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Lotte Jensen: Dutch Identity – Past and Present

04-09-2017 at 20:00 - 21:30

Dutch Identity: Past and Present

“If it ain’t Dutch, it ain’t much,” said the 19th-century immigrants who left the Netherlands for the United States but wanted to preserve their original identity. Yet like most identities, Dutch identity seems to be very elusive. What does it mean and since when has it been around? Can we even discern some typical Dutch traits and values, or will we always need to resort to useless stereotypes?

In tonight’s lecture, Lotte Jensen will discuss who “the Dutch” are and have been (or wanted to be) through the centuries. As an Associate Professor of historical Dutch literature at Radboud University, she is an expert on the origins of Dutch identity. Her work is part of the theme group “Europe and (Trans)national Identities”, which investigates the emergence of nationalism in early modern Europe. How did national sentiments suddenly come to be? Jensen headed the research project “Proud to be Dutch”, in which she searched for the roots of national identity in the Netherlands. Currently, she is researching how disasters played a role in shaping national and local identities. Her most recent book, Celebrating Peace: The Emergence of Dutch Identity, 1648–1815 (2017), explores how war and peace gave shape to patriotic feelings amongst the Dutch. With this background in mind, Jensen will shed light on why people feel Dutch today and why they did so in the past.

This lecture is free and open to everybody.


20:00 - 21:30
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Café/Club KIWI
Peperstraat 19
Groningen, 9711PC Netherlands
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