Publications
Article

Between Christendom and Christianity. The Church in Flanders

Flanders remained a strong and homogeneous Roman Catholic area shortly after the Second World War. Today the Church in Flanders is not longer as strong as it used to be, but in a whole new phase. The change is gathering momentum. It is impo...

Article

Digital Humanities and Low Countries Culture

Michel Foucault may have predicted the end of the humanities, but today Digital Humanaties, the digital revolution and the virtual world are offering a new beginning. In the process, our humanities research and how this is being done will ...

Column

Postcard

British journalist Derek Blyth travels through the Low Countries and stops in cities that are worth visiting. Each time he looks at the place and its inhabitants through curious glasses.

Article

The End of Melancholy. Mechelen Revisited

It's early morning in Mechelen and the streets are empty. Derek Blyth is looking forward to wandering down the cobbled lanes, looking inside gothic churches, passing some time in the municipal museum, and ending up, as everyone does, in one...

Article

The Bon Vivant Back in the Hermitage

The life of the painting The Bon Vivant (De vrolijke drinker), by Louis de Moni (1698-1771), has been quite eventful. During the lifetime of the Dutch master, at the start of the 1760s this work in cabinet format was purchased for the coll...

Article

How Free is Dutch-Language Poetry?

Anyone reviewing the landscape of the Dutch-language poetry of the last few years is bound to note that it is flourishing, that it is characterised by an enormously multi-facetted structure and that, considering its negligible economic imp...

Article

Let There Be Light. Discovering Eindhoven

Back in the 1880s, when Van Gogh was plodding through the Brabant potato fields, Eindhoven was just a small Catholic town. Now it is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands, with an acclaimed modern art museum and a world-class design ac...

Article

Ulrike Burki: Berlin

This week's Friday Verses are written by Ulrike Burki. We translated her poem ‘Berlin’.

Article

Watching The Night Watch Together

Rineke Dijkstra’s new film installation Night Watching shows 14 groups of people looking at Rembrandt’s The Night Watch.

Article

The World Was Drinking and Whoring

In a new book by our publisher Ons Erfdeel vzw, experts state that a lot of institutions and systems that were built up after the Second World War are at risk today.

Article

A Whiter Shade of Car

The bicycle and car sharing that we know today can be traced back to the ‘White Bicycles’ and ‘White Cars’ initiated by the Provo movement.

Article

Who Is in Charge of Language?

When it comes to Dutch, editor-in-chief Luc Devoldere states that it is not clear who determines which language norms to respect and which rules to adhere to.

Article

Time for Business: Dutch Studies in the UK

In 2019 the oldest Centre for Dutch Studies in the UK, housed at the University College London (UCL), celebrates its centenary. One may ask if there is much cause for celebration.

Article

Belgium Is Europe in Miniature

Belgium has an interim minority government to deal with the corona crisis. The emergency has exacerbated the division in the country. Will Belgium fall apart, or is it actually a laboratory for Europe?

Article

Who Gave the Most Royal Corona Speech?

Many European rulers gave speeches during the corona crisis. How did they infuse their words with power? What meanings did Willem-Alexander’s concerned look and Filip’s stiff facial expression lend to their messages? And who gave the best s...

Article

A Museum of Compromise

After five years of renovation and decolonisation, the AfricaMuseum in Tervuren opened again. Dutch writer of Congolese descent, Kiza Magendane visited the museum with mixed feelings.

Article

Ostend: A Sea Change

Ostend is different. Other resorts along Belgium’s North Sea coastline are small, touristy places. But Ostend is a real city.

Article

The Colonial Debate in the Netherlands in Four Monuments

What did the Dutch know, through the ages, about what went on in their colonies, in the East and West Indies? Ewald Vanvught gives an outline of the current changing view of the colonial period in the Netherlands with reference to four monu...

Article

The Noble Beauty of the Terraced House

No house is more Dutch than the terraced house. Yet this type of architecture has only recently come to be valued as it should. Time to redress the balance.

Article

The Malleable Rembrandt

Dutch art often appears in debates about identity, and this always happens in terms of what is 'own' and 'foreign' to it. Rembrandt in particular turns out to be very 'malleable'.

Article

The 'Black Pete' of W.B. Yeats

For some, he was a servant, for others a vanquished devil. However, the Irish poet W.B. Yeats sheds a different light on the origins of the controversial Black Pete tradition.

Article

Etty Hillesum: a Life Interrupted, a Spirit Unperturbed

The Amsterdam house where Jewish writer Etty Hillesum wrote her famous diary during WWII is in danger of being demolished. Philippe Noble, who translated her work into French, tells us why the writings she left behind are still as powerful ...

Article

Fast Living: A Modern Malady?

Travel diaries written by Dutch men and women born more than two centuries ago suggest that stress is not a recent phenomenon.

Article

A Stranger on His Own Land

Right-wing extremism and Muslim extremism penetrate deeper into society, even into institutions. Meanwhile a much larger problem is overshadowed: inequality.

Article

Like A Scythe Across the Country

One hundred years ago the world encountered a Spanish flu pandemic which cost an estimated 50 to 100 million lives. But in the Netherlands it was long underestimated by the government. Medical historian Leo van Bergen sketches the devastati...

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