Radboud University Nijmegen, 22-23 January
[UPDATE 29-1: een Nederlandse versie staat op historici.nl]
The Roots of Nationalism, on the other hand, organized by a research group for premodern Dutch identity formation, is essentially primordialists inc.
'Proud to be Dutch' is the somewhat provocative title of Lotte Jensen's research group, who have organized the conference. Of course they are not nationalists themselves - apart from a few creeps in Leiden no sensible Dutch historians are. But they do research on national pride in early modern Dutch travel accounts, poetical canon formation, pamphlets and songs related to wars and peace treaties, and Dutch resistance against the Napoleonic regime. This drawing is one I actually made later during the conference, while listening to a presentation on Dutch colonial activities in Ambon.
[Joep is alluding here to the so-called 'duck test', a humorous formulation of what epistemologists call common sense philosophy. Stephen Toulmin gave a funny comment on that in a 2012 review:
A rule of thumb for sound inference has always been that if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. But there’s a corollary: if it struts around the barnyard loudly protesting that it’s a duck, that it possesses the very essence of duckness, that it’s more authentically a duck than all those other orange-billed, web-footed, swimming fowl, then you’ve got a right to be suspicious: this duck may be a quack.]
Caspar Hirschi argues that nationalism, as 'a sense of national community' with geographical-linguistic boundaries and political repercussions has existed at least since the late middle ages. His starting point is the Council of Konstanz (1414-18), where deputies were speaking as representatives of their 'nationes'.
This shows, according to Hirschi, that the Imagined Communities which Benedict Anderson saw emerging in the 19th century already existed before that time. Here is a take on the emblem of the States of Holland, used on early modern government publications.
For the rest, he still stands by most of what he wrote back then.