Youri Desplenter (1974) is professor of Historical Dutch Literature (Middle Ages) at Ghent University (since 2010). He is very active in teaching, not only ‘medieval’ topics such as Middle Dutch Literature, Codicology, Theory and Methodology of the History of Literature, and Old Dutch, but also Dutch teaching methodology. Bridging the gaps between secondary schools and academia, especially concerning historical literature, is indeed a major concern of his. Therefore each year, he organises several dozen of workshops on medieval and especially Middle Dutch manuscripts for pupils of secondary schools.
Within his faculty, he is currently chairman of the master’s program Historical Linguistics and Literature, and vice-chairman of the department of Literary Studies.
His research topics include Middle Dutch religious literature, especially late medieval prayer literature, Bible translations, and the contacts between Latin and the vernacular in general. His PhD-thesis (UGhent; defence: Jan. 2004) consisted of a comprehensive study of an until then unstudied genre within Middle Dutch prayer literature, the translations of the Latin hymns and sequences. After that, as a post-doc (UGhent, 2004-2010), he did research into the Middle Dutch Psalter translations (2004-2007) and into the writings of the ‘mystical cook’ Jan van Leeuwen († 1378), a lay brother who lived and worked with the better known Jan van Ruusbroec (John of Ruusbroec) in the convent of Groenendaal (2007-2010).
Currently, he supervises doctoral research in the fields of Middle Dutch chivalric literature and teaching methodology, and in the past on a.o. eschatological writings in Middle Dutch, the Ten Commandments, and Middle Dutch authorship. He published several articles and books on all of the aforementioned research topics.
He is member of the editorial boards of Nederlandse Letterkunde and Handboek Didactiek Nederlands.