Amsterdam: A Historical Introduction


Course Objective

The learning goals are gaining basic knowledge (concepts and theories)
about urban history, in particular related to the spatial dimensions of
urban history, and being able to answer written questions about that;
also applying urban history knowledge and insight on concrete
case-studies, with the aid of texts, maps, concrete objects, and other
visual materials. Forming an opinion on issues such as heritage
questions and communicating those to several types of readership is also
an important aim of this course.

Course Content

This course is an excellent opportunity to acquire knowledge about and
insight in Urban History. The course has a spatial-historical focus.
Key-words are social-economic and ecological history, architecture,
culture, urban design, and heritage. How did a town develop and how can
this be explained? What plans existed for city development and who
decided about choices? What were and are characteristic buildings? Who
migrated to the town and who lived where? How does a town relate to its
natural environment like water bodies and to the surrounding
countryside? How does a town organize its hygiene, like drinking water
and green space? The course presents the urban history of Amsterdam from
the Middle Ages until the early 21st century.This course is attended by
students from many nationalities and contributes to your skills to
operate in an international classroom.

Teaching Methods

The course is organized in two sessions per week. The first one is a 2
hours lecture, both on the course book and on a special theme of the
week, followed by time for discussion and questions. You prepare this by
studying texts. The second one is a 2 hours excursion, focused on the
special week theme. During and after this excursion you make an
assignment aided by a tablet, provided by the VU Library (UBVU) and you
submit that the day after. Presence at 80% of the sessions is mandatory.
For your orientation, watch this film about a course excursion:

Method of Assessment

6 excursion assignments (6x3%) 18% and a final exam (82%). The final
consists of 5 open questions related to the course book and the lectures
and to the themes presented in class. In some questions you are asked
to interpret maps or other visual sources that have been discussed in
class. The exam is in October, the resit is in the official resit period
in January.


MandatorY; F. Feddes, A millennium of Amsterdam. Spatial History of a
City, Bussum 2012
additional literature will be provided by the lecturers as indicated in
the course website CANVAS.

Target Audience

BA students. MA students Heritage Studies who join this course as part
of their Heritage Studies programme will have individual additional

Additional Information

This course is one of the three core modules focused on spatial history
of the minor 'Amsterdam Urban History.' The others are 'Amsterdam:
Global Historical Perspectives' and 'Amsterdam: Comparing Heritage

Recommended background knowledge

A first year (level 100) course in history or architectural history or
urban studies.
If you do not have this, please contact the coordinator to check if you
are qualified.

General Information

Course Code L_AABAALG056
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. P.J.E.M. van Dam
Examiner prof. dr. P.J.E.M. van Dam
Teaching Staff prof. dr. P.J.E.M. van Dam
dr. F.H. Schmidt
prof. dr. I.B. Leemans

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Excursion
Target audiences

This course is also available as: