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Rob van der Laarse

prof. dr.

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Personal profile

Ancillary activities

  • AUP | Amsterdam | Editorial Board LHS | 2010-09-01 - present
  • Amsterdams Historisch Museum | Amsterdam | Wetenschappelijke Adviesraad | 2010-09-01 - present
  • Ministerie VWS | Den Haag | Toetsingscommissie Erfgoed van de Oorlog | 2010-09-01 - present
  • NWO | Den Haag | Stuurgroep Onderzoekslijn | 2010-09-01 - present
  • Reinwardt Academie AHK | Amsterdam | Kenniskring lectoraat Cultureel Erfgoed | 2010-09-01 - present
  • Stichting HCK WEsterdorp | Hooghalen | Bijzonder Hoogleraar Westerbork leerstoel | 2010-09-01 - present
  • Stichting Paradox | Edam | Raad van Bestuur | 2010-09-01 - present
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam | Amsterdam | Universitair Hoofddocent | 2010-09-01 - present
  • Universiteit van Amsterdam | Amsterdam | Universitair Hoofddocent | 2010-09-01 - present
  • Van der Laarse Heritage Consult | Edam | Directeur | 2010-09-01 - present
  • Virtus Tijdschrift van Adelsgeschiedenis | Zwolle | Advisory Board | 2010-09-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Personal information

I am holding the interuniversity VU-UvA Westerbork chair in War and Conflict Heritage at VU University.

From 2010-2015 I was also the head of the CLUE research cluster The Heritage and Memory of Conflict and War, before being appointed founding director of the Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) research school at the humanities faculty of the University of Amsterdam, where I had been earlier founding director of the MA program in Heritage and Memory Studies.

I studied history and anthropology at the UvA, and graduated and obtained my PhD there both cum laude, while my dissertation was awarded a Praemium Erasmianum research Prize (1990).

As a teacher and researcher I have been a staf member of the UvA's History, Media Studies, and Art and Culture departments, and a fellow at several European universities, theme group leader at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS), and theme leader at the UvA priority program Heritage and Identity (ACHI), and the VU-UvA research centre ACCESS EUROPE (currently ACES). For my Terrorscapes research project I was awarded together with Georgi Verbeeck in Rome the Euromediterraneo Prize 2013.



My research focuses on European intellectual history, cultural heritage, identity and memory politics, and conflicts and war, on which I published more than 100 book and journal publications.

I am a board member of several academic journals, such as Virtus (Yearbook on the history of Nobility) and Accessing Campscapes (E-Journal on Nazi and Gulag camps research), and the founding editor of the CLUE book series Landscape and Heritage Studies (2010-2015) and since 2015 the AHM series Heritage and Memory Studies at Amsterdam University Press, and of the very well received Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict (with Britt Baillie and Ihab Saloul).


My track record in 2017 was 5,1 million euros external research funding granted by NWO and EU research foundations.

At VU University I have initiated since 2010 several large research projects to Europe's competing memories and contested heritage of the 20th century World Wars and the Holocaust, such as the research line Dynamics of Memory (2009) developed together with Frank van Vree (NIOD and the UvA), the AHRC-NWO Anglo Dutch research project Landscapes of War, Trauma and Occupation (2012) together with Gilly Carr (Cambridge University), the Westerbork Archaeological Research Project (2013) with RAAP Consult, which initiated a European program in Holocaust Archaeology, and the NWO-KNAW project Terrorscapes in Postwar Europe (2010 /2012).

From 2010-2014 I was also sworn member of the Selection Committee of the Dutch government's program Erfgoed van de Oorlog (Heritage of War), which granted 22 million euros for innovative digital preservation projects to Dutch museums, memorials and heritage institutes as to guarantee a sustainable and inclusive future to the material and intangible heritage of the Holocaust and the Second World War. 

I am currently leading at the UvA the EU collaborative HERA-JRP project Accessing Campscapes. Inclusive Strategies for European Conflicted Pasts (iC-ACCESS), with VU Spinlab participation, and partner in the H2020 MSCA-Innovative Training Network Critical Heritage Studies and the Future of Europe (CHEurope). 


