Fotograaf: Eduard Lampe

dhr. dr. H.J. (Helmer) Helmers

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
    Capaciteitsgroep Nederlandse Letterkunde
  • Bezoekadres
    P.C. Hoofthuis
    Spuistraat 134  Kamernummer: 4.36
  • Postadres:
    Spuistraat  134
    1012 VB  Amsterdam

Helmer Helmers is lecturer in early modern Dutch literature and culture at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the University of Utrecht (UU). He has also lectured on early modern history, and on English Renaissance literature from Shakespeare to Milton.
Helmers graduated cum laude in Renaissance and Baroque Studies (Algemene Letteren) in 2004. His thesis on Dutch adaptations of Shakespeare was awarded by the Society of Seventeenth Century Studies (Werkgroep De Zeventiende Eeuw). In June 2011 he obtained his doctorate with the highest possible distinction at Leiden University for his dissertation The Royalist Republic . He has published various articles on seventeenth-century Anglo-Dutch exchange and the plays of Joost van den Vondel. He is currently developing a new project on the functioning of international news in the Dutch Republic.

In my research I focus on political culture in the Dutch Republic and England in the early modern period. I am specifically interested in:

  • Anglo-Dutch cultural and political relationships
  • News and public opinion in the early modern period
  • Early modern English and Dutch drama, especially Shakespeare, Milton, Vos and Vondel

I am currently developing a new research project on international news, in which I want to investigate the ways in which international news and news networks affected political debate in the Dutch Republic .
I am an associate of the Leverhulme Trust project News Networks in Early Modern Europe, a network of leading scholars of news history from across the continent, that will lay the foundations for a methodologically coherent European history of early modern news and newspapers.

Articles (journals and book chapters)

'The Cry of the Royal Blood. Revenge Tragedy and the Stuart Cause in the Dutch Republic'. In: A. van Dixhoorn, E. Strietman en J. Bloemendal (red.) 'The Sharpness of a Honed Tongue'. Literary Culture and Public Opinion in the Low Countries, 1450-1650 (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 219-250. Peer-reviewed chapter in book.

[With Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen] 'Religion and Politics. Lucifer (1654) and Milton's Paradise Lost (1674)'. In: F.-W. Korsten en J. Bloemendal (red.) Vondel. Dutch Dramatist in the Golden Age (Leiden: Brill, 2011), 377-405. Peer-reviewed chapter in book.

[With Ton Hoenselaars] ' The Spanish Tragedy and the Tragedy of Revenge in the Low Countries'. In: N. Cinpoes (red.) Doing Kyd:  A Collection of Articles on the Spanish Tragedy (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2011, forthcoming). Peer-reviewed chapter in book.
'Unknown Shrews. Three Dutch Adaptations of The/A Shrew'. In: G. Holderness and D. Wootton (red.)
Gender and Power in Shrew-Taming Narratives, 1500-1700. With an afterword by Ann Thompson (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 123-44. Peer-reviewed chapter in book.

'Hooft hertaald'. Spiegel der Letteren 49:3 (2007), 335-342. Review article.

'Dees verwarde tijden. Koning David en koning Karel hersteld'., 07(06b) (2007).

[With Inge Broekman] 'Het hart des offraers: The Dutch Gift of 1660 as an Act of Self-Representation'. Dutch Crossing 32:2 (2007), 1-30.

''Prins van loos bedrog': The Taming of the Shrew en de Engelse revolutie op het zeventiende-eeuwse Nederlandse toneel'. De Zeventiende Eeuw 21:2 (2005), 292-311.

Book reviews (selection)

[Untitled] Review of: David Onnekink en Gijs Rommelse (eds.), Ideology and Foreign Policy in Early Modern Europe (1650-1750) (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011). In: De Zeventiende Eeuw . Forthcoming.
[Untitled] Review of: Michel Reinders, Gedrukte Chaos. Populisme en moord in het rampjaar 1672 (Balans, 2010). In: Tijdschrift voor geschiedenis . Forthcoming.

'Dichter noch boer? Het tragische leven van Hubert Poot'. Review of: Riet Schenkeveld van der Dussen, Dichter en Boer. Hubert Korneliszoon Poot. Zijn leven, zijn gedichten (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Bert Bakker, 2009). In: Spiegel der Letteren 53:2 (2011), 254-57.

[Untitled] Review of: J. Kerrigan, Archipelagic English: Literature, History, and Politics 1603-1707 (Oxford: OUP, 2008). In: De Zeventiende Eeuw 25:1 (2009), 149-150.

[Untitled] Review of: P. Arblaster, Antwerp and the World. Richard Verstegan and the International Culture of Catholic Reformation (Leuven: Leuven UP, 2004). In: De Zeventiende Eeuw 23:2 (2006), 365.

