GEMS Plans for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Like many research groups, both at UGent and abroad, GEMS was forced this past spring to cancel and postpone a range of wonderful events featuring an array of speakers, scholars, students and visitors. We did so with both sadness and regret. 

For this coming academic year, our plan is to focus on the members of our GEMS community who most need our support and who might benefit most from our intellectual community: our Ph.D. students and postdocs here at UGent. We will be organizing a range of online events, some of which will be private brainstorming and feedback sessions for junior scholars to workshop their evolving research; other online events, also featuring our Ph.D. students and postdocs, will be public and accessible to GEMS members, the UGent community and outside scholars. These online events will be listed both on the GEMS website ( and on our FaceBook page ( 

This summer we will begin organizing these online events to take place during the 2020-2021 academic year. If you are a Ph.D. student, postdoc, or visiting junior scholar at UGent and interested in participating, either as an attendee or a presenter, please be in contact with Renée Vulto ( and Delphine Calle (

Hopefully, in the 2021-2022 academic year, GEMS will be able to resume its wide array of in-person events, including lectures, workshops, ateliers, “inspired by…” sessions, and book launches. If you are interested in sharing your research during the 2021-2022 academic year, please send an email to Andrew Bricker (

Till, hopefully, very soon again!


The GEMS Steering Committee


Due to the measures taken in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to postpone all planned events for the rest of the academic year (including our Research Day). In this, we follow the guidelines of Ghent University.  Keep an eye on this website and our social media to hear about the plans for next year!

We hope that you and your families remain safe and healthy during this challenging time.

POSTPONED: Ghent-Lille Research Colloquium in Early Modern Studies: Emotions, Passions and Cultures of Feeling


Friday, March 13th, 9AM-5PMVendredi 13 mars, 9h-17h

Gand-Lille Colloque de recherche en études de l’époque moderne: Émotions, passions et cultures du sentiment

Ghent University, meeting room “Simon Stevin” , Rozier-Plateau building (entrance Plateaustraat 22, Gent – left corridor).

Université de Gand, salle “Simon Stevin”. Bâtiment Rozier-Plateau (entrée Plateaustraat 22, Gand – couloir gauche).

This colloquium is a collaboration between researchers from the Université de Lille and Ghent University. Together they investigate (early) modern conceptions of emotions, the representation of passions and the relationship between these representation and (early) modern cultures of emotions.

Ce colloque est une collaboration entre des chercheurs de l’Université de Lille et de l’Université de Gand. Dans leurs contributions, ils discutent les conceptions des émotions, la représentation des passions et la relation entre la représentation et es cultures des émotions du XVIe à la première moitié du XIXe siècle.

Registration before Monday March 9th (not necessary for speakers and chairs):

L’inscription est obligatoire avant le lundi 9 mars (excepte les conférenciers et les présidents):

Session 1: Chair / président: Fiona McIntosh-Varjabédian (Université de Lille)

9:30     Frédéric Briot (Université de Lille): Passion et complexe du tout dans Sémélé, tragédie lyrique de Marin Marais (1709)

10:00   Delphine Calle (UGent): Racine ou la dramaturgie de l’amour

10:30   Questions & discussion

11:00   Break / Pause

Session 2: Chair / président: Cornelis van der Haven (UGent)

11:30   Tom Laureys (UGent): Rational revenge? The navigation of the passions in a

            Dutch Medea tragedy (1667)
12:00   Timothy Vergeer (Universiteit Leiden): ‘Vengeance is mine’. Revenge, Honour,

and Spanish Drama in the Low Countries (1617-1672)

12:30   Questions & discussion

13:00   Lunch / déjeuner

Session 3: Chair / président: Alison Boulanger (Université de Lille)

14:00   Emilie Picherot (Université de Lille): La passion arabicante de Nicolas Clénard

de Louvain à Fez (1495-1542)

14:30   Steven Vanden Broecke (UGent): Astrological management of the

passions and Catholic spirituality in 17th-century France: Jean-Baptiste Morin’s Astrologia Gallica (1661)

15:00   Questions & discussion

15:30   Break / pause

Session 4: Chair / président: Jürgen Pieters (UGent)

16:00   Fiona McIntosh-Varjabédian (Université de Lille): Consolate, disconsolate: of

harrowing experiences in 19th Century Novels

16:30   Caroline Grapa (Université de Lille): LEssai sur Sénèque: éthique et politique du sujet

16:30   Questions & discussion

17:00   Discussion about future cooperation / projects

            Discussion sur la coopération / projets futures

17:30   Closure / fin

This colloquium is made possible through funding from the Joint Call Ghent and Lille / Hauts-de-France 2019 project: ‘LIVES’

Dante Workshop (UGent, 13-14 May 2019)

Location: UGent, Campus Boekentoren (Blandijnberg 2, 9000 – Ghent, Belgium)

Free entrance

Organizers: prof. Teodoro Katinis (UGent; SDA Gent), prof. Wim Verbaal (UGent), prof. Bart van den Bossche (KU Leuven), prof. Andrea Robiglio (KU Leuven).

Research groups: GEMS (Group for Early Modern Studies), HPIMS (Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies).

Participants: prof. Paolo Borsa (University of Milan), prof. Valerio Cappozzo (University of Mississipi), prof. Teodoro Katinis (UGent, SDA Gent), prof. Wim Verbaal (UGent), prof. Bart van den Bossche (KU Leuven), prof. Andrea Robiglio (KU Leuven), colleagues of the GEMS and the HPIMS, PhD students, students of the course LKV.

Reading materials available here



13/5: Room 120.036

h15-17: Dante Alighieri between Latin and the Vernacular, in English.

Moderators: Wim Verbaal and Andrea Robiglio.

