Seminars in Global Art History and Heritage


To the fourth and fifth meeting in the Seminars in Global Art History and Heritage (organized by Mary Bouquet – UCU, Stijn Bussels – LU, and Thijs Weststeijn — UU), which will take place on October 10th and November 21:

Bambi Ceuppens (Royal Museum for Central Africa Tervuren) will speak about: The Reopened Africa Museum Tervuren

Date and time: Thursday 10 October, 15:30 – 17:00  hrs
Location: Pieter de la Court, Wassenaarseweg 52, Leiden, Room 1A20 (1st floor)

The Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren is known as one of the most beautiful and impressive Africa museums in the world. In December 2018, the completely renovated museum reopened its doors. Bambi Ceuppens played a crucial role in the intense renovation and the development of the new displays between 2008 and 2018. She will tell how the old museum has transformed itself into a modern museum about contemporary Africa, while looking back critically at the colonial past. Followed by a roundtable discussion.

Bambi Ceuppens received her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of St Andrews. She has taught at the Universities of Edinburgh, Manchester and St Andrews and was a postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University and the Catholic University of Leuven. Currently a senior researcher and curator at the Royal Museum for Central Africa, Bambi Ceuppens’s research focuses on the colonial history that the Congo and Belgium share, Congolese arts and cultures, Congolese in Belgium, museum representations of Africa(ns) and autochthony. She has curated the exhibition “Indépendance! Congolese Tell Stories of Fifty Years of Independence” (RMCA, 2010) and has co-curated “Congo Art Works: Popular Painting” (Fine Arts Centre, Brussels, 2016-2017; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2017) with Sammy Baloji and co-curated “Congo Stars” (Graz, Vienna, 2018; Tübingen, Germany, 2019). She teaches anthropology of arts at KASK School of Arts (Ghent) and Sint-Lucas School of Arts (Antwerp).

Please register for this event.


Dr. Emilie Gordenker (Mauritshuis, The Hague) will speak about: The Making of the Exhibition Shifting Image. In Search of Johan Maurits

Time and place: Thursday 21 November, 18:30 – 20:00  hrs
Location: Leiden University, Academy building, Rapenburg 73, Small Auditorium

The Mauritshuis was named after the man who had it built, Johan Maurits, Count of Nassau-Siegen (1604–1679). His house has been home to the Royal Cabinet of Paintings since 1822, now one of the most famous museums in the world. In terms of art history, the museum has always emphasised Johan Maurits’s importance to art, architecture and science, but his life story is also part of Dutch colonial history, particularly its role in the development of Brazil and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Emilie Gordenker will discuss the evolution of the exhibition at the Mauritshuis, and how it addresses the changing perception of Johan Maurits as well as its relation to current debates about societal issues.

Image: Albert Eckhout, Studies of two Brazilian turtles, c. 1640, Mauritshuis.

Please register via

Sustainability: Technocracy and Meditation

ASCA Political Ecologies Workshop & Environmental Humanities Center, CLUE+, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Public Talk (University of Amsterdam, P.C. Hoofthuis 1.05, 5-7pm) and
Masterclass on September 20th, 2019: Allan Stoekl (Penn State University) Please note that we are in the VUMedical Faculty, room D-565 (building MF) at the Vrije University 

In my talk, I will discuss two approaches to thinking about “sustainability.” The first is “technocratic sustainability.” I’ll discuss the “Technocracy Inc.” movement of the United States of the 1930s which imagined a utopian resolution to the economy by replacing labour with energy in the calculation of value. One of Technocracy’s primary thinkers, M. King Hubbert, would go on to forecast “peak oil” which figures so prominently in the discourse of sustainability.

Then I consider the ontological and political difference between consuming and spending. Following Georges Bataille, I will argue that we have an innate tendency to expend, but one more in consonance with the “economy of the universe”; one which recognizes the “limits to growth” not through austerity but through the inevitable burn-off of surpluses. Spending in this sense is tied not to just consuming stuff, but to consuming the very limits of our selves—the very limits we protect and affirm in capitalist consumption.

