Dr. J. (Joris) Oddens

  • Researcher
  • Age of Revolution
  • Batavian Republic
  • History of the Enlightenment
  • Political Culture
  • Cultural History

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 8052
E-Mail: j.oddens@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Institute for History, Vaderlandse Geschiedenis
Office Address: Johan Huizingagebouw
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 1.21


I am interested in the intersection of culture and politics in the history of the Netherlands from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries (or rather, the ‘very long eighteenth century’), in a wider European context. My fields of expertise are cultural history, intellectual history, history of political thought, history of the Enlightenment, political and parliamentary culture, history of emotions, history of sociability, history of early modern travel as well as the history of the Age of Revolution, including the American Revolution, French Revolution, Dutch Patriot Era, and the Batavian Revolution. I also have a latent interest in the history of the early modern Dutch and European presence in the Ottoman Empire; in 2009 I published the travel account of an early modern Dutch traveler to Istanbul (Een vorstelijk voorland. Gerard Hinlopen op reis naar Istanbul, Walburg Pers 2009).

I have mostly published on the history of the Batavian Republic (1795-1801). My doctoral thesis (Pioniers in Schaduwbeeld. Het eerste parlement van Nederland 1796-1798, University of Amsterdam and Vantilt 2012) is concerned with the parliamentary culture of the legislative assemblies of the Batavian Republic. Since then my research has developed in several directions. I have continued to work on various cultural aspects of the Batavian-French Period, ranging from the philosophy of Stoicism and the Cult of Sensibility to the art of portraiture. I have also been co-editor of an edited volume on the wider politico-cultural sphere of the French Revolution (The Political Culture of Sister Republics, 1794-1806. France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy, AUP 2015) and of a study on the institutional culture of the lower house of the Dutch parliament (In dit Huis. Twee eeuwen Tweede Kamer, Boom 2015, forthcoming).

In my current research project (The Primacy of Local Belonging: Private Papers, Petitioning, and Periodical Press), I will study the major political transformations that took place in the century between 1750 and 1850 not – as has often been done – from the perspective of national agents but from that of local recipients. The project departs from the hypothesis that Dutch citizens came to terms with the overwhelming changes of their day by shaping them to fit their essentially premodern horizons: contrary to what has commonly been assumed and despite a clear top-down trend of centralization, their identities and loyalties remained first and foremost local throughout the entire period. By the late eighteenth century, even if something like a national public sphere had emerged, many of its participants continued to be chiefly concerned with events in their local, ‘tangible’ communities rather than by the preoccupations of an ‘imagined’ community of national dimensions, and saw the new national institutions primarily as new platforms where they could articulate these local concerns. This project is part of the NWO Free Competition Programme The Persistence of Civic Identities in the Netherlands, 1747-1848 (2015-2019).

I publish in English and in Dutch (see also my Academia account) and I am a member of the editorial board of the journals De Achttiende Eeuw and Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis.

Curriculum vitae

2012-2015 Postdoctoral researcher, Centre for Parliamentary History, Radboud University Nijmegen

2012-2015 Managing editor, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis

2015 Instructor in History, History Department, University of Groningen

2009-2015 Instructor in History, History Department, University of Amsterdam

2007-2012 Doctoral candidate, History Department, University of Amsterdam. Thesis: Pioniers in Schaduwbeeld. Het eerste parlement van Nederland 1796-1798

2005-2007 Research MA in History (cum laude), University of Amsterdam

2001-2005 BA in Dutch Language and Literature (cum laude), University of Amsterdam

2001-2005 BA in European Studies (cum laude), Universities of Amsterdam and Università degli studi di Firenze

Key publications

(with Mart Rutjes and Erik Jacobs, ed.) The Political Culture of the Sister Republics, 1794-1806. France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2015.

‘Martelaars van Staat. Bataafs stoïcisme en de politieke gevangenschap op Huis ten Bosch in 1798’, De Negentiende Eeuw 38.4 (2014) 294-314

Pioniers in schaduwbeeld. Het eerste parlement van Nederland 1796-1798. Nijmegen: Vantilt, 2012.

‘No Extended Sphere: The Batavian Understanding of the American Constitution and the Problem of Faction’, Early American Studies 10:2 (2012) 382-414

Een vorstelijk voorland. Gerard Hinlopen op reis naar Istanbul (1670-1671). Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 2009.

Last Modified: 16-02-2016