The Dutch trading companies, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Dutch West India Company (WIC), commanded a worldwide network of trading posts. These trading posts were manned by staff of different nationalities, some of whom described their observations and experiences and in many cases published them. In turn these texts formed the basis for other publications about the world outside Europe. An important part of the European discourse about the non-Western world became indirectly dependent on the Dutch trading networks. Relatively little has been published in English about these representations of the world outside Europe which were created as a result of the activities of the Dutch trading companies. The following topics — the list is not meant to be exhaustive — could be considered:
– The way in which the world is represented in travel accounts – Natural history (zoology, botany, geology) – The collection of ethnographic knowledge – Cartography and geography – The development of knowledge about a specific region – Pictorial representations (particularly book illustrations) – Systems of patronage and the collection of colonial knowledge – The Dutch publishing business and the world of VOC and WIC – The collection of curiosities from the colonial world – The works of a prominent author, scientist or painter with VOC or WIC connections.
The sources need not be limited to Dutch texts. A lot of texts appeared in French, German and Latin or were translated. A large number of influential authors and artists who retrieved information from the Dutch trading networks were, for instance, German speaking.
The contributions should preferably take into account the developments in international literature about early modern European representations of the non-Western world. Many innovative studies have appeared on this topic during previous years and their insights can be fruitfully used.
INTERSECTIONS brings together new material on well considered themes within the wide area of Early Modern Studies. Contributions may come from any of the disciplines within the humanities: history, art history, literary history, book history, church history, social history, history of the humanities, of the theatre, of cultural life and institutions. The themes are directed towards hitherto little explored areas or reflect a lively debate within the international community of scholars. This volume of Intersections will be edited by Siegfried Huigen (Stellenbosch), Jan de Jong (Groningen) and Elmer Kolfin (Amsterdam), and is scheduled to appear in 2009. The volume is published in conjunction with a conference that will take place in October 2008. Proposals, about 300 words in length, should be sent (preferably electronically) no later than November 1st 2007, to one of the editors of this volume.