Violet Soen is an Associate Professor in Early Modern History at the KULeuven, Belgium. In 2018, she was Visiting P.P. Rubens-Professor at UC Berkeley, and she held fellowships in Columbia University, New York, EUI, Florence, EHESS, Paris and UPFH, Valenciennes. Her academic work and activities received awards from the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium and the Royal Historical Commission.
She is author of three monographs (2008, 2012, 2016) and coeditor of seven volumes in the field of political and religious history of Early Modern Europe. She devoted more than sixty peer-reviewed articles and chapters on questions of peace and reconciliation, inquisition and pardon, and nobility and transregional families during the Wars of Religion.
Currently, Violet Soen serves as Series editor of Habsburg Worlds at Brepols, and sits on the editorial boards of the Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique, The Early Modern Low Countries, Refo500 Academic Studies and Nieuwe Tijdingen. She is board member of RefoRC, FSCIRE, Red Columnaria and LECTIO, and the Meyer-Prize Committee of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. In the Reformation year of 2017, she was copromotor of the Doctorate Honoris Causa for the Lutheran Church historian Theodor Dieter.
As Principal Investigator, she has developed a research line into 'transregional history' on crossing borders in early modern times, based on six projects funded by FWO-Flanders and KULeuven. Lately, she also coordinates a research projects related to questions of religious war and peace in early modern and modern times, funded by H2020 and FWO-Flanders. Her team counts seven PhDstudents and one postdoc.
Keynote lectures or invited talks led her to York, Wittenberg, Emden, Copenhagen, Saint Andrews, Nijmegen, Rome, Valencia, Murcia etc. She regularly organizes panels at the annual meetings of the Renaissance Society of America and the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. She hosted a dozen of conferences, even ones across borders in Leuven, Kortrijk, Lille, Valenciennes, Emden and Montcornet.
Her research has been highlighted in a numer of print, online, and radio media outlets. In 2016, she was shortlisted as 'Scientist of the Year' by the science magazine New Scientist in The Netherlands. In 2014, she received an award for science communication by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium. She advocated awareness about Citizen Science in Flanders, leading to new governmental grants and a portal for CS-projects.
Violet Soen studied history in Kortrijk, Leuven and Bielefeld, and obtained a master degree in European Studies at the Université Catholique de Louvain. In 2008 she defended her PhD in Early Modern history at the University of Leuven. From 2007 until 2013, she was elected to serve in the first cohort of the Young Academy (and its board).
She was Visiting Professor in Berkeley (2018) and Valenciennes (2017), and has held numerous fellowships, such as the Max Weber fellowship at the EUI, Fiesole (2008/9) and visiting fellowship at EHESS, Paris (2011) and Columbia University, New York (2014).
Her monograph on peace negotiations during the early phases of the Dutch Revolt (Amsterdam University Press 2012) was distinguished with the Erik Duvergerprize 2011 of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, for best historical study based on archival research. Her first monograph on the sixteenth-century inquisition in the Low Countries (Brussels 2007) received the Mgr. C. Declercqprize 2004 for best study in religious history. An article and text edition for the Bulletin de la Commission Royale d’Histoire was rewarded with the Brice and Mary Lyon prize 2006.
The project team www.transregionalhistory.eu is currently working on three edited volumes Transregional Reformations, Transregional Territories, and Noblesse de frontière. Part of its ICC-database related to the Religious Book in the borderlands between France and the Low Countries is already online. She also directs as PI the team around 'Rest in Peace? Death during the Dutch Revolt' (FWO), and serves as co-PI for the RETOPEA-consortium on Religious Tolerance and Peace in Early Modern and Modern Europe (H2020).
Her research and travels to archives across the Atlantic has been supported by stipends of the Research Foundation, the Fondation Universitaire, and the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, VLIR (Belgium), the Academia dei Lincei and the Instituto Olandese a Roma (Italy), and the Instituto neerlandés en Madrid and the Fundación Complutense (Spain).