Program Details

This course explores your host city’s role in the rise of capitalism and the relationship – then and now – between its economic fortunes and its spatial, social and cultural development.
Location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Graduate
Term:
Summer

Program Overview

Program Description:

Capitalism does have a heart, at least in an economic and geographical sense. From 1600 onwards, for a long time that heart was Amsterdam. Today, Amsterdam still is a major player in the capitalist world.  This course explores your host city’s role in the rise of capitalism and the relationship – then and now – between its economic fortunes and its spatial, social and cultural development.

Our framework is the new scholarship on capitalism and current debates about “global” and “creative” cities. Since the development of capitalism is now considered part of a wider web of social relations, power structures, belief systems and cultural practices, we cover several centuries and many aspects of history:  social, economic, business, political, cultural and religious history  as well as the  history of emotions. As a long-established centre of capitalism, Amsterdam is the perfect place to study this innovative approach in situ. And to look in greater depth at the relationship between the development of capitalism and the urban environment, We will address questions such as  how the ups and downs of Amsterdam as a hotbed of capitalism affected the spatial, social and cultural development of the city   and  how the urban ambience influenced the role of Amsterdam in the capitalist world, especially in terms of city planning, social inequality, the role of cultural industries  In doing so, we will engage with ongoing discussions among historians, social scientists and policy makers about ‘global’ and ‘creative’ cities. Active participation is an important aspect of this course, as you examine and critically assess key ideas, debates and methodologies in the field. Excursions to heritage sites related to Amsterdam’s history as the “heart of capitalism” will help you to place the subject in a historical and present-day context.

Learning objectives:

  • You understand the long-term history of capitalism.

  • You understand the relationship between large-scale economic changes and the social hierarchy, social tensions, creativity, consumer culture and spatial order in global cities.

  • You are familiar with theoretical concepts and methodologies for the study of capitalism and urban developments.

  • You are familiar with the interrelationships between the development of Amsterdam and the history of capitalism.

Setting Description:
With over 180 unique nationalities, Amsterdam is a melting pot of cultures and embraces different cultures, religions, and lifestyles. 165 canals criss-cross the entire city, giving it its nickname ‘Venice of the North.’ The city also features more bikes than inhabitants! With a bustling creative industry, Amsterdam offers plenty of cultural activities and events throughout the year. In Amsterdam you can benefit from the advantages of a big city with enough quiet spots to kick back and relax.
Cost:
1150 EUR. The tuition fee includes: • Airport pick-up service • Welcome goodie bag • Orientation programme • Course excursions • On-site support • Emergency assistance • Transcript of records after completion of the course

Additional Program Information

Scholarships:
Yes
Scholarships Description:
The VU Amsterdam Summer School offers ten scholarships that cover the full tuition and housing fees of one course. Information about how to apply for the scholarship will be posted on the VU Amsterdam Summer School website.

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