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Mieke Bal is one of our foremost cultural theorists. She is also a highly acclaimed filmmaker, video artist, curator, critic and author of 38 books.
Mieke graduated from the University of Amsterdam with a MA in French in 1969, and earned a PhD in French and Comparative Literature at the University of Utrecht. Following professorships in Women’s Studies at the Universities of Utrecht and Rochester, she founded the Amsterdam School of Cultural Studies (1983). She became Academy Professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2005-2011) and University of Amsterdam Professor of Theory of Literature (1991-2011).
Aside from her published work, Mieke has curated several exhibitions, including at Oslo’s Munch Museum. Her book Emma & Edvard Looking Sideways: Loneliness and the Cinematic (2017) accompanied the show. Other titles include Travelling Concepts in the Humanities (2002), A Mieke Bal Reader (2006), and Narratology (4th ed. 2017).
Her internationally exhibited video documentaries, such as Separations (2009) and the installation Nothing is Missing (2006-10) focus on migration. With Michelle Williams Gamaker she explored psychoanalysis in A Long History of Madness (2012) and the intricacies between romance and capitalism in Madame B: Explorations in Emotional Capitalism (2014). With Reasonable Doubt (2016) she visualized the process of thinking through Descartes.