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Sanne Steen MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Art History, Dutch History, Early Modern History

Cohort/Start PhD: 2021-2022

Historical affinities with Erasmus in Rotterdam and beyond

Erasmus University Rotterdam
Supervisors: prof. dr. Han van Ruler and prof. dr. Ronald van Raak
Duration of appointment: 01-11-2021 – 31-10-2025

‘What is more foolish,’ Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) writes in his Praise of Folly, than to ‘have a brazen statue in the marketplace?’ Still, Rotterdam has actively emphasized her identity as birthplace of Erasmus through a series of statues, culminating to the copper statue of 1622 by Henrick de Keyser that stands in Rotterdam to this day. Today, the Erasmus Bridge, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus Collection, Gymnasium Erasmianum, as well as laundry services, parcel corporations and restaurants all refer to the most famous Rotterdam citizen. In my PhD project, I research how the associations with Erasmus have changed over time. I take a broad timeframe, ranging from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, to assess how society impacts affinities with Erasmus. More generally, I aim draw broader conclusions about how context impacts historical engagements and what this means for historiography and present-day historians.