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Paul Hulsenboom MA

PhD candidate

E-mail: p.hulsenboom@let.ru.nl

Batavians and Sarmatians: Dutch perceptions of Poland, Polish perceptions of the Netherlands, and Dutch and Polish national identity formation (1618-1864)

Radboud University Nijmegen
Promotor(es): Prof. dr. Johan Oosterman, Prof. dr. Lotte Jensen
Aanstelling: vanaf september 2016

This research aims to uncover the development of Dutch-Polish mutual perceptions and the shaping of national identities in Poland and the Netherlands, from 1618, the beginning of the Thirty Years War, to 1864, the end of the last 19th-century Polish uprising. To realize this, a variety of sources, written in Dutch, Polish or Neo-Latin, and gathered around seven key moments in Dutch and/or Polish history, will be analyzed using interdisciplinary methodology from Beller’s and Leerssen’s imagology, and translation studies, examining discursive images or tropes the Dutch and Poles have used about each other. The theoretical basis is provided mainly by Larry Wolff’s theory regarding the ‘invention’ of Eastern Europe by Western European authors during the Enlightenment, as well as national identity studies. The research is innovative because of its combination of Western and Eastern European source material, which will shed new light on the formation of our modern views of Western and Eastern Europe. In addition, the fact that the research spans this particular two and a half centuries allows for the disclosure of a development in both the history of Dutch-Polish perceptions and the shaping of national awareness, thereby contributing to the current debate about the roots of nationalism. Furthermore, it ties in with modern-day relations between the Netherlands and Poland, Western and Eastern Europe in general, and the changing European identities these relations entail.