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I am a senior research fellow at the University of Huddersfield with a special interest in material culture, gender history and history of humanitarianism.

In my current project, recently awarded with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship, I focus on humanitarian organisations who saved the renowned Belgian lace industry in the First World War, while simultaneously ensuring the wartime employment of Belgian lacemakers in German-occupied Belgium and among Belgian refugees in Holland, France and the UK. The produced lace became known as war lace, as its unique iconography referred directly to the conflict.

I started this multidisciplinary and transnational research in the academic year 2018-19 as a Fulbright and honorary Belgian American Educational Foundation scholar at Columbia University and continued it a year later as an academic visitor at the University of Oxford. For my postdoctoral research, I additionally received a one-year postdoctoral mandate by KU Leuven and a travel grant by the Hoover Presidential Foundation.

Prior to this, I completed my PhD in Art History (KU Leuven, Belgium, 2018). My forthcoming book Adellijk & artistiek. Amateurkunstenaressen met blauw bloed in België (1815-1914) shows how the amateur arts were a powerful instrument to create one's own identity, a place in a network and tangible memories. Aristocratic amateur women artists in Belgium in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries served as a case study. The book has been awarded with the Prize 2021 of the Fonds Keingiaert de Gheluvelt. 

Besides my academic research, I curated the exhibitions Vrouwen met stijl. Penseelprinsessen in Hingene (Belgium, Kasteel d’Ursel, 2013) and Romantic Landscapes. Marie de Flandre (Belgium, Royal Palace, 2015).

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Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • humanitarianism
  • First World War
  • material culture
  • social history
  • cultural history
  • craft history
  • textile history
  • women's history


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