Photographer: onbekend

dr. S. (Stephan) Besser


  • Faculty of Humanities
    Capaciteitsgroep Nederlandse Letterkunde
  • Visiting address
    P.C. Hoofthuis
    Spuistraat 134  Room number: 4.32
  • Postal address:
    Spuistraat  134
    1012 VB  Amsterdam
  • S.Besser@uva.nl
    T: 0205254729

 

Stephan Besser is Assistant professor of Dutch Studies (Moderne Nederlandse letterkunde) at the UvA and coordinator of the ASCA research group 'Neuroaesthetics and Neurocultures'. He also serves as the program director of the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL).

Stephan's current research focuses on 'worldings' of the brain in contemporary neuroculture and the isomorphic imagination of shared patterns, homologies and resonances between between neural structures and the world at large. He studies these discourses and imageries in contemporary film, literature, social theory and works of (popular) neuroscience. In his current research, Stephan also explores notions of celebrality and psychopathology in Dutch literature and configurations of literature, science and culture in general. His previous work has been devoted to the cultural history of German colonialism and discourses of disease and madness in Dutch, German and Anglophone literature.

Parmentier "Neurocultuur"

 

Of we inderdaad ons brein 'zijn' is heftig omstreden, maar dat er tegenwoordig niet aan de hersenen  te ontsnappen valt, zal niemand tegenspreken. Met ongekende intensiteit en fascinatie wordt sinds een paar jaar in Nederland in de meest diverse contexten gesproken over de hersenen als biologisch substraat en ultieme bron van onze identiteit: van rechtsgeleerdheid tot politiek en van talkshows tot literatuur. De neurowetenschap lijkt daarbij de rol van master narrative te claimen dat een nieuw mensbeeld neerzet. Met dit dossier wil Parmentier  een bijdrage leveren aan de verkenning van het politieke, sociale en literaire leven van de hersenen. Het dossier bevat bijdragen van Jan Slaby, Stephan Besser, Toine Hovers, Patricia Pisters, Flora Lysen, Jan Lauwereyns, Leo Vroman, Frank Keizer en Han van der Vegt.

Pathographie der Tropen. Literatur, Medizin und Kolonialismus um 1900

 

This study analyses the imagination of the tropics as a space of disease, madness and infection in German colonial culture around 1900. It introduces the notion of the dispositive of tropical medicine ( tropenmedizinische Dispositiv) in order to describe the construction of disease entities such as Tropenkoller (tropical frenzy), tropical neurasthenia  and tropical fever as the result of interdiscursive exchanges between medicine, psychiatry, literature and various other discourses. The case studies include detailed analyses of the poetics of Tropenfieber in works by Robert Koch and Thomas Mann, the semantics and materialities of tropical neurasthenia and vitalist constructions of the tropics in the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and in expressionist poetry. Special attention is given to the discursive nexus of malaria, race and immunity in German tropical hygiene at the beginning of the 20th century. Methodologically, the study combines David Arnold's notion of 'tropicality' with insights from postcolonial studies and recent approaches to the poetics of knowledge.

Diaspora and Memory: Figures of Displacement in Contemporary Literature, Arts and Politics

 

Experiences of migration and dwelling-in-displacement impinge upon the lives of an ever increasing number of people worldwide, with business class comfort but more often with unrelenting violence. In the last decades, the political and cultural realities of global migration have led to a growing interest in the different forms of diasporic existence and identities. The articles in this book do not focus on the 'external' boundaries of diaspora - what is diasporic and what is not? - but on one of its most important 'internal' boundaries, which is indicated by the second term in the title of this book: memory. It is not by chance that the 'right' to remember, the 'responsibility' to recall, are central issues of the debates in diasporic communities and their relation to their cultural and political surroundings. The relation of diaspora and memory contains important critical and maybe even subversive potentials. Memory can transcend the territorial logic of dispersal and return, and emerge as a competing source of diasporic identity. The articles in this volume explore how, shaped by the responsibilities of testimony as well as by the normalizing forces of amnesia and forgetting and political interests, memory is a performative, figurative process rather than a secure space of identity. Authors include: Carol Bardenstein, Andreas Huyssen, Marianne Hirsch, Silke Horstkotte, EstherPeeren, Soko Phay-Vakalis and Sylvie Rollet.

2017

  • Besser, S. (2017). How Patterns Meet: Tracing the Isomorphic Imagination in Contemporary Neuroculture. Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology, 25(4), 415-445.
  • Besser, S., & van Dijk, Y. (2017). Kafka on the Gulf: Male Identity, Space, and Globalization in Dave Eggers's 'A Hologram for the King' and Arnon Grunberg's 'The Man without Illness'. Comparative Literature, 69(1), 111-128. DOI: 10.1215/00104124-3794641  [details] 

2016

  • Besser, S. (2016). Calling Gaia: World Brains and Global Memory. In S. Groes (Ed.), Memory in the Twenty-First Century: New Critical Perspectives from the Arts, Humanities and Sciences. (pp. 70-75). Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137520586_9  [details] 

2015

  • Besser, S. (2015). Mixing Repertoires: Cerebral Subjects in Contemporary Dutch Neurological Fiction. In J. Grave, R. Honings, & B. Noak (Eds.), Illness and Literature in the Low Countries: From the Middle Ages until the 21st Century (pp. 253-272). Göttingen: V&R unipress. DOI: 10.14220/9783737005203.253  [details] 

2013

  • Besser, S. (2013). Pathographien der Tropen. Literatur, Medizin und Kolonialismus um 1900. (Studien zur Kulturpoetik; No. 14). Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. [details] 
  • Besser, S. (2013). From the Neuron to the World and Back: The Poetics of the Neuromolecular Gaze in Bart Koubaa's Het gebied van Nevski and James Cameron's 'Avatar'. Journal of Dutch Literature, 4(2). [details] 
  • Besser, S., & Vaessens, T. (2013). Digital Humanities: the Next Big Thing? Enkele notities bij een ontluikend debat. Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde, 129(4), 191-204. [details] 

2006

  • Besser, S., Baronian, M. A., & Jansen, Y. (2006). Introduction: Diaspora and Memory. Figures of Displacment in Contemporary Literature, Arts and Politics. Thamyris / Intersecting, 13, 9-16.

