I am Emeritus Professor of Modern European Literature at the University of Amsterdam. In addition I hold an Emeritus Professorship at Maastricht University.

A comparatist by formation, I study post-1800 cultural history mainly as a transnational circulation of ideas and mentalities; the emphasis is on literary and discursive sources, which I analyse in their rhetoric and poetics as well as historically. My research interests (more fully described under the menu’s “Research” tab) are:

  • nationalism and the history of national movements
  • the survival of 19th-century cultural nationalism as 20th-century banal nationalism and 21st-century ethnopopulism
  • the rhetoric and history of cultural and national stereotyping and ethnic characterization (“imagology”)
  • the history of border regions and cultural minorities, especially in the Low Countries
  • the history of the humanities since 1800, especially philology
  • digital humanities: the database-assisted capture, analysis and visualization of complex communicative networks, cultural practices and ideological diffusion patterns

A full CV can be found here.