Senior lecturer in medieval history
Medieval History. Territory. Nobility. Tournaments. Political representation. State formation. History of the Low Countries and Spain. Brabant. Gift-giving. Corruption. Stained glass windows. Paleography.
I studied History at the University of Leiden and in Santiago de Compostela and subsequently gained my PhD at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with the award of distinction of cum laude. I am the author of De staat van dienst. De gewestelijke ambtenaren van Holland en Zeeland in de Bourgondische periode (1425-1482) (Hilversum: Verloren, 2000) and Prelaten, edelen en steden. De samenstelling van de Staten van Brabant in de vijftiende eeuw (Brussels: Commission Royale d’Histoire, 2016).
I co-edited Bourgondië voorbij. De Nederlanden 1250-1650. Liber alumnorum Wim Blockmans (Hilversum: Verloren, 2010) (with Louis Sicking), and Political representation: communities, ideas and institutions in Europe (c. 1200 - c. 1650), (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2018) (with Jelle Haemers and Alastair Mann).
I have published widely on the cultural and socio-political history of the late medieval Low Countries in general, and on the nobility and tournaments in particular in journals such as Urban History, The English Historical Review, Journal of Medieval History and BMGN-Low Countries Historical Review.
The Joust as Performance: Pas d’armes and Late Medieval Chivalry.
Together with Rosalind Brown-Grant (PI, University of Leeds) I received an AHRC Research Networking Grant titled 'The joust as performance: Pas d’armes and Late Medieval chivalry'. The project aims at stimulating and expanding co-operation between researchers in different European and American universities, museums, and research institutions working on chivalric urban culture in general and on tournaments and pas d’armes in particular. Two workshops will be organized to build a network of specialized scholars as well as public engagement events comprising two round table sessions and two public lectures to be organized under the aegis of the International Medieval Congress (IMC) in Leeds as part of its outreach activities; these events will be aimed specifically at museum professionals interested in organizing exhibitions or re-enactments featuring the pas d’armes. Dissemination of the network’s findings will be via a collected volume of essays and a website hosting a varied database of research and teaching materials aimed at both specialist and non-specialist audiences. The project will run from October 2020 to September 2022.
Moreover, together with Brown-Grant I intend to publish in 2021 a book with Boydell & Brewer entitled A Chivalric Life: The Book of the Deeds of Jacques de Lalaing. The Book of the Deeds of Jacques de Lalaing is the biography of the most famous knight at the court of Burgundy during the reign of Duke Philip the Good. Written around 1470, the story of Lalaing’s great feats of arms was part-based on the heraldic reminiscences sent shortly after his untimely death in 1453 to the hero’s father by Jean Le Fèvre de St-Rémy, the Burgundian king of arms known as “Toison d’or”. We will juxtapose a new English translation of the biography with data from our own research concerning Lalaing’s role in the Burgundian household and army. Thus we will provide a fresh perspective on the nobleman who is generally considered to be the archetype of a Burgundian knight.
Imagining a territory. Constructions and representations of late medieval Brabant
This NWO funded project (2016-2020) analyses how the interaction between prince, nobles and urban elites influenced the construction, perception, and representation of a territory. The test case will be the late medieval Duchy of Brabant, which still has historical and territorial significance for many people in present-day Belgium and the Netherlands. To underscore the fluidity and multiplicity of the concept of territory, this project sets out to disentangle the divergent, though sometimes overlapping, conceptions of what exactly Brabant was (or should be) in the eyes of different political actors, in this time before the availability of reliable scale maps. To answer the main research question the project takes a twofold approach. On the one hand, we will define ducal, noble, and urban conceptions of Brabant mainly through administrative sources, particularly those of the fourteenth century that reflect a turning point in the capturing of territory. On the other hand, we will explicate how differently political actors envisaged and visualized territory in a wide range of relevant sources: architectural, heraldic, cartographic, narrative, and administrative. In this way, the project provides a completely new perspective on the concept of territory before cartography and state formation turned boundaries and territories into more fixed (but still changeable) geographical entities.