Cultural theorist and critic
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Professor (KNAW), 2005-2011.
Based at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), University of Amsterdam.
Areas of interest range from biblical and classical antiquity to 17th century and contemporary art and modern literature, feminism and migratory culture. Publications include A Mieke Bal Reader (2006), Travelling Concepts in the Humanities (2002) and Narratology (3rd edition 2009).
Mieke’s experimental documentaries on migration include A Thousand and One Days; Separations; Colony, and the installation Nothing is Missing as part of the Cinema Suitcase collective. Her work is exhibited internationally. Her recent work is the Mère Folle project, an international project on madness that includes the ‘theoretical fiction’ feature film A Long History of Madness, installations and research.
Occasionally she acts as an independent curator.
Even as a child, my siblings teased me that I was always teaching. It’s something I was born to do. But teaching, in my experience, is nothing like lecturing ‘at’ people. It is communicative; sharing the excitement of discovering how things work. Also, disagreeing seemed almost a hobby; discussion a favourite pastime. Hence, I started to teach as soon as I could, and have done so at all levels, from middle school to high school, college, university, BA, MA and PhD.
I always loved to focus, intensely and almost obsessively, yet I could never confine myself to a single discipline. I studied French first, then literary theory (focusing on narrative theory), and through the meanderings of my life ended up writing on the Hebrew Bible, baroque and contemporary art, cultural analysis, feminism, postcolonial thought. More recently, I have begun to make videos. First, videos on art experiences of other people; then, art films. Mostly, the videos circle around issues of migration culture.
So, if you would like to know more, you are welcome to click on any of the links and find out about my books, videos, and different forms of presentation. Each link provides extensive information. I hope you enjoy the site.