Dr. Matthijs Lok is a senior lecturer (UD1) in Modern European History at the European Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam. He studied European history at the Universities of Liverpool, Leiden and Yale. In 2009 he took his PhD at the History Department of the University of Amsterdam. Lok specialises in the comparative political, cultural and intellectual history of modern Europe since the 18th century. In the most general sense his work concerns the role of ideas in political history. For a list of publications and (former) activities see under 'publicaties', and https://uva.academia.edu/MattthijsLok.
Currently, my main research projects & topics are:
In the academic year 2019-2020 (Spring semester), I have been appointed a senior fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS https://nias.knaw.nl/ ) to complete a monograph on the 'conservative imagining of Europe in history writing, ca. 1780-1850'.
Lok is a founding director of the Amsterdam Seminar for Global Intellectual History (see: www.globalintellectualhistory.org/ for information on lectures, seminars etc.), and of the international research network on Conservatism in Europe and Beyond. He was a member of the board of the De Moderne Tijd (Belgian - Dutch Society for Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Studies: demodernetijd.nl), and of the board of the ARTES Research School (theme leader 'European Identities and ideas': http://artes.uva.nl). Lok is also a member of the European Studies management board (DB) and of faculty & departemental committees. Furthermore, he regularly organises and moderates public & academic debates and conferences (see under 'publicaties/erkenning' ).
Matthijs Lok enjoys teaching BA and MA courses (in English and Dutch) on subjects such as Political Memories, Legacies of the Enlightenment, Modern Intellectual History (inter-departmental course), European Conservatism & Anti-Liberalism (MA course 'Europe & its discontents'), Liberalism, the History of the Ordering of Europe, and 'Turning points in Modern European History' (For a list of my courses, see the UvA course catalogue). Lok also supervises BA, MA and PhD theses in the field of political and intellectual history. He was a finalist in the 2018 Faculty of Humanities Lecturer of the Year award.
My book Windvanen ('[Political] Weathervanes') is a comparative study of the political transition of 1813-1815 (from the Napoleonic Empire to the Restoration) in France and the Low Countries from the understudied perspective of the Napoleonic administrative elites that survived the regime change. It argues that the so-called Restoration monarchies were to a large extent constructed by Napoleonic officials who adapted very well to the new political situation. As well as (quantitatively) studying the institutional and personal continuity after 1814, the contemporary critical discourses and attitudes towards these political survivors (nicknamed 'girouette' in French or 'windvaan' in Dutch) as well their apologies are analysed. According to NRC Handelsblad, Windvanen was one of the best historical books published in the Netherlands in 2009.
Themed issue of the International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity, vol. 6 issue 1 (2018-2020), edited with Joris van Eijnatten (Utrecht University), on the global history of Enlightenment criticism in Latin-America, China, the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, India, Russia and Continental Europe, with an forum article by Darrin McMahon.
Book: Nationalisme, naties en staten (Vantilt 2012/2015): Matthijs Lok, deel IV: 'IJzer en bloed. Staatsvorming en nationalisme, 1848-1914' (p. 282-411). ["Iron and Blood": Stateformation and Nationalism, 1848-1914 (p. 282-411]
'Dit is een prachtig boek (...) Lok weet in zijn centrale overgangshoofdstuk een bewonderenswaardige balans aan te brengen tussen de intellectueel - en de politiek-historische toonzetting.'
Joep Leerssen, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis
Matthijs Lok (editor), The Enlightenment and the Past (Special issue of De Achttiende eeuw 46.2 (2014/2015) (161 p.)
Member of the editorial board (kernredactie) (2007-2015) of the Belgian-Dutch scholarly Journal/ Wetenschappelijk tijdschrift 'De Achttiende eeuw' ("The Eighteenth century") (in 2017 continued as The Early Modern Low Countries). Special editor (with Alicia C. Montoya) for issue 2012.2 ('Centre and Periphery in the Enlightenment') and 2014.2 ('The Enlightenment and the Past')