Hence the importance of E. F. Schumacher’s “Buddhist economics,” which at first sight may seem a mere bit of New Age faddism. In fact the crucial link (not explored by Schumacher) is between economics, both human, planetary, and of the universe, and the most basic “tendency to expend” that characterizes not only living systems, but the signifying systems of human communities. These communities necessarily turn around religious practices, and most importantly, meditative ones. 

By linking a no-growth “Buddhist economics” to Bataille’s theories of expenditure, we can start to imagine a theory of sustainability that will avoid the pitfalls of the technocratic approach.

Bio: Allan Stoekl is emeritus professor of French and Comparative Literature at Penn State University, and is currently Visiting Scholar in the Architecture Dept. at the University of Pennsylvania. He has written widely on twentieth century French intellectual history, and, more recently, on questions of energy use and expenditure in a cultural context (Bataille’s Peak: Energy, Religion, and Postsustainability [2007]). He is currently at work on a book on what he deems to be three varieties of sustainability, which may or may not be compatible.

Readings for Masterclass from 10-12 at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, OZW-building, room 7A-07:

  1. Technocracy Study Guide (1940)
  2. Robert Costanza, “Visions, Values, Valuation, and the Need for an Ecological Economics: All scientific analysis is based on a ‘preanalytic vision,’ and the major source of uncertainty about current environmental policies results from differences in visions and world views.” (2001)
  3. Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share, Vol. 1 (1949)
  4. ——- Inner Experience (1943)
  5. E. F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. (1973)

All reading can be found here:

Please register for the Masterclass using the form on website of the Environmental Humanities Center


For more information email

Jeff Diamanti (UvA):

Joost de Bloois (UvA):

Kristine Steenbergh (EHC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam):


Dialogues Between Images and Texts

Call for papers

Part of the 11th Annual International Conference on Visual and Performing Arts  organised by ATINER (Athens Institute for Educational and Research)
Athens, 8-11 June 2020

Symposium coordinator: Dr Eve Kalyva (

Deadline for calls for papers: 4 November 2019This symposium considers how images and texts come into dialogue in the visual and the performing arts. Historically, the interest in the relation of the visual to the textual derives from the philosophical debates around ekphrasis and as to whether painting or poetry is more adequate in expressing thoughts and emotions (cf. Lessing’s Laocoon). Meanwhile, Da Vinci praises both, each medium excelling in its own way.

In modern times, visual and textual juxtapositions become central in artistic movements such as the Russian avant-garde, Dada and surrealism; and are exemplified by conceptual art, which introduced language in a visual art context. Beyond the arts, the interdisciplinary study of image and text relations encompasses other instances of visual culture and communication such as graffiti, comics, newspapers and advertisement.

This symposium invites discussion on any aspect of image and text relations in the visual and the performing arts, including from a historioraphical, art critical, philosophical, semiological, communicational, curatorial, scenographic and literary perspective.

Emphasis should be given on context—be it cultural, socio-political, historical or (inter)disciplinary—and on how exchanges between images and texts are received, are understood and shift perception. We are equally interested in intermediality and on a critical reflection on its benefits and limitations for creativity, imagination and knowledge production.

Deadline to submit abstracts: 4 November 2019

Abstracts of maximum 500 words should be sent to and use ATINER’s Abstract Submission Form. For more information, visit or contact the symposium coordinator, Eve Kalyva, directly at


Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food 2019

Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food 2019

Friday, 15 November – Saturday 16 November 2019,  Aula of the University of Amsterdam, Singel 411, 1012 XM Amsterdam.

Symposium fee: €90 (until 15 September €75)
Reduced fee: €45 (students, Friends of the Special Collections UvA).



