Dr. Jasper Schelstraete is an FWO postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Literary Studies, Ghent University (2016-2019). His work focuses on the role of print culture in imagining and conceptualizing global markets and finance.
In August 2014 he defended his doctoral dissertation entitled “The Atlantic Between Them: Dickens, Melville, and Nationality in the Transatlantic Market,” which argued that trans-Atlantic literary authorship of the nineteenth century must be read in the context of the burgeoning global marketplace. New economic structures like limited liability joint-stock companies lowered the threshold for transatlantic investors, but it was the print sphere that capitalized on them. Authorship came to inform the new notion of investor confidence, thereby creating an opportunity for stockjobbers and venture capitalists to create (and manipulate) strong transnational markets through texts.
As a Belgian American Educational Foundation postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University (2014-2015), Dr. Schelstraete investigated the importance of an informal Harvard-based coterie in the nineteenth-century International Copyright Question. The members of this group formed local markers in the ideologically laden copyright question and fundamentally subverted the nationalized stakes of the debate. Dr. Schelstraete investigated how this group informed American attitudes towards Dickens and Britain on the one hand, and American self-imagining on the other.
As a part of the WeChangEd team (September 2015–September 2016), Dr. Schelstraete was responsible for the development of the comprehensive database of female editors of European periodicals as well as an open public access catalog (OPAC).
Dr. Schelstraete is an associate editor of the open access journal Authorship, and the Book Reviews editor for the open access Journal of European Periodical Studies.