Kristof Smeyers is a PhD researcher at the Ruusbroec Institute of the University of Antwerp, Belgium. His project, Blood Ties. Stigmata and society in Britain and Ireland, c.1829-1945 is BOF-funded (Belgian Research Fund) and runs from 2017 to 2020. It is linked to the Europe-wide research project Between Saints and Celebrities: devotion and promotion of stigmatics in Europe, 1800-1950, and examines the web of connections between notions of modernity, rationality, religion and the supernatural in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Kristof’s interests range from the cultural and social history of the supernatural in religion to archival history. He previously worked in library and archive collections in Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK, and was a research assistant for the Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe project at University College London. In 2016 he published an economic history of Belgium (Het gestolde land, Polis Publishers) and has since then been a regular contributor to the Dutch Review of Books. Recent published work have focused on transnational pilgrimage cultures, the role of the supernatural in nineteenth-century debates on science and religion, gendered roles and the archives of women religious who bore the stigmata.