, useful to try and classify both novels within the confines of a generic definition? Since both novels focus on the dynamic between the constant construction and deconstruction of totality, they rather make us reconsider the validity of all totalizing systems.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Participation at the "Beckett Digital Manuscript Project" (FWO Vis.Postdoc.Fel., Anthony CORDINGLEY, Australia, Univ.Rouen-France). 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

As part of the 'Beckett Digital Manuscript Project', this project builds on Edouard Magessa O'Reilly's work, to realize an electronic genetic-critical edition of Beckett's novel 'Comment c'est/How It Is', encoded in XML (eXtensible Markup Language), to reunite the 14 manuscript versions of Comment c'est (facsimiles and transcription) with their multiple English translations. The edition will offer transcriptions, facsimiles, and a critical apparatus to aid the reader in moving through the text and will be accompanied by a monograph analyzing the genesis of the text.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The Genesis of Samuel Beckett's Novel Comment c'est / How It Is. 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2010

Abstract

An electronic genetic-critical edition of Comment c'est/How It Is, encoded in XML (eXtensible Markup Language), to reunite the 14 manuscript versions of Comment c'est (facsimiles and transcription) with their multiple English translations. The edition will offer transcriptions, facsimiles, and a critical apparatus to aid the reader in moving through the text and will be accompanied by a monograph analyzing the genesis of the text.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

American maximalist fiction between global and local knowledge ¿ Richard Powers, David Foster Wallace, and the novel of information. 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2010

Abstract

In an effort to analyze the "post-postmodern" tendency in contemporary American fiction, this research project focuses on the writings of Richard Powers and David Foster Wallace. Convinced that irony is not the only adequate response to the loss of all Grand Narratives (Lyotard), both authors posit the novel form as a way to confront the postmodern solipsism of their literary predecessors. Contrary to the fragmentary and overly self-referential texts of such canonical authors as Donald Barthelme or John Barth, Powers and Wallace want to narrativize information in such a way that local knowledge can still be represented in a tentative global model. A theoretical and (post-classical) narratological approach to their work is required to investigate how such a model can find its origin.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Credit for the Libraries in Social and Human Sciences (Faculty of Arts). 15/09/2009 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

Researcher(s)

  • Promotor: Tritsmans Bruno

Research team(s)

Scientific support of the sabatical stay of prof. S. Weisenburger in VLAC of the KVAB. 01/01/2009 - 30/06/2009

Abstract

This project amounts to a collaboration between S. Weisenburger and L. Herman, which will result in a monograph on Thomas Pynchon's novel _Gravity's Rainbow_ (1973). Weisenburger and Herman form part of a Royal Flemish Academy cluster on trauma in English and American literature. In their book, Weisenburger and Herman will deal with Pynchon's narrativization of the oppression of the non-white individual in the twentieth century.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

From "black as ebony" to "Black as ink": The Dutch and Flemish translations and retellings of "Snow White" in the literary-historical reception of Grimm's fairy tales. 01/10/2008 - 03/02/2012

Abstract

This postdoctoral research project charts the most important tendencies in the Flemish and Dutch reception of Grimm's fairy tales. It compares the translations, adaptations, illustrated versions and parodies of "Snow White" with Grimm's source text and interprets the stylistic, structural and thematic shifts in the light of dominant and changing attitudes towards the fairy tale, fantasy literature, children's literature and translated literature.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

From "black as ebony" to "black as ink"; The Dutch and Flemish variants of "Snow White" in the literary-historical reception of Grimm's fairy tales. 01/07/2008 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This project investigates the most important tendencies in the Flemish and Dutch reception of Grimm's fairy tales. It compares the translations, adaptations, illustrated versions and parodies of "Snow White" with Grimm's source text and interprets the stylistic, structural and thematic shifts in the light of the dominant and changing attitudes towards the fairy tale, fantasy literature, children's literature and translated literature.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The Contemporary Historic Novel about New York City. 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

The investigation seeks to provide answers to the following four main research questions: (1) The literary-historical question about specific shifts that allow us to situate the phenomenon of the contemporary historic novel on New York City within (American) literary history overall. (2) The genre-typological question about the role of quest and search plots in the corpus. (3) The documentary question about the ways in which writers use historic sources. (4) The political-ideological question about the possibly subversive or critical potential of the fictional worlds developed by writers.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The Complete Poetical Works of Max Elskamp. A Critical Edition. 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2009