[Untitled] Review of: P. Kennan en M. Tempera, International Shakespeare: The Comedies (Bologna: CLUEB, 2004). In: Folio: Tijdschrift van het Shakespeare-genootschap Nederland en Vlaanderen 12:1 (2006), 45-47.

Conference papers (selection)

'The Tragic Stage of Britain: The English Civil War in Dutch News Pamphlets'. News Networks in Early Modern Europe. Plantin Museum, Antwerp [27 November 2011].
'International Royalist Iconography'. Society for Renaissance Studies National Conference , University of York [18 July 2010].
'Literature, Genre Painting and Politics. Dutch Representations of Charles I and Oliver Cromwell'. The Northern and Southern Netherlands as a Literary and Cultural 'Entrepôt' for Seventeenth-Century British Letters,1603-1688 , Universiteit Gent [ 21 May 2010]

'The Royalist Republic'. Authority and Authorities . Early Modern Research Centre, University of Reading [ 8 July 2009].

'The Royal Actor. Charles Stuart on the Amsterdam Stage'. Drama, Performance and Debate . University of Amsterdam (UvA) [31 May 2008] .
'The English Devil'. Barchem Symposium , Huizinga Institute of Cultural History [27 March 2008]. 

'The Cry of the Royal Blood: Revenging Charles I on the Dutch Stage'. Politics, Press, and Public Debate in the 17th Century: Anglo-Dutch Perspectives . European University Institute (EUI), Florence (Italy) [15 December 2007 ] .
'The Dutch Gift of 1660'. Anglo-Dutch Relations 1650-c.1720 , UCL, Londen [23 June 2007] .
'The Stuart Cult'. Paper presented at a masterclass by prof. Jonathan Israel (Princeton), Royal Library, The Hague [11 May 2007].

'Unknown Shrews'. Shrews on the Renaissance Stage Conference , Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, University of York[27 mei 2006] .
'De wervelende shows van strolling players'. Drama Theatre Event . University of Amsterdam [20 January 2006].


  • Helmers, H. J. (2018). Popular participation and public debate. In H. J. Helmers, & G. H. Janssen (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age (pp. 124-146). (Cambridge Companions to Culture). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/9781316771549.011 
  • Helmers, H. J., & Janssen, G. H. (2018). Introduction: Understanding the Dutch Golden Age. In H. J. Helmers, & G. H. Janssen (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age (pp. 1-12). (Cambridge Companions to Culture). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/9781316771549.004 
  • Helmers, H. J., & Janssen, G. H. (Eds.) (2018). The Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age. (Cambridge Companions to Culture). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/9781316771549  [details] 
  • Janssen, G. H., & Helmers, H. J. (2018). Epilogue: The Legacy of the Dutch Golden Age. In H. J. Helmers, & G. H. Janssen (Eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Dutch Golden Age (pp. 390-399). (Cambridge Companions to Culture). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/9781316771549.024 


  • Helmers, H. J. (2016). Public Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe. Towards a New History of News. Media History, 22(3-4), 401-420.
  • Helmers, H. (2016). Cartography, War Correspondence and News Publishing: The Early Career of Nicolaes van Geelkercken, 1610–1630. In J. Raymond, & N. Moxham (Eds.), News Networks in Early Modern Europe (pp. 350-374). (Library of the written word; Vol. 47). Leiden: Brill. [details] 
  • Helmers, H. (2016). Illness as Metaphor: The Sick Body Politic and Its Cures. In J. Grave, R. Honigs, & B. Noak (Eds.), Illness and Literature in the Low Countries: From the Middle Ages until the 21th Century (pp. 97-120). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. [details] 
  • Helmers, H. (2016). The Politics of Mobility: Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, Jan Vos's Aran en Titus and the Poetics of Empire. In J. Bloemendal, & N. Smith (Eds.), Politics and Aesthetics in European Baroque and Classicist Tragedy (pp. 344-372). Leiden: Brill. DOI: 10.1163/9789004323421_014  [details] 
  • Hoenselaars, T., & Helmers, H. (2016). The Spanish Tragedy and revenge tragedy in seventeenth century Britain and the Low Countries. In N. Cinpoeş (Ed.), Doing Kyd: Essays on The Spanish Tragedy (pp. 144-170). Manchester: Manchester University Press. [details] 
  • van Groesen, M., & Helmers, H. (2016). Managing the News in Early Modern Europe, 1550–1800. Media History, 22(3-4), 261-266. DOI: 10.1080/13688804.2016.1234683  [details] 


  • Helmers, H. J. (2015). The royalist republic: literature, politics, and religion in the Anglo-Dutch public sphere, 1639-1660. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Helmers, H. J. (2015). ‘De Betoverde Weereld (1691) en de bekkeriaanse oorlog. Hoe een theologisch conflict tot een zeventiende-eeuwse mediarel leidde’. In L. Jensen, & R. Honigs (Eds.), Schokkende boeken (pp. 132-139). Hilversum: Verloren.


