The Dutch Studies section at the Department of Modern languages receives financial support from the Dutch Embassy to invite a Visiting Professor on a yearly basis.

As part of the creation of the King Willem Alexander Chair for Dutch Studies, the Dutch Embassy in Belgium has committed itself to providing financial support that allows the Dutch Studies section of ULiège  to invite, on an annual basis, eminent Dutch academics with a recognized expertise in the fields of history, society, language, culture and literature of the Netherlands, for the period 2017-2026.

These visiting professors will give academic lectures, participate in research seminars, and interact with ULiège's Dutch-speaking staff to explore and develop long-term scientific collaborations. Consequently, their presence in Liège will strengthen the research and teaching links with the wider  academic community of Dutch Studies.

The visiting professors will hold guest lectures in the context of two courses:

In addition, each visiting professor will give a lecture open to the entire academic community.


2017-2018 : Professor J.T. Leerssen


joepleersenThe guest professor for the academic year 2017-2018 was Professor J.T. (Joep) Leerssen, a literary scholar and historian at the University of Amsterdam.

Joep Leerssen has personal ties to the Euregio Meuse-Rhine, as he grew up in Maastricht and studied in Aachen.

His research on English and comparative literature led him to pursue a doctorate on the development of Irish national literature. Since 1991, he has been professor of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, an academic discipline he helped to create himself. This field of research focusses on the history of European political ideas, cultural history and literary sources. Between 1995 and 2006, he directed the Huizinga Institute for Research in Cultural History. He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Cambridge and Göttingen. He is also the director of several collections, including European Studies, Studia Imagologica and Comparative Critical Studies.

In 2008, Prof. Leerssen was awarded the Spinozapremie, the highest distinction for research in the Netherlands, and was appointed member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW).

Prof. Leerssen is the author of numerous publications of international standing focusing on national stereotypes and the links between literature, historical consciousness and nationalism. He has written several books on the relationship between (self-)stereotypes and nationalism, and on the historical development of cultural and romantic nationalism in 19th-century Europe, using literary texts as a basis for writing a history of ideas.

Professor Leerssen was also one of the fourteen 'Visiting Professors' of the University of Liège appointed on the occasion of the Bicentenary.

He delivered his inaugural lecture on 6 October 2017 as part of the conference “'Between Union and Fragmentation': Language, Culture and Politics in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands”.


You can watch a video recording of his lecture, entitled "The Nationalization of Language” below.


Joseph Theodoor Leerssen : The Nationalization of Language

Joseph Theodoor Leerssen était présent le 6 octobre 2017 à l'Université de Liège à l'occasion du colloque « Entre union et morcellement » : Langue, culture et politique au Royaume Uni des Pays-Bas (1815-1830).


Joseph Theodoor Leerssen: The Nationalization of Language

Joseph Theodoor Leerssen gave a lecture at the University of Liège on 6 October 2017 on the occasion of the conference " ‘Between Union and Fragmentation’: Language, Culture and Politics in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815-1830)”. 


Key publications

  • National Thought in Europe: A Cultural History (2006)
  • De bronnen van het vaderland (2006)
  • Imagology (with Manfred Beller, 2007)
  • Spiegelpaleis Europa. Europese cultuur als mythe en beeldvorming (2011)
  • Interconnecting Translation Studies and Imagology (Ed. with L. van Doorslaer & Peter Flynn, 2015)
  • Dynastisch en burgerlijk historisme. Romantiek, Restauratie en de Nederlanden van 1814 (2015)
  • Nationalisme (2015)

2018-2019 : Professor R. Boomkens



Boomkens-photo-Jeroen-OerlemansThe guest professor for the academic year 2018-2019 was René Boomkens  professor of cultural history and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam,. His studies in philosophy, theology and sociology led him to pursue a PhD on modern urban culture (1998). He was then successively Professor in Popular Music at the University of Amsterdam (1998-2002), Professor of Social and Cultural Philosophy at the University of Groningen (1999-2013) and, since 2013, Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Prof. Boomkens has also been a visiting professor at the Universities of Bremen and Antwerp and at the NSOB (School for Public Administration) in The Hague. He has been a member of the Cultural Council of the Dutch government, is an advisor to the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis (NICA), head of the research unit 'Arts and Politics' at the University of Amsterdam, and has worked as an editor for both scientific and literary journals and publishers, including the journal Krisis (1980-1993), of which he was the founder.

Prof. Boomkens' research focuses on topics such as modern urban culture, popular everyday culture, popular music, globalization and neoliberalism, art and artists in the public sphere, and the history and current state of cultural philosophy and aesthetics. He has devoted several books to popular music, the relationship between violence and the media, urban modernity, globalization and the crisis of universities. His numerous publications in both specialized and general public journals often place him at the centre of academic and public debates.

Key publications

  • Kritische Massa: Over massa, moderne ervaring en popcultuur (1994)
  • De Angstmachine: Over geweld in films, literatuur en popmuziek (1996)
  • Een Drempelwereld: Moderne ervaring en stedelijke openbaarheid (1998)
  • De Nieuwe Wanorde: Globalisering en het einde van de maakbare samenleving (2006)
  • Topkitsch en Slow Science: Kritiek van de academische rede (2008)
  • Social Engineering (with Wouter Stiphout) (2008)
  • Erfenissen van de Verlichting: Basisboek cultuurfilosofie (2011)

2019-2020 / 2020-2021 : Professor G. Wekker


Gloria-Wekker,-photo-Jean-van-LingenThe visiting professor for the academic years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 is  Gloria Wekker, Professor Emeritus of Gender Studies. She has occupied the chair for Gender and Ethnicity Studies at the University of Utrecht and was the coordinator of the Master's programme "Comparative Women's Studies in Culture and Politics". She was also the director of GEM, the Center for Gender, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism in higher education. In 2017 she was named by ScienceGuide as one of the ten most influential researchers in the Netherlands.

