Online seminar Research School Political History

26 March 2021 the webinar Rethinking repertoires: popular politics in the long nineteenth century, took place online. The inspiration of this seminar is Charles Tilly’s work on protest repertoires. According to his work, repertoires of popular protest changed fundamentally along the nineteenth century. One of the participants Melle Koletzki wrote an impression of the discussion. Read the report of M.Koletzki Strikes took the place of food riots, charivaris made way for demonstrations and tax rebellions left the stage for public meetings. In this seminar, our aim is to see if Tilly’s riot-to-demonstration thesis can withstand recent trends in political history. These trends include the substitution a national for a more local, or transnational perspective, the focus on everyday history instead of major events, and a broadening of our understanding of what it means to “act political”.

As such, recent historical studies have made our picture of popular politics and protest repertoires richer and more diverse, but also more disconnected than ever. This fragmentation begs the question if there is still a larger story to tell about the nature of “popular politics” in the nineteenth century. Our seminar wants to address this question by revisiting the work of the late Charles Tilly. In the first part, two keynote speakers will introduce the theoretical stakes: Maartje Janse (Leiden University) and Katrina Navickas (University of Hertfordshire). In the second part, researchers will present a few case studies to add some empirical flavor to the debate, after which there will be a general discussion, and a chance for reactions, questions, and reflections from the audience.

The meeting is designed to provide inspiration to beginning researchers and doctoral students as well as to seasoned academics. Research master students can write a 500 word report on the seminar, to be published on the website of  the OPG. Writing a report is rewarded with 1 ECTS.

On behalf of the Research School Political History, we warmly invite everyone to attend our online seminar on the 26th of March, at 14 p.m. A Zoom-invitation will be provided after registration.

Please register before 15 March 2020 by sending an email to

Organizing committee. Jasper Bongers, Martin Schoups, Dirk Jan Wolffram

Time table: 

14.00-14.45       Welcome on behalf of the RSPH by Dirk Jan Wolffram Introduction by the chair of the seminar, Jasper Bongers Keynotes and discussion

– Katrina Navickas, Revisiting the Politics of Contention and Charles Tilly’s methodologies in a Digital Humanities Age

Maartje Janse, Expanding the repertoire: A transnational perspective 

14.45-15.00       Break

15.00-16.15 Presentations and panel discussion

    • Adriejan van Veen, Repertoires of depoliticization, 1800-1850
    • Antoine Renglet, Popular Violence toward Police Officers in Belgian Cities, 1789- 1814
    • Martin Schoups, Taking the streets: repertoires of the crowd in urban space, Antwerp, 1884-1936.

Organizers and speakers

Jasper Bongers is a PhD candidate at the Open University. His research concerns the ways in which citizens have attempted to (co-)shape institutions of public health in the city of Utrecht, 1850-2000. 

Dr. Maartje Janse is associate professor at Leiden University. She has published on the history of social movements and is currently working on a transnational study of the ‘invention’ of the pressure group in the decades between 1820 and 1840. 

Dr. Katrina Navickas is a reader in history at the University of Hertfordshire. She has published on the history of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century protest, among others the monograph Protest and the Politics of Space and Place, 1789-1848 (Manchester University Press, 2015). 

Dr. Antoine Renglet is a post-doc researcher at Goethe University Frankfurt. He has published on the history of police forces and public order (18th-19th century), and is currently working on the history of urban policing in Napoleonic Europe. 

Martin Schoups is a PhD candidate at Ghent University. His project examines street politics in the port city of Antwerp, ca. 1880-1940.

Dr. Adriejan Van Veen is assistant professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. He has published on the history of political and societal organization and is currently working on the interlinked history of civil society and political culture in Dutch towns between 1780 and 1860.