Research group Political Culture and History
Specialisation Political culture, Representation, Identity, Age of Enlightenment & Revolution, Republic & Kingdom


Joris Oddens (1981) studied Dutch, European Studies and History in Amsterdam and Florence. He received his PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 2012 with a double-winning thesis on the history of the first parliament of the Netherlands (1796-98). He has also worked as a researcher and lecturer in Nijmegen, Groningen, Leiden and Padua and was a fellow at the Dutch Institutes in Rome and Istanbul. Oddens is an all-round specialist of the Dutch revolutionary period. His knowledge of the Batavian-French era is regularly called upon.

In recent years, he has also become increasingly interested in the question of how Dutch political culture developed over the centuries in comparison to that of other European countries. His own field of research now extends from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Oddens researches the political meaning of cultural expressions in a narrow sense (for instance literary texts or paintings). He also tries to understand, in a broader sense, how politics worked and which ideas were leading. He looks at both the political centre and the periphery and studies elites and ordinary citizens. For instance, he has written about elevated stoic ideals in alba amicorum of Batavian statesmen, but also about everyday political practices among Ameland islanders around 1800. Furthermore, he published on, among other things, emotions in politics, religious violence, sister republics, bicameralism, self-fashioning, ghosts and the Dutch in the Ottoman Empire.

For some time now Oddens has been researching the history of petitions. He continues this line of research in a multi-year research project (duration 2020-23), for which he and Inger Leemans received a grant from the Fonds Staatsman Thorbecke. This project will result in a monograph on petitions and politics in the Netherlands (ca. 1780-1860) and several articles. This project is embedded in NL-Lab.

At the Huygens Institute, Oddens heads the research group Political Culture and History. He is also project leader of the REPUBLIC project, (running 2019-24) with a grant from NWO Large programme aims to make all decisions of the States General (1576-1796) digitally accessible.

Oddens chairs the editorial board of the open access journal Early Modern Low Countries, a joint initiative of the working groups Seventeenth Century and Eighteenth Century.