10th ALCS Student Days 2017: An Impression




On 23 and 24 March 2017 over seventy students and staff from Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and UCL flocked to London for the 10th edition of the ALCS Student Days.

Christine Sas (UCL) put together an informative, inspiring and fun programme for all students of Dutch in the UK and Ireland. Both mood and content of this edition of the Student Days underlined that Dutch Studies is an exciting study option and that our students become part of a community that offers plenty of (career) opportunities.

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The two-day event kicked off with a workshop subtitling. Prior to the Student Days, all participants from Beginner to Advanced levels were asked to pick their favourite Flemish or Dutch short film. Cinema Bioscoop and UCL’s Centre for Translation Studies first presented the basics of screen translation and then the students were invited to get stuck in.  In small groups they tackled no less than nine short films: eight were given English subtitles, one was translated into Dutch.
The subtitling was not just practice but the real thing:  the newly subtitled short films were shown to the students and the general public in the trendy RADA Studios that very evening. How fabulous to see the students applying their Dutch linguistic and cultural knowledge to unlock the work of young Dutch and Flemish filmmakers for an international audience.

Stand out

studentsalcs1On the Friday morning our Careers Panel of alumni agreed: they had not anticipated  that choosing to study Dutch would prove so crucial to their career path. From the freelance translators –Tom Warne, Mark Potter, Scott Emblen-Jarrett – to Debbie Iles (Staffing and Recruitment for Benelux), Aimée Hardy (London Regional manager Anne Frank Trust), Lauren Harris (spokesperson and Senior Communications Advisor Dutch Embassy) and Christina Barningham (Foreign and Common Wealth Office, Brussels), they all confirmed that having Dutch on their CV made them stand out when applying for jobs.  Their tips for the students in a nutshell: be bold; be aware how special your language and cultural skills are; and don’t miss out on networking opportunities.

The final slot was for NOS correspondent Tim de Wit. Before shooting off to put together an item for the Dutch main evening news, De Wit shared his experience of his first two years as a correspondent in the UK and Ireland. His anecdotes struck a cord with anybody who works in UK-VL/NL circles, but there was a serious message too: he stressed the importance of ethical journalism, of the continued necessity to tell the full story of the UK to a Dutch audience, in particular in the light of Brexit.

Thank you and sponsorscentras

The ALCS expresses their gratitude first and foremost to UCL and Christine Sas for organising such a top event, to UCL for their hospitality, Cinema Bioscoop and Centre of Translation Studies at UCL for their inspiring workshop.

We could not showcase the wealth and opportunities of Dutch and Flemish Studies without the support of The Netherlands Embassy and Flanders House and of course, as always, the Dutch Language Union.

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Call for Researcher Low Countries Studies Survey


It is good practice for any association to look periodically at their aims and objectives and to check if they are still getting things right. The last time the ALCS measured and mapped the field of Dutch Studies in the UK and Ireland was in 2006. 

More than ten years on, the Executive Committee feels that it is time for another ‘state of the field’. This time, in addition to mapping the teaching and academic research in all areas of Low Countries Studies (including the Dutch language and all aspects of Dutch and Flemish culture), we want to canvas the views of our members: is the ALCS doing the right things to fulfil our aims?

To carry out the research the Association for Low Countries Studies is looking for an enthusiastic (student) researcher to undertake this survey of the state of Low Countries Studies in Great Britain and Ireland.

If you think you are the right person to take on this research task, please send an expression of interest containing a brief outline of your research approach and timeline with a short CV to ALCS@sheffield.ac.uk

Deadline 8 February 2017

Call: Researcher Low Countries Studies Survey


ALCS Research Grant: Chris Joby visits Asian Library Leiden

leiden_asia_centre_yearThe ALCS sponsored Dr Chris Joby’s  research  visit to Leiden in January 2017. Joby reports.

‘I am very grateful to the ALCS for supporting this research visit. It allowed me to access many resources held at Leiden University Library, which I would otherwise not be able to access. One project that I am currently undertaking is to write a history of the Dutch language in Tokugawa Japan (c. 1603-1868). The East Asia library at Leiden houses editions of primary sources, such as the Deshima Daghregisters, and many secondary sources, which I was able to consult for this project. Another project that I am undertaking concerns a collection of correspondence written in Norwich in the late 1560s. The letters in the collection were written by immigrants from Ieper and elsewhere in the Westhoek. The visit to Leiden University library allowed me to consult specialist material on sixteenth-century Flemish, which I can now include in an article on this subject. I was also able to meet with other academics involved in East Asia studies with whom I could discuss my project and exchange ideas.

A research visit such as this also allows me to keep my Dutch current and identify useful material for my courses on Dutch language, literature and cultural history at Hankuk University.’

For more information on ALCS grant opportunitiesm check our Research Grants page.


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