Amsterdam: Global Historical Perspectives

2019-2020

Course Objective

Learning goals are gaining knowledge about ecological, social-economic,
architectural and cultural aspects of harbour and waterfront
development. Learning to set up a comparative research project based on
literature. Reporting on the project orally and by writing a comparative
research paper.

Course Content

This seminar puts urban developments in a global perspective, starting
from the case-study Amsterdam. We investigate the history of the harbour
and the transformation of the waterfront of Amsterdam in a global
comparative perspective in the period 1850-2000 and compare that to
waterfronts of other cities. In the Golden Age of the seventeenth
century, the waterfront was the commercial contactzone between land and
water, and between Amsterdam and its trading partners all over the
world. Over time the commercial harbours moved outwards and the
relinquished space was transformed into quarters for private husing. By
the late nineteenth century, during the second Golden Age, Amsterdam
encapsulated the IJcanal, and the IJcanal transformed to an
inner-city square. By the late twentieth century this process of urban
transformation accelerated again, as all shores of the IJ, including
many former commercial harbour islands, were redesigned for private
housing and ‘creative industry’, like music, film, museums and art
exhibition. Questions we want to answer in this seminar are: how did the
harbour develop and how did the transformations of the waterfront occur
both in Amsterdam and in other large cities, like Hamburg, Tokio,
Singapore, London, Sydney, or Baltimore? To what extent did Amsterdam
copy models, and was Amsterdam also a model for others? What was, for
instance, the role of private entrepreneurs and public authorities? How
could citizen participate in the transformation process? This class will
contribute to your international orientation through the internationally
comparative
content and through experience in the international classroom, for many
international students attend this course. The course includes
excursions to the harbour and waterfront and to such highlights of urban
design and historical icons like the EYE Institute and the National
Maritime Museum.

Teaching Methods

In November and December you attend two seminar sessions of 2 hours each
per week. Two sessions take place as excursions. Attendance of 80% of
the sessions is mandatory. If sessions are scheduled for self-study you
cannot go on holiday, for the content of sessions may be rescheduled
during the course, depending for instance on the number of students and
the number sessions we need for your presentations. Also the schedule of
excursions may change due to the weather.

Method of Assessment

Six small written assignments (summaries, comments, and small essays)
(15%), oral presentation (20%), Research Paper (65%).
The deadline for all assignments of this course is before the Christmas
holidays. The resit for the Research Paper is in January.

Literature

Literature is made available in the course website CANVAS.

Target Audience

BA students

Additional Information

This course is one of the three core modules on spatial history of the
minor 'Amsterdam Urban History.' The other two are: 'Amsterdam A
Historical Introduction' and 'Amsterdam: Comparing Heritage Projects'.
If you have not a first year or level 100 course in history, art
history, architectural history, or
urban studies, contact the coordinator to check if you qualify for this
course.

Recommended background knowledge

It is recommended to have attended the course Amsterdam. A Historical
Introduction in September-October. Also recommended: a first year or
level 100 course in history, art history, architectural history, or
urban studies.

General Information

Course Code L_AABAALG057
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
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

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Excursion
Target audiences

This course is also available as: