Applications are now being accepted from faculty and advanced graduate students for the late-spring seminar below:
The Crossroads of Amsterdam
A Late-spring Faculty Weekend Seminar directed by MariŽt Westermann
The Dutch naval blockade of Antwerp propelled Amsterdamís rapid transformation from a medieval town to one of the first global cities, the premier port of Northern Europe, a magnet for Protestant talent from the Hapsburg Netherlands, and a crossroads of peoples, commodities, and refined products from all over the trading world. Amsterdamís citizen elite drove innovations in town planning, urban engineering, financial systems, education, religious organization, and social services. Though eager to homogenize difference, the city fostered openness to foreign traders and immigrants on its own terms, as signaled in the representational scheme of the most imposing Town Hall in Northern Europe. Amsterdamís intercultural condition features as problem and triumph in literature, theater, cartography, and painting, and these arts flourished even as they engendered Calvinist critique. This seminar will investigate the successes and failures of the city to manage the tensions and stresses of urban expansion from roughly 1585 and 1700. It will gather a dozen faculty participants for interdisciplinary conversations that will be framed by a set of shared advance readings and sharpened by participantsí own research. Particularly welcome are projects that address the scope and limits of practices of tolerance and cosmopolitanism; and innovations in urban administration, social organization, and the built environment.
Director: MariŽt Westermann is Provost of New York University Abu Dhabi and the Paulette Goddard Professor of Fine Arts at New York University. Her numerous books and articles include A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic, 1585Ė1700 (1996, 2005), Art and Home: Dutch Interiors in the Age of Rembrandt (2001), Rembrandt: Art and Ideas (2000), and Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675): Rijksmuseum Dossier (2004). She is currently writing a study of silence as a distinct resource of painting.
Schedule: Friday and Saturday, 21 Ė 22 May 2010.
Apply: 4 January 2010 for admission (and grants-in-aid for Folger Institute consortium affiliates). Visit www.folger.edu/institute for access to the online application process.
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