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dr. Edwina Hagen

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

Assistant Professor, CLUE+

Personal information

Edwina Hagen is an Assistant Professor of Cultural History and Chair of the Programme Committee. She teaches courses at BA and MA level on Early Modern European History, Cultural History, Revolutions and History of Emotions. She also teaches at the Amsterdam University College. In this context she designed History Lab, a form of practical and immersive learning on location. During the 2024 edition students investigated the archives of the Holland Land Company at the Amsterdam City Archives

Office hours: on Monday, or contact her via email (her work days are Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday).



Hagen's qualitative and biographical approach focuses on the interplay between culture and politics. She is an expert of the revolutionary period in the Netherlands (1780-1815). In a broader sense, her research explores (the historical problem of) individual agency, as evidenced by people’s changing practices, emotions and attitudes toward power and political authority. Her work highlights in- and exclusionary processes that are at play in the creation of political subjects, reinforced by religion (antipapism related to civic virtues and national identity) and changing cultural norms about gender and (political) emotions. Articles and chapters by Hagen on cultural political topics such as reputation politics, emotional self-fashioning, character assasination or the ways in which eighteenth century women exercised informal power, have been published in peer reviewed journals and books as well as in popular historical magazines. Hagen is inspired by a diverse range of historical material, particularly personal letters, political print culture and (auto)biographies. 

Hagen’s PhD on Dutch Enlightened and Protestant Anti-Papism around 1800 received national coverage by the Dutch press and was praised by historians as ‘an exemplary dissertation’ (Professor Emeritus G.J. Schutte) and ‘Darntonian’ (Professor Emeritus A.W.F.M. van de Sande). In 2012 her Libris History Prize nominated political biography on the statesman Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck (1761-1825) and his wife Catharina Nahuys (1770-1844) attracted nation-wide media attention. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, received the first copy.

Hagen recently interviewed British professor Marisa Linton about her life and work: Revolutionary politicians were more than an ideology on legs

Together with Martijn Icks (UvA) Hagen co-edited a Special Issue of the Dutch Journal of History (Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 2021, jrg 134, no.2): Character Assassination and Media

Hagen is currently working on several article and book projects, which include:

  • analyses of various aspects (emotions; reputation-politics; epistolary diplomacy) of the political life of Wilhelmina of Prussia, Princess of Orange (1751-1820)
  • guest editor-in-chief Special Issue of the Dutch journal of Gender History (Historica) on Character Assasination and Gender
  • peer-reviewed articles on emotions in eigthteenth century women's letters as a diplomatic practice (with Kristine Dyrmann, University of Oxford)
  • interdisciplinary and international edited volumes on: 1. auto/biography and reputation politics (co-editor and contributor; Routledge) & 2. character assasination, illiberalism and the erosion of civic rights (co-editor with Martijn Icks (UvA) & Andrew Armstrong (George Mason University, Fairfax US)
  • case studies based on extensive primary source research in the archives of the Holland Land Company in Amsterdam & New York - mainly focused on Adam Gerard Mappa (1754-1828), a Dutch revolutionary, (sub)agent for the HLC and co-founder of an Unitarian church (NY)    

Hagen is also sometimes consulted by the media for expert views in relation to her research topics: 

De Jortcast De karaktermoord op Ma Flodder




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dr. Edwina Hagen