Lotte Jensen

Lotte Jensen (b. 1972) is a professor of Dutch Cultural and Literary History at Radboud University Nijmegen and writes about national identity, Dutch literature and history. Her previous works include The Glorification of the Past and Celebrating Peace: The Emergence of Dutch Identity, 1648 – 1815, and she edited the anthologies Napoleon’s Legacy and The Great and Terrible Flood. Jensen also reviews books for de Volkskrant.

War Against the Water

War Against the Water

A Dutch History

(De Bezige Bij, 2022, 232 pages)

Floods are a fundamental part of Dutch history. Indeed, having ‘tamed’ the threats associated with living below sea level is part of Dutch national identity. In the cultural depictions of these devastating events, however, national pride at a certain collective resilience goes hand-in-hand with the collective trauma of exposed vulnerability. All too often, the Dutch were the losers in these battles against the elements. In a time of rising global sea levels, cultural scholar Lotte Jensen dives into the stories and images of the past to unpack this paradox for today.

Read more