Amsterdam Centre for the Study of the Golden Age

Literatures without Frontiers? Perspectives for a Transnational Literary History of the Low Countries

09Feb2018 10Feb2018 10:00


Traditional literary historiography is rooted in the 19th-century construction of national literatures. For the study of the literature written between 1200-1800 the taxonomy of ‘national’ literary phenomena that were non-existent at the time, is a highly artificial though very common practice. Several attempts have been made to develop new literary histories, driven by a transnational, pluri-lingual perspective, but the historiography of the Low Countries literature has not yet really profited from this. While the ‘medieval’ and ‘early modern’ volumes of the recent Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Literatuur do pay attention to the presence of non-Dutch literary writings in the geographical space, they are largely defined by the same parameters that mark traditional, more ‘nationalist’ literary histories.

This conference aims to explore a transnational perspective for the construction and writing of the literary history of the Low Countries 1200-1800. Keynote speakers will be Frans Blom (UvA) and David Wallace (University of Pennsylvania). We invite scholars to address case studies with a transnational character (like authors, texts, translations, mechanisms of textual production, motifs, tropes, genres) that have fallen outside the scope of literary historiography or whose impact could be brought out differently in a transnational framework. We also invite participants to reflect on the methodological consequences of a transnational perspective on the literary history of the Low Countries.


·       Proposals (Word document, max. one page) for a thirty-minute presentation can be sent before June 1st, 2017 to

·       Notification of acceptance by the organising committee will be provided by July 1st, 2017

·       A selection of papers will be published in a peer-reviewed volume to be submitted to an international publisher.

This conference will be organised by the universities of Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven, Amsterdam, Nijmegen, Utrecht and the Constantijn Huygens Institute (KNAW).

Published by  ACSGA