DANS Colloquium on Research and Data: Women readers finding their literary foremothers

Building on the long-standing work of the Women Writers in History research network, Dutch members of the related DARIAH Working Group at Huygens ING were engaged last year in the DANS “Klein Data Project” (KDP) entitled ‘Dutch Woman Authors and their Dutch Readers (until 1900)’. This KDP project combined data curation from the researcher’s side with data curation from the archival side. As one result, data and structure of the Working Group’s collaborative research tool (VRE) are now safely kept in a version at DANS. This creates a solid basis for ongoing research in the fields of female authorship and reception of women’s writing – and for other reuse by scholars, students and any interested people (so-called citizen scientists) also in the long-term.

On this occasion, DANS organizes a colloquium on the theme of ‘Women readers finding their literary foremothers’. This can be said to roughly announce the Dutch “Boekenweek” which has as its theme “De Moeder de Vrouw” (Woman and mother).

There will also be the presentation of the second volume in the Brill series Women Writers in History, edited by Nina Geerdink (UU) and Carme Font Paz (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).

Date, time and location: Thursday 21 March, 15.00-17.00, DANS (The Hague)


15:00 – 15:10 – Welcome  – Suzan van Dijk: “Moeder de vrouw was meestal geen schrijfster (en v.v.)” (10 min)

15:10 – 16:00 – Infrastructural aspects – Standards, networking, practices

  • Sally Wyatt (Maastricht University): Gender Standards in Computer and Library Science: Implications for research in the humanities and the social sciences  (20 min)
  • Henk van den Berg, Jerry de Vries, and Andrea Scharnhorst (DANS, KNAW): Data curation and data archiving at different stages of the research process. The case of archiving different instantiations of the NEWW VRE  (20 min)
  • Short discussion

16:00 – 16:50 – Research aspects – Opportunities for presenting and studying women writers

  • Lia van Gemert (UvA) and Nina Jongen (UvA, trainee at Huygens ING): Engaging students in research and dissemination projects: investigating Dutch 18th-century female authorship and paving the way for an Amsterdam Time Machine  (20 min)
  • Janouk de Groot (assistant at Huygens ING in the KDP Dutch women authors project): Demonstrating the tool, in particular the way of taking into account factors as motherhood or economic imperatives in research about early women authors? (15 min)
  • Discussion
  • Presentation the second volume of the Women Writers in History series: Carme Font Paz and Nina Geerdink (eds.), Economic imperatives for women’s writing in early modern Europe (Leiden, Brill, 2018)

16:50 Closing and reception

More information

If you want to attend, please register online. If you have any questions, please ask Andrea Scharnhorst.

The DANS R&D colloquium is a meeting place for researchers, archivists and ICT specialists. Organized by DANS, its focus is on research data and what you can do with it. You are invited to participate in discussing the challenge to keep data fixed and to invent tools that can evolve fast in a landscape that is on the move. If you have done projects in preserving and reusing data we find a slot for you to share your experiences.

The Bookshop of the World: lezing en boekpresentatie

On Tuesday March 19th, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen will present their new book ‘The Bookshop of the World’ (Yale UP) during the ACSGA-colloquium, with drinks afterwards.

Date, time and location: 19 March 2019, 15.30-17.00, University Library UvA (Singel 425, Amsterdam)

The book trade played a powerful role in every part of the life of the Dutch Republic: as an instrument of government, a tool of devotion, and as a fundamental building block of the education system. It helped divert citizens during their precious leisure hours and it helped prepare them for a life in trade.  It underpinned the professional endeavours of lawyers, doctors and ministers of the church. It opened citizens’ eyes to the world beyond their bustling towns. When the Dutch sailed overseas, they took their books with them. When they sailed back, if they sailed back, books retailed their adventures, proclaimed their triumphs and helped disseminate their scientific discoveries.  And of course, the book kept thousands of workmen, traders and entrepreneurs in gainful employment, importing and exporting, writing, printing, binding and trading books.

Without the book trade, the miracle of the Dutch Republic is scarcely conceivable; and without the window books provide into the soul of this society, we would hardly be able to fathom this most remarkable contribution to European civilisation. The Bookshop of the World is an attempt to capture this teeming, literate, complex society through the evidence of its printed works.  Today we will set out some of the research approaches we have adopted, and explain how that has directed us to new interpretative strategies and fresh conclusions.  In the process we will share with you some of the discoveries that have most excited us, along with a few of vibrant personalities that kept us entertained along the way.


Description of the book

The Dutch Golden Age has long been seen as the age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, whose paintings captured the public imagination and came to represent the marvel that was the Dutch Republic. Yet there is another, largely overlooked, marvel in the Dutch world of the seventeenth century: books. In this fascinating account, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen show how the Dutch produced many more books than pictures, and bought and owned more books per capita than any other part of Europe. Key innovations in marketing, book auctions and newspaper advertising brought stability to a market where elsewhere publishers faced bankruptcy, and created a population uniquely well-informed and politically engaged. This book tells for the first time the remarkable story of the Dutch conquest of the European book world and shows the true extent to which this pious, prosperous, quarrelsome and generous people were shaped by what they read.


