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During the first ACUH seminar of the new academic year, Anneleen Arnout (Radboud University) will give a paper on the emotional experience of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Amsterdam. Those interested can attend in person or join us digitally via Zoom.

Event details of The Sensitive City: Emotions & the Negotiation of Urban Change in Amsterdam 1850-1930
Date 16 September 2021
Time 15:30 -16:30

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the material and social fabric of cities changed dramatically. Cities grew bigger and denser. Large redevelopment projects often profoundly altered the cityscape, but there were continuous piecemeal interventions too, from the repaving of streets to the introduction of neon advertising. New and evolving social and cultural practices – ranging from roller-skating to socialist demonstrations – changed the way people moved through and interacted with and within the urban fabric. 
That the intense process of urbanization around 1900 had a profound impact on the mental life of urban dwellers is a well-known trope in historiography. This assessment is based largely on the writings of a select group of intellectuals depicting their own urban environments as places of sensory and emotional overstimulation. In this presentation I will explore the potential of a history of emotions approach to gain a more thorough and empirically diverse understanding of how large groups of people experienced urban change in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Amsterdam. I will focus more specifically on how urban dwellers experienced and negotiated instances of physical and material change.

This is a hybrid event. Those who wish to join us in person are welcome from 15:30 onwards in Bushuis room E1.02; those who would like to attend digitally are requested to register below.