Running Research Projects

Cultural Transfer and Translation in Scottish Romantic Periodicals, 1817-1829

This project pursues a critical comparative analysis of the presence of cultural transfer and translation in two major Romantic periodicals that dominated the literary, cultural, scientific and economic debates in Britain during the first three decades of the 19th century: the Edinburgh Review (est. 1802) and Blackwood’s Magazine (est. 1817). Responding to the relative neglect of the study of translation in Romantic (periodical) scholarship, the project analyses a clearly defined corpus of texts applying state-of-the-art methodologies of literary and translation studies, thus providing a critical and multifaceted view on the cross-cultural engagement of both periodicals in the period between 1817 and 1829 –and, by extension, of Romantic literary culture in general. Focusing on a largely neglected aspect of Romantic culture and charting new methodological territory, the project constitutes a timely and innovative intervention in current Romantic scholarship. The project builds on the increasing scholarly interest in the role played by periodicals in the knowledge economy of post-Enlightenment Britain.

Type: PhD scholarship
Duration: 2016 – 2020
Researcher: Melanie Hacke
Supervision: Tom Toremans and Tom Mole (University of Edinburgh, co-supervisor)
Funding: Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)

En Route. The International Trajectories of Flemish Literature in the 20th Century.

This project aims at investigating translations and adaptations of Flemish literature written in the 20th century in order to give insight into the complex mechanism of bringing literature into circulation, both in a national and a transnational context, and to challenge the widely accepted dichotomy and hierarchy between centre and periphery in the literary space.

Type: Doctoral Research
Duration: 2015 – 2019
Researcher: Jack McMartin
Supervision: Elke Brems

Eastbound. The distribution and reception of translations and adaptations of Dutch-language literature, 1850-1990

Eastbound logo

Eastbound aims to give insight into the complex mechanism of bringing literature into circulation in a transnational context, and to challenge the hierarchy between centre and periphery in literary space. The project also discusses phenomena of cultural identity change during the circulation process. The project will investigate the translation and adaptation history of frequently translated oeuvres from Flemish and Dutch literature into German, on the one hand, and into three East-Central European languages, on the other. The tracing of the international careers of Flemish and Dutch literature will provide insight into the international cultural networks and ‘trade routes’ in which the Netherlands and Flanders were involved between 1850 and 1990. The project focuses not only on textual derivatives, but also on adaptations into other media.

Type: PhD scholarship
Duration: 2017 – 2019
Researcher: Theresia Feldmann
Supervision: Dr. A.B.G.M. van Kalmthout (Huygens Institute Amsterdam) and Elke Brems

MEMEX WWI: Recognition and resentment: memories and experiences of the Great War in Belgium. The Great War in Belgian Literature.

Type: Doctoral Research
Duration: 2013 – 2017
Researcher: Myrthel Van Etterbeeck
Supervision: Elke Brems, Reine Meylaerts
Funding: Joint project of the ULB, UCL, UGent, SOMA and KULeuven

Vreemde vrouwen. De receptie van vrouwelijke auteurs in Vlaanderen tijdens het interbellum (1918-1940)

Type: Doctoral Research
2012 – 2017
Researcher: Dorien De Man
Supervision: Elke Brems
Funding: Special Research Fund (BOF)

Completed Research Projects

La ‘renaissance’ belge de 1880 au regard de la Renaissance des XVe et XVIe siècles. Portrait d’une imitation créatrice.

Joint PhD project of the Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance de Tours (CESR) and the University of Leuven.

Type: Doctoral Research
Duration: 2012 – 2016
Researcher: Stanislas Pays
Supervision: Luc Bergmans (CESR), Lieven D’hulst (Leuven)
Coordination: Martine de Clercq (CERES)

When Political Economy was Popular. The Reception of Political Economy in Britain, 1817-1847.

The aim of this project is to restore to centrality the hitherto largely neglected corpus of late-Romantic exchanges between literature and economics, and to develop from it a history of the cross-fertilisation and competition between the two fields. The principal research question is: How did (wo)men of letters receive political economy in the first half of the 19th century, and how did this prepare economics for a broader cultural reception?

Type: Postdoctoral Research
Duration: 2014 – 2015
Researcher: Brecht de Groote
Supervision: Tom Toremans, Ortwin de Graef
Funding: KU Leuven Internal Funds

“Het is niet onopgemerkt gebleven.” An International Network Studying the Circulation of Dutch Literature (CODL).

Modern research into Dutch literary culture of the past and the present requires a transnational approach. CODL (2012-2015) will help to create favourable conditions for this approach. The pilot Beatrijs Internationaal (2009-2011) created a dynamics of cooperation and exchange in the increasingly international field of Dutch Studies. With a new project we want to seize that momentum and set up a large scale European research project within an international research network. Wewill deal with the question how literary texts from a relatively small language area, like that of Dutch, circulate internationally in different periods. At the same time it will look at the possibilities and difficulties of research on international cultural transfer.

Participating Institutions: The Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands (KNAW), Centre for Reception Studies (CERES, KU Leuven), Department of Dutch Studies, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest, in co-operation with COMENIUS (network of Dutch studies in Central Europe)

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Type: Research Network
Duration: 2012 – 2015
Coordination: Elke Brems

Thomas De Quincey, Aesthetic Ideology and the Translation of German Idealism

Type: Doctoral Research
Duration: 2010 – 2014
Researcher: Brecht de Groote
Supervision: Tom Toremans, Ortwin de Graef (KU Leuven)
Funding: KU Leuven Internal Funds

Transnational Cultural Transfer through French in the Low Countries during the Long 19th Century

Project in collaboration with the Department of Language and Literature of the Free University of Brussels, resulting in workshop and symposium in 2010/2011.

Type: Joint Research Project
Duration: 2009 – 2013
Coordination: Elke Brems, Hans Vandevoorde (VUB)
Funding: CERES, KU Leuven

Beatrijs internationaal. The Translations and Adaptations of the Middle Dutch “Beatrijs”

Project in collaboration with the Department of Dutch Studies Eötvös Loránd University Budapest and the Huygens Institute resulting in workshops (Balatonfüred, Brussels, Naples, Oldenburg), a conference (The Hague, 29-30 September 2011), proceedings, and some new translations.

Type: Research Network
Duration: 2009 – 2011
Coordination: Orsolya Réthelyi (Loránd Universiteit Boedapest), Remco Sleiderink (HU Brussel)
Funding: CERES, KU Leuven, KNAW, ELV and Nederlandse Taalunie

Dutch Dickens: The Flemish Reception of Charles Dickens

In collaboration with The Reception of British and Irish Authors in Europe Project

Type: Joint Research Project
Duration: 2008 – 2010
Coordination: Elke Brems and Walter Verschueren
Funding: CERES, KU Leuven, British Academy

Late-Romantic opposition to the Scottish Enlightenment

Postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh University

Type: Postdoctoral research
Duration: 2007 – 2008
Researcher: Tom Toremans
Funding: postdoctoral bursary of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities

Romanticism as a Dialogue between Empiricism and Idealism

Nominated fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh University

Type: Postdoctoral research
Duration: 2008 – 2008
Researcher: Tom Toremans
Funding: Flemish Research Council (FWO), Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh University