I am a lecturer and researcher in English literature at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands. My specialization is early modern English literature (1550-1700), especially theater. I work in the field of the history of emotions (first anger and revenge, now compassion). I received an NWO VENI grant for a project on the practice of compassion in early modern England. More recently, I have begun to explore the growing field of the environmental humanities and ecocriticism. I am interested in the role of literature and the emotions in perceptions of the environment in the Anthropocene as well as in the early modern period.
I teach subjects ranging from early modern English literature (Shakespeare and contemporaries) to contemporary dystopian novels, from gender theory to ecocriticism and the environmental humanities. Teaching is one of my favorite things to do – to explore texts and ideas together with students, open our minds to new perspectives on the world, and to see students grow in understanding and self-knowledge makes it one of the best jobs in the world.
I am board member and founder of the Environmental Humanities Center at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; board member of the Benelux Association for the Study of Arts, Culture and the Environment (BASCE), and board member of the Amsterdam Centre for Cross-disciplinary Emotions and Sensory Studies (ACCESS). For all three organizations, I designed and maintain the websites. Also, I am a general editor of Cultural History, the journal of the International Society for Cultural History published by Edinburgh University Press.