Shaping Belgian Literature Before 1830. Multilingual Patterns and Cultural Transfer in Flemish and French Periodicals in the Southern Low Countries.
This project examines literary culture in the Southern Low Countries during a formative period in the history of Belgium (1750-1830). In the historiography of the Low Countries, eighteenth-century literature – especially as it was created and received in the Southern part – remained largely unexplored. More importantly, in previous research, the multilingual and hybrid character of this literature has been mostly neglected. Researchers indeed tend to explore either Flemish or Francophone texts. This project addresses the cross-fertilization between different cultures and literatures that this hybrid and multilingual contact zone allowed to happen. To do this, we will mainly focus on literary journals and examine how they document and value but also help to nurture processes of cultural transfer and literary exchange in a crucial time, leading up to the nation’s independence.