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The courses, ranging from Dutch Literature to Dutch Painting, are offered in two semesters and cover the period from the Late Middle Ages and the Golden Age to the present. The language of instruction is English. Participants in the Dutch Studies Program should therefore have sufficient English reading and writing skills.

Learning Dutch is not part of the Dutch Studies programme. Language courses are organised by the Language Centre. Contact them by email:

Semester 1


Dutch Studies Lecture Series

various lecturers

A series of lectures on a broad range of topics. Each lecture focuses on a particular aspect of Dutch history, politics, culture and arts. Topics include The Netherlands in World War II; Performing Arts in the Netherlands; Dutch Gender and Media; the Dutch and Humanitarianism; the Dutch Church Landscape; Dutch Political Culture; 16th and 17th-century Dutch Paintings; the Dutch Language and the Archaeology of Dutch Prehistory. More information

LBU032B05 Lezingenserie Nederlandse Cultuur en Maatschappij diverse docenten Dit vak is specifiek gericht op studenten die in het buitenland Nederlands studeren (BA of MA) en een semester of een jaar in Groningen doorbrengen als uitwisselingsstudent.
Het vak kan worden afgerond met een tentamen en levert dan 5 ECTS op. Het tentamen is niet verplicht. Het doel van het vak is het overbrengen van kennis over verschillende aspecten van de Nederlandse cultuur in brede zin. Hierbij wordt een verband gelegd tussen lokaal (de noordelijke regio), nationaal (Nederland) en internationaal (Europa, de wereld). Onderwerpen die behandeld worden zijn de Nederlandse Gouden Eeuw; Nederlandse archeologie; gezondheidscommunicatie in Nederland; sociaal-economische geschiedenis; poëzie; de positie van de Nederlandse vrouw; Nederlandse popmuziek; het Nederlandse landschap;laaggeletterdheid. Meer informatie


Academic English for International Students (Faculty of Arts students only)

A.C. Vaatstra

Through instructions, assignments, and feedback students work on their English proficiency. The course focusses on writing, reading, and speaking English in academic contexts. Students work on other aspects which are often problematic for international students such as grammar, collocations, and vocabulary through guided self-study. Another important aspect is the development of academic skills, such as critical thinking, argumentation, source use and integration, and research. More information

LBU039B05 Dutch Society in a Comparative Perspective (1000-2016) Dr. W.M. Jongman and others This course deals with the history of the Netherlands from the end of the middle ages to the second half of the twentieth century from an international and national perspective. Developments in social structure, economics and economic and social policy will be emphasized. In the lectures focus will be put on typical elements of the Dutch society in this period, such as: the Golden Age, international trade, late industrialization, the strong position of agro-industry and colonial industry, pillarization and rural developments. Furthermore, attention will be paid to the Dutch colonial empire in the Caribbean and Asia. More information
LBU047B05 The Governance of International Solidarity and Sustainable Livelihoods: Dutch Perspectives Prof. J. Herman The Netherlands stand out amongst the many actors involved in international solidarity and sustainable livelihoods. For one, the Dutch state is one of the most fervent supporters of (inter)governmental action to help regions of the world to develop into a stage of sustainable livelihoods and to alleviate suffering where this process is interrupted. As a consequence and secondly, through financing operations and staffing organisations the Netherlands exert great influence in the global governance of these issue areas. Thirdly, Dutch civil society in togetherness with governmental and non-governmental organisations is one of the most internationally active proponents of global solidarity and sustainable livelihoods, and it has given birth to a multitude of non-governmental humanitarian organisations, recognised globally for professionalism, zeal and tenacity.
LBU037B05 Dutch Folktales in an International Context Prof. T. Meder Folktales are supposed to be very old tales transmitted through oral tradition. During the transmission the stories tend to vary; the tales get adjusted to time, place, narrator, audience, as well as the political and social situation. In many respects, studying folktyales like fairy tales, legends, jokes, riddles etc. can tell us a lot about folk life, folk fantasy, their fears and dreams, folk belief and mentality. Throughout history folktales are the barometers of moods in society. However, oral tradition appears to be influenced by written tradition as well. Written tradition allowed us to remember a lot of folktales, so we could keep retelling them. This course is about everything you want to know about folktales: how old are they? Where do they come from? What do they mean? How and why do they change? And how do they need to be interpreted? The focus will be on the Netherlands, but in an international context. More information
LBU048B05 Race in Dutch Culture Dr. M. Zwiers How does race function in Dutch culture? In this class we will explore the history and current status of race relations in the Netherlands, with a focus on the contemporary period. The concept of "white innocence" will be central to the course; it will help us understand why Dutch society has so much trouble facing up to its complicated colonial past and the legacies of this past. More information


Understanding the Dutch: Communication in and about the Netherlands

Dr. W. Vuijk

Understanding the Dutch presents an overview of five ‘typical Dutch’ cultural characteristcs. The Dutch are, according to Van der Horst, egalitarian, utilitarian, organized, trade-oriented and privacy-minded people. During the first part of the course, we will discuss these phenomena and add some aspects: especially the effect of World War II, and more recent developments (political and legal, like euthanasia). Students will interview each other, in order to think about the way you ask questions to find out about someone’s culture. More information

Semester 2

LBU022B05 Dutch Studies Lecture Series, sem II various lecturers The lecture series on Dutch Culture and Society is a course aiming not only at foreign students, but also at visiting faculty members or employees of international business companies. In fact, every non-Dutch visitor to Groningen interested in any aspect of Dutch society will find something of his or her interest in this series. It is possible to extend the course by taking a written exam to the value of 5 ECTS credits.
Every Wednesday evening, a lecture will be given on a broad range of topics: for instance Dutch film, painting, politics, law, art, archaeology with a focus on the regional past, music, mass media, photography. It is possible to attend both the series in the 1st and 2nd semester independently, because the contents of the lectures will be different.


