Brainstorm session OPG ‘Adding a fourth dimension’

We cordially invite you to the yearly OPG brainstorm on the topic ‘Adding a fourth dimension: Showcasing and self-awareness of historians of the political’, on Monday 15 April, 12.30-15.15 pm. Please, join us in discussing the viewpoints and the ways mentioned in the invitation to realize this fourth dimension of the platform of OPG.Registration via 
When registering, please indicate whether you:
1. are present at lunch, 2. have dietary requirements and 3. want to submit questions/discussion points.

In recent years the field of political history has proved to be highly dynamic. OPG, the research school for political history, and its international counterpart, the Association of Political History, have been taking stock of this at their regular State of the Art conferences, like the one in Amsterdam in 2022. The question remains how to draw conclusions from the transformations witnessed and experienced. How can a research school like OPG absorb and integrate them in its mission and program? 

Every year OPG invites its active members to take some time to brainstorm about this question and generate new ideas. Last time, we focused on the attractivity our training programs for PhD and RMA students. This already led to some innovation and injected an extra dose of enthusiasm in the courses. This spring, we’d like to share, collect, and discuss ideas on the other task of the school: providing a platform for historians of the political.

In our eyes this entails three tasks: creating a sustainable network of political historians (in the Netherlands, Flanders, and beyond), promoting cross-generational, multidirectional intellectual exchange and cooperation, and (when needed and possible) amplification of political historians’ voices across (sub)disciplinary borders within the broader fields of the historical profession, the arts, and academia in general.

Envisioning OPG as a platform, however, also adds a fourth dimension. In our minds, the school can and should also assist in showcasing the best proponents and ideas of our discipline to a larger audience, outside academia. And it can also help to develop a more mature degree of self-awareness among us. It can make us more aware of the constructive role historians of the political can play in societal debates and other ways in which we as societies process current political, democratic, environmental, social, economic, and cultural changes and challenges and form the future. This also brings us back to the platform function we envision for the school: by showing how broad our area of expertise is, we also hope to attract even greater numbers of colleagues from diverse backgrounds to our school.

  • Do you recognize yourself in these ambitions?
  • Knowing that there is some funding available for platform events, how would you like to see these ideas implemented?
  • What pitfalls do you see?
  • To what extent should we also translate this “fourth dimension” back into the curriculum for PhDs and RMA’s?
  • Does this evoke ideas in you that you would like to work on yourself?
  • Are there other issues you would like to bring to the table?

Please, join us in discussing these viewpoints and the ways to realize this fourth dimension of the platform of OPG on Monday, 15 April 2024, 12.30-15:15 pm, Spinhuis, Room 2.18, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, 1012 DK Amsterdam.


12.30 -13.15 Lunch

13.15 -15.15 Brainstorm

Registration via

When registering, please indicate whether you:

1 are present at lunch

2 have dietary requirements

3 want to submit questions/discussion points