Simon Smets’ main interests lie in humanist epistolary literature and Neo-Latin epic. He read Classics at Ghent University and did an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies at University College London. There, he complemented his literary background with a more historical approach to the Italian Renaissance.
In the period 2019-2023, Simon worked at the LBI with Dr Federica Rossetti, Dr Anna Chisena and Professor Florian Schaffenrath in the FWF funded project on Basinio da Parma’s epic poem Hesperis. He is currently finishing the English translation of this poem with introduction and commentary for publication in Brill’s RSA Texts & Studies series. At the same time, Simon is working on a PhD project at UCL that investigates authorship and narrative design in Renaissance Latin letter collections. He is supervised by Professor Gesine Manuwald and Professor Dilwyn Knox. His other interests are the modern reception of antiquity and of the Neo-Latin heritage.
Simon has taught modules on Latin language, Neo-Latin literature, and the reception of the classical tradition at University College London and the University of Innsbruck. He has written on paratexts and intertextuality in Neo-Latin literature, on the role of Latin in the visual arts, and on grammatical handbooks between Spain and the Low Countries.
He continues to be the LBI’s representative on the organising committee of the Scientific Research Network “Literatures without Borders. A Historical-Comparative Study of Premodern Literary Transnationality” and coordinates the oral history project of the International Association for Neo-Latin Studies. Simon is part of the editorial teams of the peer-reviewed journals Journal of Latin Cosmopolitanism and European Literatures and Humanistica Lovaniensia while being actively engaged in the group Researchers of European Literary Identities, Cosmopolitanism and the Schools.