Dutch Contemporary History in an International Perspective

Dr. D.T. Broersma

In this course we will learn about Dutch political history in general, including the pecularities of the Dutch political party system ('pillarization'),the origins and nature of political parties, the history and impact of the Second World War and the onset of multicultural society.
There will be a field trip to transit concentration camp Westerbork from where over 100,000 Dutch Jews were deported to death camps in Poland.


Migration and Minorities in History

G. Jiménez Montes, MA

This course introduces you to some of the most important migratory movements in Western Europe (with a main focus on the Netherlands) and across the Atlantic to the North American colonies. We will discuss concepts of integration and assimilation and we will analyse the settlement patterns and group dynamics of migrants, who, in many cases became minorities within their host societies. The study of the strategies that men and women in the past applied to cope with their experiences of as migrants and minorities on the one hand and as hosts on the other might help us to put today’s challenges of multi-cultural societies and the demands for an increasingly mobile work force into perspective.

LBU044B05 Dutch Literature and Culture 1800-2000 Dr. J.E. Weijermars This literature course introduces students to Dutch literature from the 19th and 20th century. The course offers a survey of the highlights of Dutch nineteenth and twentieth century literature in relationship to the society and (cultural) history of the Low Countries. Students will learn to analyze the relationship between text and context, practise a cultural historical approach of literature and discuss the use of literature as a historical source. Students will also learn to analyse and study the mechanisms of canonization and (literary) history writing. Primary texts include Multatuli’s Max Havelaar, Couperus' The hidden force and Two Women by Harry Mulisch.
LBU050B05 Tutorial Nederlandse Literatuur dr. M.E. Meijer Drees Tutorial Nederlandse Literatuur, Cultuur en Maatschappij
LBU001b05 The Language Situation in the Low Countries Dr. L.D.H. Dros-Hendriks

Surveys the origin and history of the Dutch language, the differences and similarities between English, German, Frisian and Dutch. Topics include phonetics, morphology and syntax of Dutch; the Dutch language in the Netherlands and Flanders; the Frisian language; Afrikaans as a sister language. Programme per week: 1. General introduction; differences between English, Dutch and German. 2. The linguistic position of Dutch. 3. Continuation of 2. 4. Origin and history of the Dutch language. 5. Elements of a portrait of Dutch. 6. Continuation of 5. 7. Break week / reading week 8. Dutch: themes and issues. 9. Continuation of 8. 10. Origin and general nature of the Frisian language; a general sketch of the language situation in Friesland today, with emphasis on sociocultural aspects, and language policy. 11. Continuation of 10. 12. Dutch and Afrikaans 13. Final discussion of various topics and conclusion. 14. Reserved for examination

LBU042B05 Health Communication dr. A.F. de Winter and dr. M. Huiskes In this course different communication challenges and possible solutions in the field of public health, screening and health care will be discussed. During the course students will increase their knowledge regarding the main challenges and opportunities for (more) effective health communication strategies in different situations, e.g. through written communication or patient-professional interaction, or by disseminating health information via mass-media. Communication with vulnerable groups in society will be an important theme.
LBU045B05 Global Dutch Art Dr. N.S. Baadj

The Netherlands was one of the most important sites of global encounter and exchange in seventeenth-century Europe. It was also a major center of artistic production and innovation. This course explores connections between Dutch art of the Golden Age and the Netherlands’ role as an international hub of cultural, commercial, and scientific activity. Topics to be considered include: the changing art market and its impact on new audiences and novel types of art; the dissemination of images and ideas through print culture; the representation of global encounters; the formation and representation of new national, civic, political, religious, and social identities; and artistic exchanges between the Netherlands and other cultures. Readings and discussions will examine the art of well-known masters such as Rembrandt, Hals, and Vermeer, as well as less familiar but equally fascinating works by their contemporaries. Although paintings and prints will be a main focus, we will consider the larger context of Dutch material and visual culture and also investigate textiles, sculpture, metalwork, furniture, jewelry, ceramics, and embellished natural specimens.

LBU038B10 Academic English for International Students (Faculty of Arts Students only) H. Ke, MA Through instructions, assignments, and feedback students work on their English proficiency. The course focusses on writing, reading, and speaking English in academic contexts. Students work on other aspects which are often problematic for international students such as grammar, collocations, and vocabulary through guided self-study. Another important aspect is the development of academic skills, such as critical thinking, argumentation, source use and integration, and research.

Last modified:11 March 2019 3.56 p.m.