Across Boundaries: A Western European Canon of Romances in an Era of Media Change (1471- c. 1550) 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

The advent of print facilitated the dissemination of medieval romances and enabled the development of a transnational canon in Western Europe. The study of these narratives as a group transcends the limits of national philologies. It advances our understanding of the international success and regional diversity of this subject matter.

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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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The Measure of Middle Dutch: Rhythm and Prosody Reconstruction for Middle Dutch Literature, A Data-Driven Approach. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2017

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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Periodization in Literary History: A Computational Model of the History of Dutch Literature. 01/10/2015 - 30/11/2015

Abstract

In literary history, scholars commonly divide the temporal series of events which they are discussing into periods (e.g. Romanticism). This process is called periodization and it is considered an important task of historical literary scholarship. In spite of its present-day relevance, periodization remains a surprisingly controversial process: some of the most influential models in literary history are considered a 19th-century inheritance, of which the present-day validity is often questioned nowadays. The objective of this project is to build a computational model of the history of Dutch-language literature in the Low Countries (13th-20th century). This diachronic model will use techniques from computational text analysis ("Distant Reading") to track changes in the stylistic and thematic characteristics of texts. Importantly, this will be a bottom-up model: it will be created in a data-driven manner, instead of setting out from existing (potentially preconceived) hypotheses. This model will be carefully interpreted and compared to the state of the art in traditional literary scholarship. This will allow us to verify and better understand the validity of established periodization models of Dutch literary history. This project will greatly contribute to the ongoing international debate about the integration of traditional, "close reading" methods in literary studies and new, computational methods for "distant reading".

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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. This research community deals with Digital Humanities. Its participants examine how computational techniques can enhance and support traditional research in the humanities. This project is an interdisciplinary initiative, focussing on methodological innovation and keen on setting up collaborative initiatives with colleagues and research groups in the sciences. As digital databases become increasingly common in the humanities, it is widely recognized that Digital Humanities have been gaining momentum during the last two decades. However, digital humanities are still being confronted with numerous challenges: digital skills, such as programming, are still absent from most curricula. Moreover, research in the digital humanities is still very much fragmented, as most researchers, while having many methodological interests in common, come from very divergent backgrounds. By organizing all kinds of network activities and training events, this research community will create opportunities for a better exploitation of the available know-how and strengthen Flanders' position within the international DH-community.

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Travel narrative truth: the construction of trustworthiness in Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele (ca. 1490). 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2016

Abstract

This research aims at identifying the stylistic, rhetorical and narrative techniques used to construct dependability in Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele, the Middle Dutch report of Ghent nobleman Joos van Ghistele's (†1516) four-year journey to the Orient (1481-1485). Through comparison to other European travel narratives reporting journeys to the East (ca. 1450-1510), this project will reveal the position Tvoyage takes in this respect to its contemporaries.

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(Re)Writing history in early modern Mechelen: genesis of text and gradations of authorship in an urban chronicle tradition. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

In medieval and early modern times, chronicles were the way of choice to remember the days gone by. The proposed research focuses on a Mechelen city chronicle that is especially interesting because of two aspects. 1) It does not provides merely short events listed in chronological order, but also a comprehensive history of Mechelen drawn from literary sources (among which chivalric epic, lyric etc.). 2) The text has been preserved in distinctly different versions containing additions, alterations and deletions. Three of these heavily altered manuscripts are autographs, which allow the reader a rare look in the mind of an early modern author. This research will shed light on how the author and the subsequent altering scribes dealt with the text, and how each version can be read within the historical context of early modern Mechelen.

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The changing face of medieval Dutch narrative literature in the early period of print (1477-c.1540). 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

This research project will, for the first time, study the early printed Dutch narratives as a whole corpus. These texts are of outmost importance for the history of Dutch literature, because they are the link between medieval narratives copied in manuscripts and early modern narratives, printed after c. 1540. While the first of the 35 texts involved, the Historie of Alexander, was published as early as 1477, the dates of the latest ones coincide with the end of what Dutch scholars call the period of the post-incunabula (1501- c. 1540). These Dutch narrative texts will be studied in their international context, because printed narratives are a cross-European phenomenon.

