'Local Baronios' in a Contested Border Region: History, Hagiography and Politics in the seventeenth-century Low Countries
Golden Age Colloquium by prof. dr. Raingard Esser (University of Groningen)
With a closer analysis of texts written by the intellectual elite of the Southern Netherlands I will further develop my research on the writing of history in the contested Low Countries. The project has grown out of the research for my last monograph The Politics of Memory (2012). Here I have investigated chorographies written in the Low Countries in the seventeenth century and their reflection on war, partition and the state. This current study broadens the oeuvre under investigation by including histories of religious houses and institutions, whose production proliferated during the time under investigation. Members of the Catholic establishment and of the religious orders wrote numerous histories of their institutions, of the reorganization of the Netherlandish dioceses and of new Counter-Reformation initiatives. These authors and their texts add an important dimension to the writing of history in the seventeenth century. The study of their texts will allow for a readjustment of the assessment of Southern Netherlandish historiography as merely in denial of religious and political crisis.
Prof. Dr. Raingard Esser holds the Chair of Early Modern History History at the University of Groningen. She is a specialist in early modern migration and politics of memory with a particular expertise in the Low Countries and England. Her current research interests focus on early modern border societies with a particular interest in coping strategies in times of war and partition. Among her publications are: Niederländische Exulanten im England des späten 16. und frühen 17. Jahrhunderts (1994), The Politics of Memory. The Writing of Partition in the Seventeenth-Century Low Countries (2012) and, with Steven Ellis, Frontier and Border Regions in Early Modern Europe (2013).
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