Klazina Staat obtained a PhD in literature and linguistics from Ghent University (2019). She studied Classics (MA 2013) at VU University Amsterdam and Art History (BA 2014) at the University of Amsterdam. She also received a teaching degree in Classics from VU University (2014) and taught Latin and Greek in secondary education in the Netherlands.
Her research interests are the literature and art from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, hagiography, ancient novels, Christian apocryphal literature, travel literature, narratology, ancient and modern literary theory, iconographic analysis, and manuscript studies.
In October 2019 - September 2022, she will be a FWO junior postdoctoral fellow at Ghent University. In her research project, 'Tours on Paper. Literary Explorations of the Travel Guide Book (Itinerarium) in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages', she will analyse a corpus of Latin and Greek travel writings of pilgrims to Rome, the Holy Land, and Constantinople. She aims to demonstrate that the writings did not just have a practical function as guide books for "real" journeys, but also served a literary-spiritual goal, allowing the audience to go on an imaginative "armchair pilgrimage" through reading. Complementing earlier scholarship that has already explored the archival interest of the writings in the "mapping" of topographical knowledge, the research project will highlight the importance of the imagination and sensory experience in the processes of writing, copying, and reading. It lays bare the strategies employed to organise and select topographical knowledge on the one hand, and to inspire the audience's re-experience of the described journeys on the other. The research project takes a fresh approach to the topic, combining the analysis of the narrative with that of the manuscript. These are investigated with the help of concepts from both ancient rhetorical theory (e.g. evidentia, descriptio) and modern frameworks (theory of space, narratology). The research project is funded by the Flemish Research Foundation FWO (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen).
In January-March and May 2019, Staat was a guest researcher at the Royal Netherlandish Institute in Rome (KNIR), where she prepared her research project on late antique and early medieval travel guides (itineraria) in Latin and Greek, supported by a KNIR stipend for early career researchers.
In her PhD project (2014-2018), In Good Faith. Belief and Credibility in Late Antique Latin Hagiographical Narratives of Chaste Couples, she focused on the narrative and rhetorical strategies employed in hagiographical texts to inspire and thematise belief. The project was part of the research project 'Novel Saints: Studies in Ancient Fiction in Hagiography' at Ghent University, which was supervised by prof. dr. Koen De Temmerman and funded by the European Research Council (ERC).