Danielle van den Heuvel is an Associate Professor in Early Modern History. She obtained a PhD from the University of Utrecht in 2007. After holding research fellowships at Girton College and the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge (2007-2012), she taught at the School of History of the University of Kent (Canterbury). In 2016 she moved to the University of Amsterdam.
Her current research has a highly interdisciplinary focus and centres around two main themes: the impact of institutions on marginal groups in early modern society, and life in city streets before industrialisation. In this context she explores topics such as the informal economy, women’s work, food markets, and gendered urban spaces.
She has published widely on the position of women in early modern Dutch society, retailing during the Consumer Revolution, and street vending and informality. Research funding awarded include a Rubicon Grant (2007) and a VIDI Grant (2016) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), an Ottilie Hancock Research Fellowship (JRF Girton College; 2008) and a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010).
Danielle sits on the editorial board of BMGN/Low Countries Historical Review
- Food hawkers. Selling in the streets from antiquity to the present [Edited with Melissa Calaresu] (London: Routledge 2016).
- Women and entrepreneurship. Female traders in the Northern Netherlands c. 1580-1815 (Amsterdam: Aksant 2007).
- Bij uijtlandigheijt van haar man. Echtgenotes van VOC-zeelieden aangemonsterd voor de kamer Enkhuizen (1700-1750) (Amsterdam: Aksant 2005).
- 'Gender in the Streets of the Premodern City', Journal of Urban History (2018) DOI: 10.1177/0096144218768493.
- ‘Policing peddlers. The prosecution of illegal street trade in eighteenth-century Dutch towns’, The Historical Journal Vol. 58 No. 2 (June 2015) 367-392.
- ‘Retail development in the Consumer Revolution, The Netherlands c. 1670 – c. 1815’ [with Sheilagh Ogilvie] Explorations in Economic History 50 (2013) 69-87.
- ‘The multiple identities of early modern Dutch fishwives’ in: SIGNS: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Vol. 37 No. 3 (Spring 2012) 587-594.
This project analyses the gendering of urban space in the early modern city. It is widely held that between 1600 and 1850, women gradually withdrew from the public sphere of the street and moved to the private sphere of the home. This powerful narrative, linked to theories of modernisation, has created a conceptual stranglehold that sees public space as exclusively male and private space as entirely female, thereby obscuring the actual workings of gender in pre-industrial urban societies.
This project offers a pioneering approach to the study of gendered urban space, enabling for the first time to move beyond the public/private dichotomy and analyse women’s access to pre-industrial streets in full. Through an analysis of the ownership of streets, both formally by authorities and informally through daily use, it uncovers how urban space was gendered in the run up to the nineteenth century. It hypothesises that the extent to which women could own the street depended on gender norms, local governance, urban fabric, and the everyday use of streets and squares. As such, this project uniquely enables a cross-cultural comparison that connects the material and immaterial city, as well as for women’s agency to play a central role in the analysis.