Abstract

Publication in the 'Classiques Garnier' (Paris) of the complete poetic writings of Max Elskamp (1862-1931), the Belgian Symbolist writer who lived in Antwerp. It concerns the first scientific edition of the work of a Belgian author in a prestigious collection which imposes the most strict criteria on his collaborators in edition of literary, historical and philsosophical texts.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Price of the BFVUG 2007. 19/12/2007 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

Researcher(s)

  • Promotor: Vandewaetere Sara

Research team(s)

In between figure and story: the long poem in Dutch literature after 1880. 01/10/2007 - 31/03/2010

Abstract

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The totalizing genre: William Gaddis, Thomas Pynchon and the encyclopedic novel in the United States. 01/10/2007 - 30/09/2009

Abstract

William Gaddis's The Recognitions and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow are often referred to as the two most important examples of the post-war "Encyclopedic Novel" in The United States. They succeed in creating an encyclopedic illusion of totality, but simultaneously undermine this totality. As such, they can be connected to Denis Diderot's definition of the encyclopedia as a dynamic delineation of knowledge. Is it, therefore, useful to try and classify both novels within the confines of a generic definition? Since both novels focus on the dynamic between the constant construction and deconstruction of totality, they rather make us reconsider the validity of all totalizing systems.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Decomposition: a genetic approach to literary multilingualism. 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2010

Abstract

The aim of this project is 1. to reconstruct the composition process of multilingual works of literature; 2. to work out an adequate method of scholarly editing for multilingual works; and 3. to show how genetic criticism can contribute to the interpretation of these works. To this end, an initial distinction will be made between two types of multilingual works. For each type, the late works by one author will serve as case-studies.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

The Study and Dissemination of the Poetry of Wallace Stevens from a Text-Genetic Perspective. 01/01/2007 - 31/12/2008

Abstract

This project is intended to start up and develop a critically responsible investigation, based on an adequate knowledge of state-of-the-art evolutions in the field of textual genetics and entirely in line with the research profile of the University of Antwerp in the field of English and American literature, into the textual genesis of the poetry of the American modernist poet Wallace Stevens (1879-1955).

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Poetics of parody: taxonomy and pragmatics of parodic discourse. 01/10/2006 - 31/03/2007

Abstract

This research project has to lead to the development of a three-dimensional open model which is able, on the basis of a shared and generally acceptable framework, 1) to draw up the boundaries of different forms of refraction within a single consistent taxonomy, inexistent today; 2) to develop and exploit new sub-corpora, underrepresented today in research on parody; and 3) to study and to compare for the first time in a consistent manner several forms of parodic discourse.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Losing his religion: James Joyce and Religious Faith. 01/03/2006 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

Early on James Joyce lost his Catholic faith and this loss became a central theme in his work. But his interest in faith and its absence remained central in his thinking and writing, and this can for the first be document through a thorough study of his manuscripts and notebooks.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Culinary contexts in the Mexican and Hispano Caribbean literature from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2009

Abstract

The promotors will focus their research on the diversity of ways in which culinary contexts as defined in the project are present and represented in the Mexican and Hispano-Caribbean literature in a diachronic perspective. They will check a number of hypothesis based on issues that are nowadays very important in literary production (gender, identity, intertextuality, marketing, poetics) in order to define and circumscribe in a scientific way the culinary contexts in literature that are sometimes considered as 'light' by some scholars. At the same time the project contributes to reflect on the 'utility' of a 'gastrocritical' approach. See the website: http://www.ua.ac.be/contextosculinarios

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project website

American studies. 01/01/2006 - 31/12/2007

Genesis of the Finnegans Wake Notebooks. 01/10/2005 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

This project represents a research contract awarded by the University of Antwerp. The supervisor provides the Antwerp University research mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions stipulated by the university.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

New perspectives on fairy tales. Research project on the intertextual dialogue between fairytale criticism and German, English and Dutch fairy-tale retellings in the period from 1970 tot 2000. 01/10/2005 - 30/09/2007

