11th Biennial Conference 2016

Low Countries: Narrating Change, Changing Narratives
University College Dublin
29 June – 1 July 2016

Ardmore House


Narration and story telling emerges as a new turn in academic discourse. Scholars increasingly question their position as observers or spectators and move towards a more engaged position. Ownership of the narrative is a central focus and concern.

For the 11th ALCS Biennial Conference in 2016 – the centenary year of the Easter Rising in Ireland – we want raise questions around the narrative of change. How is change represented and narrated and how do these narratives change over time? All this in a Low Countries or comparative context and along and across broad cultural, linguistic and historical lines.

Topics may include:
• Narrating change of cultural practices and dissenting voices
• Narration of social change and the imaginative
• Narrating change and changing narrative in literature and the arts
• Changing relationships between text and image in the pictorial arts
• Changing linguistic norms and status of language varieties
• Translation as a process of change and transformation
• Narrating change emerging from studies of lexis, semantics, pragmatics and syntax

We invite both individual contributions (20-minute presentations which will be followed by 10 minutes of discussion) and proposals for fully constituted panels. Panel conveners are invited to suggest a 90-minutes themed panel of three speakers. We specifically invite postgraduate students and a number of full bursaries are available. The primary criterion for selection will be the quality of the proposal, not its strict connection to the conference theme.

The keynote speakers will be announced in January 2016.

Please submit your proposal in the form of a 300-word abstract by 28 February 2016 to our Conference System.

Selected papers will be published in the ALCS Journal: Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies

Drawing a Map; Developing the Map

On 2 and 3 July, in the heat of the London summer, over twenty postgraduate and early career researchers from the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany attended the Postgraduate Colloquium on Low Countries Studies: Drawing a Map.

From the opening address by Dr Ulrich Tiedau (UCL) and the five themed panel sessions over two days, an exciting, multidisciplinary and multinational map emerged. The contributions ranged from the representation of the Islamic world through the eyes of Flemish artists in the 15th Century (Talitha Schepers – Cambridge) to ‘Ad hoc interpreters in a Brussels Emergency Department’ (Sophie Segers – VUB).

Striking was the presence of two papers on the Flemish author Rachida Lamrabet (Christina Barningham – Sheffield and Aimée Hardy – UCL). Ruth Clemens (UCL) gave a convincing Deleuzian reading of Cees Noteboom’s novella Het volgende verhaal. Cyd Sturgess (Sheffield) critically reflected on the relation between sexological theories and the literary representation of female same sex desire in Dutch novels of the 1930s.

Floor Naber and Kim Smeenk (Utrecht) took the title of the colloquium literally when they mapped the international cultural network of Simon Vinkenoog during the 1960s. Alisa van Kleef (Bonn) also focussed on maps: she discussed the cartographic representations of the Low Countries in German Westforschung (1920-1945).

Dr Nicholas Piercey (UCL) combined the Amsterdam Potato Riots of July 1917 with a reflection on his own research practice as a historian and Sabine Waasdorp (Utrecht) studied the representation of Queen Mary II in Dutch pamphlets. Also historical, but from a linguistic angle was the presentation of Eline Laperre (Queen Mary) who outlined her work on the preverbal negation in historical Dutch.

Drawing a Map was a memorable event for more than the tropical temperatures. It was the breadth of the research, the quality of the contributions and the enthusiasm of the participants that made it into such an exciting inaugural occasion. Thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of the Colloquium Committee this event will hopefully be the start of a long tradition of postgraduate colloquia in the UK. Prof Catherine Davies of IMLR popped in to offer continued IMLR support.

The ALCS owes much gratitude to the splendid colloquium committee for their initiative and their impeccable organisation: (from left to right) Richard McClelland (KCL), Jenny Watson (Swansea and ALCS Committee), Cyd Sturgess (Sheffield), and Aimée Hardy (UCL).

It is of paramount importance for Dutch Studies in UK, and thus for the ALCS, that young researchers feel inspired and engaged by our diverse discipline. The ALCS considers it a prime objective to offer a platform for researchers to meet up, present and discuss their work. Contributors are encouraged to submit their papers to be considered for publication in our Journal Dutch Crossing. All details can be found on the Authors Submission Page.

This colloquium was organised in conjunction with the Institute for Modern Language Research and the Centre for Low Countries Studies at UCL. The event was generously sponsored by the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

Postgraduate Colloquium 2 and 3 July: The Programme

The programme of the first Postgraduate Colloquium on Low Countries Studies is now available. It will take place on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd July 2015 in London.

For Drawing A Map, the ALCS joins forces with the Centre for Low Countries Studies at UCL, the Modern Languages Research Institute and the University of Sheffield. The ALCS is proud to contribute to this inaugural event which will bring together young scholars from the UK, the Netherlands, Flanders and Germany.

The opening keynote address will be delivered by Dr Ulrich Tiedau, editor of our ALCS Journal Dutch Crossing.
Here you can download the Registration Form.

ALCS Student Days 2015: ‘Obvious Success’

ALCSfotobanner2Just as the not-so-obvious city has become a popular alternative for the classic city trip, more and more students discover the not-so-obvious-language as an alternative, exciting, and rewarding option. Dutch is a case in point and its popularity was underlined during the lively Student Days at the University of Sheffield on 19th and 20th March 2015.

Students and staff from Cambridge, Nottigham, Newcastle, UCL and Sheffield flocked to Yorkshire to find out more about Dutch and Flemish culture, to meet employers and to learn about their prospects as students of Dutch. And – not insignificantly – to meet new people and to have fun.

Participants were offered a 24-hour programme of workshops, lectures, performances, an employability forum, and an after party. In addition to the student event, there was an evening programme for the general public: Closer to Low Countries Cultures in Sheffield’s Workstation. Here is a short video of the event:

The Flemish poet and performer Maud Vanhauwaert, the Dutch standup duo Johan Fretz and Marcel Harteveld were responsible for the student workshops and the evening performances. Dr Betsy Wieseman, curator of the Dutch and Flemish collection of the National Gallery in London, offered a talk on the challenges of putting together an exhibition of global significance such at the recent Late Rembrandt Exhibition. The Students Days closed with an Employablity Forum where students put questions about Dutch Studies and future opportunities to a panel of experts: Christina Barningham (MA Sheffield), Dr Nick Piercey (Lecturer UCL), Dee Bodle (E Exchange), Michel Vanhoonacker (Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce), and Andrew Maycroft (Eclipse Translations).

The ALCS Student Days were organized and coordinated by Louise Snape and Henriette Louwerse and sponsored by the Dutch Language Union, the Netherlands Embassy and Flanders House in London. A full photographic impression can be found HERE.


Three multilingual poets in Sheffield

On Wednesday 18 March 2015, the Centre for Dutch Studies together with the Centre for Poetry and Poetics presents three multilingual poets: Maud Vanhauwaert (Belgium, Flemish), Ágnes Lehóczky (British-Hungarian) and the Galician poet Isaac Xubin. They will read from their poetry in Jessop West G.03 from 6pm. Wine will be served.

Since the publication of her debut volume Ik ben mogelijk, Maud Vanhauwaert has been awarded a number of prestigious literary prizes including the Herman de Coninck Public Award for her 2014 collection We are parallel_. Maud Vanhauwaert is also a prize-winning performer and short film maker. Students of Dutch from Sheffield, Nottingham and UCL have recently completed a translation of Wij zijn evenwijdig_ in a collaborative project with the author and translator David Colmer.