After studying cultural anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, Gloria Wekker obtained a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In her dissertation I Am a Gold Coin: The Construction of Selves, Gender and Sexualities in a Female, Working-Class, Afro-Surinamese Setting (defended in 1992), she examines the sexual subjectivity of Creole working-class women in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname. A Dutch edition was published in 1994. In 2006, she published a sequel to this work, this time from a transcontinental perspective: The Politics of Passion; Women's Sexual Culture in the Afro-Surinamese Diaspora (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006). This work was awarded the Ruth Benedict Prize of the American Anthropological Association in 2007.

Gloria Wekker has a particular interest in gender studies and sexuality issues in the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora, but her publications cover areas as diverse as knowledge systems in the academic world and in the Dutch multicultural society, diversity in university curricula, and the history of movements of persons of colour, women, migrants, and refugees in the Netherlands. In addition, she also writes short stories and poetry.


Key publications

  • (Dissertation) "I am gold money": (I pass through all hands, but I do not lose my value): The construction of selves, gender and sexualities in a female working class, Afro-Surinamese setting, University of California, Los Angeles, 1992
  • Ik ben een gouden munt, ik ga door vele handen, maar verlies mijn waarde niet: Subjectiviteit en seksualiteit van Creoolse volksklasse vrouwen in Paramaribo, Amsterdam, VITA, 1994
  • Nesten bouwen op een winderige plek: Denken over gender en etniciteit in Nederland, Utrecht, Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit der Letteren, 2002
  • Of mimic men and unruly women: Exploring sexuality and gender in Surinamese family systems, Cave Hill, Barbados, University of the West Indies, 2001
  • The Politics of Passion: Women's Sexual Culture in the Afro-Surinamese Diaspora, New York, Columbia University Press, 2006
  • White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race, Durham, North Carolina, Duke University Press, 2016


2021-2022 : Professor N. Van der Sijs



The visiting professor for the academic year 2021-2022 is Nicoline van der Sijs, senior researcher at the Institute of the Dutch Language in Leiden and professor emeritus of Dutch historical linguistics in the digital world at the Radboud University Nijmegen.

Nicoline van der Sijs studied Slavonic Languages and Literatures and Indo-European Comparative Linguistics in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She worked as a researcher at Utrecht University from 1975 to 1989, and at the University of Amsterdam in 1990. From 1990 to 2010 she was a freelance researcher and writer, specializing in historical linguistics and etymology. In 2001 she completed her PhD with a dissertation entitled Chronologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands.

From 2010 to 2020 she was employed as a senior researcher at the Meertens Institute, amongst others as a principal investigator of Nederlab – Laboratory for research on the patterns of change in the Dutch language and culture. In 2013 she was appointed as a part-time professor of Dutch historical linguistics in the digital world at the Radboud University Nijmegen, a position she held until her retirement in August 2021. She is currently working as a senior researcher at the Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal in Leiden.

Nicoline van der Sijs has ample experience with crowdsourcing and (historical) corpus linguistics, and has set up a number of large databases in open access, such as, elektronische Woordenbank van de Nederlandse Dialecten and Uitleenwoordenbank.

She is an editor of the journals Trefwoord, Internationale Neerlandistiek and Neerlandistiek, and a regular contributor to the journal Onze Taal. In 2001, Van der Sijs obtained the ANV-Visser-Neerlandiaprijs and was awarded the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Prijs voor de Geesteswetenschappen in 2006. In 2020 her monograph 15 eeuwen Nederlandse taal won her the Onze Taal/ANV-taalboekenprijs.

Nicoline van der Sijs has a particular interest in long-term linguistic changes, and the role of language contact and language standardization. She has written more than 25 books on these subjects, and hundreds of articles.


Key publications

  • Leenwoordenboek. De invloed van andere talen op het Neder­lands, 1996
  • Nota bene. De invloed van het Latijn en Grieks op het Nederlands, met Jaap Engelsman, 2000
  • Chronologisch woordenboek van het Nederlands. De ouderdom en herkomst van onze woorden en betekenissen (dissertation), 2001
  • Etymologisch Woordenboek van het Nederlands, met Marlies Philippa, Frans Debrabandere, Arend Quak, Tanneke Schoonheim (hoofdredactie), 2003-2009, 4 delen
  • Calendarium van de Nederlandse taal. De geschiedenis van het Nederlands in jaartallen, 2006
  • Cookies, Coleslaw, and Stoops. The Influence of Dutch on the North-American Languages, 2009
  • Nederlandse woorden wereldwijd, 2010
  • Dialectatlas van het Nederlands (hoofdredactie), 2011
  • Atlas van de Nederlandse taal. Editie Nederland, met Mathilde Jansen, Fieke van der Gucht en Johan de Caluwe, 2017
  • 15 eeuwen Nederlandse taal, 2019
  • Taalwetten maken en vinden: het ontstaan van het Standaardnederlands, 2021

Share this page