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Bram van Leuveren


Supervisor: Dr Julia Prest

Education and experience

Bram van Leuveren holds a research master’s degree (cum laude) in Literary and Cultural Studies and an honours bachelor’s degree from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. He is currently a third-year PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the School of Modern Languages and a recipient of the 7th Century PhD Studentship from the University of St Andrews.

Bram came to St Andrews to enjoy the high standard of research and education in both history and modern language studies. He particularly appreciates the town’s warm community of postgraduate students.   

Doctoral research

In his PhD research, supervised by Dr Julia Prest, Bram focuses on the court festivals of late sixteenth and early seventeenth century France. Organised by the late Valois and early Bourbon kings, these festivals celebrated official state events such as betrothals, weddings, baptisms, and visits from foreign princes and ambassadors. They included two main types of event, namely diplomatic ceremonies and theatrical entertainments, including ballets, mock tournaments, and firework dramas, which often commented directly on the changing political situation in France and Europe. Bram is specifically interested in how the court festivals both supported and frustrated diplomatic negotiations within France, and between France and its most important associates in Europe: England, Spain, the Dutch Republic, the German States, and the Italian peninsula.

Bram has completed most of his archival research and expects to submit his PhD thesis by end 2017. His thesis is provisionally entitled: Spectacles of Diplomacy: French Festival Culture in a European Context, c1570-c1610.

Research trips

Bram has done research at a number of European archives, including the British Library in London, the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the Nationaal Archief in The Hague, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.


  • September – December 2016, University of St Andrews: ‘CO1001: The Nineteenth Century Novel of Adultery’, Department of Comparative Literature.
  • 5 October 2015: ‘Getting Critical’, afternoon workshop on critical thinking, part of the Academic Skills Programme of the School of Modern Languages.
  • September – January 2014, University of Groningen: Teaching assistant of Dr Danae Theodoridou. Biweekly classes for third-year undergraduate students on performance philosophy and practice-based research.

Academic Publications

  • Van Lissa, Caspar J., Marco Caracciolo, Thom van Duuren, and Bram van Leuveren. ‘Difficult Empathy: The Effect of Narrative Perspective on Reader’s Engagement with a First-Person Narrator’. In: DIEGESIS 5.1 (2016), 43-63.
  • Van Leuveren, Bram and Thom van Duuren. ‘Small Stories, Unfulfilled Narrative Scripts: Making Sense of the Experimental Theatre Performance the fault lines. In: Danswetenschap in Nederland / Dance Research in the Netherlands 8 (2015), 29-39.
  • Van Leuveren, Bram. ‘Essay’. In: PSi Manifesto Lexicon. Performance Studies International. Last modified: February 2014. (The PSi Manifesto Lexicon is currently offline, but a newly designed web version will be relaunched soon.)
  • Van Leuveren, Bram. ‘Dancing Spaces: Exploring and Performing Spatialization in Contemporary Dance’. In: Honours Review 1:2 (2013). Keywords ‘Choreography / Theater / Environment’.

Selected Extracurricular Activities

  • 27-29 October 2016, University of St Andrews: Co-organiser of international conference Dialogues of Power: Political (Re)presentations in the Arts (with Isabelle Gribomont and Tiran Manucharyan). Sponsored by the Honeyman Foundation and the School of Modern Languages at the University of St Andrews, among others. Keynote speakers included theatre scholar Professor Marvin Carlson (City University, New York) and dance historian Professor Margaret McGowan (University of Sussex).
  • October – December 2015: Organiser of postgraduate training programme ‘Studying Early Modern France: Archives, Texts, Images’, which provided specialist research training in the use and understanding of early modern French sources, taught by teachers across the university. The programme was awarded a GRADskills Innovation Grant from CAPOD at the University of St Andrews.
  • 11 December 2015 and 17 February 2016: Co-organiser of two-day workshop ‘Adaptation/Appropriation: Art across Media and Nations’ (with Tiran Manucharyan). Awarded with a GRADskills Innovation Grant from CAPOD, the workshop brought together both academic and practitioners, including American novelist Reif Larsen and English playwright Oliver Emanuel.
  • September 2015 – December 2016: Team member of Byre World, a weekly programme of cultural events organised by the School of Modern Languages at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews. Byre World aims to make the study of modern languages accessible to a wide audience of both students and locals.
  • January – December 2015: Co-organiser of monthly research seminars for PhD students from the School of Modern Languages (with Letizia Margherita, January – May 2015, and Anaïs Fusaro, September – December 2015). The seminars offer doctoral students a platform for presenting their research to peers and staff members.

Selected conference papers and other presentations

  • 27-29 October 2016: ‘Spectacles of Diplomacy: Power and Politics at the French Renaissance Court’ (Dialogues of Power: Political (Re)presentations in the Arts, St Andrews).
  • 18-20 July 2016: ‘Diplomacy and Spectatorship: Experiencing Verbal and Visual Stimuli in the Court Festivals of Renaissance France’ (Society for Renaissance Studies 7th Biennial Conference, Glasgow).
  • 23 June 2016: Selected presenter at the Summer School Doctoral Showcase of the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities in Glasgow. Bram’s presentation, which took the form of a multimedia installation, was fully funded.
  • 14-15 March 2016: ‘Mastering the Art of Hospitality: Receiving Dutch and English Embassies in the France of Henri III, January-March 1585’ (Centres of Diplomacy, Centres of Culture II: The English, French and Ottoman Courts, Oxford).
  • 2-4 July 2015: ‘"Un roi, une foi, une loi?" The Problem of Religious Diversity in the Parisian Court Festivals of Summer 1572’ (Annual Conference of the Society for Seventeenth-Century French Studies, St Andrews).
  • 28 May 2015: ‘Between "Public" and "Private": European Audiences of the French Court Festival’ (invited speaker at the afternoon workshop The Public in Early Modern Southern Europe organised by the School of History, St Andrews).
  • 5-6 March 2015: ‘Negotiating Difference: Catholics and Protestants at the Court Festival for the Marriage of Marguerite de Valois and Henri de Navarre’ (Splendid Encounters III: Annual Conference of the Premodern Diplomats Network, Florence).
  • 23-27 June 2014: ‘Narrativization across Media: "Making Sense" of the Experimental Theatre Performance the fault lines’, co-authored with Thom van Duuren (Narrative Matters 2014: Narrative Knowing/Récit et Savoir, Paris).

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Bram van Leuveren‌