In terms of land area, the Netherlands may be a small country; nonetheless it has played an important role in world history. In the 17th century, the Netherlands was an empire. This was the era of Rembrandt and Vondel, the time of the Dutch Republic and the colonial expansion which led to Dutch settlements in Asia and North and South America. For centuries, both Dutch literature and Dutch society have looked back nostalgically on this glorious century. The heritage from this period is still apparent in the distribution of the Dutch language. Although, with its twenty-three million native speakers – sixteen million in the Netherlands and seven million in Flanders – it does not qualify as an ‘important’ language, it is still the language used in schools and government in Suriname, Aruba and the Dutch Antilles. In addition, the Dutch language has spawned a daughter language, Afrikaans, one of the official languages of South Africa, spoken by approximately six million people.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the fame of the Netherlands diminished somewhat, but in the last quarter of the 19th century, the country began to blossom once again, and since World War II, it has evolved into a fast-growing and highly developed country both industrially and technically, that attracts many immigrants. The Netherlands was also one of the founders of the EU. Nowadays, the Netherlands is a dynamic, multicultural society, that still practises to this day, a tolerant, but more importantly, pragmatic policy, despite the tensions and changes of recent years.
The minor in Dutch Studies offers a coherent interdisciplinary programme on Dutch history, art history, literature, modern-day Dutch society and the position of the Netherlands in the European Union.
Credits: 30 EC
Aimed at: all international students except regular Dutch Studies students
Coordinator: Prof. dr. O.J. Praamstra
Information: Ms. I. Zagar
Registration: from May 1 until August 15 via uSis