Wout Vande Sompele (°1993) graduated at the University of Antwerp (2015) with a MA-thesis on late medieval and early modern lottery prizes and how these objects reflected contemporary material aspiration and consumption desires.
Currently he works at the University of Antwerp within the Centre for Urban History (Centrum voor StadsGeschiedenis, CSG) on his PHD-project:
Doel, dorp in de polder: vijf eeuwen bewoning en bebouwing / Doel, village in the polder: five centuries of habitation and housing.
Doel is a rural settlement in the Waasland polder Area north of Antwerp, dating back in its present form to the early 17th century, but with possible continuity of settlement to the 16th century or even the late medieval period. For a long time it was a rather isolated settlement, surrounded by the Scheldt Estuary and flooded polders. Furthermore, uncertainty with regard to its future (given the potential expansion of the Antwerp harbour) impeded or slowed down the rapid landscape and settlement transformation characteristic for the Flemish - and much of the European - countryside since the end of World War II. As such Doel is the ideal case to investigate the long-term interaction between population and the material landscape of the village. Historical evolutions in social topography, the functional synergy between the village centre and the farming society surrounding it; family structures and community life, will be linked to changes in the built environment; the material culture of houses, professional activities and communal infrastructure; building activities etc. Through its integrated approach of the social history of the village centre and the built environment, this PhD-project aims to set a new standard in the study of rural heritage, the results of which might be highly important for future developments in the field of rural heritage research and policy, both in Doel, Flanders and internationally.
This project is supervised by Prof. Dr. Tim Soens (UA) and Prof. Dr. Greet De Block (UA) and is made possible through the support of: Gemeente Beveren, Havenbedrijf Antwerpen NV, De Maatschappij voor het haven, grond- en industrialisatiebeleid van het Linkerscheldeoevergebied i.s.m. Vlaamse Overheid Agenschappen Onroerend Erfgoed en Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken