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prof. dr. Inger Leemans

Full Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Art and Culture, History, Antiquity

Full Professor, CLUE+

Full Professor, Network Institute

Personal information

Inger Leemans is Professor of Cultural History at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and PI of NL-Lab, a new research group on Dutch Culture and Identity at the Humanities Cluster of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Her research focusses on early modern cultural history, the history of emotions and the senses, cultural economy, history of knowledge and digital humanities. She has published about the history of pornography, (radical) Enlightenment, cultural infrastructure, stock markets and financial crises. Her text book on eighteenth century literature Worm en donder. Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse literatuur 1700-1800 (co-author Gert-Jan Johannes) was hailed in the press as ‘a masterpiece’. Often, her research triggers media attention, see e.g. the Financiële Dagblad about her inaugural lecture in 2011, journal Elsevier about her research on embodied emotions, NRC about Digital Humanities, Trouwon wind trade and speculation, and her TedX Talkon ‘Making Sense of Finance’.

Inger Leemans coordinates projects on the cultural history of finance, on early modern visual culture and the culture of violence, on the history of smellolfactory heritage and sensory mining,and collaborates in digital humanities projects (e.g. Clariah+Golden Agents). As coordinator of ACCESS - The Amsterdam Centre for Cross-Disciplinary Emotion and Sensory Studies Leemans organizes seminars and lectures on the history and workings of emotions and senses. As principal investigator of the Global Knowledge Societyproject, Leemans coordinated the working group Affective Economies - Knowledge and the Market. In 2020 the volume of this interdisciplinary project will be published by Routlegde. At this moment Leemans is researching the history of stock trade & the cultural imagination of financial crises.

Inger Leemans is a board member of: the European Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage, the Dutch National Research Council for Cultural Heritage, the Royal Netherlands Historical Society (KNHG), the Graduate School for Cultural History Huizinga Institute, the National Council for Dutch Language and Culture of the Nederlandse Taalunie, and a member of the Koninklijke Hollandse Maatschappij der Wetenschappen.

See:Personal homepage

Office hours: Tuesday.



Early modern cultural history
History of Knowledge
Cultural Economics
History of the body, emotions, senses, sexuality
Digital Humanities


Amsterdam Stock Exchange 3D MOdel by Timothy de Paepe (

Ancillary activities
  • Dr. C.L. Thijssen-Schoute Stichting | Den Haag | Bestuurder | 2014-02-01 - present
  • DBNL (Digital Library for Dutch Literature) | Den Haag | Adviseur | 2016-01-01 - present
  • Nationale Onderzoeksraad Erfgoed | Amersfoort | Adviseur | 2016-01-01 - present
  • Curatorium Prof.dr. T. van Kalmthout | Amsterdam | Bestuurder | 2016-04-01 - present
  • Curatorium commissie prof. dr. M. Parry | Amsterdam | Bestuurder | 2016-04-01 - present
  • Curatorium prof. dr. F.J. Dijksterhuis | Amsterdam | Bestuurder | 2016-06-01 - present
  • ACCES: Center for Emotion & Sensory Studies | Amsterdam | Bestuurder | 2017-07-01 - 3999-12-31
  • Huizinga Instituut - National Research School for Cultural H | Amsterdam | Bestuurder | 2017-07-01 - present
  • European Board Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage | Amsterdam | Bestuurder | 2019-05-01 - present
  • Vrije Universiteit | Amsterdam | | 2019-09-01 - present
  • Board of Advisors Odotheka - European Research Project | Ljubljana | Adviseur | 2022-05-03 - present
  • Board of Editors of the American Historical Review | Chicago | Bestuurder | 2023-07-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

prof. dr. Inger Leemans