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Personal profile

Personal information

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

I came to join VU-CLUE in 2010 and was for five years head of the CLUE research cluster The Heritage and Memory of Conflict and War (with Koos Bosma, Jan Kolen and Dienke Hondius), after which I was appointed founding director of the Heritage, Memory and Material Culture (AHM) research school at the University of Amsterdam, where I had been program director in Heritage and Memory Studies before.

I studied history and anthropology at the UvA where I graduated and obtained my PhD both cum laude, while my dissertation was awarded a Praemium Erasmianum research Prize (1990). As a teacher and researcher I have been a staff member of the HvA's Education and the UvA's History, Media Studies, and Art and Culture departments, and a fellow at the ESRI Salford University, Jean Monnet fellow at the EUI Florance, fellow and theme leader at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS), theme leader at the UvA priority program Heritage and Identity (ACHI) and the VU/UvA research centre ACCESS EUROPE (currently ACES and VICES), and panel assessor of NWO, RCN (Norway), HERA, JPICH, and ERC. 

As CLUE research leader I was responsible for achieving its cutting edge position in war and conflict heritage as VU co-leader of large NWO progrsamme Dynamics of Memory and several European research programs, among them the Terrorscapes networking project for which I was awarded together with Georgi Verbeeck in Rome the Euromediterraneo Prize 2013. Since 2016 I am leading the European collaborative research projct Accessing Campscapes, granted in the HERA Uses of the Past Call (iC-ACCESS) on inclusive strategies for European conflicted heritage, and the Horizon 2020 Marie-Curie ITN grant as PL of 'Curating of the Past' in the collaborative Critical Heritage for the Future of Europe (CHEurope) project.



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, with Yme Kuiper and Hanneke Ronnes) 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). In 2020 we also launched an international peer reviewed Heritage, Memory and Conflict Journal at AUP. 


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

At VU Amsterdam I 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/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 (with Chiara de Cesari and Robin Boast) in the H2020 MSCA-Innovative Training Network Critical Heritage Studies and the Future of Europe (CHEurope). 


As holder of the VU/UvA chair in War and Conflict Heritage I present a yearly MA course Terrorscapes in Postwar Europe as a VU 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 MA courses Biography of Landscape (key course Heritage Studies) and Archaeology of Conflict (ACASA). 

I am also teaching 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 PhD dissertations both at the UvA and VU with topics related to my research fields. 

Ancillary activities

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

Ancillary activities are updated daily

User created Keywords

  • Holocaust and genocide
  • cultural heritage
  • critical heritage studies
  • campscapes
  • memory studies
  • competing memories
  • terrorscapes
  • conflict heritage
  • landscape and power
  • nobility and country houses
  • European (early) modern culture
  • purity and modernity
  • culture, race and identity


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