(Post)colonial foodways: creating, negotiating, and resisting transnational food systems

Because of its manifold effects on individuals, cultures, and countries, from the 15th century onwards the colonial era had far-reaching impacts on existing foodways. Colonial rulers often imposed exploitative food systems upon the colonized, resulting in relationships that have been perpetuated, mediated, and resisted to this day. Because of their troubling and complex legacy, colonial foodways have become an essential theme in recent histories of transnational food production, consumption and trade practices from early modern mercantilism to the present. By shifting the focus from two-way colonizer-colonized relationships towards (post)colonial networks and their various nexuses, truly transnational histories are emerging that decenter Europe and go beyond traditional narratives.

Food history and (post)colonial history intersect in various ways. Theories about exploration and exploitation offer insights into (proto)capitalism and the consumption of commodities, the agency of populations in the Global South, the transfer of food technologies, and the ecological impact of restructuring and repurposing vast areas of land. Studying material culture and (post)colonial food customs, furthermore, advances an in-depth understanding of the historical negotiation of identities and ideologies. The hybridization of national and migrant cuisines, culinary (neo)colonialism, and shifting perceptions of gastronomic ‘authenticity’ all underwrite the continuing influence of the colonial era on how we speak about food and, subsequently, about ourselves. 


Friday 15 November 2019

09.00–10.00        Registration and coffee

10.00–10.05        Welcome Marike van Roon

10.05–10.30        Professor J.M. van Winter Stipend

10.30–11.00        Keynote lecture by Katarzyna Cwiertka

11.00–11.10        short break

11.10–12.40        Panel 1 – Transatlantic legacies of slavery

Chair: Karwan Fatah-Black

  • Ilaria Berti – Sugar, Slaves, and Food: The Emergence of a Fusion and Cuisine in the West Indies Colonies (19th century)
  • Debby Esmeé de Vlugt – Searching for Roots in African Soil: Black Power and the Politics of Heritage Cooking
  • Laura Kihlström & Dalila D’Ingeo – Institutional Racism and the Geneology of Food Insecurity in the US South

12.40–13.00        Intermezzo: Postcolonial foodways in the Netherlands

  • Lenno Munnikes & Joris Vermeer – Post-colonial eating out of the wall: Two different stories of the Loempia

13.00–14.00        Lunch break

14.00–15.30        Panel 2 – Nationalist policy and (de)colonisation

Chair: Peter van Dam

  • Rachel B. Herrmann – Food Diplomacy, Victual Imperialism, and Victual Warfare: A Food Studies Model for Vast Early America
  • Sebastiaan Broere – “Freedom means Rice”: Food Production as a Marker of Postcolonial Independence in Indonesia, 1945-1967
  • Arnoud Arps – Trading New-Amsterdam for a Spice Island: Nutmegs, Dutch food history and the spirit of Indonesian nationalism

15.30–16.45        Coffee & Tea break

16.45–17.30        Prize-giving ceremony of the 2019 Johannes van Dam Prize and the Joop Witteveen Prize

Saturday 16 November 2019

09.00-09.30         Registration

09.30–10.30        Panel 3 — Pursuits of the postcolonial food industry

Chair: Iva Peša

  • Lola Wilhelm – «Africa must feed Africa»: Nestlé’s participation in imperial and postcolonial food engineering experiments in West Africa, 1950s-1960s
  • Noa Berger – Representing the (post)colonial: Addressing the tension between colonial heritage and ethical concerns in the French specialty coffee market

10:30–11:00        Coffee & Tea break

11.00–12.00        Panel 4 – Representing the nation: authenticity and appropriation

Chair: Adriana Churampi Ramirez

  • Suzanne Cope – Feeding the Revolution: Two Case Studies on the Use of Food as a Weapon of Resistance in Contemporary (Post)colonial North America
  • Catarina Passidomo – Peruvian Gastrodiplomacy: Cuisine as nation-brand in post-colonial contex

12.00–12.20        Wrap-up – Marlou Schrover

12.20-12.30         Closing remarks and topic for 2020

Afternoon Programme of the Foodie Festival at the Allard Pierson UvA (festival starts at 13.00; registration for this event will start in September)


The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is the annual point of assembly and an exchange of knowledge in the field of Food history in the Netherlands. It intends to stimulate debate and research that bridges the gap between different disciplines. Another aim is to transfer academic research to a wider public and stimulate research using the History of Food Collection of Allard Pierson | Collections of the University of Amsterdam. The symposium is therefore targeted at both an academic and a professional audience.

