Helmer Helmers is lecturer in early modern Dutch literature and culture at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). He obtained his doctorate with the highest possible distinction at Leiden University in 2011. With Nadine Akkerman, he recently led the NWO research project on the Texel shipwreck BZN17, Maritime Archaeology Meets Cultural History (2017-2018). He is currently a fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), where he is working on his book The First Cold War. Dutch Print Culture and International Relations, 1560-1648.
Helmers specializes in Dutch cultural history, focusing especially on the intersections between literary culture and politics in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. He is the author of The Royalist Republic. Literature, Politics and Religion in the Anglo-Dutch Public Sphere, 1639-1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, paperback edition 2016), which was runner-up for the SRS book prize in 2016. With Geert Janssen, he has edited the Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). He is also founding editor of the Open Access journal The Early Modern Low Countries.
Helmers is board member of the Amsterdam School of History (ASH) and Chairman of the Huizinga Institute Programme Team. In 2018, he was elected member of the Dutch Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie) and the Amsterdam Young Academy (AYA).
Helmers teaches courses in Dutch historical literature and early modern history. With Djoeke van Netten, he coordinates the master programme The Dutch Golden Age (Ma Gouden Eeuw).
Helmers is the recipient of several fellowships, an NWO Rubicon, and an NWO Veni grant. In his research, Helmers focuses on early modern political culture in Europe and the Dutch republic. He is specifically interested in:
He is currently developing a new research project on public diplomacy in the early modern period.
The First Cold War. Dutch Print Culture and International Relations, 1568-1648. In preparation.
The Royalist Republic: Literature, Politics, and Religion in the Anglo-Dutch Public Sphere, 1639-1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015). Paperback edition 2016.
Runner-up for the SRS Book Prize (2016). Reviewed in BMGN, Dutch Crossing, English Historical Review, Historische Zeitschrift, H-NET, Journal of Dutch Literature, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Renaissance and Reformation, Renaissance Quarterly, Renaissance Studies, Seventeenth Century, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis.
“Absorbing […] Helmers’ beautifully crafted and deeply researched study reveals a true media phenomenon, engaging one of Europe’s most sophisticated publics”. Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews."One of the most arresting and original works of early modern literary criticism in recent years”. Joad Raymond, Queen Mary University of London.
20+ reviews in a wide variety of international journals (e.g. Publication History, Renaissance Quarterly, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, Quaerendo, Early Modern Low Countries).