Othering the English: Dutch National Identity and the Sea, 1600-1815

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Date and time: 
5 November | 5.15pm - 6.30pm
Central London
Maritime History & Culture Seminars

Join us for a free talk in central London on the shaping of Dutch national identity by Dr Gijs Rommelse (University of Leicester).

Early-modern navies were not just a sum of their ships, dockyards and sailors - they were also cultural constructs. Successive Dutch regimes used various media to associate themselves with sea power, emphasizing how a strong fleet served the nation’s interests. Individual politicians and officers also used propagandistic tools to underline their own personal relevance. Artists and authors, such as the van de Veldes and Cornelis van Wieringen, eagerly catered for these agendas and fed a public appetite for naval subjects.

Dr Gijs Rommelse will show how sea power was vital to the shaping of Dutch national identity. Ideologies centred around the sea created a shared sense of purpose, helping to explain why the Dutch nation was prepared to sacrifice so much to sustain its navy. Dutch portrayals of their English, and later British, maritime rivals were crucial to this enterprise. Dr Rommelse will draw on songs, poems, paintings and other cultural sources to show how the Dutch constructed their self-image.

Seminars start at 5.15pm, all are welcome and there is no need to book.

Please note: this seminar has been postponed until 2020. 

Find out about the other events in our Maritime History and Culture Seminars here