Visiting researchers

Circulating Gender in the Global Enlightenment: Ideas, Networks, Agencies (CIRGEN)

CIRGEN welcomes researchers from any country willing to work alongside CIRGEN’s research goals and main research lines. Visiting researchers, both scholars and PhD candidates, should count on own funding for both short and long-term stays with us.

This site includes the names and bios of CIRGEN visiting researchers.


Justine Wells. Associate Professor at New Mexico State University (March-April 2023)

Justine Wells is Associate Professor of rhetorical theory and cultural studies at New Mexico State University. She earned her PhD in rhetoric and cultural studies in 2015 at the University of South Carolina, and has served as a visiting scholar with the Centre de Recerca Teoria, Gènere, Sexualitat (ADHUC) at the University of Barcelona (2022). She is co-editor of Tracing Rhetoric and Material Life: Ecological Approaches (Palgrave, 2018), with additional work published in the journals Rhetoric Society QuarterlyWestern Journal of Communication, and Environmental Communication. Her publications investigate post-Civil War rhetorics of race, environment, and memory in the U.S. and their contemporary relevance, with a focus on W. E. B. Du Bois.

Her current book project, The Matter of Taste: Rhetoric, Flesh, and Sensory Emancipation, brings feminist, Black radical, and Marxian theory together to theorize the everyday practice of eating as a site of sensory emancipation, with a focus on contemporary taste practices that disrupt colonial legacies of rhetorical education in eighteenth-century Scotland.

At Universitat de València, she will undertake work on a new chapter for this book, titled “Haptic Time and Queer Taste,” which considers the work of U.S.-based chef, queer living history performer, and African American genealogist Michael Twitty. Building on feminist and decolonial scholarship on haptic perception, the chapter examines how Twitty’s culinary performances on former plantation grounds introduce a haptic sense of time that makes palpable the flesh of the past, and queers the optical, monumental temporality of plantation tourism that tends to sublimate such flesh.

Beatrijs Vanacker. Assistant Professor at KU Leuven (Jan-Feb 2022)

Beatrijs Vanacker is Assistant Professor of French Enlightenment Literature and Culture at KU Leuven. She studied comparative literature (French Italian) and translation history at KU Leuven. Her doctoral dissertation dealt with fictional representations of cultural identity and cultural transfer in eighteenth-century prose fiction (Brill, 2016). Between 2012 and 2019, she was an FWO postdoctoral researcher, with research fellowships at McGill University, Ludwig-Maximilian Universität München and Augsburg Universität. Her research interests include the (transcultural) history of early modern fiction, literary translation and authority construction in eighteenth-century women’s writing. She (co-)edited books and journal issues in the fields of authorship studies, translation studies and cultural history. Since 2019, she is a member of the Belgian Young Academy.

During her stay at Universitat de València, Beatrijs will work closely with the CIRGEN team members and Dr. Lieke Van Deinsen on a recently approved KU Leuven – funded project (“Found in Translation: Translators and the Construction of Literary Authority in theeighteenth-century Low Countries”) with a particular focus on women translators across Europe. You can follow Beatrijs on Twitter @beavanacker

David San Narciso. Juan de la Cierva-Formación. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

David San Narciso completed his PhD in Modern and Contemporary History at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2020). He is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Juan de la Cierva-Formación program of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. David works at the Universitat de València under the supervision of Isabel Burdiel. He received the XII Miguel Artola Prize for the best PhD thesis awarded by the Asociación de Historia Contemporánea and the Centro de Estudios Políticos y Constitucionales. He works on nineteenth-century Spanish political and cultural history. He focused on the court as an informal power network and the public rituality throughout the formation of the Spanish nation-state. He currently studies the historical construction of masculinity during the nineteenth century based on the liberal, bourgeois domesticity. He is coeditor La cuestión de Palacio. Corte y cortesanos en la España contemporánea (Comares, 2018) and Monarchy and liberalism in Spain. The building of the nation-state, 1780-1931 (Routlege, 2020). He has participated in several conferences and published articles in prestigious peer-review journals as AyerHispania, Historia y PolíticaHistorical Journal, or Nationalities Papers.