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A medieval Stylome? Exploring the Universal Stylome Hypothesis in medieval prose. 01/10/2012 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

In this project I will further explore the applicability of the Stylome Hypothesis in medieval literature: 1. I will apply computational stylometry to medieval prose. Because so many (anonymous) medieval prose texts survive, stylometric techniques for authorship attribution in prose are highly relevant. The proposed case study targets religious prose (13th/14th century) from Brabant. 2. Throughout medieval Europe, a lot of Latin literature was produced. I propose to extend my research to Latin, via the original case study of the Flemish monks (11th century) who were attracted by English nobility to write Latin biographies.

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Genealogies of literature: prehistories of a modern concept (12th-18th century ). 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2016

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 aims at defining concepts as "literature", fiction", "audience" etc. in medieval and early modern literary studies.

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Travel narrative truth: literary techniques for authentication in Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele (ca. 1490). 01/10/2011 - 01/01/2014

Abstract

This research aims at identifying the stylistic, rhetorical and narrative techniques used to construct dependability in Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele, the Middle Dutch report of Ghent nobleman Joos van Ghistele's (†1516) four-year journey to the Orient (1481-1485). Through comparison to other European travel narratives reporting journeys to the East (ca. 1450-1510), this project will reveal the position Tvoyage takes in this respect to its contemporaries.

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The Middle Low German 'Flos unde Blankeflos'. Text, codex and context. 01/10/2011 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

The aim of this reception research is to find out in what ways the textual composition of the five manuscripts containing the Middle Low German Flos unde Blankeflos influences the reception of this text and how the codices correspond and differ in this. First the tradition history of the work is regarded. Finally both text and codex are discussed with regard to the Middle Low German literature and the European Floire et Blanchefleur tradition.

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(Re)Writing history in early modern Mechelen: genesis of text and gradations of authorship in an urban chronicle tradition. 01/10/2011 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

In medieval and early modern times, chronicles were the way of choice to remember the days gone by. The proposed research focuses on a Mechelen city chronicle that is especially interesting because of two aspects. 1) It does not provides merely short events listed in chronological order, but also a comprehensive history of Mechelen drawn from literary sources (among which chivalric epic, lyric etc.). 2) The text has been preserved in distinctly different versions containing additions, alterations and deletions. Three of these heavily altered manuscripts are autographs, which allow the reader a rare look in the mind of an early modern author. This research will shed light on how the author and the subsequent altering scribes dealt with the text, and how each version can be read within the historical context of early modern Mechelen.

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The end rhyme in Middle Dutch epic literature (ca. 1200-1500): development and relationship to authorship and genres. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2012

Abstract

Nearly all of Middle Dutch narrative literature (ca. 1200-1500) was written in rhyming couplets, which is why rhyme words are extremely suitable for the comparative study of Middle Dutch epic texts and authors. My research specifically focuses on three aspects: (a) the evolution of rhyme in the vernacular epic poetry of the medieval Low Countries; (b) the usefulness of rhyme words for authorship verification and attribution; (c) the correlation between rhyme word vocabulary and epic subgenres. My methodology is mainly borrowed from literary stylistics, computational stylometry and computational language technology. As such, this project envisages a quantitative study into the stylistic creativity of Middle Dutch epic poets.

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They have travelled farther and more extensively in spirit and personally": the position of the late Middle Dutch travel narrative Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele (ca. 1490) in medieval etnography. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

This research focuses on Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele (ca. 1490), the elaborate late Middle Dutch travel narrative on the equally extensive journey of Flemish nobleman Joos Van Ghistele (¿1516) to the Near East (1481-1485), handed down to us in manuscripts as well as in print, and recently published (Gaspar 1998). The dissolution of the text in the print and reprints (1557, 1563, 1572) shows evidence of its encyclopedic reception. Through comparative analysis with a lateral corpus of late medieval and early modern printed western travel narratives and by examining Tvoyage's narrative techniques in this lateral corpus, I will verify which characteristics have enabled the text to be used for its encyclopedic value far into the sixteenth century. Conclusively Tvoyage will be situated in the development of the ethnographic (e.i. empirical-describing) genre.

