Amsterdam in global context
University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a city for which the global influence has certainly had a big impact. Hosting the 2019 annual conference of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies, we invite our interdisciplinary colleagues to consider specifically the global contexts of their endeavours.
Geographically, Amsterdam is at the crossroads of various global influences as it is the combined result of ancient glaciers, changing ocean and sea levels, global climate change and human engineering. Historically, Amsterdam was perhaps globally the most important capital during the Golden Age of the Dutch republic, in the 17th century. As such it has partly shaped the face of our modern world, in all its ambiguities: with its relatively open and tolerant cultural climate, Amsterdam was an important center of entrepreneurial and cultural initiatives which were also associated with colonial activities that have increasingly come under fire.
Scientific, philosophical, religious, political, cultural, artistic and other exchanges were variously supported by private citizens and authorities. This has led to works like those of Rembrandt and Spinoza, to the development of the microscope and the first laws of warfare, to a relatively modern republic democracy, to the first issue of ‘bonds’ that could be traded, and many other developments that have shaped our contemporary world.