Marieke Hendriksen

Knowledge history. Material culture, taste. Performative & digital methods.

Marieke Hendriksen is a historian of art and science. She studied art history, philosophy of art, and humanities and cultural studies in Utrecht, Hull, and London. In 2012, she received her PhD in the History of Science from Leiden University for her thesis on the material and visual culture of the eighteenth-century Leiden anatomical collections. Her book, Elegant Anatomy, was published with Brill in 2015. Between 2012 and 2019, Hendriksen worked as a postdoc and research fellow at the National Maritime Museum in London, the University of Groningen, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Utrecht University, the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, and Columbia University in New York.

Hendriksen’s research focuses on the material and sensory culture of medicine and chemistry in the Early Modern Low Countries (ca. 1600-1800). She uses innovative research methods, such as reconstructions of historical materials and techniques. She has published scholarly work on a wide range of topics, such as medicine chests, anatomical models, stained glass, taxidermy, alchemy, metals and gemstones in medicine, and methodological reflections on the use of performative methods in the history of science. In 2019 Hendriksen received a KNAW Early Career Award, a prize for promising researchers at the start of their careers who have the potential to develop innovative and original research projects. 

At NL-Lab, Hendriksen studies the relationship between Early Modern medicine, taste and identity. Physicians in this period were convinced that it was essential to consider the constitution of the patient and the climate in which they lived when maintaining and restoring health. Moreover, tastes and sweets that are now considered ‘typically Dutch’, such as liquorice, were introduced to the Early Modern Netherlands as medicinal remedies. How did tastes that came ‘from outside’ become part of Dutch culture and identity? And what role did medicine play in shaping ideas about the Netherlands and the Dutch?