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dr. Klazina Staat

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Art and Culture, History, Antiquity

Assistant Professor, CLUE+

Personal information
  • Assistant professor of Latin language and literature and Roman cultural history (VU) (parttime, since 2021)
  • Postdoctoral researcher (2021-2024, parttime) within the research project 'Total Devotion: Passions and Plots in Radical Religions in the Ancient World', funded by the Research Fund Denmark at the University of Southern-Denmark, Odense (Denmark).

My research interests include: 

Latin in the European tradition • classical, late antique, and early medieval literatures and their receptions • Latin and Greek hagiography and patristics • travel literature • gender and female authorship • texts in their socio-cultural and material contexts • mountains and the view from above • human-nature relations • text and image • medieval art and books • ancient and modern literary theory • narratology and ecocriticism

My PhD dissertation (2014-2018) focused on concepts of belief in late antique hagiography, especially stories about chaste couples. The research was conducted within the framework of the ERC-project 'Novel Saints', led by Koen De Temmerman at Ghent University.

Subsequently, I received a junior postdoc grant from the Research Foundation– Flanders (FWO) to conduct the research project ‘Tours on Paper. Literary Explorations of the Travel Guidebook (Itinerarium) in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages’ at Ghent University, Belgium (2019-2021). My research focused on the interplay the textual content and material form of pilgrimage guidebooks to the Holy Land and Rome, as well as their function in the monastic context of use (as meditational aids and instruments of imaginary travelling).

Currently I am working as a postdoctoral researcher within the project 'Total Devotion: Passions and Plots in Radical Religion in the Ancient World', led by Laura Feldt at the University of Southern Denmark-SDU and funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark (2021-2023). My project explores ideals of total devotion and the narrativisation of radical religion in late antique Latin hagiographical traditions, in particular literature about desert saints and Lerinian hagiography.

As part of my apointment at VU University, I am developing a research project on the meaning and representation of mountains in postclassical Latin travel literature and hagiography and other premodern traditions (both literature and art). Taking an ecocritical approach, I am interested in the construction of human-nature relationships, as well as the imaginative aspects and ideological connotations of the 'view-from-above'. In the academic year 2022-2023 I designed and taught a course devoted to these topics: Text and Matter: The Meaning and Representation of Mountains in Antiquity' (part of the Research Master programme 'Classics and Ancient Civilizations' at VU University).


Currently I am teaching in the various programmes offered by the Amsterdam Centre for Ancient Studies and Archaeology-ACASA, a collaborative initiative of VU University and the University of Amsterdam:

  • BA in Classics
  • BA in Ancient Studies
  • MA and Research MA in Classics and Ancient Civilizations
  • Research MA in Classics and Ancient Civilizations

In addition, I contribute to courses in the BA HIstory and the Research MA in Humanities at VU University.

I have taught the following courses at VU/ACASA:

  • Canon 1: The Heritage of Antiquity (BA1)
  • Canon 2: The Sociology of Cultural Selection (BA2)
  • Ancient History 2: The Roman World (BA1)
  • Historical Sources (BA1)
  • Latijnse literatuur uit de late oudheid en middeleeuwen (BA 2)
  • Elementary Latin 1 and 2 (elective)
  • Basiscursus Latijn 1 (elective)
  • Religion and Society: From Constantine to Muhammad (MA)
  • Core Course Text and Matter: The Meaning and Representation of Mountains (Research MA)
Ancillary activities
  • Stichting Oudchristelijke Studiën | Utrecht | Bestuurder | 2021-03-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

dr. Klazina Staat