Wouter van Staveren

Wouter van Staveren's picture
Ph.D. Student

Wouter van Staveren received his BA in Philosophy at the University of Groningen in 2018. He also obtained Master degrees in Philosophy and Western Literature from the Catholic University of Leuven in 2020-2023. His PhD research explores 20th century German Naturlyrik (“nature poetry”) and its relation to the idea of hermeticism and philosophy. The preliminary aim of his thesis is to show how the poetry of Ernst Meister (1911-1979) ought to be read as developing the genre of Naturlyrik from its initial focus on concrete objects of perception into a more abstract, yet phenomenological meditation. Meister’s engagement with Heidegger, Gadamer and Löwith enables him to reconceive the relationships between human beings, language and nature beyond a poetics of mimesis towards a poetics of hermeticism. The ensuing dissertation intends to shed light on the centrality of Meister, an enigmatic poet about whom scholarship remains scarce, within the development of lyrical poetry in post-WWII Europe, by offering an interpretation of the poet as a philosopher explicitly engaged with all the central questions of phenomenology: nature, being, nothingness, the ground and the abyss, life and death.

Germanic Languages and Literatures
Fields of Interest: 
German modern poetry, Naturlyrik ("nature poetry"), phenomenology, literary theory, the imagination, Ernst Meister