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Janse, Maartje

Janse, Maartje


Maartje Janse, born in Göttingen, Germany, in 1976. Ph.D. from University of Groningen. Assistant Professor of History at Leiden University.

Fellow (1 Sept 2016 – 30 June 2017)

Chicken and/or Egg? Visualizing the relation between Antislavery Ideas and Practices, 1820-1865

Research Question

Between 1820-1865 many people in Europe and the United States protested against slavery through petitions, pressure groups, and publications. Did these protest forms and organizations simply express existing ideas, or did they play an important role in the development and dissemination of antislavery ideas? How can we trace the relationship between traveling antislavery reformers, ideas, organizations, protests and publications?

Project Description

I want to build a web-based tool that facilitates a visualization and analysis of travelling antislavery reformers, ideas, organizations, protests, publications, and the changing relation between them over time. We often assume that protest actions and organizations simply express ideas, but my earlier research has shown that the relation is more complex: ideas could develop, change and spread through protest forms and organizations. When we can create interactive maps of the diffusion of antislavery petitions or antislavery organizations in different countries and then compare these maps with the dissemination of antislavery ideas, it is possible to see which one preceded the other. Because this is a complex tool, it needs to be tested thoroughly. If successful can in the future be used for similar questions.

Selected Publications

– Maartje Janse, “‘Holland as a little England’? British Anti- Slavery Missionaries and Continental Abolitionist Movements in the Mid-Nineteenth Century”, Past and Present, Nov. 2015.

– Maartje Janse and Henk te Velde (eds), Organizing Democracy: Reflections on the Rise of Political Organizations in the 19th Century (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2017)

– Maartje Janse, “‘Anti-societies are now all the rage’. Jokes, Criticism and Violence in Response to the Transformation of American Reform, 1825-1835”, Journal of the Early Republic, Summer 2016.

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