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About us Practical matters How to find us prof. dr. M.C. (Margriet) van der Waal

prof. dr. M.C. (Margriet) van der Waal

Associate Professor and Director of Studies Erasmus Mundus Master Euroculture: European society, culture, and politics in a global context. Also Endowed Chair of South African literature, culture and history (University of Amsterdam)
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Euroculture Research Network

Since 2010, the Euroculture programme has been developing an interdisciplinary, international research-based component next to its Erasmus Mundus Master’s Programme, consisting of an annual, international scholarly conference, a book series with Göttingen University Press (, and an annual publication of selected student papers produced for the annual summer school, as well as an annual series of talks and lectures on relevant (research) topics (locally).

"Having the right to speak":
Within the Chair of South African Literature, Culture and History (University of Amsterdam), I develop and coordinate an international research project on the critical role of the arts in the public sphere with a focus on voice, the transnational and the translingual in negotiating senses of belonging through works of art. The project is (partly) funded by the Stichting Zuid-Afrikahuis Nederland and further supported by the Van Ewijck Foundation (South Africa).

The most important output of this project so far consisted of a series of 4 international symposia, an international conference panel, and a bigger, international conference planned for November 2021, A Winter School (planned for 2021) is also planned to be given at the University of Western Cape, South Africa in collaboration with the University of the Western Cape and the University of Ghent.

Narratives of Europe” research project:
In this project (a collaboration with Dr Astrid van Weyenberg, Leiden University), the focus is mainly on the construction and circulation of narratives about and by Europe. So far, projects including among others: A panel at the Council of European Studies (2021) on European Heritage and Citizenship, a special issue on European Heritage and Citizenship with the Journal of European Studies (forthcoming in 2022), and a special issue of Politique européenne on “Narrating Europe”.

CMIECE (2014-2017)
This research network (in collaboration with Lars Klein, Göttingen University and Martin Benjamin, Uppsala University, and part of the U4 network of the universities of Uppsala, Göttingen, Ghent and Groningen) on Cultural Mechanisms of Inclusion and Exclusion in Contemporary Europe (CMIECE) brought scholars together whose work analyzes transnational cultural, intellectual and political mechanisms that promote inclusion and exclusion on the local, national, and European level. Our point of departure is the belief that today's discussion of the meanings and future of "Europe" can be enriched by examining the ways "Europe"—as idea, as cultural point of reference, and as political concept—functions as a just such a conceptual mechanism of inclusion and exclusion.

Research-based projects with students (University College Groningen, 2014-2017):

"Project Big" (completed, 2015): A small group of UCG students (Class of 2017) egnaged with the complex process of big goverment projects and the issue of citizen support. The students identified the issue of dwindling public support for the Forum Project (a project of the City Council) and investigated - through careful archival research - the reasons for this. The results of this project were showcased during the annual UCG exhibition in June 2015.

"Placeless Spaces" (completed, 2015) A number of UCG students embarked on a thrilling adventure to cooperate on a research project with their peers from Minerva Arts Academy and the Prince Claus Conservatory.  For the Nacht van Kunst en Wetenschappen (June 2015), they conducted research on how to turn those 'nasty' areas in the city of Groningen where people prefer not to be, into meaningful places where dynamic and postivie social interaction can take place. Their proposals were showcased during the Nacht at the various locations they have been working on.

"Project Rome" (2016, 2017): A group 2nd year UCG students explored the issues and problems the Eternal City - Rome - is currently facing. They have formulated gripping research questions for this project. One project investigated "bottom-up" solutions to Rome's waste problem (see, while the other group looked at the complexity of reasons behind Rome's enormous waste of municipal water.

Last modified:25 June 2022 12.34 p.m.