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The Middle Low German 'Flos unde Blankeflos'. 01/10/2009 - 30/09/2011

Abstract

The aim of this reception research is to find out in what ways the textual composition of the five manuscripts containing the Middle Low German Flos unde Blankeflos influences the reception of this text and how the codices correspond and differ in this. First the tradition history of the work is regarded. Finally both text and codex are discussed with regard to the Middle Low German literature and the European Floire et Blanchefleur tradition.

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Multiple identities in a late medieval and early modern city: Mechelen in the 15th and 16th centuries. 01/01/2009 - 31/12/2012

Abstract

This project aims at analysing multiple identities that town dwellers adopt and (re)produce and in doing so it will try to present a more nuanced image of pre-modern urban society than traditional social and cultural history usually permits. For the case-study of Mechelen in the late medieval and early modern period, it wants to identify how identities are constructed (by the participation of different groups in civil society), how they are performed in the public arena and how identities are perceived in collective memory (rituals, historiography, literature).

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The end rhyme in Middle Dutch epic literature (ca. 1200-1500): development and relationship to authorship and genres. 01/10/2008 - 30/09/2010

Abstract

Nearly all of Middle Dutch narrative literature (ca. 1200-1500) was written in rhyming couplets, which is why rhyme words are extremely suitable for the comparative study of Middle Dutch epic texts and authors. My research specifically focuses on three aspects: (a) the evolution of rhyme in the vernacular epic poetry of the medieval Low Countries; (b) the usefulness of rhyme words for authorship verification and attribution; (c) the correlation between rhyme word vocabulary and epic subgenres. My methodology is mainly borrowed from literary stylistics, computational stylometry and computational language technology. As such, this project envisages a quantitative study into the stylistic creativity of Middle Dutch epic poets.

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Memory, orality and transmission of late medieval ballads. 01/02/2007 - 30/11/2007

Abstract

By making use of Hungarian (Middle European) theories, this project aims at casting new light on the mechanism of oral transmission of ballads from the Low Countries. Many ballads that can be found in late medieval sources were sung until well into the 20th century. By comparing the transmission mechanisms of Dutch and Hungarian ballads, we want to gain insight into a universal cognitive process, which will subsequently be verified on a vaster corpus of Dutch songs from the end of the Middle Ages.

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Completion of three books. 01/10/2005 - 30/09/2006

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Music in the Dutch and Flemish theatre of the seventeenth century. 01/01/2002 - 31/12/2002

Abstract

Music always played an important role in the theatre. In the 17th century music was an inherent part of the staging, not only of the operas that appeared in the Low Countries during that century but also of the plays. In a large number of plays music is a structural element of the text in songs or in choruses. Moreover each production appealed to musicians for the accompaniment, the creation of an atmosphere, as an intermezzo, etc. Up to now only tentative studies about the musical dimensions of the 17th century theatre in the Low Countries have been published. The project will consider the literary and musicological aspects as well as the dramaturgical aspects of the music, on the one hand in Amsterdam, where from the beginning of the century a professional theatre exixted, on the other hand in the rest of the Netherlands and in Flanders where the plays were usually performed by the rhetoricians, although in some towns there was an evolution towards a professional theatre.

