Amsterdam School of Historical Studies

Newsletter October 2016

News ASH community

Photo Martje aan de Kerk

New ASH PhD representative

Our new PhD representative is Martje aan de Kerk. She will represent the ASH PhD community in the PhD Council Board, the Graduate Study Committee and the ASH Advisory Board.

Martje aan de Kerk wants to stimulate a constructive discussion about topics
that concern PhD students. Hoping to improve both the sense of community and address issues that influence PhD candidates.

She will organize a meeting for the ASH PhD community twice a year to discuss topics relevant to PhD candidates. The next meeting will take place on 27 October 2016 at 15:30 in the Bushuis, room E1.02, followed by drinks at café de Engelbewaarder.

You can contact Martje at

Book cover Food Hawkers. Selling in the Streets from Antiquity to the Present'

New book co-edited by Danielle van den Heuvel

Food Hawkers. Selling in the Streets from Antiquity to the Present. A new book edited by Danielle van den Heuvel (ASH) and Melissa Calaresu (Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge) will be published by Routhledge, London.

Street vendors are ubiquitous across the world and throughout history. They are part of almost any distribution chain, and play an important role in the marketing of consumer goods particularly to poorer customers. Focusing on the food trades, this multi-disciplinary volume explores the dynamics of street selling and its impact on society.

You can purchase your copy at Routledge.

UvA FGw Aspasia Fund

Call for proposal

Two to three female academics are eligible for a temporary release from teaching duties, to allow them to prepare applications for senior personal grants. The UvA FGw Aspasia Fund aims to support women in their career development within the Faculty of Humanities at the UvA and to expand their opportunities to conduct research. Deadline is 12 January 2017.
Remieg Aerts photo by Dirk Gillisen

Remieg Aerts appointed professor of Dutch history

Remieg Aerts will take up his post in January 2017 as professor in Dutch History as successor of James Kennedy. His research areas include Dutch and Western political history since 1750 and more specifically the nineteenth century, History of concepts, Press history, Urban history. His main interest is the social and cultural context of politics. In January his latest book Thorbecke wil het. Biografie van een staatsman will be published. Remieg Aerts is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His research and teaching at the UvA will be centered around the international history of The Netherlands and the meaning of consumerism in modern society and politics.

Louis van Tilborgh in NYT about diagnosis Van Gogh

In connection to the current Van Gogh Museum exhibition On the Verge of Insanity, a meeting of experts was held to discuss Vincent van Gogh’s illness. A team of 35 international psychiatrists, other doctors and art historians studied all the medical evidence as well as his personal letters and diagnosed him with a form of psychosis, but did not agree on the underlying cause of his mental illness.

“The debate was lively and sometimes “fierce,” said Louis van Tilborgh, a professor of art history at the University of Amsterdam, who conducts research into the life and work of van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum. “It’s difficult to make a diagnosis, so the real progress we’ve made is that specialists in the field are talking about it, and they’ve never done this before,” he said.” Read the full New York Times article of 15 September here.

New faces

Danielle van den Heuvel

We warmly welcome Danielle van den Heuvel to ASH. Danielle van den Heuvel is assistant professor in Early Modern History and and leader of the NWO Vidi awarded project Freedom of the Streets. Gender and Urban Space in Europe and Asia (1600-1850).

Her current research has a highly interdisciplinary focus and centers around two main themes: the impact of institutions on marginal groups in early modern society, and life in city streets before industrialisation. In this context she explores topics such as gendered urban space, the informal economy, women’s work, food markets, and ambulant trading.

In regard to the project ASH is looking for two PhD candidates ‘Gender and Urban Space in Edo/ Amsterdam’, more information about the vacancies below.

Margreet Vermeulen

Margreet Vermeulen has joined the office team of ASH and will assist Brigit van der Pas. One of her tasks is bringing the latest news of our community, so don’t hesitate to send Margreet news items you want to share through the newsletter or website.

Before coming to ASH, Margreet worked at the UvA as personal assistant of Mieke Bal. The time in between these jobs was leisurely spent in Berlin enjoying big city life with a toddler. Next to her job at the university, Margreet is a freelance graphic designer who loves to spend time working with old fashioned letterpress printing machines.

Martijn Icks

Dr. Martijn Icks (1981) is the new lecturer in Ancient History at the Faculty of Humanities. He obtained his PhD in 2008 at the University of Nijmegen for a study on the Roman emperor Elagabalus (r. 218-222 CE) and his fictional afterlife in art and literature from antiquity to the present day. Since then, he has worked at the Universities of Heidelberg, Düsseldorf and Belfast.

