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[Photo: Johannes Timmermans]


Joep Leerssen

  • Modern European literature
  • Nationalism and the history of national movements
  • History of the humanities since 1800
  • Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism in Europe (Amsterdam University Press, 2018)
  • University of Amsterdam & Maastricht University

Keynote lecture

Joep Leerssen - Minor languages negotiating the rise and fall of the Public Sphere

The title of Joep Leerssen's lecture is 'Minor languages negotiating the rise and fall of the Public Sphere'.

More information is coming soon. 



Joep Leerssen

I am Professor of Modern European Literature in the department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam. In addition I hold a part-time research professorship at Maastricht University, where I work on the transnational aspects of the culture and history of the Limburg region.

A comparatist by formation, I study post-1800 cultural history mainly as a transnational circulation of ideas and mentalities; the emphasis is on literary and discursive sources, which I analyse in their rhetoric and poetics as well as historically. My research interests are:

  • nationalism and the history of national movements
  • the survival of 19th-century cultural nationalism as 20th-century banal nationalism and 21st-century ethnopopulism
  • the rhetoric and history of cultural and national stereotyping and ethnic characterization (“imagology”)
  • the history of border regions and cultural minorities, especially in the Low Countries
  • the history of the humanities since 1800, especially philology
  • digital humanities: the database-assisted capture, analysis and visualization of complex communicative networks, cultural practices and ideological diffusion patterns

More information: or