Abstract

Ever since children's literature gained its status as a part of literature worthy of academic study, fairy tales have received much attention from critics and scholars, especially the tales that were collected by the Grimm Brothers. 'Adult' literary theories such as feminism, psychoanalysis, structuralism and post-structuralism have provided interesting new perspectives on the old texts. At the same time there was, and still is, a lively interest in fairy tales on the part of writers and illustrators. Authors invent new tales or rewrite older ones, and the original stories are often published with new, inventive illustrations. In my PHD I investigate the relationship between the theoretical discussion of fairy tales and fictional adaptations or rewritings based on these tales. Both genres often express the same ideas, but have to make use of their own typical characteristics and constraints. Since children have no access to literary criticism, fairy-tale retellings can partly fill in that gap: very often they offer the reader a critical perspective on the Grimm tales.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Samuel Beckett's late bilingual works: manuscript genetics and electronic-critical edition. 01/05/2005 - 30/04/2009

Abstract

The aim of this project is to study the writing process of Samuel Beckett's late bilingual writings by analysing the manuscripts according to the methodology of genetic criticism. The results of this research will be made accessible in the form of five articles and an electronic genetic edition (with XML-encoded transcriptions of all the drafts and a critical apparatus) of Not I / Pas moi, Still / Immobile, Stirrings Still / Soubresauts, and Comment dire / What Is the Word.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Project website

Culinary Contexts in Cuban Literature (XIX-XXth century). 01/05/2005 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

Different connotations (historical, social, ethnic, religious, ...) and interpretations of culinary contexts (as coined by Alejo Carpentier) are analysed in a number of Cuban works of the XIXth and XXth century (Cuba and diaspora). In this multisdisciplinary approach the relation of culinary references with gender, identity, intertextuality will be the major issues, besides of the influence on the poetics of the studied authors and the commercial effect.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Price BFVUG 2004. 01/12/2004 - 31/12/2005

Abstract

Researcher(s)

  • Promotor: Van Hecke An

Research team(s)

Forms of the sublime in the work of Don DeLillo. 01/10/2004 - 30/09/2007

Abstract

The concept of the Sublime in the philosophical tradition of Edmund Burke and as elaborated by Immanuel Kant in the 18th century first developed into a central paradigm in the Romantic era when the demand for strong passions in literature and literary criticism was running high. Yet adaptations to and variants on the original idea,which underwent an evolution of its own, became just as important in many postmodern writers¹ practice and a dominant feature of many critics' discussions of these authors' work. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a definition of the Sublime as it functions in the novels of the postmodern American writer Don DeLillo on the basis of existing theories of the concept. Our central aim is to use this definition as the cornerstone of a new framework or model for an analysis of central recurrent themes in DeLillo¹s oeuvre and to add in that way to a better understanding of the author¹s work. To make sure we have provided the necessary background to keep this discussion clear, we shall first survey the Sublime from its origin to its present-day appearances and focus on Don DeLillo's most important themes with reference to different critical analyses of his books.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Organisation congres: "Poésie, sensation et formes". 01/04/2004 - 31/12/2004

"Imaged words: A Literary Exploration of the Visual Arts in Puerto Rico since 1950" 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

We propose to study the relationship between word and image in contemporary Puerto Rican literature. Painters, writers and graphic artists have collaborated in the island since 1950, when they were officially associated to produce educational material. This symbiosis has developed until today, fruitfully linking the visual arts with poetry, autobiography and even with urban art. It allows us to study very diverse literary, linguistic, ethnic and cultural traditions. We are interested in examining its ideological evolution through time.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Doxology of Marcel Swob. A literary-historical research project of influence and reception. 01/01/2004 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

A literary-historical research project of influence and reception of French writer Marcel Schwob (1867-1905) in Belgium and the Netherlands. Research at the 'Fonds Marcel Schwob' (Bibliothèque de l'Institut de France, Paris).

