Zoë Van Cauwenberg is a PhD candidate in history at Ghent University and literary studies at KU Leuven. In Ghent, she can be found at the history department and is part of the research group GEMS.
Her passion for the past brought her to Ghent University to pursue a degree in history. She obtained her master in 2017 with a dissertation on Renaissance alchemy. Although her interest in research was already incited, she decided to follow her heart back to English literature. Opting for a study that allowed her to combine her background as a historian with literary studies, she gained an MA in historical linguistics and literature from that same university in 2020.
An interest in Scotland and Romanticism led her to Leuven, where she is currently working on a joint PhD with Ghent University. In the FWO-funded project, History as Fairy-ground: Scottish and Irish Female Voices and the Gothic Imagination, she navigates the fragile boundaries between historiography and literary production in the Romantic period (c. 1780-1830). Her research focuses on how female authors use the Gothic aesthetic to reimagine the cultural and national past. She examines the connections between cultural nationalism, literature and historiography as imagined by female authors.
Questions about modernization, meaning making, canon-formation and gender are central to her research. Broader research interests include British Romantic literature, intellectual and cultural history, romance tradition, gender studies, renaissance alchemy, manuscript studies and creative writing.