2021: City Lights
Urban space and civic identity
The Third ALCS Postgraduate Colloquium
8-9 July 2021
The Association for Low Countries Studies had its third Postgraduate Colloquium, City Lights.
The colloquium brings together young scholars from the UK and internationally to explore urban space and civic identity in Benelux from an interdisciplinary perspective.
The Low Countries is one of the world’s most urbanised regions. Since the Middle Ages, advances in mercantilism, industry and land reclamation had spurred Bruges, Antwerp and Amsterdam toward exponential growth. Meanwhile, claims to political autonomy and religious freedom caused tension with the powers that be, erupting most violently during the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648).
Today, many Netherlandish cities retain a unique sense of identity, manifested in dialects, local legends and civic buildings.
The diverse and wide-ranging programme featured panels on sense and the city, the early modern book trade, the built environment, urban politics and modern times. Day two included a virtual show and tell event showcasing Dutch language collections in the Universal Short Title Catalogue and the British Library.
To conclude we welcomed our keynote Elisabeth de Bièvre, author of Dutch Art and Urban Cultures, 1200-1700 (Yale University Press, 2015).