Lieke van Deinsen

Historical Dutch literature, Canon formation, Material and textual cultural heritage, Scholar and writer portraits, Text-image relationship in early modern print

Lieke van Deinen is a scholar of Dutch literature, employed as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the research units of arts sciences and literary sciences at KU Leuven. She is currently working on her FWO project “A Face of One’s Own. Author Portraits and The Construction of Female Intellectual Authority in Early Modern Europe”. This project builds on a pilot study into the visual and textual representations of female scholars in the early-modern Netherlands, for which she received an NWO Rubicon Scholarship in 2018. Previously, she was a fellow at the Scaliger Institute, the Vossius Center and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

In her interdisciplinary research, Lieke combines her background in text and literary analysis with a specialization in material and visual culture, making use of digital methods. She is particularly interested in processes of canon formation, authorship constructions and the interaction between text and image in early modern times. This appears, for example, from the two books that she authored: The Panpoëticon Batavûm. The Portrait of the Author as a Celebrity (Amsterdam 2016) and Literaire erflaters. Canonvorming in tijden van culturele crisis (Hilversum 2017), the commercial edition of her dissertation, defended in 2017 at the Radboud University.

Lieke is an active member of the academic community, for example as a board member of the Werkgroep Achttiende Eeuw. In 2021, she was elected member of the Jonge Academie (KVAB). She organized numerous conferences and sits on the editorial boards of, among others, Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde (TNTL), Early Modern Low Countries (EMLC) and Interférences Littéraires. Moreover, she is committed to making historical literature accessible to a wide audience, producing podcasts, vlogs and blogs, and contributing to the renewal of the website www.literature She is initiator and, together with Ton van Strien, editor-in-chief of the award-winning website and contributed to various exhibitions as a guest curator (e.g. Allard Pierson Museum, Teylers Museum en Literatuurmuseum).

Within NL-LAB, Lieke will focus on the role that processes of canon formation play in the construction of cultural identity and literary heritage, as part of theme ‘Transfer’. In particular, she will commit herself to linking current debates and initiatives in the Netherlands and Belgium, e.g. by organizing a large-scale conference in 2022, in collaboration with Nederlandse Taalunie and KANTL (Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal en Letteren). Together with Inger Leemans, she will contribute to the renewal of the educational website