2002

  • Besser, S. (2002). Germanin. Pharmazeutische Signaturen des deutschen (Post) Kolonialismus. In A. Honold, & O. Simons (Eds.), Kolonialismus als Kultur. Literatur, Medien, Wissenschaft in der deutschen Gründerzeit des Fremden. (pp. 167-195). Tübingen/Basel: Francke. [details] 

2013

  • Besser, S. (2013). Benaderingen. In J. Rock, G. Franssen, & F. Essink (Eds.), Literatuur in de wereld: handboek moderne letterkunde. (pp. 97-163). Nijmegen: Vantilt. [details] 
  • Franssen, G., & Besser, S. (2013). Macht. In J. Rock, G. Franssen, & F. Essink (Eds.), Literatuur in de wereld: handboek moderne letterkunde (pp. 166-194, 250). Nijmegen: Vantilt. [details] 

2004

  • Besser, S. (2004). Die Organisation des kolonialen Wissens - 10 Okt. 1902: In Berlin tagt der erste Deutsche Kolonialkongress. In K. R. Scherpe, & A. Honold (Eds.), Mit Deutschland um die Welt. Eine Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte des Fremden in der Kolonialzeit. (pp. 300-309). Stuttgart: Metzler.
  • Besser, S. (2004). Die hygienische Eroberung Afrikas - 9. Juni 1898: Robert Koch hält seine Vortrag 'Ärztliche Beobachtungen in den Tropen'. In K. R. Scherpe, & A. Honold (Eds.), Mit Deutschland um die Welt. Eine Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte des Fremden in der Kolonialzeit. (pp. 217-225). Stuttgart: Metzler.
  • Besser, S. (2004). Schauspiele der Scham - Juli 1896: Peter Altenberg gesellt sich im Wiener Tiergarten zu den Aschanti. In K. R. Scherpe, & A. Honold (Eds.), Mit Deutschland um die Welt. Eine Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte des Fremden in der Kolonialzeit. (pp. 200-208). Stuttgart: Metzler.
  • Besser, S. (2004). Tropenkoller - März 1904: Freispruch für Prinz Prosper von Arenberg. In K. R. Scherpe, & A. Honold (Eds.), Mit Deutschland um die Welt. Eine Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte des Fremden in der Kolonialzeit. (pp. 300-309)
  • Besser, S. (2004). Zwischen Land und Meer - August 1901: Die Woermann-Linie fährt in 30 Tagen nach Swakopmund. In K. R. Scherpe, & A. Honold (Eds.), Mit Deutschland um die Welt. Eine Literatur- und Kulturgeschichte des Fremden in der Kolonialzeit. (pp. 264-270). Stuttgart: Metzler.

2003

  • Besser, S. (2003). Mynheer Peeperkorn's Fever. Arcadia, 2, 257-264. [details] 
  • Besser, S. (2003). Tropenkoller. The Interdiscursive Poetics of a German Colonial Syndrome. In G. Rousseau, & M. Gill (Eds.), Framing and Imagining Disease in Cultural History. (pp. 303-320). Londen: Palgrave Macmillan. [details] 

2017

  • Besser, S. (2017). Gewaar van het lichaam, gewaar van de wereld. Vooys, Vooys(1/2), 97-100.

2016

  • Besser, S. (2016). De server droomt van rookworst: Over 'Ben' van Erik Nieuwenhuis. De Reactor.

2014

  • Besser, S. (2014). Turns en verstrengelingen: gedachten over de toekomst van de interdisciplinaire literatuurwetenschap aan de hand van William Gibsons 'Pattern Recognition'. Vooys, 32(3), 6-14. [details] 
  • Besser, S. (2014). [Bespreking van: L. Bernaerts (2011) De retoriek van waanzin: taalhandelingen, onbetrouwbaarheid, delirium en de waanzinnige ik-verteller]. Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde, 130(1), VI-VIII. [details] 

2013

  • Besser, S. (2013). [Bespreking van: F. Mildenberger (2012) Medizinische Belehrung für das Bürgertum: Medikale Kulturen in der Zeitschrift 'Die Gartenlaube' (1853-1944)]. TS : Tijdschrift voor Tijdschriftstudies, 34, 175-177. DOI: URN:NBN:NL:UI:10-1-114150  [details] 

2012

  • Besser, S. (2012). Neurocultuur: een kleine verkenning. Parmentier, 21(1), 21-30. [details] 

2010

  • Besser, S. (2010). [Review of: V.M. Langbehn (2010) German colonialism, visual culture, and modern memory]. German Studies in India, NF, 2, 197-200. [details] 

Others

  • Besser, Stephan (organiser), Keestra, M. (organiser), Pisters, P.P.R.W. (organiser) & Kiverstein, J.D. (organiser) (16-11-2016): Predictive Processing as an Interdisciplinary Concept (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
  • Besser, S. (organiser), Keestra, Machiel (organiser), Kiverstein, J.D. (organiser), Lysen, F.C. (organiser) & Pisters, P.P.R.W. (organiser) (17-3-2016 - 19-3-2016): Worlding the Brain: Patterns and Rhythms in Neuroscience and the Humanities, Amsterdam (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library  or the Pure staff  of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure  to edit your publications.

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