Harvest of the University Press (summer 2019)
Universities all over the world publish academic monographs and scientific journals on the Low Countries. In this article, we present you with a selection of recent university press publications in English.
The Everyday Nationalism of Workers - A Social History of Modern Belgium
Maarten Van Ginderachter
The Everyday Nationalism of Workers upends common notions about how European nationalism is lived and experienced by ordinary people—and the bottom-up impact these everyday expressions of nationalism exert on institutionalized nationalism writ large. Drawing on sources from the major urban and working-class centers of Belgium, Maarten Van Ginderachter uncovers the everyday nationalism of the rank and file of the socialist Belgian Workers Party between 1880 and World War I, a period in which Europe experienced the concurrent rise of nationalism and socialism as mass movements.
Analyzing sources from - not just about - ordinary workers, Van Ginderachter reveals the limits of nation-building from above and the potential of agency from below. With a rich and diverse base of sources (including workers' "propaganda pence" ads that reveal a Twitter-like transcript of proletarian consciousness), the book shows all the complexity of socialist workers' ambivalent engagement with nationhood, patriotism, ethnicity and language. By comparing the Belgian case with the rise of nationalism across Europe, Van Ginderachter sheds new light on how multilingual societies fared in the age of mass politics and ethnic nationalism.
Women Artists and Patrons in the Netherlands, 1500-1700
Elizabeth Sutton (ed.)
This essay collection features innovative scholarship on women artists and patrons in the Netherlands 1500-1700. Covering painting, printmaking, and patronage, authors highlight the contributions of women art makers in the Netherlands, showing that women were prominent as creators in their own time and deserve to be recognized as such today.
Van Gogh's Sunflowers Illuminated - Art Meets Science
Maarten van Bommel, Ella Hendriks, Marije Vellekoop, Muriel Geldof (eds.)
Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers are seen by many as icons of Western European art. Two of these masterpieces - the first version painted in August 1888 (The National Gallery, London) and the painting made after it in January 1889 (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam) - have been the subject of a detailed comparison by an interdisciplinary team of experts. The pictures were examined in unprecedented depth using a broad array of techniques, including state-of-the-art, non-invasive imaging analytical methods, to look closely at and under the paint surface.
Not only the making, but also the subsequent history of the works was reconstructed, including later campaigns of restoration. The study’s conclusions are set out in this book, along with the fascinating genesis of the paintings and the sunflower’s special significance to Van Gogh.
More than 30 authors, all specialists in the field of conservation, conservation science and art history, have contributed to the research and publication presenting the outcomes of this unique project.
My Mother's Mother’s Mother - South African Women's Writing from 17th-Century Dutch to Contemporary Afrikaans
Pieta van Beek & Annemarié van Niekerk
The first of its kind, this volume collects more than seventy South African women’s voices, from 1652 until today. We share the joys and sorrows of these women through their entertaining, sometimes disturbing texts. A testament to a significant segment of the linguistic and cultural history of the country, they speak in Dutch, then in different varieties of Afrikaans.
The printing press arrived late at the Cape, and when it finally did, it took another century before the first publications by women appeared. Initially their writing bore a strong biblical influence, but gradually, as women began to have access to better educational opportunities, they began to produce literature of world stature in Afrikaans. Through this literature, we can see women’s perspectives on the tumultuous history of South Africa from colonisation to democracy as it unfolded.
This book is crucial for researchers of language development and historical texts by women. It is also indispensable for everyone interested in world literature and its development, particularly in South Africa.
The Colonization of Freed African Americans in Suriname - Archival Sources relating to the U.S.-Dutch Negotiations, 1860-1866
Michael J. Douma
During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln’s administration engaged in protracted negotiations with representatives of the Netherlands to aid in the voluntarily colonization of free African Americans to Suriname. Scores of diplomatic letters in Dutch, English, and French, dating to the period 1862 to 1866 attest to the very real possibility that such migration stream could have become a reality. They also indicate reasons why this scheme failed: it was bogged down by differences of opinion, mail delays, and ultimately a reluctance of any African Americans to migrate.
Previously unpublished and unknown, these letters have been transcribed and translated here for the first time. The sources provide a rare look inside the minds of liberal government officials during the age of emancipation in the Atlantic World. They demonstrate the officials’ humanitarian concerns, their racial prejudices, respect for legal order and process, and faith in governments to solve international problems.