Wouter Haverals

Perkins Postdoctoral Fellow

Wouter Haverals

Ph.D. Literature and Linguistics, University of Antwerp

Wouter Haverals is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center for Digital Humanities and a Perkins Fellow at the Humanities Council.

Wouter’s research explores innovative ways to address questions in the field of literary studies through the use of computational methods. In his doctoral research, he applied machine learning techniques to revisit a long-neglected question in traditional literary scholarship: what are the rhythmic characteristics of the atypical Middle Dutch poetic meter? More recently, he worked with Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) technology to shed light on a corpus of texts by medieval scribes in the Low Countries.

Wouter has written on rhythm and prosody in medieval contexts; medieval poetics; computational stylometry; digital scholarly editing; and children’s literature. He also devotes significant efforts to non-Western and historically under-resourced languages, serving on the technical council for the Erasmus+ project DigiPhiLit, which focuses on incorporating digital methodologies in the study of Hispanic-Filipino literature.

For his postdoctoral project, he plans to employ a distant reading perspective to the Princeton Prosody Archive (PPA). By extracting author names, references to literary works, and quoted passages, he seeks to analyze how these textbooks contribute to the canonical status of literary authors from classical antiquity to the early modern period, as well as their impact on shaping prosodic and rhythmic concepts.

Wouter defended his Ph.D. in Literature and Linguistics in January 2020 at the University of Antwerp, where he also served as a postdoctoral researcher. He has been a visiting scholar at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam and at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow.