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Fellow (1 September 2007 - 30 June 2008)
My stay at NIAS during the year 2007/08 was most productive. I have made substantial progress on my project: volume VI of the comprehensive new history of Dutch and Flemish literature from the Middle Ages until the present day, sponsored by the Nederlandse Taalunie, the Dutch Language Union. Volume VI describes the first half of the twentieth century in about 700 pages, and focuses on the functioning of literature within the broader context of society.
During my year at NIAS I managed to conceptualize the greater part of the first draft of my book. In 2009 I will re-edit the draft, in order to publish the book in 2010, as scheduled. The NIAS fellowship also enabled me, thanks to the excellent library services, to undertake substantial readings in the primary and secondary literature and to discuss parts of the manuscript with the editorial board of the Taalunie Project. The first months of my work at NIAS were spent in rethinking the book and redrafting some chapters which I had already written (for instance on Symbolism, World War I and colonial and post-colonial literature). After this, I concentrated my work on literature and literary life during the interbellum and during the Second World War.
Next to these main activities, and partly as a result of them, I delivered lectures on subjects such as Decadence, Naturalism, Literature and Gender, and on writers like Streuvels and Cyriel Buysse. I also wrote articles on Cultural Memory and migrant literature, on Louis Couperus as an orientalist and reporter during the Great War and on New York during the fin de siècle of the nineteenth century.
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