Postgraduate Colloquium London: Urban Space and Civic Identity in the Low Countries and Beyond


City Lights: Urban Space and Civic Identity in the Low Countries and Beyond

Senate House, University of London

9-10 July 2020

‘The cities of the world are concentric, isomorphic, synchronic … It’s the effect of their permanent revolution, their intense circulation, their instantaneous magnetism – so different from the rural universe where a sense of the global simultaneity of exchanges does not exist’.

Jean Baudrillard.

Caesar van Everdingen, Diogenes Seeks a True Man, 1652. Mauritshuis, The Hague.

The Association for Low Countries Studies is delighted to announce its third postgraduate colloquium, “City Lights”. Proposals are invited from PhD candidates and early career researchers in the humanities and social sciences. The colloquium will bring together young scholars from the UK and internationally to explore urban space and civic identity in Benelux from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The Low Countries is one of the world’s most urbanised regions. Since the Middle Ages, advances in mercantilism, industry and land reclamation had spurred Bruges, Antwerp and Amsterdam toward exponential growth. Meanwhile, claims to political autonomy and religious freedom caused tension with the powers that be, erupting most violently during the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648). Today, many Netherlandish cities retain a unique sense of identity, manifested in dialects, local legends and civic buildings.

Cities are the engines of culture for both their social connectivity and their inspiring topographies. Chambers of rhetoric were once a mainstay of burgerlijk culture, while civic guilds commissioned some of Rembrandt’s most celebrated works, not least the Night Watch. Entire sub-industries of painting capitalised upon the beauty of Amsterdam’s canals and Utrecht’s churches, and Amsterdam has continued to inspire writers and filmmakers, from Albert Camus to Paul Verhoeven. Are cities replete with utopian possibility, or are they moral and ecological miasmas? As Plato remarked in the Republic, ‘Any city, however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich’. How does the countryside compare?

Proposals on this year’s theme are broadly welcome, but those covering cities and empire, as well as the phenomenology of urban space (including smell- and soundscapes), especially so.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words to Adam Sammut, c/o, with “ALCS 2020” in the subject heading, together with a short biography. Bursaries will be available, with priority given to self-funded students. Please indicate should you wish to be considered.

Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2020.

Voorstelling The Miller + The King gaat niet door

Eerder stond op onze website een aankondiging voor een bijzondere theateravond: de voorstelling The Miller + The King (Amsterdam, Crea, 19 maart). Vanwege de risico’s rondom het Coronavirus hebben de organisatoren besloten om de voorstelling niet door te laten gaan. Als u kaarten gekocht had, krijgt u bericht over terugbetaling van het entreegeld. We hopen op een herkansing later dit jaar.

Thijssen-Schoute MA Thesis Award 2020

The Dr. C. Louise Thijssen-Schoute Foundation is soliciting nominations for the 2020 award for the best MA-thesis on early modern Dutch intellectual history. Established in 1961, Louise Thijssen-Schoute Foundation aims to encourage research in the history of ideas of the early modern Netherlands. According to the will of Dr. Thijssen-Schoute – the author of an influential work on Dutch Cartesianism – financial support could be given to projects and publications conferences devoted to the emergence and dissemination of new philosophical ideas, as well as the intersections of literature and science in the seventeenth- and early eighteenth century. Moreover, the Foundation has established special chairs at VU University Amsterdam and the Radboud University Nijmegen

The Foundation has established a bi-annual prize for the best MA thesis within the aims of her statutes, as summarized above. This award recognizes original and distinguished research for a final thesis at a (research)master’s level, either submitted to a university in the Netherlands or abroad. The award consists of a prize of 2000 Euros, and a certificate of appreciation. Any final-year student who has completed her/his Master’s thesis with distinction (80% or higher, or in the Dutch rating at least an 8 out of 10) can apply. The thesis must be written in Dutch, English, French or German. An independent jury will judge the applications submitted, and advise the board of the Thijssen-Schoute Foundation. The Board’s decision is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

The Thijssen-Schoute MA-Thesis Award 2020 is open for students who have earned their master’s degree between 31 August 2018 and 31 August 2020. All nominations should be submitted electronically as a pdf file before 1 December 2020 to the Foundation’s Secretary. These should consist of a digital copy of the thesis, a document confirming graduation (including grade) issued by the faculty, and a cv.

For more information please contact the Foundation’s Secretary, Nina Geerdink (

The Miller + The King – Two classic plays as never seen before


19 March 2020: The Miller + The King – Two classic plays as never seen before

One Dutch, one English, one comic, one tragic – two classic 17th century plays in one outstanding evening

The renowned Theatergroep De Kale shares the stage with acclaimed English travelling company Oddbodies in an evening of physical ingenuity and visual flair. This unforgettable event, a historical first, is made possible by the collaboration of Stichting Bredero 2018, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS) and the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam.

Bredero’s bawdy comedy De Klucht van de Molenaar (1613) charts the vibrant clash of cultures when city dame meets country ways. Actors Celia van den Boogert, Marieke de Kruijf, Vastert van Aardenne and Stijn Westenend deliver the spiciest Dutch you’ll ever hear. Victor van Swaay directs.

King Lear (1606) is Shakespeare’s tragedy performed in less than 80 minutes. A tale of blindness, betrayal, delusion, deceit, love, loyalty, lust and greed: the King’s demise as witnessed by his loyal fool. Funny, poignant, ultimately heartbreaking. Adapted and performed by one actor only: Paul Morel (“A fierce talent” Binge Fringe). Directed by John Mowat.

Time, location and tickets for the evening

  • Thursday 19 March 2020, 20.00hr
  • CREA Theater, Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
  • 1018 VW Amsterdam
  • Tickets (€ 17,50 (regular): tickets via De Kale / Students (€ 10,00): aanmelden bij
  • For more info, click here