Andrew Pettegree is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the Universal Short Title Catalogue. He is the author of over a dozen books in the fields of Reformation history and the history of communication including Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion (Cambridge University Press, 2005), The Book in the Renaissance (Yale University Press, 2010), The Invention of News (Yale University Press, 2014) and Brand Luther: 1517, Print and the Making of the Reformation (Penguin, 2015). The Bookshop of the World will be followed by two further books co-authored with Arthur der Weduwen: a study of newspaper advertising in the Dutch Golden Age and The Library: A Fragile History, contracted to Profile for 2021.

Arthur der Weduwen is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews and the author of the prize-winning Dutch and Flemish Newspapers of the Seventeenth Century (2 vols., Brill, 2017). His PhD (2018) is a study of government communication in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic. He is a long-term associate of the Universal Short Title Catalogue project. The Bookshop of the World will be followed by two further books co-authored with Andrew Pettegree: a study of newspaper advertising in the Dutch Golden Age and The Library: A Fragile History, contracted to Profile for 2021.


Nieuwe column

Er is weer een column uit Zeventiende Eeuw-gelederen gepubliceerd op de website van de Maatschappij der Nederlandse letterkunde. Deze keer van scriptieprijslaureaat en Nijmeegse AiO Lilian Nijhuis, die onder de titel ‘Het veranderlijke water’ ingaat op Vondel, de Metamorfosen, Amsterdam, en het water. Lees de column hier.


Conference: Imagineering Violence. Spectacle and Print in the Early Modern Period (Amsterdam 21-23 March 2019)

poster ITEMP compressedHow can violence be represented and imagined? How can an artist document the violence of the times? What about the numerous ethical implications? When does a spectator become a voyeur? When does violence turn into spectacle? Can violence be aestheticized? Does an artist have a duty to document contemporary violence? These questions saturate modern art, from the horrors of War in Goya to the racial violence in Edward and Nancy Kienholz’s ‘Five Car Stud’. However, they are not new in themselves. The early modern period witnessed a true explosion of images on pain, suffering and violence across painting, print, theater, and public space. The public had plenty to choose from: sieges, executions, massacres: violence fascinated the early modern spectator, yet it simultaneously conjured up numerous questions, some of which are not unlike those posed today.

Together, historians and artists explore the early modern period, looking for new answers on the questions that concern us in the present by means of lectures, artistic presentations, and round table talks. Together, they will investigate how artists in the early modern period dealt with the violence of their time, and whether these age-old answers might shine a light on today’s ‘spectacle society’.

With artistic works by, amongst others,  Stef Lernous van Abattoir Fermé, Simon Pummell, Doina Kraal, Jan Rosseel, Enkidu Khaled, e.a. and lectures by internationally renowned cultural historians such as Jonathan Davies, Katie Hornstein and Benjamin Schmidt.

Find the short program here, and the poster here.

For the Huizinga Institute masterclass by Benjamin Schmidt (currently fully booked, with waiting list), see: https://www.huizingainstituut.nl/masterclass-by-benjamin-schmidt-violent-images-in-the-in-early-modern-period/

Workshop Sex and Science in Early Modern Europe

Sex is a relatively recent invention. Reproduction is intrinsic in human beings, yet sex and sexuality are conceptual constructions of later ages. In the early modern period physicians, anatomists, philosophers and literary authors became fascinated by human desire and sexual behavior. Diving into classical texts, humanists collected ancient knowledge about love and lust. Pornographers catalogued sexual variations to arouse desire. The scientific revolution and early enlightenment encouraged innovative experiments and new theories on desire and reproduction.

CLUE+ and ACCESS (Amsterdam Center for Cross-disciplinary Emotion and Sensory Studies) invite you to a one-day Workshop on Sex and Science in Early Modern Europe. How did scholars define sex and envision its place in our bodies and minds? What knowledge techniques did they employ to gather information about sexual acts and the reproductive system? An international, interdisciplinary panel of speakers, will explore these topics and debate the agenda for further research on the history of sexuality in early modern Europe.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Main building 08A33

Friday 22 February 2019, 9-17h

Registration is free. To sign up, email: k.e.hollewand@uu.nl



9.00 – 9.30 Registration & Coffee
9.30 – 11.00 Karen Hollewand (Utrecht University) – Opening Lecture

Sex and Science in the Early Modern Dutch Republic


Nigel Smith (Princeton) – Focquen-wat? Libertine Literature and Cultural Revolution Through the Dutch Republic

11.00 – 11.30 Coffee /tea
11.30 – 13.00 Clorinda Donato (California State University) – Writing Desire, Lust, and Science in Eighteenth-Century Italy: Giovanni Bianchi’s Brief History of Caterina Vizzani, 1744
  Sarah Toulalan (University of Exeter) – Child Rape and Sexual Knowledge
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.30 Ruben Verwaal (University of Groningen) – Seminal Knowledge: Materiality of Semen in the Eighteenth Century

Darren Wagner (University of Berlin) – When Sex became Electric: Experiment and Representation in the Eighteenth Century

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee / tea
16.00 – 17.00 Inger Leemans (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) – Discussion and conclusion