Feike Dietz (1984) is full professor in ‘Global Dynamics of Dutch Literature’ at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the relationship between early modern texts, knowledge and reading, with special attention for youth, women and girls. She has published a monograph on the creation of young readers and literacy in eighteenth-century children’s books: Lettering Young Readers in the Dutch Enlightenment: Literacy, Agency and Progress in Eighteenth-Century Children’s Books (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). Empirical learning practices of early modern youths are discussed in a thematic issue of Science in Context which she edited with Sven Dupré: Youthful Minds and Hands: Learning Practical Knowledge in Early Modern Europe (2019). Together with Nina Geerdink, she investigates how the knowledge and skills of early modern writing women are defined in the paratexts of their publications. This research recently resulted in ‘Women’s Strength Made Perfect in Weakness’, published in Portraits & Poses: Female Intellectual Authority, Agency and Authorship in Early Modern Europe (Beatrijs Vanacker and Lieke van Deinsen, Leuven UP 2022, Open Access).
Her research on knowledge, youth and women has been partly conducted within the interdisciplinary research project 'Global Knowledge Society'. During Spring 2020, Feike was a NIAS-fellow in the theme group Understanding Knowledge in the Low Countries (1500-1900). In 2018, she participated in the NIAS theme group ‘Knowledge and the Market’. The team efforts resulted in Early Modern Knowledge Societies as Affective Economies (Inger Leemans and Anne Goldgar, Routledge 2020).
Feike is also a project leader of the NWO Vrije Competitie Project 'Language Dynamics in the Dutch Golden Age' (together with Marjo van Koppen). In this project, literary and linguistics aspects of language variation are analysed from an interdisciplinary perspective. One of the PhD’s in this project, Cora van de Poppe, succesfully defended her PhD thesis on the rethorical and literary effects of verb variation in seventeenth-century prose (2022).
Feike is editor and co-founder of the journal Early Modern Low Countries. She is editor of Litlab, a digital laboratory for literature education at secondary schools, and chairs the content group Eighteenth Century of Literatuurgeschiedenis.org. She regularly publishes on literature education, and on learning practices and images of youth in our contemporary world. In 2019 and 2020, Feike (together with Laurens Ham) analysed the imagination of childhood in the more than 500 songtexts of the famous Dutch children’s choir ‘Kinderen voor Kinderen’. This research was substantively discussed in Dutch news media.
Between 2007 and 2011, Feike worked on her PhD project about the interconfessional exchange of illustrated religious literature in the Dutch Republic. This topic has been the focus of several of her articles and her book Literaire levensaders. Internationale uitwisseling van woord, beeld en religie in de Republiek (Literary Lifelines. The international exchange of Word, Image and Religion in the Dutch Republic) (Verloren, 2012). Moreover, she edited the volume Illustrated Religious Texts in the North of Europe, 1500-1800 (Ashgate 2014).
Between 2011 and 2022, Feike was an Assistant Professor in Early modern Dutch literature at Utrecht University. She was coordinator of the interdisciplinary bachelor programme Language and Culture Studies (Taal- en Cultuurstudies) and the Research Master Dutch Literature and Culture. She also taught at the University for Applied Sciences in Utrecht, Master Teacher Education in Dutch.