Cow and language

This project investigates the relationship between cows and humans. In what ways do humans relate to cows (as products, as sensitive creatures, as objects)? Which other animals play a role in the relationship with cows?


Cheese is a typically Dutch product. This is often reflected by its packaging, which shows idealised images of its origins and how it is made: Frau Antje, contented cows and traditional farming practices. This project does not overlook how cheese has played a key role in the Dutch landscape and gastronomic culture, economy and image. […]

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Easter egg

The elections of 2017 were dominated by the issue of Dutch religious-cultural identity. Christian symbols and the ‘Judaeo-Christian’ tradition were brandished by Liberal politicians such as Mark Rutte and populists from the PVV. This article draws on ostensibly trivial examples, such as Easter eggs, to examine the new ways in which religion has become a […]


The Dutch have long been enthusiastic petitioners. For centuries, Dutch citizens in their masses filed requests and petitions with every conceivable authority. They submitted proposals and made their wishes and interests known, but they also called their leaders to account. Due to the citizens’ active role in the political process, the country and the machinery […]


The Kite

The kite seems to be a fleeting thing: a fun toy for the young, but swiftly forgotten after childhood. How can we thus explain the enduring fascination of the Dutch with kite-flying? The Netherlands is a country of kite enthusiasts. A history of the representation of the kite in Dutch culture reveals that it crops […]


NL-Lab investigates how identity is created, and analyses the concept of ‘identity’ on a more theoretical level. The concept of identity links individual experience, perception and identification with collective categories such as nation, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexuality. It can mean both ‘identical’ (the same as others in this category) and ‘unique’, individual. Moreover, identity […]

The hat

Behind an object as simple as a hat lies a complex cultural code. Hats feature in many seventeenth-century portraits



The Cultivar project investigates the historical links between the cultivation of a country, animals and humans. It focuses in particular on the concept of the colony. A colony or ‘human settlement’ was a form – an ideal type – where the reclamation and cultivation of land went hand in hand with the development or education […]


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