Dr. Dinah Wouters

University of Groningen

E-mailadres: dinah.wouters@rug.nl

Website: https://www.rug.nl/staff/dinah.wouters/

Dinah Wouters is a postdoctoral researcher with the SECOPS project. She holds a PhD in Latin literature and is especially interested in the intersections between literature and the construction of knowledge. She has previously studied the use of allegory by the twelfth-century prophet Hildegard of Bingen, and  the impact of humanist biblical drama from the Low Countries through transregional circulation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Afbeelding Uit Corpus Agrorum Webpagina Dinah Wouters

Image from “Corpus Agrorum”

In the new project, she will turn to colonial paradigms and practices of the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic—a pivotal period marked by its swift ascent to imperial power. How did intellectuals, pedagogues, policymakers and pamphlet-writers engage with biblical and classical knowledge in developing and debating their own ideas on trade, colonialism, slavery, and empire? Latin sources have received much less attention in comparison to Dutch ones, but frequently testify to a more direct engagement with Roman political and legal discourses. Dinah’s research will shed light on some cases where theoretical constructs and ideological principles intersect with practical policymaking.

For instance, she translates a seventeenth-century commentary on Roman texts about land surveying and colonisation. The author, Willem Goes, was himself a director of the VOC for some years and was present in the highest political circles. The question is what role he saw for his highly learned tract in the Republic’s building of overseas power.