Campus Spotlight: University of Amsterdam

A spotlight on the University of Amsterdam.


Since before the colonial era, Amsterdam has been a city interested in not just Europe, but one trying to understand Europe’s place in the world through education, trade, and communication. The University of Amsterdam (UvA), nestled in the city center of its namesake with buildings spread across the winding canals famous to the capital, is a hub not only for world-class research, but one that brings innovation with its critical approaches to European Studies—integrating questions of culture, history, policy, and law. UvA offers a plethora of collaborative work and highly integrated programming. The University of Amsterdam offers a bachelor’s degree in European Studies, and a variety of master’s degrees, with focuses in Identity and Integration, European Policy, and East European Studies. The interdisciplinary program takes an approach believing “Europe is not a fixed entity, but rather a process.”[1] It is with this perspective that UvA’s interdisciplinary courses and more than seventy affiliated faculty members take on pressing questions related to the past, present, and future of Europe. Within the Identity and Integration MA, faculty member Krisztina Lajosi describes the program as exploring “contemporary intersections between culture and polity, media and identity, and race and state.”[2]

This spotlight includes a brief description of European Studies at the UvA by Carlos Reijnen and how it came to be what it is today. Accompanying that piece are syllabi from several European Studies faculty members. P.W. Zuidhof shares his syllabus for the introductory course, titled “Economic and Legal Integration in Europe.” Claske Vos and Robin de Bruin share their class, intended for first-year students: “European Integration.” Boyd van Dijk shares his second-year course, “Race, Rights, and Humanity in European History.” Additionally, de Bruin delves into the creation of one of the textbooks widely used in European Studies classes at UvA, an edited volume recently expanded and translated into English, titled The Unfinished History of European Integration (Amsterdam University Press, 2018).[3] This text was largely organized by UvA faculty members—helping to create a cohesive program and class structure. Additionally, de Bruin comments about a newly published study on the construction of what it means to be European in Eurocentrism in European History and Memory (Amsterdam University Press, 2019).[4] Having spent two weeks this past summer in the city, meeting with faculty members both in European Studies and working with UvA’s Digital Methods Initiative Summer Institute, I was inspired to see a university so eager to collaborate in such innovative ways.



Louie Dean Valencia-García is Assistant Professor of Digital History at Texas State University. He has served as a Lecturer on History and Literature at Harvard University. He is the co-chair of the Critical European Studies Research Network and serves the research editorial committee for EuropeNow. He is the author of Antiauthoritarian Youth Culture in Francoist Spain: Clashing with Fascism and the editor of the forthcoming volume Far-Right Revisionism and the End of History: Alt/Histories. Follow the CES Research Network on Twitter @CESCritEuro.




[3] Wim P. van Meurs et al., The Unfinished History of European Integration (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018).

[4] Marjet Brolsma et al., Eurocentrism in European History and Memory (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019)


Published on January 16, 2020.


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