Milou van Hout (1989) is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES) at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on identity formation and historical place making in contemporary cities and European borderlands, with particular emphases on cosmopolitanism, regionalism and nationalism, borderlands, Italy, South-East Europe, Mediterranean cities, in the 20th and 21st centuries. She currently works on a PhD thesis entitled ‘Re-discovering cosmopolitan Trieste and Rijeka: imagining new forms of cultural citizenship in urban borderlands’, for which she was granted a PhD in the Humanities grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
Milou received her BA and MA degree in European Studies, and an research MA degree in History at the University of Amsterdam, during which time she also studied at the Università degli Studi di Firenze (Italy). For her MA thesis on Italian irredentism in Fiume/Rijeka she was awarded the 2015/16 thesis prize by the Netherlands Research Network for Italian Studies (WIS). During her studies she was granted scholarships from the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) to conduct fieldwork in Italy. Prior to her position at the UvA, Milou worked as lecturer at the History of International Relations Department of Utrecht University, where she taught in modern European history at the study programs in History, Language and Cultural Studies and Liberal Arts and Sciences. Recent publications include an article in the Journal for Urban Cultural Studies(2018) and several contributions for the Encyclopedia of Romantic Nationalism(ed. Joep Leerssen, 2018).
Re-discovering cosmopolitan Trieste and Rijeka: imagining new forms of cultural citizenship in urban borderlands.
(funded by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO)
Cities are archetypical sites of culturally diverse cohabitation yet, at the same time, also the (both real and symbolic) battlefields of cultural conflict. This PhD project on the complex identity politics of two urban European borderlands will offer important insights for the construction of a culturally diverse society.
This PhD project analyzes experiences of cosmopolitanism and cultural citizenship in Trieste (Italy) and Rijeka (Croatia) against the highly complicated backdrop of the region's culturally diverse and political history. It investigates how contemporary cultural and political actors have constructed and experienced the Adriatic cosmopolitan identities of Trieste (Italy) and Rijeka (Croatia) as urban borderlands, framed against these cities’ recent cultural and political histories. It will do so by setting official and semi-official self-representations of urban diversity as articulated in, among other things, policy documents and tourist marketing, against contemporary artistic and performative interpretations of cultural and ethnic cosmopolitanism. Questioning the divergent development of the cities’ ‘cosmopolitanization’, will offer essential insights into how a cosmopolitan imagination of urban identity and cultural citizenship relate to current challenges of Europe’s culturally diverse urban societies.