Personal profile

Research interests

My research is focused on three themes:

1. The (early modern) history of sexuality, gender and the body. This line of research combines cultural history and the history of science and knowledge with medical humanities and cultural heritage (see point 2 below). This line of argument motivates my work on the historical development of perspectives on the female body, which are heavily dependent on the conglomeration of medical and cultural attitudes and play a crucial role in the formation of women's identities. I am looking into the connection between sexual science, knowledge and education, looking for example at the University of Groningen’s medical collections. Together with Tim Huijgen, Deniz Haydar, and Rina Knoeff, I am developing the interdisciplinary project Geschiedenis is Gezond: het bevorderen van veerkracht en gezondheid van scholieren door medisch historisch onderwijs. We are establishing a network of secondary education history/biology teachers, teacher educators, and medical historians to increase the well-being of students. Using health/cultural heritage, from prints to instruments, we aim to introduce a neglected side of history into the classroom. I am also passionate at making this history relevant to non-academic audiences, for instance appearing on the radio (discussing the female orgasm on Onvoltooid Verleden Tijd and menstruation on Radio Swammerdam), writing popular articles (see my article on the clitoris in Wonderkamer), and speaking at events (like Studium Generale). 

2. Cultural heritage, in particular pertaining to health heritage and anatomical collections. Currently, I am developing a research project on the University of Groningen’s medical collections, which includes a unique historical collection of obstetrical instruments and anatomical preparations. It is my aim to analyze these collections in order to better understand the history of the female body and to study the sensitivities and ethics of showing these collections in public, and, in doing so contributing to the field of health humanities from the perspective of material collections and to formulating a strategy for actively using the collections in teaching. In the past, I have developed programs that explored Europe’s cultural heritage at Chain (Cultural Heritage Activities and Institutes Network, part of Erasmus+) and closely engaged with cultural heritage in the form of historic print and script (early modern books, manuscripts, and artwork in the form of letters, notebooks, scientific studies, pamphlets, prints, and portraits) during my PhD. Afterwards, I worked on finding, transcribing, digitizing early modern letters win my work for Early Modern Letters Online, part of the Oxford-based Cultures of Knowledge Project. My research for COST Action IS1310-Reassembling the Republic of Letters, and the ERC-funded Skillnet project (Sharing Knowledge in Learned and Literary Networks), concentrated on dealing with (in)tangible cultural, intellectual heritage. Studying the early modern Republic of Letters, I investigated the moral heritage of the values of this social phenomenon and worked with its material heritage.

3. The scholarship and banishment of Hadriaan Beverland (1650-1716), who was banished from the provinces of Holland and Zeeland by the University of Leiden in 1679. From 2012 until 2017 I completed my DPhil thesis at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Howard Hotson and Faramerz Dabhoiwala (titled The banishment of Beverland: sex, scripture, and scholarship in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic), resulting in two monographs on Beverland and his radical studies.

I authored The Banishment of Beverland: Sex, Scripture, and Scholarship in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic (2019) and Hadriaan Beverland’s De Peccato Originali (On Original Sin, 1679): a critical edition and translation with Floris Verhaart (forthcoming 2023). My articles have appeared in Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Jaarboek voor Nederlandse Boekgeschiedenis, Jaarboek De Achttiende eeuw, Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance and Early Modern Low Countries, among others. I have also contributed chapters to books published by Amsterdam University Press, Oxford University Press, and Brill.

Education/Academic qualification

Basic Qualification Academic Teaching, Utrecht University

Award Date: 3-Aug-2020

DPhil in History, Thesis title: The banishment of Beverland: sex, scripture, and scholarship in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic, Oxford University, Oxford, UK

Award Date: 29-Jul-2016

External positions

Postdoctoral Researcher, Utrecht University

20182022

Junior Fellow , Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Utrecht University

2017 → …

Postdoctoral Fellow , Universität Erfurt

2017 → …

Postdoctoral researcher, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam

20172018

Scaliger Fellow , Leiden University

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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