Martijn Icks’s research focus is mainly on the representation and perception of Roman imperial power, although he also has a keen interest in the reception of antiquity in later ages and in character assassination as an historical, cross-cultural phenomenon. His current research explores the visibility and accessibility of imperial power in the principate and late antiquity.


PhD candidate 'Gender and Urban Space in Edo' (ASH)

ASH currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the NWO-funded Vidi Project The freedom of the streets. Gender and urban space in Europe and Asia (1600-1850), led by Dr Danielle van den Heuvel. Deadline 15 December 2016

PhD candidate 'Gender and Urban Space in Amsterdam' (ASH)

ASH currently has a vacant PhD position as part of the NWO-funded Vidi Project The freedom of the streets. Gender and urban space in Europe and Asia (1600-1850), led by Dr Danielle van den Heuvel.
Deadline 15 December 2016

Upcoming events

Lecture Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen

‘Never Better’: Consolation and the Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern England
19 October 17.00 PCH 1.05 English Department lecture series

Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen (University of Leiden) will look at the crucial role of consolation in the culture of early modern English Protestantism. Protestants were preoccupied by the idea of consolation, and felt that the true Christian community is defined by the ways in which it understands and practices consolation. Members of the Protestant clergy undertook a massive effort – in a diverse genre best labeled ‘religious consolation literature’ – to instruct their flock in the meanings of suffering, and to shape their responses to affliction.

Van Dijkhuizen will map some of the dominant tropes in this literature, showing that consolation was always a deeply politically fraught concept. He will also examine how consolation literature was put to use by early modern Protestant individuals. By turning to the notebooks of the London wood turner Nehemiah Wallington (1598–1658), he will show that consolation could be a frustratingly open-ended, potentially endless enterprise.

Colouring and Making in Alchemy and Chemistry

7th SHAC Postgraduate Workshop
26 October 9.45 – 18:15 Utrecht University Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21, 3512 BR Utrecht

This year’s workshop of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry seeks to explore colouring and making as twin aspects throughout history. During this workshop will be explored how the activities of making and colouring relate to one another. More fundamentally, the very ways in which making and colouring are construed and differentiated are subject to great changes: when alchemists claimed to have made gold successfully, for instance, their critics (and later generations) held that they had not made but merely coloured a substance.

The workshop is free, but the number of participants is limited. Please register until 15 October by emailing Thijs Hagendijk (Utrecht),

Public Religions and their Secrets, Secret Religions and their Publics

2016 Autumn Conference of the Dutch Association for the Study of Religion (NGG)
27 & 28 October VOC Hall Bushuis/Oost-Indisch Huis

The ASH research group “Religious Dynamics and Cultural Diversity”  is  honoured to invite you to the keynote lectures of  Prof. Jan Assmann (Konstanz) and dr. Gerdien Jonker (Erlangen) at the occasion of the conference “Public Religions and their Secrets, Secret Religions and their Publics”.

27 October 13.00 - 14.15
Prof. Jan Assmann, The Secret and the Sacred in Ancient Egypt

28 October 15.30 - 16.30
Dr. Gerdien Jonker, Handling Religious Secrets in Modern Society. Ahmadiyya Mission in Interwar Europa
Seats are limited. Please, register before 17 October by email at

Voor de Leeuwen

Sharing research and grant ideas, successes and failures
4 November 16.00 – 18.00 Leeuwenkuil PCH (17.00 drinks)

'Voor de Leeuwen' aims to provide a platform for all FGw-researchers to discuss research and grant opportunities, ideas and even failures in an open and informal setting. With research grants becoming more and more important the grant team wants to encourage both junior and senior researchers to pitch research ideas and to share do's and don'ts for others to benefit from their experience. All are welcome to this first meeting of the series. Speakers include Thomas Vaessens (directot AIHR), Kees Hengeveld (ACLC) and Judith Rispens (ACLC). Please register at

Other events

The Crime and the Silence Interview with Anna Bikont about the Jews of Jedwabne

17 October 17.00 – 18.30 Spui 25

Propaganda in the Indonesian War of Independence  PhD defence Muhammed Yuanda Zara

19 October 10.00 – 11.00 Agnietenkapel

Grant news and upcoming deadlines

Cutting Edge Research Fund

The UvA Faculty of Humanities offers a new funding scheme that fosters international collaboration aimed at innovative, cutting edge research. Applications are invited for two types of grants: 1. Network Grants and 2. Research Fellowships.
Applications can be submitted continuously until 1 May 2017.

Fulbright Fellowships for researchers

1 December 2016 - Deadline for applications

More news and deadlines at the ASH website Research funding opportunies
News items or event announcements can be sent to, using the following form.
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