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prof. dr. O.M. Heynders

Full Professor 

Tilburg School of Humanities
Department of Culture Studies


Description of the project EUROPEAN VOICES

The project addresses the hybridity of literature, the blurring of text genres (autobiography, essay, novel) and discourses (literature, history, journalism, politics) in current globalised EU societies. The assumption is that imagination is a tool in getting grip on the social and political circumstances in a globlised reality (Appadurai 1996). Both writers and politicians make use of imagination, however, they do this in different ways: the politician by myth making (making reality more attractive) and the author by the explicit feigning of truth (the resistance of reality). In this project the various strategies of everyday storytelling, the creation of myths and the resistant writing of literary narratives are examined in order to get a comprehension of Europe as an idea (G. Delanty 1995), a historical construction and an experience.


Main focus is on questions such as:

- What role do European writers take as public intellectuals in political debates?

- What is the power of fiction/imagination in relation to political discussion?

- What is the position of the self-reflecting narrator as authentic voice on historical events?

- How do politicians write/mystify their autobiographies?



News items

  • Conference Papers 2014
       1. 26 maart De Buren, Brussels. De spelende mens, Een Hollandse televisieshow in cultuurhistorisch perspectief. 2. 27 maart Congres Achter de verhalen 5 Brussel. Schrijvers: Hun Llteraire oeuvre, politieke mening en publieke performance . 3. 21 maart ACLA New York: Poetry and the Poetic Word in Public Spaces: Ramsey Nasr as Poet Laureate. 4. IALJS Paris France 15-17 May. Literary Journalism, Local, Regional, National, Global. The case of Geert van Istendael. 

Most recent publications

Click here for the list of publications in the Research Portal

Last amended: 06 March 2015