Fotograaf: onbekend

mw. dr. T.M.C. (Tamara) van Kessel

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
    Capaciteitsgroep Algemene Cultuurwetenschappen
  • Bezoekadres
    BG 2
    Turfdraagsterpad 15  Amsterdam
    Kamernummer: 1.06
  • Postadres:
    Turfdraagsterpad  9
    1012 XT  Amsterdam

PhD dissertation

Cultural Promotion and Imperialism. The Dante Alighieri Society and the British Council Contesting the Mediterranean in the 1930s (University of Amsterdam, June 2011). Due to be published.

Supervisor: prof. dr. P. den Boer / Co-supervisor: prof. dr. R. van der Laarse

Research interests

  • The history of (cultural) nationalism
  • International cultural policy
  • Cultural heritage: policy, theory and intellectual history
  • Italian nineteenth- and twentieth-century history
  • Cultural identity and politics in the Mediterranean area
  • European cooperation between North and South
  • Italian Fascism and European history of the interwar period
  • Secularization and the role of the intellectual






  • Since August 2011 teaching as Assistant Professor for both the BA and the MA Cultural Sciences, as well as for the MA Heritage Studies.
  • Practical course 'Erfgoedpraktijk', guiding students putting heritage theory into practice in a project for the historical gardens of Beeckestijn, master programme Heritage Studies, University of Amsterdam (Spring/Summer 2011).
  • Seminar 'Kunstwerelden: Theorie en Beroepspraktijk' on sociology of the arts, bachelor Cultural Sciences, University of Amsterdam (Autumn/Winter 2010 & 2011).
  • Lectures on 'Culture and the Makeability of Society', master programme Cultural Sciences, University of Amsterdam (Autumn/Winter 2010 & 2011).
  • 'De Dante Alighieri Vereniging en de constructie van 'italianità' in het buitenland' as part of 'Monumenten en symbolen van italianità', Dante Alighieri Society Utrecht (Utrecht, 29 April 2010).
  • External examiner for five students graduating from the bachelor programme Museology at the Reinwardt Academy (4 en 6 November 2008).
  • Accompanied students of the bachelor Cultural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, on an excursion to Rome as part of their course on 'Centres of European Culture' (24-29 March 2007).
  • Lecture 'Intangible heritage: contested property' as part of 'Heritage: theory and practice' for students of Heritage Studies, University of Amsterdam (30 November 2006).






  • Session co-organizer and speaker, 'National Identities and World Heritage', The 22nd International Congress of Historical Sciences (Jinan, China, 23-29 August 2015).
  • 'The European Inheritance: mobilizing history after the Second World War', 22nd International Conference of Europeanists (Sciences-Po, Paris, France, 8-10 July 2015).
  • 'Empire, Cultural Politics and European Heritage: the British Council and the "Latinisation" of Egypt inthe 1930s', Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies (Montreal, 15-17 April 2010).
  • 'Cultural Diplomacy and National Self-Representation during the Interbellum: 'Italianità' and 'Britishness' as promoted abroad', presented in the panel session 'Projecting Nations: Culture and Character in International Relations' at the conference We The Peoples: Democratizing International Relations in Britain and Beyond, 1870-1950 organized by Peter Mandler (St. John's College, Cambridge, 8-9 January 2010).
  • 'Italian Colonialism and Cultural Propaganda: The Società Dante Alighieri in Addis Abeba', presented in the panel session 'Italian Studies from the Low Countries: Modern and Contemporary Italy' (coordinated by the Werkgroep Italië Studies), Biennial Conference of the Society for Italian Studies (Londen, Royal Holloway University, 16-19 April 2009).
  • 'Promoting national culture in the Mediterranean: the Dante Alighieri Society and the British Council in the 1930's', Fifth International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Univeristy & Yeditepe University in cooperation with the International Journal of Cultural Policy (Istanbul, 20-24 August 2004). Also intervened as moderator.
  • 'British life and thought: a global model? The British Council's representations of 'Britishness' on the eve of the Second World War', at the conference Britishness, Identity and Citizenship: The View from Abroad (Huddersfield, University of Huddersfield, 5-6 June 2008).
  • 'Italianitá wereldwijd: de Dante Alighieri Vereniging in de jaren dertig', Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, for students of Cultural Sciences (University of Amsterdam) on excursion in Rome, 3 April 2008.


  • Ronnes, H., & van Kessel, T. (2016). Heritage (erfgoed) in the Dutch press: A history of changing meanings in an international context. Contributions to the History of Concepts, 11(2), 1-23. DOI: [details]
  • van Kessel, T. (2016). Foreign Cultural Policy in the Interbellum: The Italian Dante Alighieri Society and the British Council Contesting the Mediterranean. (Heritage and Memory Studies). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. [details]


  • van Kessel, T. (2012). ‘Si deve amare la mamma anche se povera’: the Dante Alighieri Society, Italian emigration and the safeguarding of italianità, 1870-1925. Incontri: rivista europea di studi italiani, 27(1), 21-29. [details] [PDF]


  • van Kessel, T. (2011). 'Britishness' as promoted by the British Council in the 1930s and 1940s. British identities since 1707, 2, 267-288. [details]


  • van Kessel, T. (2013). Publiek of privaat? That is the question. Boekman, 96, 48-49, 51-55. [details]


  • van Kessel, T. M. C. (2011). Cultural promotion and imperialism: the Dante Alighieri Society and the British Council contesting the Mediterranean in the 1930s Eigen Beheer [details / files]
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