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About us Faculty of Arts Our faculty Organisatie Disciplines European Languages and Cultures

Chair group Culture and Literature

About the Chair group

The chair group European Culture and Literature conducts multi-disciplinary research and offers research-led teaching on cultural topics, institutions, heritages, policies and aesthetics from synchronic and diachronic perspectives, applying a wide range of quantitative and qualitative methods. Our common point of departure is that culture and literature are much more than just words and pieces of art. People live by metaphors and culturally mediated intellectual representations of the world, by their shared historical experience, and by their emotional attachment to cultural communities, which determine their understanding of daily life and orientate their decisions. At the chair group, we investigate the societal challenges of a more inclusive Europe with a special emphasis on cultural narratives of crisis, cultural transfer, intercultural literature, cultural industries, technology and the role of arts in a globalized society. Furthermore, we understand cultural and literary phenomena as transnational and multilingual in their articulation of and connections to anthropological and political narratives, and we investigate these connections at a global, comparative scale.

Recent Flagship Projects in the Chair group

Members of the chair group are involved in a wide range of research projects, many of which are funded by renowned national and international institutions – for detailed information, visit our members’ individual profile pages (links in the table below). Here are some examples for recent prestigious projects in which members of the chair group are involved:

Cartoons in Court: Towards a Forensic Analysis of Visual Humor. A research project funded with the NETIAS Constructive Advanced Thinking Grant.

Converging Horizons: Production, Mediation, Reception and Effects of Representations of Marginality . An international research network funded by the Chilean National Research Funding Agency ANID.

Cultures of the Crisis. Corona and beyond. An online lecture series in which members of the chair group present their research on cultural effects of the Covid-19 pandemic; all lectures are accessible by the public.

Reconstituting Publics through Remembering Transitions: Facilitating Critical Engagement with the 1980-90s on Local and Transnational Scales. A research project funded with the NETIAS Constructive Advanced Thinking Grant.

rEUnify: A Comparative Study of National Perceptions regarding German Reunification. A European Remembrance project funded by the European Commission’s Europe for Citizens programme.

Recent Awards and Prizes in the Chair group

For all awards and prizes received by members of the chair group, see the CVs on the individual profile pages (links in the table below). Here are some recent examples:

Winner Best Discovery and Winner People’s Choice Award – Noorden Digitaal Talent Awards 2021 , Leonardo Arriagada

Winner Faculty of Arts – Lecturer of the Year 2018/19, Professor Pablo Valdivia

Finalist & Public’s Choice Winner Faculty of Arts – Lecturer of the Year 2017/18, Dr. Alberto Godioli

Research and Teaching Staff in the Chair group

Name Position Expertise Language specialty
Prof. Dr. Pablo Valdivia

Chair and Full Professor (Hoogleraar) for European Culture & Literature; Associate in Applied Physics Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Harvard University); Academic Director Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies; Laspau Fellow in University Innovation (Laspau-affiliated with Harvard University); Expert Scientific Advisor Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences and Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (NIAS-KNAW)

Humanities Multidisciplinary Research; Cultural Analytics; Artificial Intelligence; Reading Science; University Innovation; Data Science; Educational Science; Applied Physics; Social Sciences; Cognitive Sciences; Cultural Narratives; Conceptual Metaphors; Crisis Studies

English, Spanish
Dr. Florian Lippert

Vice Chair and Associate Professor; Profile Coordinator European Culture and Literature; Expert Evaluator for the European Commission (MSCA-IF)

European Crises; Cultural Self-Reflection; Cultural Notions of Sameness and Normalcy; Migration and Contemporary Culture; Surveillance; Literary Theory; Documentary Film; Film Theory; Discourse Theory and Analysis (Foucault, CDA); Systems Theory; Reception Research; European and German Literature; 20th- and 21st-century Literature

English, German

Dr. Vera Alexander

Senior Assistant Professor

English and anglophone literatures and cultures; Ecocriticism; Travel and mobility; Life writing; Bildungsroman; Children’s writing; Heterotopia; Diaspora; Transculturality


