I am Looi van Kessel. Assistant Professor at the University of Leiden, where I am committed to inclusivity and justice.

I am Looi van Kessel, assistant professor in Literary Studies and Gender Studies at Leiden University. My research focuses on 20th-century American and Dutch LGBTQIA+ literature. In 2019, I obtained my PhD with a dissertation on the American author James Purdy.

Already in the 1960s, Purdy sought to write about sexuality without conforming to ideas of a stable and unchanging sexual identity. Since completing my dissertation, my research interests have developed along three tracks: gender and sexuality in the works of Louis Couperus, literature about the AIDS epidemic, and inclusive education.

In addition to my role as an assistant professor, I am the editor-in-chief at Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (the Low Countries Journal for Gender Studies), a multidisciplinary, peer reviewed journal providing a platform for Dutch and English gender research in the Netherlands and Flanders. I am also editor for the journal Arabesken, which is published by the Louis Couperus Society.

A key motivator for my research and teaching is the pursuit of inclusion and justice. I cannot separate my research and teaching from my social and political engagement. As the chair of the Leiden University LGBT+ Network, I advocate for the equal treatment of LGBTQIA+ staff and students. In my teaching practice, I have undertaken various initiatives to make university education more inclusive. Finally, I frequently speak about my research on LGBTQIA+ culture and education in public lectures or other public appearances.