Foreign Eyes on the Republic
: European Perspectives on the Republic and the Dutch in the Long Eighteenth Century

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Call for Papers
February 21, 2019 to February 22, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Early Modern History and Period Studies, Area Studies, Literature, Diplomacy and International Relations

What images did the Dutch evoke during the long eighteenth century? By examining both the international importance of the Republic as well as the development and dissemination of European stereotypes about the Dutch, such as cleanliness or frugality, this conference aims to overlap and juxtapose a plethora of perspectives on the eighteenth-century Northern Netherlands.

This conference offers scholars a platform to engage with various European perspectives on the Dutch and the Dutch Republic in the long eighteenth century. We encourage the use of a diversity of sources, ranging from ego-documents and travelogues to poetry and historiography, as well as visual material such as paintings and engravings, in order to produce a comparative, kaleidoscopic view of national images and map their dissemination across genres, languages and borders. We especially welcome papers that discuss the political and cultural use of stereotypes, as well as papers that depart from lesser-known perspectives, e.g. from Central and Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

This conference would like to broaden the scope of imagological research in three distinct ways: 1) by combining and juxtaposing ego-documental, historical, art-historical and literary sources; 2) by com-paring relatively well-known and lesser-known European views; 3) by discussing the opinions of both foreign guests (travellers) and the reactions of their hosts (‘travelees’).

The historical demarcation should be understood in a broad sense: the conference welcomes papers on the diachronic development of stereotypes, as well as single historical events which influenced European opinions.

Suggestions for papers are:

  • Theoretical and methodological approaches to early modern stereotypes
  • The use and reuse of stereotypes in politics and propaganda
  • National imagery, myths, and symbols
  • Centers of trade and scholarship
  • The dynamics between hosts and guests
  • National, regional and local stereotypes
  • Auto-images and hetero-images

Paper proposals (max. 300 words) should reach the conference committee by 14 December, 2018 by email:  Please include a short biography. We invite proposals on any topic relevant to the conference’s theme: European perspectives on the Dutch and the Dutch Republic in the long eighteenth century. Confirmed keynote speakers are Prof Dr Joep Leersen (University of Amsterdam) and Dr Gerrit Verhoeven (University of Antwerp). Conference website:

This conference is funded by the Alexander P. Raat conference fund, awarded by the ‘Werkgroep De Achttiende Eeuw’, the Dutch project group on eighteenth-century studies. The conference is hosted by the Radboud University Nijmegen and organized by Paul Hulsenboom MA and Alan Moss MA.

Contact Info: 

Radboud University Nijmegen
Faculty of Arts
Erasmusplein 1
6525 HT Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Contact Email: