My name is Sarah De Mul. I am Professor of Culture, Literature and Diversity at the Open University in the Netherlands.

At the OU I am currently directing a new multidiscplinary Diversity and Inclusion teaching and research programme and am co-leader of the OU Multidisciplinary Burnout Research Consortium. I am also board member of the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies 

Oorden en woorden

@Alia Serouji

I received a Ph.D at the University of Amsterdam (2007) and subsequently held a NWO Rubicon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Leiden (2008), a FWO-Postdoctoral Fellowship at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2008-2012) and I was Guestprofessor at Ghent University (2013-2014).

Previous involvements and affiliations include with Universiteit Antwerpen (Postcolonial Literatures Research Group), as co-organiser with The Platform for Postcolonial Readings, as board member with PEN Flanders (2013-2018).

My publications and research interests are situated at the intersection of literary and cultural criticism and comparative postcolonial and gender studies with a particular focus on literatures in Dutch and English. Projects have explored adaptations of postcolonial theory in the Low Countries, ethnic minority writing in Flanders and European (colonial) writing about Africa/the Congo. For my work on multiculturalism and Dutch and Flemish literature, I received the scientific prize 2014 granted by KANTL, the Ghent-based Royal Academy for Dutch Language and Literature.

I was on medical leave from November 2018 to June 2020 due to stress-related illness, a life and perspective changing experience, which turned me into a firm believer of slow science and the value of making failures visible, especially in academia. I am currently exploring the role of art, care and resilience in the age of stress and burnout, particularly in relation to their gendered, racial and ecological dimensions. My failed attempts to receive funding for this project so far include a first rejected and then in 2021 awarded Ph.D research application at the OU multidiscplinary research programme Innovating for Resilience and a rejected New Fair Idea in a call organised by Kunstenpunt. In October 2020 I was successful in being selected for a one-week writing residence at Huis van de Dichter in Watou, although so far I did not find the time to pursue this writing project further.

In the past I was the recipient of  an NWO internationalisation in the Humanities grant for setting up and coordinating the international research project entitled  “The Congo Free State across Media, Language, Culture,” (2013-2017) carried out in collaboration with Stephen Donovan (Uppsala University), Robert Burroughs (Leeds Metropolitan University) and The Research Institute of the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren). Please have a look at the NWO network website

Apart from my academic research, I wrote Retour San Sebastian. Opgroeien met een vaderland in de verte, a memoir about the Basque city of Donostia-San Sebastian in which I search for my daughter’s connection to the Basque Country, cultural heritage and language and in doing so, try to explore broader questions about the emotional force of narratives and the power of culture to divide and unite (De Bezige Bij, 2017). The book was nominated for the VPRO Bob den Uyl prijs, the prize for best literary travel book of 2017.

Previously I wrote a study of issues of colonialism and memory in contemporary women’s travel writing (Colonial Memory, Amsterdam University Press, 2011) and a Dutch-language monograph on multiculturalism in Flanders entitled Een leeuw in een kooi. (Meulenhoff-Manteau, 2009, with K. Arnaut, S. Bracke, B. Ceuppens, N. Fadil; M. Kanmaz). I am co-editor of Commitment and Complicity in Cultural Theory and Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, with B. O. Firat and S. van Wichelen), Literature, Language, and Multiculturalism in Scandinavia and the Low Countries (Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2013, with W. Behschnitt and L. Minnaard) and The Postcolonial Low Countries (Lexington Books, 2012, with E. Boehmer).

Welcome to this website and thank you for your interest in my activities! Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries.