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Dams and Development: Concrete Constructions in Context


Admission requirements

Description Dams used to be emblems of modernity, providing electricity and irrigation. Dam projects also entailed highly prestigious and symbolic enterprises. Yet throughout the 20th century they became heavily contested, displacing people and harming the environment. This seminar takes dam projects as entry points into their wider socio-economic and political context. Questions that will be asked include: Who proposed these dams? What were the perceived economic benefits from these dams? What was their (geo-)political context.

Introduction into dams and theories:

  1. Dnieprostroy Dam (Soviet Union, 1927-1932)
  2. Atlantropa (Mediterranean, 1930-1932)
  3. Tennessee Valley Authority (United States, 1933)
  4. Kaprun Dams (Austria, 1928-1955)
  5. Jordan River (1947-today)
  6. Aswan High Dam (Egypt, 1960-1970)
  7. Narmada (India, 1963-today)
  8. Dams in Africa (Ivory Coast and Tanzania)
  9. Itaipu (Paraguay and Brazil, 1971-1982)
  10. Mekong River (1957-today)
  11. Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros (Czech Republic and Hungary)
  12. Three Gorges Dam (China)
  13. Conclusions

Course objectives


Semester 2, see hier

Method of instruction

Seminar. (NB. attendance is mandatory, see studiereglement Instituut voor Geschiedenis, art 2)

Assessment method

Presentation and paper.


Reading list

To be announced.


Zie aanmeldingsprocedure.


E-mail: dr. V.C. Lagendijk