Helmer Helmers

Cultural history. Early Modern Media and Politics. Diplomatic History. Dutch culture in an international perspective.

Helmer Helmers obtained his PhD cum laude from Leiden in 2011, and lectured in history and literary history at the University of Amsterdam. Since 2019, he has been working as a senior researcher in Early Modern Dutch cultural history at the Humanities Cluster of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Helmers is the author of The Royalist Republic (CUP, 2015), co-editor of the Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age (CUP, 2018), and founding editor of the Open Access journal Early Modern Low Countries (EMLC). In 2018, he was elected member of De Jonge Akademie. 

Helmers has written widely on Early Modern Dutch culture, media and politics, often from an international perspective. He is an expert in Anglo-Dutch cultural and political relations, the subject of his PhD. With Nadine Akkerman, he led the NWO-funded project ‘Maritime Archaeology Meets Cultural History’, which used historical methods to interpret the body and contents of a famous wreck off the coast of Texel. 

His research focuses on the history of news and public opinion; this formed the subject of his NWO Veni project and various articles. Closely related to this work is his interest in Early Modern literary and political translation, which resulted in articles on Dutch translations of Shakespeare and, as an associate of the research group Early Modern Translation Cultures (Wolfenbüttel), on the translation of history in Early Modern Europe. 

Helmers’ current NWO Vici project investigates the relationship between diplomacy and printed media in Early Modern Europe. In the context of this project, he is working on a book provisionally entitled The First Cold War. Dutch Publicity in International Relations, 1585-1621.