2 PhD Positions — Imagineering Violence: Techniques of Early Modern Performativity in the Northern and Southern Netherlands (1640-1690)

The research foundations of Flanders and the Netherlands (FWO, NWO) have awarded a research grant to Karel Vanhaesebrouck (THEA, Free University of Brussels), Kornee van der Haven (GEMS, Ghent University), Inger Leemans (VU Amsterdam) and Frans-Willem Korsten (Leiden University), for the project Imagineering Violence – Techniques of Early Modern Performativity in the Northern and Southern Netherlands (1640-1690) (ITEMP-violence). The project grant includes funding for two PhD students.

Cruelties in a village. Romeyn De Hooghe, 1672. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

Cruelties in a village. Romeyn De Hooghe, 1672. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.

The project investigates interconnections between violence, technique, emotions and physicality in 17th century theatre and public spectacles (1640-1690). The ambition is to realize the first systematic study of the theatrical representation of violence in both the Northern and the Southern Netherlands. Imagineering Violence will put to the test the historiographical assumption that a divergent theatrical culture developed in the Southern and Northern culture during this period, the first then being ‘baroque’ or ‘spectacular’, whereas the latter would be characterized by a gradual but steady classicization of theatre practice itself.

The two PhD students will analyse through which ‘techniques’ or performative strategies cultural imagination shaped and represented violence on the early modern stage, and how theatrical representation itself made early modern violence imaginable. Hence: ‘imagineering’. It is our aim to gain systematic insight not only in the actual technical means used in this particular period, but also in the rhetorical and performative strategies aimed at shaping or questioning violent behaviour. The set-up of the project is an explicitly comparative one, as the results of the PhD-projects will be systematically evaluated in the light of one another. Moreover, in the final phase our research results will be evaluated within the framework of an artistic laboratory, which will be set up in collaboration with artistic researchers from RITS.

One PhD student will be located in Brussels (THEA research group) and in Ghent (Group for Early Modern Studies), and one student will work in Amsterdam and Leiden. Full project descriptions are available via Prof. dr. Karel Vanhaesebrouck (karel.vanhaesebrouck@vub.ac.be) or Prof. dr. Kornee van der Haven (cornelis.vanderhaven@ugent.be). For more information about the vacancy in Brussels (deadline 20 February 2015) and the selection procedure, click here: Vacaturetekst_VUB. For more information about the vacancy in Amsterdam/Leiden click here.

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