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dr. J. Olthof

Assistant Professor
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My research and publications focus on three areas:

1.       My NWO-funded project Youth Climate Court Rhetoric (YoCCR) which explores how young climate activists strategically employ rhetoric to overcome legal obstacles (standing) when challenging their governments to recognize their right to a healthy living environment globally.

2.       Political and legal rhetoric in the United States in general. This includes presidential rhetoric (Rhetorical Presidency, concession speeches, etc) as well as the rhetoric of the U.S. founding period. I also work on the H-GEAR (Historiographing the Era of the American Revolution) digital humanities project led by Dr. Mark Thompson. In all these projects, I’m particularly interested how language is used to shape and challenge political identity.

3.       Political rhetoric in the Netherlands in general, including in contemporary Dutch politics and, historically, in the province of Fryslân.


2007 MA Research Master Modern History - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

2013 Postdoctoral Fellowship (SUSI) -UMass, USA

2014 PhD - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


2018-present Assistant-Professor American Studies, University of Groningen

2018 Visiting Prof. Northwestern University

2016-17 Post Doc - Fryske Akademy (KNAW)


  • 2024: NWO (Dutch Research Council) Open Competition XS grant for Youth Climate Court Activism (YoCCR)
  • 2022 eScience Center Digital Approach to the Humanities OpenSSI grant for H-GEAR (Historiographing the Era of the American Revolution) with Mark Thompson
  • 2019 SVM-stipend to set up University of Groningen Rhetorics Minor with Rik Peters
  • 2017: Fellowship for Innovation in Teaching (FiT) Award of the University of Groningen Honours College
  • 2013: Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) scholarship program on American Politics and Political Thought at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (MA).

Last modified:04 June 2024 10.21 a.m.