The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food has been made possible with the generous support of The Amsterdam School for Historical Studies – University of Amsterdam, Bibliotheken Eemland, Carrera Culinair, Cormet, Fontaine Uitgeverij, Hotel De l’Europe, Huizinga Instituut, Nijgh Cuisine, Stichting Gastronomische Bibliotheek, Terra, Rural & Environmental History Group – Wageningen University & Research and Allard Pierson |Collections of the University of Amsterdam.

Cultures of Urban (In)Justice

The theme of the 2019-2020 ASCA Cities Seminar is “Cultures of Urban (In)Justice”. We are interested in examining dynamics of spatial (in)justice from the vantage point of creative, cultural, aesthetic and political practices in contemporary urban environments.

Spatial justice has long been recognized as an urgent and useful lens for understanding urban processes (Pirie 1983, Soja 2009). In this seminar, we will ask how it might be fruitfully expanded to both consider (in)justice as co-constitutive of contemporary urban cultures, social relations and forms of creative expression. In what ways are urban spatial processes bound up with frameworks of (in)justice at the local and ‘planetary’ scale? How are urban imaginaries articulated in relation to contemporary forms of geopower and its unjust consequences? What role does aesthetics – as negotiated by governments, art institutions, commercial actors, but also by artists and social or protest movements – play in diverse manifestations of urban (in)justice? And which inventive methods are being developed to take stock of spatial (in)justice, and intervene in its related assemblages, infrastructures and power structures?

Engaging with and expanding on these questions, the seminar seeks to analyse cultures of urban (in)justice by exploring a diverse set of topics and case studies. We will consider, for example, recent work on crisis and crisis-scapes in urban contexts, “black anthropocenes” (Yusoff, 2018), “ecologies of ‘making do’” (Mukherjee, 2017), “slow violence” (e.g. Nixon 2011, Davies, 2019), and “slow emergencies” (Anderson et al., 2019). In this way, we are not only interested in existing frameworks and manifestations of (in)justice, but also in ways of intervening, ‘repairing’, and ‘hacking into’ these structures and power relations, from a range of geographical locations and critical standpoints.

Semester 1 dates & places:

  • Friday 20 September 15:00-18:00 – PCH 104
  • Friday 1 November 10:00-12:00 -Potgieterzaal, UB;  15:00-18:00 -Potgieterzaal, UB
  • Friday 6 December  15:00-18:00 – PC Hoofthuis 1.04

Fri. 20 Sept. 2019Focused Reading and Discussion. Location: room 1.04, P.C. Hoofthuis (Spuistraat 134), Time: 15:00-17:00

Fri. 1 Nov. 2019:
Patricia Barkaskas (University of British Columbia): Masterclass Decolonizing & Indigenizing Justice: Confronting Colonial Injustice in an ‘Age of Reconciliation’?, Location: Potgieterzaal, University Library (Singel 425), Time: 10:00-12:00
Derek Gladwin (University of British Columbia): Cities of the Symbiocene: Relational Energy Literacy as Spatial Praxis, Location: Potgieterzaal, University Library (Singel 425), Time: 15:00-17:00

Fri 6. Dec. 2019: Elisa Fiore (Radboud Unviersity Nijmegen): Food and White Multiculturalism: Racial Aesthetics of Commercial Gentrification in Amsterdam’s Javastraat”, Location: room 1.04, P.C. Hoofthuis (Spuistraat 134), Time: 15:00-17:00

Organisers: Carolyn Birdsall, Jeff Diamanti, Simone Kalkman and Kasia Mika


ASCA Cities Project website: