Koen De Temmerman (°1979) is a Research Professor (in the rank of Full Professor since 2019) at the Department of Literary Studies at Ghent University, where he directs the Novel Saints: Ancient Fiction and Hagiography Research Centre.
He studied Classics (Ba 1999, Ma 2001) and Communication Studies (Ma 2002) at Ghent University and the University of Bologna. For his PhD dissertation (Ghent 2006, sup. K. Demoen) he was awarded the Triennial Prize for Humanities by the Flemish Scholarly Foundation (2008). After his PhD, he was a Francqui Fellow of the Belgian American Educational Foundation at Stanford University, visiting lecturer at University College Cork, Postdoctoral Fellow of the Flemish Research Council (F.W.O.-Vlaanderen) and Stanley Seeger Fellow at Princeton University. In 2017 he was awarded the Prize Laureate of Humanities by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Arts and Sciences. He is also the recipient of two ERC grants (Starting Grant 2013, Consolidator Grant 2018).
He was a member of the Belgian Young Academy (2013-18) and an Executive Council member of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric (2017-22). He is the General Editor of Ancient Narrative and Fabulae. Narrative in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, an Editorial Board member of L'Antiquité Classique and Kleio. Tijdschrift voor oude talen en antieke culturen, and a coordinator of Ancient Rhetoric and Aesthetics (a research group of OIKOS, the Dutch research school for Classics).
De Temmerman works on the early history of the novel. He studies the oldest representatives of this genre (Greek and Latin; first few centuries of the Common Era) and their persistence in later periods. By paying special attention to Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, he aims to correct the traditional, literary-historical view that conceptualizes both eras as 'empty' interim periods between the latest ancient novels and their reception in 11th and 12th-century Byzantium and Persia. Thematically, De Temmerman is interested in the representation of character(s); methodologically, his work combines insights from ancient rhetoric, physiognomy and modern literary theory (mainly narratology).
At Ghent, De Temmerman teaches ancient rhetoric and literary history. He directs a team of ca. ten researchers with the generous support of the Flemish Research Council (F.W.O.-Vlaanderen), the Ghent University Research Council (B.O.F.) and the European Research Council (ERC). In popularizing contributions he makes a case for the importance of Classics (and Humanities in general) in education and their relevance today.
Recent books: Constructing Saints in Greek and Latin Hagiography. Heroes and Heroines in Late Antique and Medieval Narrative (Brepols 2023), The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Biography (Oxford University Press 2020); Characterization in Ancient Greek Literature (Brill 2017); Writing Biography in Greece and Rome. Narrative Technique and Fictionalization (Cambridge University Press 2016); Crafting Characters. Heroes and Heroines in the Ancient Greek Novel (Oxford University Press 2014)
Further information on De Temmerman's scholarly interests and publications (incl. postprints) can be found at his personal website and that of his research team.