Universiteit Leiden

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Anne van Dam

Guest PhD.

A.N. van Dam MA
+31 71 527 2166

Anne van Dam is an External PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.

More information about Anne van Dam

Fields of interest

  • Nineteenth-century art history in Germany 
  • Formation of disciplines and boundary work 
  • Knowledge, ‘wissenschaftlichkeit’, and epistemology 
  • History of the Humanities 

Description of my research

In 1872, art historian and lecturer Bruno Meyer devoted his 20-page article “The Cinderella of the Modern Sciences” to the defence of the art historical discipline, demonstrating that the fledgling field of scholarship was as legitimate and thoroughly scholarly as more established disciplines such as archaeology and even philology. He was not alone in his quest to prove this: throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, many Germany art historians advocated for the recognition of art history as a serious and independent scholarly field, separate from but at least equal to its sister disciplines. A key part of this recognition was its establishment as a ‘Wissenschaft’, a field of scholarship that adhered to all the pre-requisites of a ‘proper’ modern discipline, and which devoted itself to an appropriate type of knowledge that was to be gained by certain methods. 

My research project investigates the formation of art history as a scholarly discipline and considers how ideas of knowledge and ‘Wissenschaft’ impacted its development between 1860 and 1900. The hypothesis guiding my project is that the conceptualization(s) of knowledge and ‘wissenschaftlichkeit’ played a fundamental role in the formation of art history and that these conceptualizations were instrumental in the definition of the field by affecting how scholars chose their subject matter, methodologies, and the perceived goals of their scholarship, while also impacting the social and institutional processes governing the discipline.

PhD supervisors

  • Prof. dr. C.J.M. Zijlmans 
  • Dr. W.J.L.M van Damme



Project assistant, “Forensic Culture. A Comparative Analysis of Forensic Practices in Europe, 1930-2000”.
ERC-project, Universiteit Utrecht.


PhD Candidate (external) in Art History, Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society. 


PhD Member of the Education Committee of the Research School for Art History (Onderzoeksschool Kunstgeschiedenis). 


PhD Advisor at the University of Amsterdam regarding the development of a World Arts course. 


ReMA Arts and Culture, specialization in World Art Studies, Leiden University 
Thesis: ‘Die große stille Schönheitswelt aller Völker. The Position of Extra-European Art in 
German Art Historical Surveys Between 1842 and 1900.’ Supervisors: Dr. W.J.L.M. van Damme en Prof. dr. C.J.M. Zijlmans. 

2009 – 2012 

BA Algemene Cultuurwetenschappen, University of Amsterdam (cum laude). 

Teaching Activities 

Guest lecture, ‘A pre-history of intercultural art history’, Leiden University (2016). 

Ancillary Activities 

  • De Kunst van Kennis 
  • Freelance researcher and consultant 

Guest PhD.

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Centre for the Arts in Society
  • KG Moderne beeldende kunst


  • No relevant ancillary activities
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