After obtaining a bachelor degree in social work (1994) and a bachelor and master degree in Chinese Studies (1998), and following an intensive course in modern Chinese at Sichuan University (1999), I started to work as a freelance trainer of Chinese culture and interpreter/translator in companies (Alcatel, Bayer, BASF) and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Later, I worked for three years for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs as chief representative of the Netherlands Business Support Office in the North of China (Shenyang). In this period, I became very fascinated by the rapid social changes in China and by the way Chinese people deal with them. At the same time, these three years immensely increased my insight into and intuitive sense of Chinese cultural patterns, behavior, and nuances, vital for understanding the characteristically Chinese cultural, social and psychological phenomena that I study now. After my long working experience in China, I took up a teaching and research assignment at the Department of Eastern Languages and Cultures of Ghent University, where I obtained my PhD with a thesis on the popular saying Nande hutu (‘It is difficult to be muddled’) and ‘The art of being muddled’ in contemporary Chinese society (public defence in 2012). My research now mainly deals with the philosophical, psychological and sociological dimensions of Chinese philosophies of life related to (non-)wisdom, happiness and wellbeing. My broader research interests focus on health strategies and indigenous psychology, from the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy, and how they are interpreted in contemporary society. In 2014, I joined the Brussels Diplomatic Academy - VUB as a guest lecturer for the course 'Dealing with China: Intercultural management issues'. I still regularly visit China to keep in touch with the fast and often disorienting societal changes.
At the Department of Chinese Studies at Ghent University:
Bachelor Chinese Studies:
- listening comprehension, grammar exercises, reading comprehension, newspaper reading, practical Chinese (manuals, contracts, job application), legal texts (modern Chinese)
Master Chinese Studies:
- guidance and reading commissioner master dissertations
At the Department of Special Needs Education:
course on body-based practices in working with youth.
Occasional courses at the university on intercultural communication and corporate culture-leadership styles with a focus on China.
Previously, I also taught the postgraduate course on 'Dealing with China: Intercultural Management Issues'
at the Brussels Diplomatic Academy of the VUB (Brussels).