On December 7th, Annelien de Dijn will address ‘Freedom and Equality in the Atlantic Revolutions’ during her inaugural lecture, thereby accepting her position as Professor of Modern Political History in the Faculty of Humanities.
From 1776 on, revolutionaries, first in America and later on the other side of the Atlantic as well, for freedom and equality; or, as the French put it, ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’. Endlessly reproduced on documents, images, and public buildings in France and the rest of the world, this became the best known political slogan of all time. But what did the Atlantic revolutionaries mean with the notions ‘freedom’ and ‘equality’? That question will be at the centre of this inaugural lecture. Concluding to the lecture, Professor de Dijn will show why these ideals are still capable of inspiring us today.
Annelien de Dijn
De Dijn obtained her PhD at KU Leuven in 2005, after which she was connected to Columbia University, U.C. Berkely and the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study as a postdoctoral researcher. From 2011 to 2017, she worked as a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. For her historic research, she received several subsidies, among which a Senior Research Fellowship on behalf of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Annelien de Dijn researches the interaction between politics and ideas in the modern age. Her research is based on the assumption that contemporary political systems and practices did not emerge coincidentally, neither can they be seen solely as the product of power politics or path dependence. Instead, she claims that today’s political systems have been shaped based on specific normative ideas and values. In order to understand the political world we live in today, we will also have to map the ideas and motives of historical actors that inspired contemporary politics.