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Maartje van Gelder is NWIB Visiting Professor 2023 at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) from May until July . At KNIR she is working on her research on political protest in the early modern period.'

Uncovering Protest

Drawing on memory studies, the social history of archives, and subaltern studies, Maartje is working on a book that examines how Venetian authorities suppressed popular protest not just in the street but also – or especially – in the archive. Overviews of political history always present Venice, Europe’s foremost city-state, as stable, without popular protest but this reputation rests on large-scale archival suppression. This book aims to uncover Venetian archival repression and understand its lasting effects on history-writing.

As part of her visiting professorship at the KNIR, she will teach the course Archival Politics: Culture, Power, and Suppression, together with Richard Calis.

During her time in Rome, Maartje is also working on a project that examines urban food protests during the climate crisis of the late medieval and early modern period. The aim of the project is to compare the political impact of food protests in European and Ottoman cities. She will use her time at KNIR to develop this project in dialogue with other urban historians, archeologists and policy specialists working on food, famines, and cities.