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

James Joyce's Reception in Eastern Europe : Comparative Approach (in relation to his reception in the West). 15/10/2003 - 14/09/2004

Abstract

The aim of my research is to explore and study the common features and the differences of the reception of Joyce in Eastern Europe, primarily until his acceptance in the middle of the 1980s. Therefore, I wish to examine the three critical periods from the following angles: their historical background; the significance of the influence of the Western reception; the dates, the number and other circumstances relating to the translations; Joyce's creative reception; Joyce's place in the national curriculum; whether Joyce was ever regarded as a `classic modern' writer; the publication of his works; the publication of foreign criticism on Joyce in translation; the contribution of Eastern European Scholars to Joyce scholarship in general.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Georges May revisited: towards a poetics of carnival. Parody and the "dilemme du roman" in French prose fiction circa 1737. 01/10/2003 - 30/09/2006

Abstract

This research proposal investigates a possible complement for the largely accepted theory of the "dilemme du roman" (G. May, 1963). A threefold criticism of May's theory -a) the concept of a "crise du roman" due to its official proscription in 1737 for invraisemblance and immoralism doesn't match its exponentially growing success; b) the lack of theoretical writings in favour of the novel leads to an imbalance in the confrontation between novel practise and contemporary novel criticism; and c) the a priori evacuation of parodical authors such as Caylus or Vade relies on a presupposition, namely that the novel has to formulate a serious answer to its proscription -leads to a triple hypothetical framework within which the role of parody in the novel debate about 1737 is evaluated: 1) the novel's success ensures it of another, more pragmatic legitimacy in the eyes of editors and public, which makes the aesthetic legitimacy less important; 2) the evolution of the novel is determined by the practise of novel writing itself rather than by theoretical precepts; and 3) the in criticism under- represented parodical corpus may have played a crucial role in the novel's response to its prohibition because it allows to criticise techniques that are found unbelievable (2) and because it permits an neutralising absorption of the proscription criteria in favour of the already achieved pragmatic legitimacy (1).

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

New perspectives on fairy tales. Research project on the intertextual dialogue between fairytale criticism and German, English and Dutch fairy-tale retellings in the period from 1970 tot 2000. 01/10/2003 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

Ever since children's literature gained its status as a part of literature worthy of academic study, fairy tales have received much attention from critics and scholars, especially the tales that were collected by the Grimm Brothers. 'Adult' literary theories such as feminism, psychoanalysis, structuralism and post-structuralism have provided interesting new perspectives on the old texts. At the same time there was, and still is, a lively interest in fairy tales on the part of writers and illustrators. Authors invent new tales or rewrite older ones, and the original stories are often published with new, inventive illustrations. In my PHD I investigate the relationship between the theoretical discussion of fairy tales and fictional adaptations or rewritings based on these tales. Both genres often express the same ideas, but have to make use of their own typical characteristics and constraints. Since children have no access to literary criticism, fairy-tale retellings can partly fill in that gap: very often they offer the reader a critical perspective on the Grimm tales.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

'Dolorisme' in French en Belgian Francophone Literature (1850-1950). 01/10/2003 - 30/09/2004

Abstract

Thematics of 'dolorisme', retribution and expiation in French and Belgian Francophone Literature (1850-1950).

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

James Joyce: the genesis of "Ulysses" and "Finnegans Wake" 01/10/2003 - 15/03/2004

