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The Executive Board of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has appointed Dr Frank van Vree (1954), professor of Journalism and Culture, as dean of the Faculty of Humanities for a period of five years. The appointment is effective from 1 January 2012.

The Executive Board of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has appointed Dr Frank van Vree (1954), professor of Journalism and Culture, as dean of the Faculty of Humanities for a period of five years. The appointment is effective from 1 January 2012.

The dean is responsible for the overall management of the faculty, and provides direction and guidance to the faculty in the fields of teaching and research. Van Vree will succeed Prof. José van Dijck, who has been dean since 2008.

Academic career

Van Vree studied modern history and philosophy at the University of Groningen and obtained his PhD from the University of Leiden with a study of public opinion formation in the Netherlands in the period from 1930 to 1939. He subsequently taught at the Open University and various institutes for higher vocational education in Amersfoort, Delft, Rotterdam and The Hague. Since 1989, Van Vree has worked at the University of Amsterdam, first as university lecturer in Cultural History, then as senior university lecturer in Cultural History and Media Studies, and finally as professor of Journalism and Culture. From 1994 to 1995, he was also a research fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies. In 1998, he was appointed professor by special appointment of Media History at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He was also visiting professor at the Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje (Macedonia) from 2005-2006 and in 2009. During this last year, he worked as a visiting researcher at New York University.


In his teaching, Van Vree focuses mainly on the study of journalistic culture and historical representation. His research is concerned with history and memory, cultural and intellectual history, as well as media and journalism. Together with Rob van der Laarse (UvA), he has headed the research programme The Dynamics of War Heritage, Memory and Remembrance since 2008. Van Vree has numerous publications to his name, his most important work being In the shadow of Auschwitz - Memories, images, history (1995). The most recent publications that he has authored or co-authored are: Gevaarlijk spel. De verhouding tussen pr & voorlichting en journalistiek (Dangerous game: the relationship between PR & communication and journalism; 2011) and Performing the Past. Memory, History, and Identity in Modern Europe (AUP 2010).

Executive and journalistic activities

Van Vree is founder and coordinator of the dual Master’s programme in Journalism at the UvA. From 2005 to 2010, he was chairman of the department of Media Studies. Since 2011, he is director of the national research school for Media Studies. He is also a board member of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation, chairman of the academic advisory committee for the Databank of Digital Daily Newspapers, chairman of the foundation De Nieuwe Reporter (The New Reporter), which he co-founded (see www.denieuwereporter.nl), and board member of the Expertisecentrum Journalistiek (Expertise Centre Journalism). He also writes a biweekly column for the independent Dutch weekly newsmagazine De Groene Amsterdammer. He was a member of several editorial boards and editor of several professional journals, including Feit & fictie (Fact & fiction), a journal on the history of representation, which he also co-founded. From 1989 to 2009, he was a critic of scholarly works for the Dutch national daily de Volkskrant. He has served on numerous boards and committees. He was, for example, a member of the General Board of the Dutch Press Museum and board member of the Dutch Cultural Media Fund.

About the faculty

The Faculty of Humanities of the UvA has approximately 7,000 students and about 1,200 employees. Teaching and research are divided into six departments: History, Archaeology and Area Studies, Art, Religious and Cultural Studies, Media Studies, Dutch Studies, Language and Literature and Philosophy.