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    Memory in the Middle Ages. The role of memory in a semi-oral culture. 01/01/2000 - 31/12/2003

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    The voice of silence/Ma voz del silencio. An interdisciplinary research project about litarate women and women authors in the West-European late Middle Ages (11th - 15th century) from a gender perspective//..In co-opertation with Chili 01/12/1999 - 31/12/2002

    Abstract

    The works of Hadewych, Beatrijs of Nazareth (Faesen, Fraeters) and Hildegard of Bingen (Deploige, Filfisch, Gongora) have acquired international renown and they naturally be part of the research material of this project. Yet, it is also the researchers ' aim to reconstruct, contextualise and analyse the lives and the work of medieval literate women (authors, copyists, readers) and compare that with the situation and work of their male counterparts. They also intend to make medieval women's texts available for a larger audience (Flisfisch, Fuentes, Gongora, Iglesias, Meli, Willaert). The Chilean partners have a widely appreciated experience in the translation of medieval Latin texts into Spanish which obviously will benefit the project as a whole.

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      Music in the Dutch and Flemish Theatre of the 17th century. 01/01/1999 - 31/12/2001

      Abstract

      Music always played an important role in the theatre. In the 17th century music was an inherent part of the staging, not only of the operas that appeared in the Low Countries during that century, but also of the plays. In a large number of plays music is a structural element of the text in songs or in choruses. Moreover each production appealed to musicians for the accompaniment, the creation of an atmosphere, as an intermezzo, etc. Up to now only tentative studies about the musical dimension of the 17th century theatre in the Low Countiries have been published. The project will consider the literary and musicological aspects as well as the dramaturgical aspects of the music, on the one hand in Amsterdam, where from the beginning of the century a professional theatre existed, on the other hand in the rest of the Netherlands and in Flanders where the plays were usually performed by the rhetoricians, although in some towns there was an evolution towards a professional theatre. The project will research the importance of the musical dimension on the 17th century stage on the basis of litarary and musical parameters concerning the production, the authors and the performers, as well as the public, paying special attention to institutional, geographical, gender and genre differences.

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        Alchemy and religion in the Netherlands up to 1600 01/10/1997 - 31/10/1999

        Abstract

        The aim of this project is to contribute to the study of the Middle-Dutch alchemical an religious tradition. Three manuscripts containing theoretical alchemic texts (Vienna, ÖNB 2372 - 14th century, London, BL, Sloane 1255 - 15th century, Den Haag, KB 133M28 - 16th century) will be studied from a specific point of view: the relationship between alchemy and religion. The study will progress along three lines: (1) identification of the texts contained in the manuscripts, (2) inventarisation of the religious elements in the texts, (3) analysis of this inventory based on the following questions: which religious metaphors occur?, do they fit in with known religious or mystical discourses?, is there an evolution in the use of religious elements in alchemical texts from the 14th to the 16th century?

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          Catalogue of songs from the Southern and Northern Netherlands until 1600 01/01/1997 - 31/12/2000

          Abstract

          The project intends to make an inventory of all the sources and all the subsistent texts of Dutch songs in two repertories, resp. on the period before 1500 and on the 16th century. The inventory will be an indispensable instrument for all serious investigation on old Dutch songs and their social and cultural context.

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            Research of mechanismes of rise, evolution and distribution of Flemish polyphony. 01/01/1996 - 31/12/2000

            Abstract

            Systematic archival research combined with comparative, interdisciplinary methodologies will reveal mechanisms responsible for the origins and the flowering of polyphony (1350-1650) in Flanders within a European context. Thus, music is not examined as an isolated phenomenon, but, rather, within a social and cultural framework.

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              Ruusbroec and his complete works in their historico-cultural context supported by and tested against the textual criticism of his treatise 'Vanden XII beghinen'. 01/10/1995 - 30/09/1999

              Abstract

              A comprehensive monography about the historico-cultural surroundings of Ruusbroec and his works on the basis of all available historical data concerning his person and oeuvre. This project uses the findings of the textual criticism and edition of 'Vanden XII beghinen' for support and verification.

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                Index of middle dutch lyrical poetry up to 1600 01/01/1993 - 31/12/1995

                Abstract

                For want of a survey of middle Dutch lyrical poetry, the first stage of the project will consist in cataloguing all Dutch songs up to 1500. 5The catalogue will contain a survey of the sources, a list of incipits of the songs, an indication of the genre they belong to, and a description of their formal and musical structure.

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