Abstract

The Irish writer James Joyce (1882-1941) ranks among the most important authors of the twentieth century, a status he owes mainly to the technical innovations he introduced in his two major novels, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. The interior monologue, stylistic parodies and the mythological framework in the former and the extreme multilingual experiment in the latter book have made Joyce the most influential writer of the modernist generation who has not only decisively shaped modernism but whose influence continues to mark contemporary literature. Since the early eighties, scholars in Ireland, the United States and Belgium have effected a return to the thorough genetic study of Joyce's two majors works. For both Ulysses and Finnegans Wake scholars have begun to study the drafts and notebooks that document the genesis of these two central works. In organizational terms, the impact of genetic studies on what has been called the 'Joyce Industry' has been considerable: there have been regular appearances of 'genetic' panels at all the international Joyce conferences in the last twenty years, a series of conferences in Paris and Antwerp, articles in the specialized journals, collections of essays and books. In the case of Finnegans Wake the most recent tangible result has been the publication of the first six volumes of the so-called Buffalo Notebooks, workbooks in which Joyce collected materials from a wide variety of sources for use in Finnegans Wake. Simultaneously, a lot of work has already been done on the Ulysses notebooks and manuscripts, in a project that joins the expertise of two young scholars in Buffalo with that of Michael Groden, and for which both Daniel Ferrer and Geert Lernout act as advisors. This project has just received a Mellon Grant for a feasibility study for a fully annotated web-based, hypertext archive (the 'Ulysses Archive'), containing the approximately 11,000 pages of manuscripts for James Joyce's novel Ulysses (held in different libraries in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States) and about 5,000 pages of commentary about the manuscripts and the novel. This project aims to be ready by June 2004 when the International James Joyce Foundation will host a conference to celebrate the Bloomsday centenary in Dublin. Daniel Ferrer and Geert Lernout propose to write a comparative study of the note-taking process employed by Joyce during the genesis of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Despite the importance of Joyce in the theory of intertextuality and although in the last fifty years a great number of articles and books have been written on the importance for Joyce of individual writers or books, more general work on Joyce's note-taking has had to wait until the late seventies when the primary documents became more generally available in the James Joyce Archive. Since then scholars have been able to study closely a wide variety of sources that were excerpted by Joyce in his notebooks and then 'harvested' by him and introduced into the drafts of his work. The recent discovery of new notebooks and drafts for Ulysses and Finnegans Wake will allow us to compare Joyce's actual writing strategies.

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Development of a Working Demo of the "Proteus" Episode (Digital Ulysses). 01/04/2003 - 31/12/2003

Abstract

Development of an electronic prototype of 1 chapter of James Joyce's `Ulysses' (chapter 3, `Proteus') with three reading texts, including the possibility of collation, the complete genetic record with facsimiles, topographic and linear transcriptions (in XML) of all available manuscripts, a search engine, and multimedia annotations.

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"Balkanism" in Austrian literature and culture: Bosnia-Hercegovina 1878-1918. 01/03/2003 - 31/03/2008

Abstract

The project will examine current discourses on the Balkans in Austrian culture from the 18th to the 20th century: which images of the self and the other have been created, esp. what Bosnia-Hercegovina is concerned which used to be an annexed part of Austria-Hungary from 1878 to 1918. Can you compare these images to similar ones described in colonial literatures.

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James Joyce's Work in Progress: Annotated Timeline. 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

This project attempts to chart the chronology of James Joyce's Work in Progress, i.e., the genesis of Finnegans Wake. In his letters (especially the correspondence with Harriet Shaw Weaver), Joyce often mentions what he is reading or what he is writing. These two activities ' the absorption and the production ' roughly correspond to two kinds of genetic material: the more than fifty notebooks (preserved in Buffalo, NY) and the drafts (most of which are preserved in the British Library). Apart from the dating of this material evidence of the writing process, the timeline will offer a detailed textual account of this dating. The aim of this project is a reconstruction ' as complete and accurate as possible ' of this complex writing process, which lasted seventeen years.

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Intertextuality in Primo Levi. 01/01/2003 - 31/12/2006

Abstract

This project intends to establish an overview, as complete as possible, of the intertextuality in Primo Levi's works. In the first place the part intertextuality plays in the holocaust testimony will be examined in depth: the appearance of literary authorities in the framework of a 'unique' drama leads to a historicization of the events. Furthermore, the intertextuality discovered in Levi's works serves as a case for the intertextuality practice: in Levi's works a permanent tension is at work between the new text and the original one: the latter is absorbed, but also partly rejected, thus revealing the intertextuality mechanism. Finally the internal connection between Levi's different works will be demonstrated through the repetition of intertextual practices.

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Mediterranean Joyce. 01/10/2002 - 31/12/2004

Abstract

Selection and edition of a collection of papers presented at the International James Joyce Symposium in Trieste. All contributors to the conference will be asked to contribute and then a selection will be made. The "plenary lectures" (by Carla Marengo Vaglio, Thomas F. Staley, Margot Norris, Zack Bowen en Edward Said) will of course be included. The selected papers will be copy-edited and an extensive text by the editors will introduce the theme and the contributors.

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Contemporary writers from the Dominican Republic on the move. 01/10/2002 - 31/12/2004

Abstract

Dominican literature has been neglected in comparison with other Hispanic Caribbean Literatures. The aim is to study contemporary Dominican writing (nineties). Concerning those writers on the move (in a literary, geographic, cultural and even linguistic sense), I will focuss more specifically on the issue of racism and migration as reflected in literature, the tendencies in Dominican short stories of the nineties, new approaches by Dominican authors living on the island or in New York.