Dr. Alberto Godioli

Senior Assistant Professor

Humor and satire across media; Law and Humanities; Posthumanism and ecocriticism; Narrative, empathy and cognition; 20th- and 21st-century literature

English, Italian

Dr. Ester Jiresch

Assistant Professor

Cultural transfer; Swedish Literature and Culture; Gender Studies; Interdisciplinary Research Humanities-Social Sciences

English, Swedish

Dr. Christian Kirchmeier

Assistant Professor

Literary, cultural, and media theory; History of the drama; Literature and normative systems (law, morality); German literature

English, German

Dr. Stella Linn

Senior Assistant Professor

Translation studies; Contemporary Spanish and French/ francophone literatures; Migrant and minority literature; Young adult literature, Urban youth slang and street culture

English, French, Spanish

Dr. Hugh McDonnell

Assistant Professor

French, Spanish and European 20th century history, culture, literature and politics

English, Spanish, French

Dr. Konstantin Mierau

Senior Assistant Professor; Director Federation of Graduate Schools in the Social Sciences and Humanities; Programme Director Graduate School for the Humanities

Spanish and Latin American Fiction; Cultural Representation of Marginality; Prison Reading and Empathy; Reception Studies; Early Modern Urban Marginality; Microhistory; Postgraduate Teaching Innovation

English, Spanish

Dr. Ksenia Robbe

Senior Assistant Professor

Postsocialist and postcolonial theory; Memory studies; Regimes of temporality; Gender studies; Transculturality; Contemporary Russian literature, art and culture; South African literatures, art and cultures

English, Russian

Dr. Camilla Sutherland

Assistant Professor

Latin American literature and culture; Gender Studies; Literary and Cultural Theory; Global Modernisms

English, Spanish

Dr. Jeanette den Toonder

Senior Assistant Professor

Contemporary French and francophone Literatures and Cultures; Migrant and Minority Literature; Literary Theory; Comparative Literature; Contemporary Quebec novel; Gender Studies; Representations of Space

English, Dutch, French

Dr. Vera Veldhuizen

Assistant Professor

Children's Literature; Cognitive Narratology; War Literature; Narrative Ethics; Narrative Justice; In- and Outgroup Empathy

English, Dutch

Prof. dr. Margriet van der Waal

Senior Assistant Professor (RuG); Endowed Chair South African Literature, Culture and History (UvA)

Relation between arts and politics; Identity construction and representation; South African literature and culture; Postcolonial Europe

Judith Jansma Lecturer, PhD Candidate

Culture and Populism; Contemporary European Literature; Identity Construction; Culture and Power Structures

English, Dutch, French
James Leigh

Lecturer, PhD Candidate

Identity construction; Memory studies; Central and Southeast European cultures, politics and societies


External Researchers, Research Fellows in the Chair group

Name Position Expertise

Dr. Omar Alcántara Islas

Visiting Scholar - Postdoc

Prof. Dr. David Alworth

External Researcher (Research Fellow)

Literary studies; Art/design and sociological theory (Latour, Goffman); 20th- and 21st-century literature

Dr. Nilgun Bayraktar

External Researcher (Research Fellow)

Art history & theory; Film studies; Critical border & migration studies; Postcolonial & decolonial theory; Speculative fiction; Urban studies; Posthumanism; Environmental humanities

Jacqueline Fowks

External Researcher (Research Fellow)

Media studies; Social conflict and extractive industries; Narratives of disinformation; Media and Politics

Prof. Dr. Caroline Levine

External Researcher (Research Fellow)

Victorian Literature and Culture; Detective Fiction; (New) Formalism; Literary and Cultural Theory; World Literature; The Relations Between Art and Politics; Narrative Theory

Dr. Jorge Molina

External Researcher (Research Fellow)

Digital Humanities; Computational Linguistics; Corpus Linguistics; Applied Linguistics; French and Spanish Learning and Teaching

