Joris Oddens

Political Culture. Representation. Identity. Enlightenment & Revolution. Dutch Republic and Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Joris Oddens studied Dutch, European Studies and History in Amsterdam and Florence. He obtained his PhD in 2012 from the University of Amsterdam, with an award-winning dissertation on the history of the first parliament of the Netherlands (1796-98). He has also worked as a researcher and teacher in Nijmegen, Groningen, Leiden and Padua, and was a fellow at the Dutch Institutes in Rome and Istanbul. Oddens is an all-round specialist on the Dutch revolutionary era, and renowned for his expertise on the Batavian-French era.

Oddens has gradually become more interested in the question of how Dutch political culture developed over the centuries compared to the political culture of other European countries. His own research now covers the period between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. Oddens investigates the political significance of cultural expression in a narrow sense (for example, literary texts or paintings), while also trying to understand, in a broader sense, how politics worked and which ideas shaped political attitudes and behaviour. His research covers both the political centre and the periphery, elites and ordinary citizens. For instance, he has written about the elevated Stoic ideals in the alba amicorum of Batavian statesmen, but also about the everyday political practices of Ameland islanders around 1800. He has also published on emotions in politics, religious violence, sister republics, bicameralism, self-fashioning, ghosts, and the Dutch in the Ottoman Empire.

In recent years, Oddens has focused on the history of petitioning in the Netherlands. At NL-Lab he is continuing this line of research in a multi-year research project, for which he has received a grant from the Staatsman Thorbecke Fund. He also hopes to contribute to the joint mission of the research group by reflecting on the longue durée in the history of Dutch identity. Special areas of focus include political identities in the transition from the Republic to the Kingdom and the relationship between national and sub-national identities. At NL-Lab, Oddens is also the point of contact for the political-institutional history of the Netherlands and for the historical roots of political phenomena that are seen as ‘typically Dutch’, such as burgerlijkheid and poldercultuur.

Oddens is the chair of the editorial board of the journal Early Modern Low Countries. In addition, he is the project leader of REPUBLIC (Huygens ING), which aims to make all of the decisions of the Dutch States General (1576-1796) digitally accessible.