During the last decade, transnational literary studies try to overcome structures of ‘national’ literary historiography grounded in nineteenth-century state-building. Literary studies of early modern Europe (1500-1650) are being rewritten, but the intrinsic transnational impact of Neo-Latin literature, especially drama, has been overlooked. This is particularly unfortunate, since this omission has resulted in a distorted view of early modern literature in European languages.
This project aims at correcting this misrepresentation through an innovative, systematic analysis of the international network of Netherlandish Neo-Latin playwrights and the vital interaction between Latin theatre and a ‘transnational’ web of plays. A computational analysis of the Neo-Latin drama network, combined with a qualitative investigation of sources, will deepen our understanding of the concept, rationale and processes of transnationality and of the drama’s intended audiences. It will demonstrate that the impact of Netherlandish Neo-Latin theatre on European drama was in various ways essential for the development of vernacular drama, and that European drama was more cosmopolitan than assumed so far.
The project will be relevant in three ways: