Geert Janssen is Professor of Early Modern History and Head of Department of History, European Studies, Religious Studies/Hermetica, and Latin American Studies (CEDLA).
Trained as an early modernist, I have developed a broad interest in European history between 1500-1800, in particular its political and religious cultures, and the history of (global) migration. My publications include studies of political clientage, of religious radicalisation, and of refugees and humanitarian mentalities. Much of my work is concerned with the Low Countries, including the Dutch Revolt, the Dutch Republic and its 'golden age' of the 17th century.
Educated at Groningen (MA) and Leiden (PhD), I subsequently taught early modern history at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. In 2013 I was appointed at the University of Amsterdam. Over the years, my research projects have received generous support from the NWO (Rubicon, Veni, Vici), the British Academy, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, and Bijzonder Onderzoeksfonds Vlaanderen. I am a recipient of the Gerald Strauss Prize (2015), the Carla Musterd Teaching Award (2006), and visiting fellowships at St Andrews, Leuven, and Mainz. More information about current projects and publications, including the NWO-Vici programme The Invention of the Refugee in Early Modern Europe, can be found under the tab 'Research'.
My research has been published in The Historical Journal, Renaissance Quarterly, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Sixteenth Century Journal, History, and BMGN-Low Countries Historical Review.
From the start I have thoroughly enjoyed working with students who have often inspired me to broaden my range and think in different directions. Among other things, I teach the first year survey course 'Early Modern History' and am keen to supervise students in the field of early modern history as well as in areas related to my research, including the (Counter) Reformation, the history of migration, exile and humanitarianism, and the Dutch Republic.
I have recently supervised MA theses on Jewish manuscript production in early modern Amsterdam, Regime change in Haarlem during the Dutch revolt, William of Orange and Balthazar Gerard, News culture and diary-writing practices in 1672, and the Dutch experience in Brazil.
As a political historian, I am particularly interested in the 'soft' side of early modern politics: networks, language, ritual and (unwritten) codes of conduct. My Princely Power in the Dutch Republic (2005/2008) focused on patronage practices at the court of the stadholders (provincial governors) in the Dutch Republic. Primarily based on the extensive, yet little known diaries of William Frederick of Nassau (1613-1664) it examined how clientage shaped political mentalities in the early modern Netherlands. I have also done some work on ceremonial culture at the Orange court in The Hague (e.g. Funeral processions in the United Provinces).
Much of my recent work concerns the history of religious change, conflict and identity formation. The Dutch Revolt and Catholic Exile in Reformation Europe (2014) studies the impact of flight, displacement and forced migration on Counter-Reformation culture. By mapping the Catholic diaspora during the Dutch revolt, it seeks to explain how exile worked as a catalyst of religious radicalisation and transformed the world views, networks and identities of early modern refugees. Together with Alexandra Bamji and Mary Laven, I edited the Ashgate Research Companion to the Counter-Reformation (2013).
I have a broad interest in the cultural history of migration, including early modern exile, humanitarianism and transnational solidarity networks. My inaugural lecture, Nieuw Amsterdam (2014) examined the ways in which immigrants and emigrants shaped notions of 'Dutchness' in the early modern period and facilitated their spreading across the globe. I'm currently involved with the project The Invention of the Refugee in Early Modern Europe. Funded through a VICI-grant from NWO, it seeks to map the emergence of the refugee as a social and political category in Europe.
I enjoy disseminating my research to a wider public and am keen to collaborate with museums, heritage institutions and popular media. Over the years, I have done advisory work for the Rijksmuseum (Gerard ter Borch en de Vrede van Munster, 1999; Maurits, prins van Oranje, 2000; 80 jaar oorlog, 2018; RijksApp, 2018), Fries Museum (De Friese Nassaus, 2003), Oude Kerk Amsterdam (Kalkar kerkschatten, 2018), and various NPO, ZDF, BBC tv productions.