Tymen Peverelli (1988) is a PhD candidate at the History department and a lecturer at the European Studies department of the University of Amsterdam. After studying in Budapest and Amsterdam (cum laude), he is currently working on a dissertation about the relationship between urban and national identities in Belgium and the Netherlands during the nineteenth century. This project is funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and sponsored by ACCESS EUROPE. He publishes on nationalism, urban space and cultural memory.
During the last several decades, students of nationalism have considerably improved our knowledge of the multifaceted and fragmented nature of nineteenth-century nation-building. Not only have scholars shown that national identification has been subject to various interpretations and ideological conflicts, but they have also pointed to the multiple geographical levels at which that identity-formation has taken place. In general, however, few studies have examined the correlation between nationalism and urban identity. My research aims to contribute to this body of literature by analysing the historical culture of several nineteenth-century Dutch and Belgian towns (Bruges, Leeuwarden and Maastricht).
In the context of nation-building and state-formation, the nineteenth century witnessed an unprecedented upsurge in the interest in urban histories and heritage. This movement manifested itself in the establishment of local networks of historical and antiquarian sociability, the spectacularisation of city life, the heritagisation and gentrification of poor, run-down neighbourhoods and the rise of organised tourism. The question then arises as to how city-dwellers aligned these renewed urban and regional loyalties to the new context of the nation-state. In my project I analyse the ways in which they evoked and shaped their imagined and embodied communities through various memorial practices and a continued engagement with the built environment.