Researching Dutch Musicals

Through the ALCS research grants scheme, Sanne Thierens received an ALCS travel and maintenance grant to conduct interviews and archive research in the Netherlands in the summer of 2016. Here is her short report.

logo-2“As a PhD student working in England but researching a series of Dutch musicals, I was pleasantly surprised and very grateful to receive the ALCS grant this year. The grant allowed me make several trips to Amsterdam to meet with and interview creatives, actors and actresses who played key roles in some of the musicals by writer Annie M.G. Schmidt and composer Harry Bannink.

Over the summer and into autumn, I had the pleasure to meet up with many key figures in the Dutch musical works. I had coffee with writer Ivo de Wijs, who edited Schmidt and Bannink’s Heerlijk duurt het langst for its 1998 revival and Foxtrot for its 2001 production. I met up with Carla Lipp, who performed in the chorus of the original production of Heerlijk in 1965. I talked to Ruut Weissman, who directed the revivals of Heerlijk and Foxtrot, and I interviewed David Eavis, who worked as an actor, company manager, and assistant-choreographer- and director in several of the Schmidt/Bannink-musicals.

The ALCS grant furthermore allowed me to visit the Theatre Institute’s archive, also in Amsterdam, where I looked at documents such as old newspaper articles, photos and programme booklets.

I am honoured that the ALCS decided to support these activities with their grant, and am very thankful for them to make it happen.”

All ALCS members are welcome to apply for funding. Applications for co-operative projects which benefit the subject as a whole are particularly welcome. You wil find more information on the Research Grants page.

40 years of Dutch Crossing

Dutch CrossingThe new issue of our Journal Dutch Crossing, March 2017, is a special one: it marks the journal’s RUBY jubilee: 40 years of Dutch Crossing: 1977 – 2017.

And if that isn’t enough reason for a celebration: Taylor & Francis has finished retro-digitising Dutch Crossing so, for the first time, this forty years body of interdisciplinary Low Countries Studies scholarship is now completely accessible online.

In his editorial, dr Ulrich Tiedau remembers the words of the Journal’s first editors, “we hope the title will serve, as Dutch has it, as a flag to cover a cargo as diverse as the interests and talents of its readers and contributors.” He adds that fourty years later, Dutch Crossing is still a ‘showcase’ of Dutch and Flemish culture and of the many connections between the Dutch- and English-speaking worlds.

For those interested in the history of the journal from 1977–2009 see Ulrich Tiedau, ‘A New Dutch Crossing’, Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies, vol. 33 (2009), No. 1, pp. 3–6.

Online Archive of Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies

Seminars on Low Countries History, 2016-17

The 2016-17 programme of the Low Countries History Seminar Series is now available. Everybody with an interest in Low Countries History is welcome.

The series conveners are: Anne Goldgar (King’s College London), Ben Kaplan (UCL), Ulrich Tiedau (UCL), Joanna Woodall (Courtauld)

Meetings: Fridays at 5:15 pm at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. All meetings except 4th November and possibly 18th November in Wolfson Room I, in the basement.

Autumn

21 October Bruno Blondé (Antwerp), ‘The straw mattresses of a love triangle: Economic growth, social inequality and early modern consumer changes in the eighteenth-century Low Countries’

4 November Stijn van Rossem (London), ‘Editorial Strategies in the early-modern
Room N304 period: the Verdussen case (Antwerp, 1590-1690)’

18 November David Freeman (Kansas City), ‘A Silver River in a Silver World: Dutch
Room tbc merchants in the South Atlantic, 1640s-1740s’ – joint session with the Economic and Social History of the Early Modern World seminar

2 December Nina Lamal (St Andrews), ‘The Low Countries in the news: Italian information networks on the Dutch Revolt’

Low Countries Studies Seminar Schedule 2016-17

11th Biennial Conference 2016

The 11th ALCS Biennial Conference took place from 29 June-1 July 2016 at University College Dublin. The conference organisers, under the inspiring leadership of dr. John Loughman (UCD), could not have picked a more topical theme: Narrating Change, Changing Narratives acquired that special ring only a week after the EU referendum.

dr John Loughman (UCD) host of the 11th ALCS Conference
Dr John Loughman (UCD), host of the 11th ALCS Conference

This 11th edition was our most ‘international’ conference to date, attracting speakers from a dozen countries spread over four continents: Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Netherlands, South-Africa, South-Korea, United States, and United Kingdom.

During three days in Dublin, around forty delegates explored how change is represented and narrated in a Low Countries or comparative context and along and across broad cultural, linguistic and historical lines. The 24 papers and three keynote addresses took the conference theme in many directions:

• narrating the postcolonial and the multicultural;
• narrating meaning in early modern art,
• narrating gender and nationalism,
• narrating society and humanity,
• narrating space and race;
• changing narratives in language and linguistics

Our keynote speakers were:

  • Pamela Pattynama of the University of Amsterdam who is an expert in changing colonial narratives. Her book on the representation of Indonesia and Dutch colonial rule, Bitterzoet Indië, was the starting point of her paper.
  • Adriaan Waiboer, Curator of Northern European Art at the National Gallery of Ireland. Dr Waiboer discussed his current project: ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry’ to be shown at the National Gallery of Ireland and in Paris and Washington in 2017-18.
  • David van der Linden, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, who introduced, discussed and reflected on the “Signed, Sealed & Undelivered” project, exploring the letters of the Brienne trunk.

logo taalunieFull conference programme
Selected papers will be included in an edited book in the Low Countries Series of UCLPress or in the ALCS Journal: Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies

This event was kindly sponsored by the Nederlandse Taalunie

Winners of ALCS Essay Prize 2016

Our ALCS reader panel is usually enthusiastic about the undergraduate and postgraduate entries for our annual ALCS Essay Prize, but this year they cracked: instead of one, they awarded two undergraduate prizes, one for a literary paper and one for a linguistic one.

This is a first in the history of our Essay Prize and we are therefore proud to not only announce the winners, but also to publish their work on our website.

Together with the excellent postgraduate paper by Kasper Swerts, the essay prize 2016 is a testimony to the strength and the breadth of Dutch Studies: history, politics, philosophy, literature, linguistics, it is all there.

Thank you to all entrants for their essays and a special thanks for our panel of readers for their hard work and expert verdict!

SchaefferUndergraduate Winner: Mathias Schäffer (Sheffield), ‘The presence of the absent mother in Gerbrand Bakker’s Perenbomen bloeien wit

Jury’s comments:
‘A very interesting topic and a good amount of research has gone into the essay. It is a well-structured, very readable essay that takes account of the reader and provides enough information in order for the reader to understand the issues fully.’

Postgraduate Winner: Kasper Swerts (PhD Edinburgh),
‘A Flemish Nozdormu? Teleology and Philosophy of history in the writings of Hendrik Jozef Elias’

Jury’s comments:
‘Swerts argues convincingly that in his political choices the Flemish politician and nationalist historian Hendrik Elias was guided – or misguided – by his highly particular philosophy of history. A sophisticated essay and an excellent read.’

Kasper Swerts has been invited to submit his essay for publication in Dutch Crossing.

BobbyjonesUndergraduate Runner Up: Robert Jones (Sheffield), ‘Tweetalig onderwijs: Effective education or pointless pedagogy?’

Jury’s comments:
‘This is a well researched essay with a clear academic approach to the topic. Interesting issues are discussed in a clear and balanced way. Excellent use of background literature.’