Creative Industries

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Emotion Networks research funded by Dutch National Research Agenda


The Dutch Research Agenda (DRA) will finance over a 100.000 euro ESHCC led research into ‘emotion networks’, a new method of dealing with heritage. The idea behind emotion networks has been developed by ESHCC endowed Professor Hester Dibbits and Marlous Willemsen, the director of heritage institution Imagine IC. The research project is funded in light of the DRA research route ‘Towards Resilient Societies’. The goal is to extend emotion networks to heritage education.

Emotion networks
Networks of emotion refer to the vast amount of feelings that people may have towards heritage-items. Sometimes these feelings collide substantially with each other. A recent example includes the heavily debated Black Pete figure in the Dutch Saint Nicholas celebration. The purpose of networks of emotion is to gain more insight into the feelings of all parties involved into a discussion, which should eventually lead to more mutual understanding.

Young people in society
The EmErEd coined research project is part of the DRA that set out a research route to – among other things – strengthen the resilience of young people in society. The next two years the EmErEd project will inquire into a new method in which young people, teachers and heritage professionals can express their feelings towards heritage items. Educational weeks at schools and knowledge seminars with young people will be organized, discussing central themes as religion and religious heritage. The expected outcome is an increased understanding of heritage amongst participants, the value of heritage and the influence it can have on the relation between men and things.

Hester Dibbits
The EmErEd research project is led by ESHCC prof. dr. Hester Dibbits in a consortium of the Reinwardt Academy (AHK), Imagine IC, Museum Gouda, Waag Society, The National Knowledge National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts and  the CED-Group. The research is part of the JOIN Programme (Young people in Resilient Societies), led by Prof. dr Bas van Bavel (Utrecht University).

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