10th Biennial ALCS Conference

10-12 September 2014, University College London

Consensus and discord in the Low Countries

Ester Naomi Perquin speaking

Hailing from Berkeley, California to Budapest, from Amsterdam to Brussels but above all from all corners of the UK, the ALCS welcomed over forty delegates and speakers to the 10th Biennial Conference at University College London from 10-12 September 2014.

The conference theme ‘Discord and consensus’ was explored from a variety of angles in plenary meetings, panels and themed sessions. The presentations on linguistics, literature, history and art history were a clear testimony to the depth and breadth of Dutch studies in the UK and beyond.

In collaboration with the UCL Centre for Dutch Studies, the programme also included an evening of poetry by Ester Naomi Perquin.

Our UCL colleagues pulled off an impeccable organisation and in addition to the quality of the papers, many delegates commented on the constructive spirit of the conference. One of our up-and-coming colleagues Dr Nick Piercey (UCL) noted:

I really enjoyed the conference; it was easily the most enjoyable one I have been to and it felt so warm, welcoming and vibrant. I might be a new member of the ALCS, but it was a wonderful atmosphere and I picked up lots of new ideas in a range of topics.

All contributors were invited to submit their papers for the conference volume with the working title ‘Discord and consensus in the Low Countries’ in the Crossways series that accompanies Dutch Crossing.

The conference was made possible with financial support from the Nederlandse Taalunie, the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Flemish Representation in the UK. With many thanks again to our UCL colleagues Jane Fenoulhet, Gerdi Quist, Josephine Salverda and Ulrich Tiedau.

Henriette Louwerse

Call for papers ‘Discord and consensus’

All countries, regions and institution are ultimately built on a degree of consensus, on a collective commitment to a concept, belief or value system. This consensus is continuously rephrased and reinvented through a narrative of cohesion and challenged by expressions of discontent and discord.

The history of the Low Countries is characterised by both a striving for consensus and eruptions of discord both internally or through outside challenges. The ALCS Biennial Conference aims to explore consensus and discord in a Low Countries context along and across broad cultural, linguistic and historical lines.

Conference programme

Wednesday 10 September

Venue: Gustave Tuck lecture theatre, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1.

From 4.30pm



Welcome and opening lecture by Dr Henriëtte Louwerse (University of Sheffield).


Reception and buffet supper in the North Cloisters, UCL, Gower Street.

Thursday 11 September

Venue: University College London, Gower Street, London WC1.


Plenary lecture by Professor Dr Jan Blommaert (University of Tilburg)


Coffee and tea


Parallel/panel sessions




Parallel sessions


Coffee and tea


Workshop on teaching translation led by Jane Fenoulhet


Poetry evening with Esther Naomi Perquin organised by the UCL Centre for Low Countries studies


Participants make own arrangements

Friday 12 September

Venue 1: UCL


ALCS General Meeting


Coffee and tea


Plenary lecture by Professor Dr Inger Leemans (VU Amsterdam)


Parallel/panel sessions

Venue 2: The British Library, Euston Road, London NW1


Sandwich lunch


Show and tell session led by Marja Kingma - special books from the British Library’s Dutch holdings - conference participants will have to opportunity to suggest items in advance.


Closing words