In the cold and snowy Spring semester of 2013-2014, I was honored to be offered the prestigious Brueghel Visiting Chair at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. During this period, I could consider the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures, currently under the leadership of Professor Simon Richter, as my home base. I cherish warm memories of Simon and his colleagues who have received me more than hospitable (both on campus and outside), showed me around UPenn and helped me network within the university.
I was given the opportunity to teach a postgraduate level course on literacy of religious females in the Middle Ages to some highly talented students. Their enthusiasm and curiosity were unprecedented and led to vivid and intelligent discussions each week that also boosted my own research and thinking. The department also gave me the opportunity to organize the annual Dutch Studies Colloquium on my own research theme and to attract some important scientists (www.sas.upenn.edu/germanic/events/medieval-female-religious-writers-germanic-regions). In addition, colleagues from English and Religious Studies offered me the opportunity to host lectures in their departments. Not only the exchanges with students, but also the many conversations with colleagues, UPenn's dynamic intellectual climate (each week there were several lectures in my field), and the chance to taste the American (academic) culture, have made my stay at UPenn an unforgettable experience, enriching my career and my personal life in many ways.