At VU University I present a yearly MA course Terrorscapes in Postwar Europe (elective) which offers a rather unique combination of cultural and site analyses, and I am happy to participate as a co-lecturer in other courses, such as the BA course World Heritage (History and Culture), and the MA courses Biography of Landscape (key course Heritage Studies), and Archaeology of Conflict (ACASA). 

I am also teaching outside VU University in the MA Heritage and Memory Studies program at the UvA, in RMA/PhD seminars of the national Huizinga research school in Cultural History, and participate as a keynote speaker in many European workshops and summer schools on critical heritage and memory studies.

Finally, I am supervising MA tutorials and MA theses, and some 20 dissertations of PhD researchers both at VU University and at the UvA with topics related to my research field. 


  • Holocaust
  • cultural heritage
  • critical heritage studies
  • campscapes
  • memory studies
  • competing memories

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Rob van der Laarse is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Ukraine Social Sciences
crusade Social Sciences
website Social Sciences
museum Social Sciences
memorial Social Sciences
revolt Social Sciences
Tourism Social Sciences
Holocaust Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2010 2019

Europe’s Peat Fire: Intangible Heritage and the Crusades for Identity

van der Laarse, R., 2019, Dissonant Heritages and Memories in Contemporary Europe. Lähdesmäki, T., Passerini, L., Kaasik-Krogerus, S. & van Huis, I. (eds.). New York: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 79-134 55 p. (Palgrave Studies in Cultural Heritage and Conflict).

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
cultural diversity
cultural heritage

iC-ACCESS (Accessing Campscapes) HERA "Uses of the Past": Progress Report 2 - as at 31st December 2017

van der Laarse, R. & Dolghin, D., 28 Feb 2018, HERA. 34 p.

Research output: Book / ReportReportAcademic

historical compromise

Tourism Conflicts and Conflict Tourism: Curating “Holoscapes” in Europe’s Age of Crisis

van der Laarse, R., 2018, Heritage and Tourism: Places, Imageries and the Digital age. Egberts, L. & Alvarez, M. D. (eds.). Amsterdam: AUP, p. 31-54 23 p. (Landscape and Heritage Series).

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
cultural policy

Van Deventer tot Danzig: De toekomst van het transnationaal herinneren. Bij het thema

van der Laarse, R., 20 May 2018

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsiteProfessional

Open Access

Accessing Campscapes (iC-ACCESS): Inclusive Strategies for European Conflicted Pasts

van der Laarse, R., 2017

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsiteAcademic

Open Access
Cultural History

Activities 2005 2019

Gemmeker. Commandant van Kamp Westerbork

Rob van der Laarse (Examiner)
9 May 2019

Activity: PhD thesis ExaminationPhD thesis examination

Farewell Statement by Rob van der Laarse

Rob van der Laarse (Speaker)
1 Jun 2019

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Open Anthropological Research (Journal)

Rob van der Laarse (Reviewer)

Activity: Peer review and Editorial workEditorial workAcademic

Research Council of Norway (RCN) (External organisation)

Rob van der Laarse (Member)
19 Jun 20194 Oct 2019

Activity: MembershipAcademic


Accessing Campscapes

Rob van der Laarse (Recipient), 1 Sep 2016


occupying power
Czech Republic

Critical Heritage Europe (CHEurope)

Rob van der Laarse (Recipient), 1 Sep 2016


cultural heritage
training program
media skills


Rob van der Laarse (Recipient) & W. den den Boer (Recipient), 8 Jan 2015


Memory Studies

Press / Media

In 1944 vlogt Joodse Eva haar leven

Rob van der Laarse


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Rob van der Laarse; professor erfgoed van de oorlog

Rob van der Laarse


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Holocaust Museum. Conflict over afplakken Auschwitzbeelden

Rob van der Laarse


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Expert Comment

De Afspraak 4 september 2015

Rob van der Laarse


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Other