I was born in East-Berlin and already in my early youth I was fascinated by the medieval Low Countries. I think then the painters like Rembrandt and Rubens were it to me. After the fall of the Berlin Wall I started taking some Dutch courses at the Open University and searched out some Dutch people living in West Berlin. After my first visit to Amsterdam I was completely hooked. During my high school years I organised even to go to school for three month in Alkmaar, North Holland. After I finished High School, the Berlin based Carl-von-Ossietzky Gymnasiumin 1996, I started studying Dutch and English at the Freie Universität Berlin. During my study I became interested in medieval culture and literature and went to the University of Amsterdam (UvA) for one year with a funding from the DAAD. I wrote my final master thesis – ‘Ridderen ende Joncvrouwen: Eine gender-orientierte Analyse des mittelniederländischen Artusromans De Roman van den Riddere metter Mouwen’ – about a Middle Dutch Arthurian romance in 2003. I was fortunate that get supervision for my thesis from Bart Besamusca, University of Utrecht, one of the leading specialist in Middle Dutch Arthurian literature, and Jan Konst from the Freie Universität Berlin. Through Bart Besamusca I was also introduced to Remco Sleiderink of the KU Brussels, to both researchers I owe a lot inspiration, not only for inspiring talks but also for daring to pursue an academic career.

After my studies I worked as a assistant at the University of Leipzig (2003-2005) and contributed to the Middle Dutch – German editions of Reynaerts Historie and the Sint Servaes Legende of Heinric van Veldeke. This work inspired me to pursue a master after master for editing (postgradualer Master Editionswissenschaft, Freie Universität Berlin, 2006-2008) which I finished with a thesis about the plan for a future edition of the only rarely known High German translation of the Fourth Part of the Spiegel Historiael by Jacob van Maerlant and Lodewijk van Velthem: ‘De Vierde Partei des Spiegel hijstorial: Herausgegeben nach der Handschrift Ms. germ. quart. 2018 Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz’. I became member of a research group about Lodewijk van Velthem, founded by Bart Besamusca, Remco Sleiderink and Geert Warnar. This highly inspiring collaboration lead to the publication of ‘De boeken van Velthem’ in 2009.

From 2008 until 2012 I carried out a PhD project at Ghent University about eschatology in the works of Jan van Boendale, Lodewijk van Velthem and Jan van Leeuwen under supervision of Youri Desplenter which I finished in July 2012 and defended in October 2012.

Although I love Ghent with its beautiful places and people and Belgium (maybe one of the most difficult to grasp countries of Europe) a lot, I moved after my PhD to the lovely city of Göttingen in the heart of Germany to work for the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities on the project ‘Humanities Data Centre‘ together with many other researchers from the project’s different collaboration partners. As data and digital research methods are becoming more and more part of all fields of research, also in the humanities, the need to store these data, to plan data management right from the beginning of a project and to prepare these data for collaborative use or sharing, becomes more and more urgent. Not for all these task sustainable, easy-to use infrastructures exist yet. As an ideal complement to my work for the HDC, I became team member of the Göttingen eResearch Alliance (eRA). The eRA seeks to provide institutional support to researchers, scientists and scholars at the Göttingen Campus. Part of its work includes setting up digital infrastructures for the humanities and the natural and social sciences as well as counseling and offering training courses and services for research data management and visualisations. In 2017 I moved back to my home town Berlin, where I coordinated the AGATE-project. The aim of this exciting project was to conceptualize a pan-European digital infrastructure for the academies’ social sciences and humanities research, to pool resources and create the necessary conditions to curate, preserve, and disseminate scholarly data from the academies. The German “edition” of AGATE (as a current research information system) was launched in 2018. After this project ended in 2017 I joined the PARTHENOS project for University of Applied Sciences Potsdam.

Next to my academic activities I have a great love for Indonesia and Yoga (I am even a 200h certified Hot Yoga teacher!) and I am also singing in the Berlin Gospel Choir Joyful Singers.

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Photo Rob van Hegelsom

Location, Het Pand, Gent, Belgium


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