Wyger Velema (The Hague, 1955) is currently Senior Lecturer ( UHD ) in Early Modern History in the Department of History of the University of Amsterdam.
He studied history in Amsterdam ( kandidaats ) and Groningen ( doctoraal ) and obtained his PhD degree at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore under the supervision of Prof. J.G.A. Pocock. Since 1987, he has been employed by the University of Amsterdam in various functions (NWO-researcher, Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Lecturer in Early Modern History). He has been Arthur O. Lovejoy Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University, Visiting Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciencesand Visiting Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte in Göttingen.
He is specialized in early modern history, with an emphasis on the eighteenth century, the history of political thought and conceptual history. His first book, Enlightenment and Conservatism in the Dutch Republic (1993), was on the political thought of Elie Luzac, one of the key figures of the Dutch Enlightenment. He has since published widely on the history of political thought and on the history of concepts. A number of his essays on these topics have recently been published by Brill Academic Publishers: Republicans. Essays on Eighteenth-Century Dutch Political Thought (2007).
Wyger Velema has been and is involved in a large number of collective research projects. During the 1990s he was one of the initiators of a project on the history of Dutch concepts that has so far led to the publication of six volumes with Amsterdam University Press. Between 1996 and 1998 he was a participant in the European Science Foundation network "Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage" (see: Martin van Gelderen and Quentin Skinner, ed. Republicanism. A Shared European Heritage . 2 vols. Cambridge, 2002). More recently, he has obtained a grant for the formation of an international scholarly network on "Dutch Conceptual History in Comparative and International Perspective" (2004). In 2006 he received, together with Prof. N.C.F. van Sas, a major research grant for the project "The First Dutch Democracy: The Political World of the Batavian Republic, 1795-1801", which will run from 2007 until 2011 and will result inthree PhD-dissertations and a synthetic monograph.
Apart from having organized several international conferences himself, Wyger Velema has given numerous papers at academic conferences in the Netherlands, Europe and the Americas. He is a member of the governing board of the History of Political and Social Concepts Group and of the editorial board of the journal Contributions to the History of Concepts . In 2006, he was one of the founding editors of the new Brill series Brill's Studies in the History of Political Thought .
Enlightenment and Conservatism in the Dutch Republic. The Political Thought of Elie Luzac (1721-1796) . (Speculum Historiale. Studies in the theory of history, the philosophy of history and the history of ideas, volume 13). Assen and Maastricht, 1993.
Ed., with E.O.G. Haitsma Mulier. Vrijheid. Een geschiedenis van de vijftiende tot de twintigste eeuw . (History of Dutch Concepts, volume 2). Amsterdam, 1999.
Republicans. Essays on Eighteenth-Century Dutch Political Thought . (Brill's Studies in Intellectual History, volume 155). Leiden and Boston, 2007.