This article takes as its starting point the prominent use of Stephen Greenblatts concept of ‘selffashioning’ in the recent work of a number of Dutch Early Modernists. Our text’s main aim is to point out the notion’s dual conceptual background. On be traced back in Greenblatts work to a number of prototypical humanist reflections on human identity (Pico, Castiglione,
Machiavelli), while on the other hand his analysis of these reflections is clearly indebted to Althussers and Foucaults poststructuralist work on processes of subjectification. By elaborately drawing attention to the genealogy of Greenblatts notion, we hope to make clear that the use to which it is generally put in the Low Countries involves a severe reduction of both its historical and conceptual potential.