28 July 2018
on course website
The Heart of Capitalism: Amsterdam and the Capitalist World, 1600-Present
Capitalism does have a heart, at least in an economic and geographical sense. From 1600 onwards, for a long time that heart was Amsterdam. Today, Amsterdam still is a major player in the capitalist world. This course explores your host city’s role in the rise of capitalism and the relationship – then and now – between its economic fortunes and its spatial, social and cultural development.
The framework of this course is the new scholarship on capitalism and current debates about “global” and “creative” cities. Since the development of capitalism is now considered part of a wider web of social relations, power structures, belief systems and cultural practices, we cover several centuries and many aspects of history: social, economic, business, political, cultural and religious history as well as the history of emotions.
As a long-established centre of capitalism, Amsterdam is the perfect place to study this innovative approach in situ. And to look in greater depth at the relationship between the development of capitalism and the urban environment, We will address questions such as how the ups and downs of Amsterdam as a hotbed of capitalism affected the spatial, social and cultural development of the city and how the urban ambience influenced the role of Amsterdam in the capitalist world, especially in terms of city planning, social inequality, the role of cultural industries In doing so, we will engage with ongoing discussions among historians, social scientists and policy makers about ‘global’ and ‘creative’ cities.
Active participation is an important aspect of this course, as you examine and critically assess key ideas, debates and methodologies in the field. Excursions to heritage sites related to Amsterdam’s history as the “heart of capitalism” will help you to place the subject in a historical and present-day context.
Prof. Karel Davids, Prof. Inger Leemans, Dr Pepijn Brandon and guests
Primarily students and professionals in the field of Humanities and Social Sciences, but interested participants from other backgrounds are also welcome. Our courses are multi-disciplinary and therefore are open to students and professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.
At the end of this course you will:
•Be able to understand the long-term history of capitalism.
•Understand the relationship between large-scale economic changes and the social hierarchy, social tensions, creativity, consumer culture and spatial order in global cities.
•Be familiar with theoretical concepts and methodologies for the study of capitalism and urban developments.
•Be familiar with the interrelationships between the development of Amsterdam and the history of capitalism.
Contact Hours: 45
EUR 1150: The tuition fee includes:
• Airport pick-up service
• Welcome goodie bag
• Orientation programme
• Course excursions
• On-site support
• Emergency assistance
• Transcript of records after completion of the course
An early bird discount of €150 is available for students who apply and pay before 15 March, and students from VU Amsterdam as well as from exchange partner universities will receive a €250 discount. You apply for the discount simply by indicating that you are currently a student at VU Amsterdam or at a partner university in the online application.
There are also discounts for students who attend multiple sessions, combine 2 courses and receive a €200 discount and combine 3 to receive a €300 discount. All courses include excursions. We will also organize trips and excursions as part of our social programme, which is a great way to get to know your fellow students and learn more about Amsterdam and the Netherlands. The social programme is not included in the tuition fee.
Furnished accommodation is available. Various housing options will be offered.
The VU Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition and housing fees of one course. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.Register for this course
on course website