Martin van Gelderen

About Martin

Martin van Gelderen is Professor of European Intellectual History and Director of the Moritz-Stern Institute.


I started my career in what was still West-Berlin, taking up a position as Assistant Professor at the fine and fairly small history department of the Technische Universität Berlin in April 1989. In 1995 I was appointed, to my great surprise, to the Chair of Intellectual History at the University of Sussex in England. The eight years in Sussex were formative, especially in intellectual terms, mainly thanks to the interdisciplinary make up, that was still the hallmark of Sussex during the period I was there. In 2003 I returned to my alma mater, the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, where I had obtained my PhD in 1988. Between 2003 and 2012 I was Professor of European Intellectual History at the EUI. Within Europe’s academic landscape the EUI is a rare jewel. It stands out in so many ways! Intellectually it is one of those rare places where not only academics from many countries but also their rich diversity of academic cultures come together, cooperate, clash and conflict.

Somehow, during the last two decades the combination of international academic management and research have characterised my career. At Sussex I was Co- Director of the Graduate Research Center in the Humanities, at the EUI I was Dean of Graduate Studies at the EUI from 2008-2012; between 2012 and 2021 I was Director of the Lichtenberg-Kolleg, the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences in Göttingen.

As to scholarship, the emphasis is still on the history of political and religious thought, in particular on European traditions of republicanism and on debates on religious toleration. Hallmarks are the four volumes Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage and Freedom and the Construction of Europe – both outcomes of major international research projects co-directed with Quentin Skinner. More recently I have been working on a new transcription, translations and scholarly editions of the diaries of Anne Frank. Co-edited with Raphael Gross, the new Dutch editio princeps, and English and German editions are reaching the final stage. My research plans for the years to come include a new English edition and translation of Hugo Grotius’ De Iure Belli ac Pacis / The Laws of War and Peace for the series Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought and the monograph Between Erasmus and Rembrandt: Visual and Textual Debates on Republican Politics.


To visit Martin’s personal research website click here.


‘Greek, Patristic and Roman Legacies: Hugo Grotius and the Freedom of Will’ in: Hannah Dawson, Annelien de Dijn (eds.), Rethinking Liberty Before Liberalism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022, pp. 38

‘Der Sonntag der Lebens. Deutsche und niederländische Debatten über Rembrandts Bilder des jüdischen Alltags’ in: Ivan Gaskell and Martin van Gelderen (eds.), Rembrandt: Lasting Impressions. Göttingen: Göttinger Verlag der Kunst (forthcoming).

‘Über Krieg, Gewalt und Tyrannei: Die Bilder des niederländischen Aufstandes von Bruegel bis Goltzius (1558-1590)‘ in: Ivan Gaskell and Martin van Gelderen (eds.), Sturm der Bilder: Bürger, Moral und Politik in den Niederlanden, 1515-1616, Göttingen: Göttinger Verlag der Kunst, 2016, pp. 57-86.