Dr. Tomas Nigrin

External Researcher

International Studies; Modern History; Cultural Studies; European Studies

María del Puy-Alvarado

External Researcher; Oscar Academy Member (Research Fellow)

Cultural Studies; Media Studies; Film Production; Film Narratives; Spanish Cinema

Dr. Rubén Sánchez

Visiting Scholar - Postdoc

Cultural Science, Religious Studies, Communication and Media Studies, Food Studies

Dr. Diego Sheinbaum

External Researcher (Research Fellow)

Narrative and Reflexivity; Creativity Studies; Screenwriting Studies

Prof. Dr. Carlos del Valle

External Researcher (Research Fellow)

Cultural and Intercultural Studies; Social Movements and Social Change; Racism and Ethnical Studies; Communication, Discourse and Power; Political Economy and Communication

Dr. Hamish Williams

External Researcher (Research Fellow)

Classical reception; Utopian studies; Popular fiction and culture; Spatial studies

PhD Candidates in the Chair group

Name Function Expertise

Gonzalo Albornoz

PhD Candidate

Sociology of law; Social representations of law and fiction in prison environments; Law and cultural narratives; Mass media and law studies

Leonardo Arriagada

PhD Candidate

Computer-generated art; Creativity; Aesthetics; Artificial intelligence; Posthumanism; Art

Juan Gallego Benot

PhD Candidate

Rhetorics; Literary Studies; Cultural Studies; European Studies; Communication, Discourse and Power; Reformation and Modernity

Rosmery-Ann Boegeholz

PhD Candidate

Communication Studies; Social Networks; Cultural Science; Identity Studies; Affective Studies

Tomás Gaete

PhD Candidate

Communication Studies; Cultural Studies; Comic Studies; Humour Studies

Paola González

PhD Candidate

Humanities Multidisciplinary Research; Cultural Narratives; Technology; Virtual Reality; Heritage Reconstruction; Historical memory

María Isabel Marín

PhD Candidate

Computational Linguistics; Corpus Linguistics; Applied Linguistics; Conceptual Metaphors; Artificial Intelligence; Data Science; Requirements engineering;

Sabina Mešić

PhD Candidate

Communication Studies, Cultural Narratives; Humanities Multidisciplinary Research; Social Inequality, Theoretical Linguistics

Astrid Osorio-Álvarez

PhD Candidate

Legal Studies; Human Rights; Cultural Narratives; Migrant, Refugees and Stateless Studies from a Legal Perspective; Grassroot Movements

Elizabeth Pinilla-Duarte

PhD Candidate

Interdisciplinary social research; Narrative analytics; Discourse analysis; Communication, language and cognition theory; Metaphor theory; Digital narratives

Danelle du Plessis

PhD Candidate

Feminist Media Studies; Temporality Studies; Gender Theory; Cultural Analysis; Discourse Analysis; Social Media; Digital Humanities

Juan-David Rodas

PdD Candidate

Communication Studies; Journalism and Information Studies; Media Studies; Literary Studies; Educational Innovation

Francisca Silva-Layera

PhD Candidate

Humanities Multidisciplinary Research; Media Studies; Migration Studies; Communication Studies; Social Psychology; Affective Studies; Data Science

Rose Smith

PhD Candidate

Post-Communist Cultures; Literary & Cultural Theory; Memory Studies; Cultural and Narrative Analysis

Juan del Valle Rojas

PhD Candidate

Cultural Science; Literary Studies; Educational Science; Communication and Technology Studies; Intercultural Studies

Ruby de Vos

PhD Candidate

Environmental humanities; Toxicity; Embodiment; Contemporary art and literature; Cultural analysis; Art, literature and science

Klára Žaloudková

PhD Candidate

International Studies; European Studies; Political Economy

Assistants in the Chair group

Name Position
Esther Andela

Research Assistant to Pablo Valdivia, OSL Social Media Manager

Last modified:30 March 2021 10.16 a.m.
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