Let’s talk about me

My current research is all about Information and Identity. As a PhD-student in Digital History for University College Cork I am collaborating in the EURONEWS project in Florence, Italy. Together, we aim to reconstruct the dynamics behind the avvisi, hand-written newsletters that carried information throughout the continent in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Many of these avvisi were collected by the De Medici family and are nowadays preserved within the Florence states archive. My own research focuses on cultural identity in Italy and how this interplays with political partisanship, which clustered around two other ‘nations’ France and Spain.

So far my current occupations. A reasonably long time ago, I was born in the town of Huizen in the Netherlands. This was also the place where I enjoyed my primary and secondary education. After Highschool, I left my hometown to study History at Leiden University. Rather soon, I decided that I wanted something more, a more thorough way to study history and consequently I decided to enrol for a language study as well. This brought me to the Italian language, which besides for the tremendous amount of literary treasures, offered also an intriguing study object for her atypical path to nation forming.

Also from my earliest days in University, I developed an interest in the use of primary sources, following classes in palaeography and the use of archival material. For my BA thesis in History, I visited several archives in search of the ‘renten’ that the cities of the Duchy of Holland made to support the Duke. Later in my studies, I got the opportunity to elaborate this interest in archival material when I got offered a position as student-assistant in a digitalization project called ‘Vincentian Missionaries in Seventeenth-century Europe and Africa.’ This is also where for the first time I was actively engaged in a Digital Humanities project.

Since I had chosen to study the language, it was of course inevitable that I would also spend some time during my studies in Italy. Therefore, in 2016 I followed a semester at the University of Bologna. Followed by an internship in 2017 at the Royal Dutch Embassy in Rome.

In 2018 I finished my ReMA-thesis about Italian identity in the private correspondence between the Este, Sforza and Gonzaga families. Besides this degree, I eventually also hold BA degrees in History and Italian.

Before moving to Florence to pursue my PhD, I had the chance to see the importance of Digital Humanities from a very different perspective. For a year and a half, I worked for Sidestone Press, an academic publisher. They are continuously engaged in improving their services in Open Access publishing.