Radboud University, Nijmegen
‘Draining the Past: Water History in Debates and Narratives about Climate Adaptation and Mitigation in the Netherlands’
The sea level rises, weather conditions exacerbate, and the soil subsides. The Dutch will be confronted with the consequences of the climate crisis. Yet, when Dutch opinion makers, governmental organisations, and citizens talk about potentially dangerous futures, they refer to the past. When anticipating the coming decades, they look back at centuries of water history in the Dutch delta.
In this research project, historian Adriaan Duiveman will explore how the past is appropriated and can be used in discussions surrounding climate mitigation and adaptation in the Netherlands. Combining insights from literary theory, memory studies, and the burgeoning field of applied history, he traces the historical water narratives that “float around” in public debates and which water management organisations can tap into.
As a Niels Stensen Fellow, Duiveman will carry out this project at the Corvus Historical Consultancy at the KU Leuven.