Early Modern Intellectual History


Prof. dr. Wyger Velema


Dr. Frans Blom
Dr. Jacques Bos
Camille Creyghton MA
Prof. dr. Jan Willem van Henten
Raphael Hunsucker MA
Lisa Kattenberg MA
Prof. dr. Bram Kempers
Dr. Matthijs Lok
Eleá de la Porte MA
Dr. David Rijser
Dr. Jan Rock
Jan Rotmans MA
Dr. Resianne Smidt van Gelder-Fontaine
Prof. dr. Wyger Velema
Lina Weber MA
Dr. Thijs Weststeijn
Dr. Arno Witte

Current RMA-students involved in the activities of the group

Theo de Jong
Eva van Kemenade

Informal members

Dirk Alkemade, MA
Rosanne Baars, MA
Dr. Annelien de Dijn
René Koekkoek, MA
Dr. Dirk van Miert
Prof. dr. Ida Nijenhuis
Floris Solleveld MA
Dr. Jetze Touber
Devin Vartija, MA
Dr. Arthur Weststeijn


This research group started out as “Classical Receptions” and originally intended to devote its activities to the study the reception of classical, that is Greek and Roman, antiquity in Europe from the Renaissance onward. In the course of the meetings of the group, however, it transpired that although most members shared a strong interest in the history of the reception of the classics, many also thought that an exclusive focus on this topic was unnecessarily narrow. It was therefore decided to broaden the theme of the group and to rename it “Early Modern Intellectual History” (EMIH). EMIH focuses on the period from the Renaissance to the late eighteenth century and defines intellectual history, in the words of the late John W. Burrow, as the process of recovering  “what people in the past meant by the things they said and what these things “meant” to them”. While many of the group members retain a strong interest in the early modern reception of the classics, themes studied and discussed now also include the history of political and historical thought, the history of concepts, cultural transfers, and the history of scholarship. Those wishing to acquaint themselves with the field are advised to start with Richard Whatmore and Brian Young, A Companion to Intellectual History (Wiley Blackwell, 2016).

EMIH Activities

The research group is primarily intended as a platform for researchers in the field of early modern intellectual history. Its core activity is a research seminar (four to six meetings in every academic year) in which both recent literature and work in progress by group members are discussed. The group also occasionally organizes international conferences. The first of these, entitled Imagining the Ancients: Republics and the Classical Past, 1500-1800, was held on November 14 and 15, 2013, at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome. The second international conference – The Long Quarrel: Ancients and Moderns in the Eighteenth Century – will be held in Amsterdam on June 16 and 17, 2016. The proceedings of these conferences will be published. The research group will also generate a steady stream of  books and articles by individual group members on the theme of early modern intellectual history, as well as a number of PhD theses. In the long run, applications for outside money from both NWO and the ERC are envisaged.

Published by  Amsterdam School of Historical Studies

27 May 2016