Conveners

Madelon Nanninga-Franssen

Madelon recently finished her MA degree at the University of Groningen. She studied American Studies, as well as Writing, Editing, and Mediating. During her studies, she completed the university’s Honours College, focusing specifically on the role of religion in the public domain. Furthermore, she went on a foreign exchange, which allowed her to study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for one semester. Her research focuses on biographies within their social contexts. In her MA thesis, From Poet-Naturalist to Radical Dissenter, Madelon compared three biographies written about Henry David Thoreau during three different time periods. By pointing out the myriad ways biographers construct a life story that reflects the biographer’s own cultural setting, she was able to conclude that biographies are true products of their time. Madelon is especially interested in studying the biographer’s authorial decisions, interpretations, and place within a historical context.

Hans Renders

Hans is the director of the Biography Institute and holds a chair in History and Theory of Biography; vice president of the Biography Society; editor-in-chief of the book series Biography Studies (Brill); editor at ZL. Literary-historical magazine; book critic for Het Parool; he provides a monthly column on biography with his ‘Leven in Letters’, which can be heard every third Sunday of
the month on the radio program Met het Oog op Morgen; he is member of the Board of Stichting Het Biografisch Portaal van
Nederland; member of the Board Biographer’s International Organization (BIO); member of the board De Nederlandse Biografieprijs; member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography (Vienna); member of the Best Biography Awards committee for bio
Best Biography of the Year (Plutarch Award 2018).

Hans publishes on theory and biography, e.g. Theoretical Approaches to Biography (with Binne de Haan, Brill, Boston/Leiden 2014) and The Biographical Turn, Lives in History (with Binne de Haan and Jonne Harmsma, Routledge, London/New York 2017); he published two full-length biographies (Jan Hanlo, 1998), Jan Campert (2004) and is now working on the biography of Theo van Doesburg (in collaboration with Sjoerd van Faassen).

David Veltman

David works as a PhD student at the Biography Institute (University
of Groningen) on a biography of the Flemish artist Felix de Boeck (1898-1995). In his biography, questions will be raised about his relation to the avant-garde of his time. At an early age, De Boeck decided to earn his living as a farmer, in order to be independent
from art galleries and museums. This decision will be used as a framework to examine the way his artistic development was of influence to the evolution of his political views. Special attention will be given to how biography can show the interface between the artist’s self-representation and the shifting place of the
artist in society. Together with Hans Renders, David wrote the yearly report for the Netherlands in the International Year in Review issue of the journal
Biography (2017).

David has a Master’s degree in Dutch modern literature. After graduating in
2005, he worked eight years in the Haarlem based auction house Bubb Kuyper.
There he specialized in Dutch private presses and fine printing. He is freelance
reporter for the Dutch artist’s magazines Atelier and kM (Artist’s Material).