Prof. dr. Inger Leemans is full professor of Cultural History at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) & Director of NL-Lab, a new research group on Dutch Culture and Identity at the KNAW Humanities Cluster. Her research focuses on early modern cultural history (1500-1850), the history of emotions and the body, history of knowledge and digital humanities. Inger Leemans is member of the scientific board of the EU JPI Cultural Heritage, of the Dutch National Research Council for Cultural Heritage, and of the National Council for Dutch Language and Culture (Dutch Language Union) – advising the Dutch & Flemish Secretaries of Education & Culture.
At VU, she works out of CLUE+, the interfaculty Research Institute for Culture, Cognition, History and Heritage and the Network Institute, which studies the interaction between digital technology and society. In 2011, Leemans co-founded ACCESS, the Amsterdam Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Emotion and Sensory Studies. This interdisciplinary platform researches expressions of the emotions and the operations of the senses.
Inger Leemans coordinates and collaborates in several digital humanities projects: Embodied Emotions (developing a model for emotion mining) (Nederlab – Netherlands eScience Center); Visualizing uncertainty & Quality and perspectives in ‘deep data’ (AAA Data Science project), CLARIAH+, Golden Agents, and REPUBLIC.
Her text book on Dutch eighteenth-century literature Worm en Donder: Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Literatuur 1700–1800, co-written with Gert-Jan Johannes, has been received general praise. Recently, the two authors published a book about the history and imagineering of kiting : De vliegerende Hollander.
Leemans was PI of the NIAS theme group “Affective Economies – Knowledge and the Market” for the international research project Creating a knowledge society in a globalizing world, 1450-1800. The volume, co-edited with Anne Goldgar, will be published December 2020.
Currently, Inger Leemans is working on a cultural history of stock trading, analysing how the early modern public tried to make sense of the ‘financial wizardry’ of the stock market.
Valorisation is a key issue in Leemans’s career. She is a compelling lecturer, and lectures for a great variety of audiences and she is interviewed on a regular basis in radio and television programs. She lectured for the University of the Netherlands, gave a TedX talk, participates in main public festivals, and is a regular interviewer in debate meetings. Leemans participates in executive courses and in CEO meetings. Valorisation for Leemans means not only communicating the results of her research, but also building up collaboration with private and public from the very start of the projects, in order to find points of mutual interest, exchange and insight. In her research projects Leemans collaborates with the financial, creative and sensory industries to develop new lines of research and new products. With partners from finance she is pioneering to find new ways to overcome the “short termism” that plagues the financial industry, and to (im)prove the relevance of humanities research.
Current academic positions:
- Professor of Cultural History at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- Director of NL-Lab, at the KNAW Humanities Cluster.
- Member European Board Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage
- Member board Huizinga Institute, Graduate School for Cultural History
- Member board National Research Council for Cultural Heritage
- Member board KNHG Royal Netherlands Historical Society
- Member Board Spiegel der Letteren Journal
- Member board Thijssen-Schoute Stichting (Thijssen-Schoute Foundation for Intellectual and Scientific History)
- Member Jury Jan Brouwer Thesis Award
- Member Jury Volkskrant/IISG Thesis Award
- Member Koninklijke Hollandse Maatschappij der Wetenschappen