- Kasper Swerts
- Canadian Studies School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
- Edinburgh UK EH111HB
- Research Interests
- Canada, nationalism, Historiography, Philosophy of history, Quebec, Flanders, Belgium, Modern History, Transnational History
"Vetera Novis Augere": Nationalism, Neo-thomism and Historiography in Quebec and Flanders (1900-1945)
Dr James Kennedy
Prof Ewen Cameron
My PhD is a historiographical analysis of nationalist historians in Quebec (French Canada) and Flanders during the first half of the twentieth century, primarily the interwar period. The research focuses on three main issues. First, it argues that there is a historical and historiographical connection between Flemish and French-Canadian nationalist historians during this period by focusing on the importance of the Catholic University of Leuven in the training and formation of French-Canadian and Flemish historians. Secondly, it argues that this shared historiographical tradition was characterized by the Neo-thomist philosophy then prominent at the Catholic University of Leuven. By referring to the Neo-thomist jargon, this research is able to shed new light and explain some of the historiographical issues that marked nationalist historians of both regions during this period. Lastly, this research further explores two main concepts of Neo-thomism (congruence religion and science, teleology or human freedom), showing that different contextual factors infleunced the historiographical practices of both regions during this period, thus illustrating the malleability of these Neo-thomist concepts in the nationalist and Catholic world.
M.A. Cultural History since 1750, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (2012-2013)
B.A. Modern History, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (2009-2012)
Edinburgh School of Social and Political Science Graduate School Scholarship (2014-2016)
Association for Low Countries Studies Essay Prize for Low Countries Studies (2016)
- Title: A Flemish Nozdormu? Teleology and Philosophy of history in the writings of Hendrik Jozef Elias
- “Een vergeten connectie: katholicisme, nationalisme en historiografie in Vlaanderen en Quebec (1900-1945),” Contemporanea 3 (2016). (http://www.contemporanea.be/nl/article/2016-3-review-nl-swerts)
- “A Flemish Nozdormu? Teleology and Philosophy of history in the writings of Hendrik Jozef Elias,” Dutch Crossing (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03096564.2017.1349255)
- “A forgotten connection. The influence of the Catholic University of Leuven and neo-Thomism on Quebec nationalism (1900-1960),” Forthcoming publication in KADOC Studies on Religion, Culture and Society, (Leuven University Press).
- “Analyse van enkele trends in de historiografie van Quebec en Vlaanderen in de tweede helft van de twintigste eeuw,” Wetenschappelijke Tijdingen (Forthcoming)
- “Comparative Analysis of Neo-Thomist Chemistry and interwar Quebec Nationalist Historiography”, (In Preparation).
- "Providence and Human Freedom in Nationalist Historiography" (In Preparation).
- Swerts, Kasper. “Un Historiographe radical? The changing image of Lionel Groulx in a transforming Quebec society (1960-2010).” Paper presented at the Quebec as a Radical Space Conference, Edinburgh, March 24, 2014.
- Swerts, Kasper. “Scientific artist or professeur de fierté? Nationalistic historiography and the notion of scientific history in interwar Flanders and Quebec.” Paper presented at the annual meeting for the British Association for Canadian Studies, London, April 23-25, 2015.
- Swerts, Kasper. “An underestimated element? The notion of coincidence in the Flemish nationalistic historiography during the interwar period.” Paper presented at the Nations, history and comparison: a conference on historical sociology and the study of nationalism, Edinburgh, May 14-15, 2015.
- Swerts, Kasper. “When what had to happen, did not happen: the concept of teleology in nationalistic historiography in interwar Quebec and Flanders.” Paper at the annual meeting for the British Association for Canadian Studies, London, April 21-23, 2016.
- Swerts, Kasper. “The Road Not Taken: Teleology and Philosophy of history in the writings of Flemish historian Hendrik Jozef Elias.” Paper at the annual meeting for the British Association for Low Countries Studies, Dublin, June 29-30, 2016.
- Co-organizer International Conference entitled “Federalism in Antiquity and Today: A Continuing Story?”, Edinburgh, September 14-16, 2017.
- A forgotten connection. The influence of the Catholic University of Leuven and neo-Thomism on interwar Quebec nationalism. Paper presenting at the International Workshop "Neo-Thomism in Action: Law and Society reshaped by Neo-Scholastic Philosophy, 1880-1960," Leuven, 8-10 October, 2017