Francesca Antonelli. MSCA Fellow (January 2023-January 2025)

Francesca Antonelli is currently a MSCA Fellow at the Universitat de València, specializing in the history of science, material culture (with a particular focus on note-taking practices), and gender in the long eighteenth century. She was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bologna. In May 2021 she received a Joint PhD from the University of Bologna and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), with a thesis on Marie-Anne Paulze-Lavoisier (1758-1836) and Lavoisier’s laboratory notebooks, subject in which she has recently published the book Scrivere e sperimentare (Viella, 2022). She has coedited, with Antonella Romano and Paolo Savoia, the collective volume Gendered Touch. Women, Men and Knowledge-Making in Early Modern Europe (Brill, 2021) and has written on eighteenth-century chemistry and gender in/and science.

In January 2023 she joined the Universitat de València to work on the project “On the Spot: Materializing Knowledge, Gender, and Scientific Identities in Eighteenth-century Naturalists’ Travel Journals”, funded by HORIZON 2021 Framework Programme (HORIZON-MSCA-2021-PF-01, project no. 101064575). The project will be undertaken under the supervision of Prof. Mónica Bolufer and will study eighteenth-century naturalists travel journals from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining the material history of science, the history of travel, and gender history.

Freya Gowrley. MSCA Fellow (Freya has renounced her MSCA Fellowship after having been appointed on a permanent basis as Lecturer in History of Art at the University of Bristol)

Freya Gowrley is an art historian and a current Postdoctoral Fellow in History at the University of Derby, specialising in art and objects from the early modern period to the late nineteenth century. Previously, she was a Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art Postdoctoral Fellow, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, and a Visiting Lecturer in the University of Edinburgh’s History of Art department, where she received her PhD in 2016.

Her research focuses on the relationship between identity and visual and material culture in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and North America, exploring this connection through work on the home, the collaged object, and the body. Her monograph, Domestic Space in Britain, 1750-1840: Materiality, Sociability and Emotion, 1750-1840, is forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic in 2021. She has held short-term research fellowships at Yale Center for British Art, the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, the Huntington Library, the Harry Ransom Center, the University of St Andrews, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. You can follow Freya on Twitter @Freya_Gowrley

At Universitat de València, she will undertake work on her project “Composite Cultural Production: Transnational and Multidisciplinary Approaches to Pre-Modern Collage”. Freya’s project is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. Call: H2020-MSCA-IF-2020. Project: 101024473 — COLLAGE.

Lieke van Deinsen. Senior Postdoctoral Fellow (Jan-Feb 2022)

Lieke van Deinsen is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Art History and Dutch Literature at the KU Leuven (Faculty of Arts) and member of the Young Academy Flanders (Belgium).

In her interdisciplinary research, she combines her expertise in textual and literary analysis with a specialization in material and visual cultures, while using new, digital methods. Her two monographs illustrate Lieke’s interdisciplinarity. Her dissertation on processes of historical literary canon formation, which she defended at the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2017, is published as Literaire erflaters. Canonvorming in tijden van culturele crisis (Verloren 2017). As the Rijksmuseum’s Johan Huizinga Fellow, Lieke wrote the first volume for the Rijksmuseum Studies in History series: The Panpoëticon Batavûm. The Portrait of the Author as a Celebrity (Rijksmuseum 2016). In addition, she has held postdoctoral fellowships at the Scaliger Institute (Leiden University), the Vossius Center for the History of the Humanities, and the Netherlandish Research Organisation (NWO).
You can follow Lieke van Deinsen on Twitter @Liekevdeinsen

Her current project “A Face of One’s Own. Author portraits and the Shaping of Female Intellectual Authority in the Early Modern Period (1550-1800)” explores the construction and circulation of visual and textual representations of female authorship and intellectual authority across early modern Europe. During her stay at the CIRGEN research group, she will focus on the author portraits of learned women from Southern Europe. Lieke’s project is funded by the FWO (Research Foundation – Flanders) Project: 12ZT321N.

PhD Candidates

Javier Martínez Dos Santos, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (November 2021 – January 2022)

Sofía Agavo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (December 2021 – January 2022)

Marta I. Sánchez Vasco, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, UNED (20 May – 20 June 2023)

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Funded by: Horizon 2020/ERC-2017-Advanced Grant-787015 | @CIRGEN1