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Date(s) - 06/12/2018
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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Capturing everyday mobility and street use in the historic city: a new methodological approach

Danielle van den Heuvel, Ivan Kisjes, Bob Pierik, Bébio Vieira Amaro (UvA)

Discussant: Roos van Oosten

15:00-17:00: Kloveniersburgwal 48, OIH/Bushuis, E1.02E, followed by drinks


This paper introduces a new research method for studying how streets were used in the past. The method is developed in order to shed light on the gendered uses of urban space in historic cities. One of the most pressing questions in both gender and urban history is to what extent women disappeared from street life as cities entered the age of modernity.  One of the reasons why it has been difficult to answer this question is because we have very little knowledge of women’s actual movements through the historic city. This is caused by the difficulties of extracting information on female mobility across social layers and on ephemeral and mundane activities  such as commuting to work, running errands, playing games and chatting to neighbors.  By combining scholarly approaches from economic and cultural history and applying digital techniques, this method aims to make visible the crucial parts of urban life that have so far largely remained invisible.

  • Danielle van den Heuvel is an Associate Professor of Early Modern History at UvA and the Principal Investigator of the NWO VIDI project Freedom of the Streets. Gender and Urban Space in Eurasia (1600-1850)
  • Ivan Kisjes is an archeologist and programmer at CREATE (UvA).
  • Bob Pierik is a PhD candidate in the Freedom of the Streets project at UvA. He is interested in interdisciplinary approaches to early modern urban history, gender history and issues in political economy.
  • Bebio Amaro is Assistant Professor at Tianjin University and Affiliate Member of the Freedom of the Streets project. He specializes in the architectural, urban and territorial history of Japanese port towns during the 16th and 17th centuries.