Redefining the Region, subproject 2: Local Colour Fiction in Flanders and the Netherlands, 1851-1914: Transnational Perspectives


Anneloek Scholten (PhD Candidate)

Time frame

February 2020 - January 2024

Project description

The Netherlands saw an upsurge of literary interest in regional customs and identities in the mid-nineteenth century. Nineteenth-century regional literature—or local colour fiction—has often been read in the context of the rise of nationalism. While this has undoubtedly impacted regional literature, regional literature was also deeply embedded in transnational practices, both in the nineteenth-century literary field and in society. Local colour fiction was widely read and translated, and frequently engaged with themes such as tourism, (economic) migration, and international trade. This research project therefore approaches nineteenth-century Dutch local colour fiction from a transnational perspective, considering its circulation and reception across borders and its reflection on transnational relationships and interactions in the contemporary region. It studies the contemporary discourse surrounding regionalism in fiction, and focuses on themes such as travel and tourism, language and translation, economic exchange, and the role of religion. By focusing on the transnational dynamics of as well as within local colour fiction, this project aims to contribute to an awareness of the (productive) frictions between the regional, national and global in the literary imagination of place in the Dutch nineteenth century.

Authors featured in this project include:

J.J. Cremer; C. Van Schaick; Emile Seipgens; H.H.J Maas; Josef Cohen

Afbeelding4 Afbeelding5

(Jacob Jan Cremer, “Kerk bij een Rivier” (1844).; Marie Gijsen, Uit het Hart van Brabant  (Amsterdam: C.L. van Langenhuysen, 1911).)


Nineteenth century, regionalism, regional identity, rural culture, farmers, dialect fiction


Chris Cusack and Anneloek Scholten, Boerenliefdes en buitenstaanders: Hoe bijzonder is streekliteratuur? Drongo Talenfestival online, 2020. Available on vimeo:


Part of ‘’Redefining the Region: The Transnational Dimensions of Local-Colour” (P.I. Prof. Marguérite Corporaal)


Anneloek Scholten,