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Modern History Group

Modern History Group


Elizabeth Buettner

Members of the group

  • Elizabeth Buettner (Coordinator)
  • Nanci Adler
  • Bas von Benda-Beckmann
  • George Blaustein
  • Sebastiaan Broere
  • Peter van Dam
  • Ruud van Dijk
  • Alex Drace-Francis
  • Susanna Erlandsson
  • Moritz Föllmer
  • Benjamin Hirschfeld
  • Rosemarijn Hoefte
  • Peyman Jafari
  • Hanco Jürgens
  • Daniël Knegt
  • Samuël Kruizinga
  • Vincent Kuitenbrouwer
  • Rimko van der Maar
  • Willem Melching
  • Christina Morina
  • Pauline Onderwater
  • Niek Pas
  • Remco Raben
  • Peter Romijn
  • Natalie Scholz
  • Klaas Stutje
  • Krijn Thijs
  • Ingrid de Zwarte

Description of the research programme of the research group

The Modern History Research Group aims to take stock of broad‐ranging themes central to current historical research on the period between c. 1800 and the present in order to explore where scholarship and teaching might most productively head in the future.  Established in mid-2014, the group launched a ‘New Directions in Modern History’ Workshop Series—focused events that aim to feature contributions by group members, colleagues and research students at the UvA from History and other departments, scholars based at other Dutch universities, and a selection of invited international participants.  Among other activities, ‘New Directions’ workshops allow us to develop mutual research interests, consolidate the modern historical research now being done within the UvA, and discuss fruitful follow‐up collaborations and initiatives.  Core interests of the Modern History Research Group include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  • Transnational Approaches to Dutch and European Histories
  • Global, International, and Imperial History
  • Cultural Transfers Across Border

Recent activities/results


Group members’ publication activities can be found on their individual home pages.


--Remco Raben received an NWO Free Competition grant as the PI for a project on ‘Decolonizing knowledge: Postcoloniality and the Making of Modern Indonesia’s Knowledge Culture, 1945-1970’.

--Samuël Kruizinga received an NWO Internationalization grant as the PI for a project on ‘Getting the Big Picture on Small States’ (with Vincent Kuitenbrouwer, Ruud van Dijk, and Rimko van der Maar also part of the application).  Samuël’s autumn 2016 application for an NWO VIDI was unfortunately unsuccessful, but he has used this as the point of departure for an application for an ERC Starting Grant to be submitted in October 2017.

--Liz Buettner/I was part of a successful team application for a project on ‘European Colonial Heritage Modalities in Entangled Cities’ (ECHOES) submitted to the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 scheme (‘Engaging Together Globally’ call (H2020-SC6-ENG-GLOBALLY-2016-2017).  This involves researchers at the Universities of Hull (where Professor John Oldfield, the Principal Investigator, is based), Aarhus, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Rennes II, and the Center for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra.  I will act as co-leader of two of the component sub-projects/‘work packages’, and the 3-year award will begin in February 2018. (Grant total: c. €2,4 million, with details still to be finalized.)

--Vincent Kuitenbrouwer continues to be part of a team of international researchers funded by Leverhulme for a 36-month project on ‘Connecting the Wireless World: Writing Global Radio History’ that began early in 2016.

--3 group members (Liz Buettner and Peter van Dam, working together, and Samuël Kruizinga) received support from the AIHR’s Cutting Edge Research Fund (Network Grant Applications) to support initiatives on ‘Researching (Post)colonial Globalization’ and ‘Size Matters: Small States in the History of International Relations, 1814-Present Day’.  The first workshop connected to ‘Researching (Post)colonial Globalization’ was held in March 2017.


Thanks to financial support from ASH, we were able to organize and sponsor the following presentations, which attracted both group members and other scholars from both within and outside the UvA (including Research Masters Studies in History):

--Britta Schilling (Utrecht), ‘A Controversial Heirloom: The Materiality of German Colonial Memory’, 22 November 2016.

--Frank Gerits (UvA), ‘The Ideological Scramble for Africa: How the Dream of African Development Reshaped a Continental Cold War (1945-1966)’, 10 January 2017.

--Wendy Webster (Huddersfield, UK), ‘Mixing It: Multinational Britain in the Second World War’, co-sponsored by NIOD, 14 February 2017.

--Stella Krepp (Iberische und Lateinamerikanische Geschichte, Universität Bern), ‘Development, Non-Alignment, and the Struggle for Latin America's Role in the World Order, 1954-1964’, co-sponsored by the Department of European Studies/EAST, 22 March 2017.

--Vanni Pettinà(El Colegio de México), ‘México in the Third World: Reconnecting the Western Hemisphere to the history of the Global Cold War’, co-sponsored by the Department of European Studies/EAST, 12 May 2017.

--Krijn Thijs (UvA/Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam), ‘Longing for “Reine Wissenschaft”: East and West German Historians and the Muddy Remains of Socialist Historiography after 1989’, 14 June 2017.

--Bart Stol (Utrecht), ‘Nederland, Nieuw-Guinea en de Europese tweede koloniale bezetting in Afrika en Melanesië (1930-1962)‘, 29 June 2017.