Topics in Belgian History masterclasses: migration and identities



Starting February 2017, 9 experts will be hosting 8 exclusive masterclasses at the Academy.

These masterclasses will take place on the following dates: 1-2-2017, 15-2-2017, 8-3-2017, 22-3-2017, 29-3-2017, 19-4-2017, 3-5-2017 and 17-5-2017. All masterclasses will be taking place at Muntpunt, from 19h until 21h30.

Last week I already announced that Hadewijch Masure, Eline Van Onacker, Bastiaan De Roo and Jeffrey Tyssens would be giving masterclasses in these series.

The next names in the series are those of:

  • Professor Hilde Greefs of Antwerp University. On Wednesday 19 April 2017, she will give a detailed lesson on the history of migration in Belgium. Professor Greefs will focus on social groups, political and economic context and the impact of migration on 19th century Belgian society.

Migration is a topic that has dominated public discourse for the last few years. Whether the debate centered around the refugee crisis, the so-called negative effects of migrants on ‘local culture’ or the terrorism threat, hardly any newspaper article on the topic went by without heated discussions. An historical perspective seems essential to understand the impact migration has (or had) on societies.

  • Professor Marnix Beyen from Antwerp University will teach a masterclass on the regional or sub-national identities in Belgium. This will be the final masterclass in the series, taking place on Wednesday 17 May 2017.

The federalization of Belgium is inextricably linked to the existence of different language groups in Belgium. These language groups have gradually developed a ‘separate’ sense of identity, sometimes within the ‘national’ Belgian context, sometimes opposite to it. Or at least, this is the easy way of explaining the strong sense of Flemish identity and culture that seems to exist in Belgium today, as opposed to the Walloon identity, as it was defined by the Walloon movement in the 19th century. Professor Beyen will explain the formation and existence of these identities in more detail.

Registration for the masterclasses series starts tomorrow, at 18h!

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