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Forms of the sublime in the work of Don DeLillo. 01/10/2002 - 30/09/2004

Abstract

The concept of the Sublime in the philosophical tradition of Edmund Burke and as elaborated by Immanuel Kant in the 18th century first developed into a central paradigm in the Romantic era when the demand for strong passions in literature and literary criticism was running high. Yet adaptations to and variants on the original idea,which underwent an evolution of its own, became just as important in many postmodern writers¹ practice and a dominant feature of many critics' discussions of these authors' work. The purpose of this dissertation is to provide a definition of the Sublime as it functions in the novels of the postmodern American writer Don DeLillo on the basis of existing theories of the concept. Our central aim is to use this definition as the cornerstone of a new framework or model for an analysis of central recurrent themes in DeLillo¹s oeuvre and to add in that way to a better understanding of the author¹s work. To make sure we have provided the necessary background to keep this discussion clear, we shall first survey the Sublime from its origin to its present-day appearances and focus on Don DeLillo's most important themes with reference to different critical analyses of his books.

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Theoretical implications of electronic scholarly editing. 01/01/2002 - 31/12/2005

Abstract

Critics have begun assess the importance of computing on the discipline of scholarly editing. We want to investigate, using the concrete example of James Joyce's 'red-backed' notebook, the possibilities and limitations that an electronic representation of genetic evidence has to offer.

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The Contemporary Encyclopedic Novel in the United States : Music as Theme and Form. 01/01/2002 - 31/12/2003

Abstract

Music features prominently in the contemporary American encyclopedic novel, which tries to evoke the whole of American reality. This research project is focused on the function of music (both as a theme and as an aspect of form) in major examples of this genre, specifically in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (1973) - the matrix for the younger generation of encyclopedists - and David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest (1996), the most visible recent instance of the genre.

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Historiographical Fiction and fictitious Historicity in the Centro-American and Hispanic Caribbean Narrative Prose (second part of twentieth century) 01/01/2001 - 31/12/2004

Abstract

Research about the traditional historical novel (Lukacs) and the testimonial novel (larger than the concept "testimonio") in the Caribbean and Centroamerican narrative prose. An analysis of the personages with special focus on the minorities, research about discursive strategies, reflection about the (meta)historical issues, relation with general tendencies in the genre of the Latin American Literature are some of the issues that will be studied.

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The Encyclopedic Novel. Studying a Limit Case of the Novel. 01/10/2000 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

While The Great American Novel only lives on as a cliche, some American authors nevertheless attempt totalizing novels'but not without calling the concept of totalization into question. Using The Recognitions by William Gaddis en especially Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon as a matrix, recent American encyclopedic novels are analysed with reference to their historical context, their techniques of representation, and their manipulation of the reader.

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Hypercommunication : literature and the media. 01/10/2000 - 30/09/2005

Abstract

How do "literature" and "the media" interrelate ? Should we see "Literature" as "a medium" ? And where do we have to place "literature" in the contemporary media-configuration ? The phenomenon "hypertext" deserves special attention in this project.

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Prosthetic Thinking. Body and Technology in the (Post-)Modernist Age. 01/01/2000 - 31/12/2003

Abstract

Around the turn of the century the epistemological conditions of the dealing with the human body radically changed. Both in the humanities and the exact sciences a new image of mankind emerged which led to a reconceptualization and reformulation of the functions of the human body: this body is no longer considered the vehicle or container of the soul but an autonomous entity capable of interacting with the latest technologies. Modernist writers and artists were fascinated by the mixture (or interaction) between the living and the mechanical, wo/man and the machine. A new hybrid being was created: the human machine or mechanized wo/man, a technological or prosthetic being. This evolution was supported by a new kind of thinking, i.e. prosthetic thinking, in which all extensions of the human body (tools as weIl as senses) are considered as prostheses. The issue of the prosthetic body therefore cannot be separated from a thorough historical and epistemological foundation which covers the entire twentieth century and requires substantiation with theoretical as weIl as practical contributions.

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