Currently I work on two research projects: FEMALE INTELLECTUALS and EXPERIENCES OF MIGRATION IN LITERATURE
FEMALE INTELLECTUALS addresses the role of female writers in digitalised and mediatised public sphere(s). The hypothesis of the project is that women writers move between cultural authority (based on their oeuvre) and celebrity performances. They fit in a certain intellectual tradition but also are capable of critiquing typical strategies of new public debating forms.
EXPERIENCES OF MIGRATION - this project takes literature as a specific form of knowledge that is relevant in societal discussions on migration. The hypothesis is that literary narratives of the experiences ( 'structures of feeling', Raymond Williams) of migration and (dis)connection can be used in the development of social policies on migration. Literature adds new and relevant knowledge to theories from legal studies, sociology, migration studies, and political philosophy.
Odile Heynders is Professor of Comparative Literature, and head of the Department of Culture Studies at Tilburg University. She was a fellow at NIAS (Netherlands Institute for the Advanced Study in the Humanities) in 1998/99, and 2004/05. She has published books (in Dutch) on modernist strategies of reading, European poetry, the Dutch intellectual Paul Rodenko, and the history of literature studies in the Netherlands. She published the book Writers as Public Intellectuals, Literature, Democracy, Celebrity at Palgrave Macmillan (2016). Her current research is on experiences of migration in literature, and on female thinkers and activists.