  • van Dijkhuizen, J. F., & Helmers, H. (2012). Religion and politics: Lucifer (1654) and Milton's Paradise Lost (1674). In J. Bloemendal, & F. W. Korsten (Eds.), Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679): Dutch playwright in the Golden Age (pp. 377-405). (Drama and theatre in early modern Europe; No. 1). Leiden: Brill. [details] 


  • Helmers, H. (2011). 'The cry of the royal blood': revenge tragedy and the Stuart cause in the Dutch Republic. In J. Bloemendal, A. van Dixhoorn, & E. Strietman (Eds.), Literary cultures and public opinion in the Low Countries, 1450-1650 (pp. 219-250). (Brill's studies in intellectual history; No. 197). Leiden: Brill. DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004206168.i-324.66  [details] 


  • Helmers, H. (2016). [Review of: W.J. op 't Hof and F.W. Huisman (2013) Nederlandse Liefde voor Christopher Love (1618-1651)]. English Historical Review, 131(551), 912-913. [details] 


  • Helmers, H. (2013). ’Een galery vol oorlogstafereelen’. Vondels Lucifer (1654) oorlogsstuk in debatten over vrede. In L. Jensen, & N. Geerdink (Eds.), Oorlogsliteratuur in de vroeg-moderne tijd: vorm, identiteit en herinnering (pp. 23-38). Hilversum: Verloren. [details] 


  • Helmers, H. J. (2017). Een Nederlandse geschiedenis van fake news. VakTaal, 2017(2), 20-21.


  • Helmers, H. J. (2015). '"Onder schyn van trek tot vrede". Politieke spanningen in de Nederlandse vredespubliciteit'. In Ginder 't Vreeverbond bezegelt. Essays over de betekenis van de Vrede van Breda (pp. 62-77). Breda: Van Kemenade.


  • Helmers, H. J. (2013). [Review of: O.P. Grell. Brethren in Christ. A Calvinist Network in Reformation Europe]. Zeventiende Eeuw, 29.
  • Helmers, H. (2013). [Bespreking van: D. Haks (2013) Vaderland en vrede, 1672-1713: publiciteit over de Nederlandse Republiek in oorlog]. Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde, 129(3), online. [details] 
  • Helmers, H. (2013). [Bespreking van: M. Stensland (2012) Habsburg communication in the Dutch Revolt]. Zeventiende Eeuw, 29(1), 115-117. [details] 
  • Helmers, H. (2013). [Review of: R. Dekker (2013) Family, Culture and Society in the Diary of Constantijn Huygens Jr, Secretary to Stadholder-King William of Orange]. Reviews in history, 2013, 1508. [details] 


  • Helmers, H. (2011). Dichter noch boer? De tragiek van Hubert Korneliszoon Poot [Bespreking van: R. Schenkeveld-van der Dussen (2009) Dichter en boer: Hubert Korneliszoon Poot, zijn leven, zijn gedichten]. Spiegel der Letteren, 53(2), 254-257. DOI: 10.2143/SDL.53.2.2119625  [details] 


  • Helmers, H. & Akkerman, N. (2016). NWO Archeologische vondsten van Internationaal belang.


  • Helmers, H. (editor) (2017-2021). Early Modern Low Countries (Journal).
  • Helmers, H. (member of editorial board) (2016-). Journal of Dutch Literature (Journal).
  • Helmers, H. (member of editorial board) (2016). Zeventiende Eeuw (Journal).
  • Helmers, H. (editor) (2015-2020). Journal of Dutch Literature (Journal).


  • Helmers, H. (invited speaker) (10-2-2017). Public Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe: Dutch Print Culture and International Relations, 1568-1648, UCL Low Countries Seminar, London, United Kingdom.
  • Helmers, H. (speaker) (2-12-2016). The Civil Wars and the Dutch Republic, Folger History of British Political Thought , Washington, United States.
  • Helmers, H. (speaker) (11-10-2016). Dutch Public Diplomacy, 1568-1648, Golden Age Seminar, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
  • Helmers, H. (speaker) (16-6-2016). ‘Le bastiments des affections’. Dutch Publicity and the Coming of the Thirty Years War, 9th St Andrews Book Conference, St Andrews, United Kingdom.
  • Helmers, H. (speaker) (1-4-2016). Dutch Media in the Thirty Years War, Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, Boston, United States.
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  • Universiteit van utrecht
    Verzorgen van curcussen vroegmoderne Letterkunde
  • Universiteit Leiden
    Doceren vroegmoderne Geschiedenis

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