Stefanie van Gemert

PhD Candidate

Stefanie van Gemert

Stefanie is currently studying for a PhD in Comparative Literature at the UCL Dutch Department. Her research focuses on ‘nostalgia’ in both literature ‘on the threshold of colonial and post-colonial’, and in reviews and adaptations of post/colonial works in the British and Dutch cultural fields.

Two authors central to her thesis are Hella S. Haasse (1918–2011) and Jean Rhys (1890–1979). Rhys and Haasse moved from colonial countries to the ‘motherlands’ (respectively from Indonesia – the former Dutch East Indies – to the Netherlands, and from Dominica – part of the former British West Indies – to the UK), where they published in a time frame surrounding the decolonization, and where their works have been widely discussed and adapted. The PhD thesis draws on post-colonial and feminist theory, as well as reception theory. It aims to provide insight into ways of relating to colonial pasts in a global cultural context, moving away from exclusive national frameworks.

Stefanie’s PhD research is partly funded by the VSB Foundation, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the Dr Hendrik Muller Fonds.

Areas of Academic Interest

  • Modern Dutch Literature
  • Colonial History and Post-colonial Theory
  • Fact and Fiction: (auto)biographical texts as historical sources
  • Women and Life Writing
  • Dutch Art and Cultural History
  • Literary Museums (both online and on sites)

Publications and Presentations

  • Stefanie van Gemert, ‘Why Hella S. Haasse’s work does not need introduction abroad’, in: The Low Countries
  • Stefanie van Gemert, ‘So universal, yet so Dutch: Gerbrand Bakker’s The Twin’ in: The Low Countries, 2011, vol. 19, pp. 284–285.
  • Organised ‘Roundtable on Migrant Literature’ with Prof. Luc Bovens (LSE Migration Studies Unit) at the LSE Literary Weekend, London School of Economics, London, UK. Feb 2009. Speakers: Naema Tahir, Mustafa Kör and Kapka Kassabova
  • Presented ‘Grenzeloos of Heimatlos? Nostalgie als zoeklicht voor Hella S. Haasse’s teksten over Indië/Indonesië en voor Haasse-receptie’ at ‘Grenzeloos: Eerste Graduate Conference voor Letterkundige Neerlandici’, Utrecht University, Utrecht, NL. Sept 2008


Stefanie van Gemert is a Teaching Assistant at the UCL Dutch Department where she has prepared and taught on several BA courses, e.g. ‘Literary Themes: Second World War’, ‘Major Authors: Literature as an Institution’, ‘20th Century Dutch Literary Texts’.

She was also the 2009–2010 MA Course Coordinator for the Comparative Literature Course ‘Modern Literary Theory’, and led workshops on Post-colonialism and Modernism.

Public Engagement

Stefanie received a 2011/2012 VSU Step Out grant for her partnership initiative with the Wallace Collection. She coordinated and taught workshops at the UCL Art Museum and the Wallace Collection throughout Summer 2012, inviting London community groups to engage with Dutch 17th-century art and the history of the Dutch East India Company. More information on the Wallace Collection’s project blog.

Stefanie also blogged on the public literary event ‘Time Travels in Literature and Politics’ involving UCL Dutch Writer in Residence Abdelkader Benali and Booker Prize nominee Hisham Matar.

Page last modified on 17 jul 12 22:03 by Stefanie T W Van Gemert