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Ego-documents Expert Exchange


During this ‘Expert Exchange’, a group of PhD candidates and RMA students who all utilize ego-documents as a core source in their dissertation or thesis, will get together and discuss each other’s work. The guiding idea underpinning this exchange is to scrutinize the text of other participants by way of a theoretical lens or methodological framework which one considers themselves an ‘expert’ on – for instance as a result of extensive engagement in one’s own theoretical framework.

Concretely put, all participants are expected to send in a chapter of their dissertation/thesis – or part thereof – and read the texts provided by all other group members. However, to ensure that everyone receives extensive feedback, every participant is assigned texts from two colleagues and tasked to comment upon it in detail. In this fashion, everyone is guaranteed to receive new insights on one’s work through various new – and for the receiver hitherto unknown – analytical conceptualizations. Resultingly, and since ego-document constitute the core corpus for all participants, this exchange thereby contributes to everyone’s project in an exciting and fresh way whilst simultaneously facilitating a broadening of one’s intellectual horizon.

Finally, to ensure that a modicum of theoretical cohesion is formed despite the panoply of theoretical angles, all members are requested to read three core texts from the field of ego-documents. (Dutch Authors).


Location: Utrecht University, ISRAELS – KELDER1.07 

10:30 Start & Round of introduction

10:45 Discussion session 1

13:00 Lunch

13:45 Discussion session 2

16:00 Coffee break

16:15 Wrap up session

17:00 Drinks

18:00 Dinner

Catering (including dinner) is offered by the Huizinga Institute.


  • Leonieke Vermeer, ‘Stretching the Archives. Ego-documents and Life Writing Research in the Netherlands: State of the Art,’ BMGN 135:1 (2020), 31-69
  • Rudolf Dekker, ‘Egodocuments in the Netherlands from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century,’ in: Erin Griffey (ed.), Envisioning Self and status. Self-representation in the Low Countries 1400-1700 (Hull: 2000), p. 255-285.
  • Ernst van Alphen, ‘Testimonies and the Limits of Representation’ in: Caught by history : Holocaust effects in contemporary art, literature, and theory (Stanford: 1997) p. 41 – 64.
  • Max 14 texts from other participants, of which 2 need to be subjected to closer analysis/review.

Please send in your own chapter/article directly after registration to Marieke Dwarswaard.


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