Prof. Paolo Borsa and prof. Valerio Cappozzo will circulate in advance their materials to feed the discussion: published articles and current projects with specific regards to Dante’s poetry, the Stilnovo, and the interpretation of dreams in the Middle Ages.

h17: coffee break and networking.

h18:30: dinner.

h20-22: prof. Valerio Cappozzo, L’interpretazione dei sogni da Dante ad oggi, in Italian for the Società Dante Alighieri – Gent (for a broad public).


14/5: Room 120.012

Morning: informal meetings with PhD students and colleagues to discuss future research opportunities (feel free to contact us if you are interested in meeting the speakers).

h16-19: Dante tra latino e volgare, in Italian.

Moderator: Teodoro Katinis.

Prof. Paolo Borsa e prof. Valerio Cappozzo, for the students of LKV. Articles and handouts will circulate in advance. External participants are welcome to join also this part of the workshop.

h20: dinner


Image reference: Luca Signorelli, Portrait of Dante (1500-1504 ca.). Fresco. Orvieto Cathedral, Chapel of St Britius.

Workshop Performance Historiography: Examining Past Performances from a Present-day Perspective (12-13 September 2019)

The application deadline has passed and a selection of participants has been made. For any inquiries, please contact

With Henry Turner (Rutgers University) and Morag Josephine Grant (University of Edinburgh) (keynote speakers), Jane Hwang Degenhardt (University of Massachusetts Amherst), and Cornelis van der Haven (Ghent University).

DS specialist course for early career researchers on the theme of performance historiography,  organised by the interdisciplinary research groups THALIA (Ghent University and Free University of Brussels) and GEMS (Ghent University). The workshop aims to approach this theme from an interdisciplinary perspective, and to facilitate dialogue between young researchers and experts.

The workshop departs from the following: the existing body of literature on historical performance (1600-1900) is rather anecdotal and tends to focus on written sources rather than examining past performances as experiences, or as events that had a bodily or an emotional impact. In the workshop, we intend to explore how contemporary theory can help us accessing past performances, and understand their function in their historical time and space. Examples of such performances are theatrical performances, music performances, rituals, religious processions, or political demonstrations, but also broader notions performance are welcome to be discussed.

During the two days, Henry Turner and Morag Josephine Grant will each give a lecture in which they discuss performance historiography from their area of expertise. The rest of the time is designated for research presentations by the participants and discussion.

Preliminary programme
Thursday, 12 September
09:00 – 09:30 welcome and coffee
09:30 – 11:30 session 1: masterclass Henry Turner
11:30 – 13:00 session 2: discussion
13:00 – 14:00 lunch
14:00 – 16:00 session 3: presentations by participants
16:00 – 16:30 coffee
16:30 – 18:30 session 4: presentations by participants

Friday, 13 September
09:00 – 09:30 coffee
09:30 – 11:30 session 5: masterclass Morag Josephine Grant
11:30 – 13:00 session 6: discussion
13:00 – 14:00 lunch
14:00 – 16:00 session 7: presentations by participants
16:00 – 16:30 coffee
16:30 – 18:30 session 8: presentations by participants †

GEMS feedback session on FWO PhD proposals


Place: Blandijnberg 2, Grote Vergaderzaal (3rd floor)

Date: 6 February 2019, 14:00-16:00


​On Wednesday, February 6th, there will be a feedback session between 2 and 4 PM for students who are preparing an application of a FWO PhD fellowship. The session will take place in the Grote Vergaderzaal (Blandijnberg 2, 3rd floor).

Students who may be interested to get feedback from GEMS members on their proposal should send their drafts to:, before February 1st.


Image reference: Schrijvende boer, Cornelis Dusart, 1670 – 1704. Holding institution: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Workshop theatre historiography

GEMS and THALIA would like to inform you of the following workshop, which is organised by members Kornee van der Haven, Sarah Adams and Yannice De Bruyn:

On 13 October 2017 we organize a workshop on theatre historiography in Amsterdam (UvA). Our primary aim is to offer PhD students working on historical theatre and performance a platform to discuss methodological difficulties they encounter in their research. It is a perfect occasion for peer discussion and feedback from more experienced scholars and dramaturgs. By means of introduction, Imre Bésanger (Theater Kwast) will outline his approach to methodology in his work with historical theatre texts. Kornee van der Haven (UGent) will moderate a discussion of Erika Fischer-Lichte’s views on theatre historiography.

Please find the (Dutch) program hereSarah Adams can provide you with more information and/or register your participation.

The image is a 3D visualisation of the Tapissiers theatre in Antwerp (1711) © Timothy De Paepe, 2007-2017.


Workshop Techniques of Theatre and: Theatre as a Technique


On March 22nd, 2017 THALIA, GEMS, and the research group ITEMP organise the workshop  ‘Techniques of Theatre and: Theatre as a Technique’. It is intended for pre-docs, PhD’s and post-docs, especially in the field of theatre studies and theatre history.

The full-day programme consists of two parts. During the morning session we will focus on methodological issues brought forth by theatrical case studies. How to interpret primary sources and how to deal with lacunas in our research about theatre and/or theatrical events in history? The afternoon session will concentrate on theatre as a technique for knowledge production. Which techniques are used by the theatre to engender insight, from early modernity until the present? The entire programme can be consulted here: workshop-techniques-of-theatre-and-theatre-as-a-technique.

The teachers are Jan Lazardzig (UvA, Netherlands), Kurt Vanhoutte (University of Antwerp) and Karel Vanhaesebrouck (VUB/ULB/RITCS, Brussels). The workshop will take place in the ‘Library Lab’ of the Faculty Library Arts & Philosophy at Ghent University. Registration is still open, interested researchers can contact Yannice De Bruyn ( for more information.