The literary radio play in the Low Countries (1960 - 2000). Form, function, and innovation

Het literaire hoorspel in de Lage Landen (1960 - 2000). Vorm, functie en vernieuwing
Start - End 
2016 - 2020 (ongoing)
Department of Literary Studies
Research Period 
Research Region 
Research Language 
Additional tags 
Audio drama
Narrative analysis



The project focuses on the postwar literary radio play in the Low Countries (Flanders and the Netherlands), a clearly defined region where the literary radio play has constantly been kept alive as a tradition in the period 1960-2000 and where it was inspired in interesting ways by the traditions in surrounding countries. The general aim of this project is to analyse the form and functioning of the postwar literary radio play, focusing on innovations in narrative composition. In particular, the project investigates how audio drama develops new methods (specific to this medium) of deploying semiotic systems for narrative meaning-making (for exampe, the multiplication of voices, associational montage, or anti-mimetic use of stereophony). 

Three distinct angles are instrumental in addressing the project's central issues (form, fuctioning, innovation):

  • Contexts: Research in the archives of the national broadcasting services and in the literary archival institutions will serve to map the contexts of production, consumption, and distribution regarding the selected corpus. 
  • Poetics: What kinds of narrative and stylistic procedures were used in the project's radio plays and how are they related to the innovation in written narratives by the same author?
  • Medium: Which medium-specific possibilities, constraints, and affordances of the radio play are exploited by the corpus? 


Phd Student(s)



Inge Arteel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel