Lotte JensenDe opmars van Disaster Studies. Nieuwe perspectieven in het rampenonderzoek 147-164
Ruben RosDe opkomst van de ‘nationale ramp’. Een begripsgeschiedenis 165-187
The rise of the ‘national disaster’. A conceptual history.In the early nineteenth century the concept of ‘national disaster’ makes its appearance in Dutch periodicals, marking a rich variety of events, developments and ideas as disastrous for the wellbeing and integrity of the nation. This article shows how the concept of ‘national disaster’ is rooted in changes in the meaning and use of the concept of ‘disaster’. Guided by a computational analysis of Dutch newspaper discourse in the period between 1750 and 1850, the article demonstrates how the concept of ‘disaster’ was increasingly used in political discourse from the early nineteenth century onwards. The politicization of the concept of disaster, and its application to ideas about the public sphere and national territory led to the emergence of the ‘national disaster’.
Erica BoersmaBovenregionale solidariteit bij stads- en dorpsrampen in de achttiende-eeuwse Republiek der Verenigde Nederlanden. Het noodhulpbeleid van de hogere overheden 187-206
Super-regional solidarity in city and village disasters in the eighteenth-century Dutch Republic.The historiography of disasters is quite unanimous that the higher authorities in the Dutch Republic had little interest in alleviating local distress. The explanation for this lack of supra-regional solidarity is usually found in the institutional inability of the administratively fragmented Dutch Republic: only after the emergence of a central (nation)state in 1795 did disaster relief become modernized. Most disaster research concerned floods; this article examines city and village disasters. Analysing the policies of the higher authorities on the structural aid to victims, it will show that supra-regional solidarity and aid was not only possible but also frequent in the Dutch Republic. Based on urban disaster policies, this article will suggest some alternative explanations for the lack of supra-regional support in flood disasters.
Arti PonsenHuiselijke relieken. De Leidse buskruitramp (1807) in openbare en particuliere collecties 207-233
Homely relics. The Leiden gunpowder disaster (1807) in public and private collections.On January 12, 1807 part of Leiden’s inner city was devastated by the explosion of an inland boat loaded with gunpowder. About 160 people – mostly women and children – were killed, some 2000 injured. Survivors kept mementoes of their loved ones and of the event itself. Over time, many of these ‘secular relics’ were acquired by museums, others are still with the heirs of their original owners. The article discusses how the Dutch word ‘relic’ lost its religious connotation and how the private provenance of objects relating to the gunpowder disaster differs from the public veneration for national relics of Dutch history and art. The term ‘homely relics’ is proposed as a new subcategory of the ‘secular relics’ defined by Wim Vroom in 1997.
Marita MathijsenTen voordeele van …. Liefdadigheidsuitgaven in de negentiende eeuw 234-258
In favor of…. Charity publications in the nineteenth century.In Dutch history, charity publications were almost entirely a 19th century phenomenon. In this article I provide an overview of this phenomenon. The first publication that I have been able to trace is from 1784, the most recent one from 1930. However there are some predecessors of charity publications. The few studies that have been published about charity literature emphasize their national message. Occasions for charity publications were many and varied. Even so, flood disasters prevail. The most varied genres could be employed for the purpose: theater plays, poetry, sermons, essays, etc. However, poems are in the majority, and it is they in the first place that become the object of criticism. From midcentury onward critical comments become ever fiercer, in particular concerning their quantity and their countless platitudes. What makes the phenomenon typically nineteenth century is the shared mentality behind it. To help out in the case of disasters or poverty was not yet a public matter but rested with privately undertaken initiatives.
Jan Wim BuismanOnweer. Een ramp, een straf of een subliem schouwspel? 259-269
Thunderstorms. A disaster, a dvine punishment, or a sublime spectacle?.Thunderstorms often had disastrous consequences in former times, especially when gun powder magazines were struck. After the invention and implementation of Franklin’s lightning rod, the interpretation of these disasters as divine punishments seemed less obvious. Technology and science changed relations between the concepts of God, nature, and man. Very generally speaking, a religion of fear gave way to a religion of love. Nature was considered less a menace than a friend, a shift subtly foreshadowing the Romantic period. Put in more safe life conditions, man tended to hold more optimistic views of himself and dared to play artistically even with dangerous, sublime subjects such as thunderstorms.
Lotte JensenLiederen als nieuwsbrenger en troostverschaffer. Branden, scheepsrampen en grote internationale catastrofes, 1755-1918 270-293
Singing about fires, shipwrecks and major international catastrophes between 1755 and 1918. Local, national and international solidarity.This article focuses on Dutch songs about three different kind of disasters in the period 1755-1918: fires (which occurred in Dutch villages and cities), ship wrecks (both in the Netherlands and abroad) and other foreign catastrophes, such as the earthquake on Martinique (1839) or the floods in Mexico (1888). This popular genre is an important source to understand how people coped with disasters in the past. They were not only used to spread the news, but also to make sense of the events by offering moral and religious lessons. This article investigates how these different types of disaster songs could shape a shared sense of community on the local, national and international level. While songs about fires were often directed at the local community, ballads about shipwrecks appealed to the imagined Dutch community. Songs about big disasters in foreign places, sometimes aimed at raising international solidarity, but they were more often used to strengthen communal feelings at the national level.
Fons MeijerVorst in het vizier. Nationalisme en de verbeelding van de Oranjes na rampen in de negentiende eeuw 294-320
Looking at the monarch. Nationalism and the representation of Orange monarchs after disasters in the nineteenth century.The nineteenth-century Dutch monarchs from the House of Orange often played a proactive role in the aftermath of major catastrophes, such as storm surges, river floods and destructive explosions. Authors repeatedly praised their commitment afterwards and characterised them as symbols of the nation. In this article I demonstrate that the discourse through which monarchs were celebrated should quintessentially be understood as manifestations of nationalism, that is: these discourses cultivated a national sense of unity and thus popularised a the notion of the Netherlands as a national community. As it turns out, authors commonly cultivated a conservative notion of national community, concentrated around conformist concepts such as unity, hierarchy and moderation.
Ron BrandEmpathie of sensatiezucht? De scheepsramp van de ‘Berlin’ in 1907 en de nasleep ervan 321-336
Empathy or sensationalism? The shipping disaster of the ‘Berlin’ in 1907 and its aftermath.In the early morning of February 21, 1907, during a fierce storm, the ferry ‘Berlin’ crashed on the pier of Hook van Holland. With 128 victims, it still is the largest maritime disaster off the Dutch coast in peacetime. Due to the enormous interest of the population, the media and the Dutch royal house, it became a major media disaster in Dutch history. How did that happen? The disaster occurred at a time when a new era was dawning by the dissemination of many new forms of media, such as film, photography and illustrated magazines. In addition, there was the special attention paid by Prince Hendrik, Queen Wilhelmina’s husband. His arrival in Hook van Holland was unprecedented, because he not only came to watch the rescue attempts, but also actively contributed to it. That made the disaster one with two faces; on the one hand, that of the lower class with the population of Hook of Holland and the brave saviors and, on the other hand, one of the upper class because of the attention paid to Prince Hendrik. All this ensured that the disaster was experienced intensely, more intensely than before.
Hans BeelenBezet door het ijs. De literaire verwerking van onfortuinlijke reizen ter walvisvangst in het rampjaar 1777/78 337-357
Beset by ice. The Dutch literary resonance of unfortunate whaling voyages in the catastrophic year 1777/78.The Greenland whaling catastrophe of the year 1777 resulted in seventeen voyage descriptions, written in five languages over a period of 40 years. Travelogues in Dutch, German and Danish reflect the international character of the eighteenth-century whaling trade. As for the Dutch literary setting, there appear to be great differences in style and processing between printed journals written by surviving seamen and descriptions written by or in collaboration with more or less professional authors.
Alicia Schrikker en Sander TetterooDe koloniale ruimte herbezien. De politiek-culturele beleving van Indonesische natuurrampen in de 19e en vroege 20e eeuw oplossen 358-381
The colonial space revisited. The cultural and political experience of Indonesian natural disasters in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.This contribution analyses the colonial space that encompassed The Netherlands and Indonesia through the lens of historical disasters. In the past as much as in the present, Indonesia’s geophysical circumstances made the region vulnerable to volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunami’s. During the nineteenth and early twentieth century such disasters confronted its victims, the other inhabitants of the archipelago and Dutch authorities with considerable challenges. Organizing relief and reconstructing the affected places and societies, prompted societal and governmental responses in colonial Indonesia as well as in The Netherlands. This article centres around two case studies: the eruption of Mount Awu on Sangihe Besar in 1856, and the earthquake that struck West Sumatra in 1926. We show that cultural and political interpretations of these disasters varied considerably between Dutch and Indonesian actors. By building on new insights from the fields of New Imperial History and Disaster Studies, we understand these divergences as the results of the differences in interests, worldviews and political realities faced by those who engaged with disasters in the Netherlands East Indies. On the one hand, Dutch actors tended to frame disasters as joint experiences that bound together motherland and its colony through charity and aid in a single humanitarian space. Yet their decidedly colonial lens led the Dutch to view disasters mainly through their own interests in the archipelago, thereby obscuring the multi-layered nature of local disaster responses. We therefore foreground local disaster responses to expose the limits of colonial disaster interpretations and thereby emphasise the fragmented nature of the colonial space.
Judith Bosnak en Rick Honings‘Behoed ons arme volk voor de vulkaan-poëten’. De literaire verwerking van de Krakatau-ramp van 1883 in Nederland en Indonesië 382
‘Save our poor people from the vulcano poets’. The literary reception of the Krakatoa disaster of 1883 in the Netherlands and Indonesia.On August 27, 1883, the volcano Krakatau in the Dutch East Indies erupted and collapsed, causing the deaths of tens of thousands, mainly as a result of devastating tsunamis. The Krakatau eruption was one of the first disasters to take place beyond the Dutch boundaries that received so much attention in the Netherlands. Because the Indies were a Dutch colony, a response of the motherland was rather logical. In many places, charity activities were organized to raise money for the victims. This article focuses on the Dutch and Indonesian literary reactions on the Krakatau disaster. For this purpose, two scholars work together: one specialized in Dutch Literary Studies and the other one in Indonesian Languages and Cultures. In the first part of the article several Dutch charity publications are analysed; the second part focuses on Indonesian sources (in Javanese and Malay). How and to what extend did the reactions in the Netherlands and Indonesia differ?