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  • Locations: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
  • Homepage: Click to visit
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
 Location Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Early Fall 2017
August 29 – September 21, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $4,100 (includes $350 CHID fee)
 Credits 5 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Nick Barr Clingan, Amy Peloff
 Program  Manager Darielle Horsey |
 Application    Deadline March 1, 2017
 Information  Session(s) Contact Program Director for more information.
  General Explore the concept of tolerance in the narratives of Dutch national history and in contemporary debates about the place of public religion, race, class, and gender in Dutch identity.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships

  Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Please click here to learn more about important rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area.

Program Description

Russell Shorto has called Amsterdam “the world’s most liberal city,” and indeed, its citizens take pride in this international reputation. The Netherlands is well known for its liberal attitudes towards drug enforcement, legalized prostitution, and gay rights, and tolerance is heralded as a centuries-old national virtue. Recent events, however, have brought this self-congratulatory attitude into question. In debates over immigration and multiculturalism, public commentators from across the political spectrum have argued for the limits of tolerance and the need to defend Dutch national identity against intolerant views, especially those putatively associated with Islam.

For example, in 2009, politician Geert Wilders proposed a “headrag tax” in the Dutch parliament which would be imposed on wearers of Islamic headscarves. Though the ruling coalition dissolved before a vote could be held, Wilders’s inflammatory suggestion pandered to views shared by a broad swath of the Dutch population. Although Wilders was recently convicted for inciting racial discrimination against Moroccan-Dutch people, his Partij voor de Vrijheid or “party for freedom” commands the support of about 20% of the electorate. Since the explosive murders of politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002 and film-maker Theo van Gogh in 2004, large segments of the Dutch populace have expressed fear, anxiety, revulsion, and anger towards Dutch Muslims, whether recent immigrants or the children or grandchildren of so-called “guest workers” from Morocco and Turkey who helped power the Netherlands’s economic recovery after World War II. Racial minorities, more generally, are often regarded as not being echt Nederlands or "real Dutch." In practice, then, "tolerance" typically amounts to the majority white population "regulating its aversion," to adapt Wendy Brown's felicitous phrase.

This program contextualizes these debates by exploring the role of the concept of tolerance in the narratives of Dutch national history and in contemporary debates about the place of religion, race, gender, and sexuality in Dutch identity. Using Amsterdam as an historical, geographic, cultural, and political site of analysis, we will explore Dutch ideas and practices of tolerance, particularly since World War II, and how these historical legacies are mobilized in conflicting ways in contemporary debates over national identity and the ambiguous politics of "multiculturalism." Dutch academics, activists, cultural practitioners, and politicians will serve as interlocutors for our discussions, and students will be asked to reflect on how these debates intersect with their own experiences, both abroad and at home. In the first half of the program, historical and theoretical analysis will be integrated with visits to Amsterdam’s many monuments and memorials, from the globally known Anne Frank House to recent additions such as the Monument of Awareness on Surinam Square. In the second half of the program, students will work on collaborative projects that engage with debates over cultural identity and recognition.




Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The Hague, Utrecht


The Student Hotel is a private facility in west Amsterdam. It provides private rooms (with private bathrooms), shared cooking areas, laundry and gym facilities, free bicycle rentals, classroom space, and other amenities.


Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

This program is open to students from all levels and majors. It will appeal particularly to majors in CHID, History, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, Comparative Religion, European Studies, and International Studies. Students should be willing to bring an open mind to the topics and debates explored in the program. First-generation college students, students of color, and LGBTQ students are especially welcomed and encouraged to participate. There are no prerequisites or language requirements. However, a required, weekly pre-departure seminar will be held throughout Spring 2017. We will do considerable amounts of walking in Amsterdam, which may take place under inclement weather. Bicycling ability is not required but strongly recommended.


5 Credits


CHID 471 (credits 5)

“There is no tolerance except in the matter of evil things,” wrote St. Augustine. Tolerance is widely considered to be a self-evident virtue in contemporary liberal democracies: we define ourselves by a willingness to accept—to some degree—those who are different from ourselves. Historically, there can be no doubt that tolerance is a significant advance over direct manifestations of hatred of others: in the European context, emerging from the wars of religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it allowed for the coexistence of religious groups with conflicting worldviews. But as soon as the concept of tolerance is considered more carefully, it becomes evident that a fundamental asymmetry is presupposed between the subject who is doing the tolerating and whom or what is being tolerated. The potential or even necessity to exclude someone or something rendered inassimilable appears to be constitutive of tolerance itself; as the political theorist Wendy Brown puts it, tolerance is a matter of “regulating aversion.”

In this course, students will analyze tolerance using both theoretical and empirical approaches. We will see how conflicting views of the public place of religion, race, gender and sexuality, and cultural difference compete in debates over belonging and Dutch national identity. Students will develop a historical perspective on these contemporary conflicts and explore alternatives to the dominant narratives about the boundaries of Dutch society through group projects in collaboration with Imagine IC, a leading cultural institute specializing in digital projects about contemporary Dutch identity, particularly among minorities and youth.

Learning Goals: 

Students will learn about the genealogy of the concept and practice of tolerance in the Dutch context and how to analyze its use in political and cultural rhetoric. Students will be asked to think about the relations of “natives” and “others” in a comparative framework and to recognize the complexity of contemporary debates over religion, race, and gender in the West.

These learning goals will be assessed through a variety of regular writing assignments based on readings, site visits, and guest lectures. As a final project, students will work collaboratively to identify an “unrecognized monument” in Amsterdam that captures or reflects an important element of the program themes.

Program Directors & Staff

Nick Barr Clingan, Comparative History of Ideas, Program Co-Director

Barr Clingan is Director of International Programs and Part-time Lecturer in CHID. He teaches intellectual history and critical theory and is Editor of H-Low Countries.

Amy Peloff, Comparative History of Ideas, Program Co-Director

Peloff is the former Assistant Director of CHID. A feminist historian and media studies scholar, she is a 2017 Humanities Washington Speaker.

Program Expenses

Cost: $4,100

Estimated Program Fee of $4,100, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $25/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,500* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
CHID Fee $350 October 13, 2017
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 October 13, 2017
Program Fee Balance $3,750 October 13, 2017


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, two recommendations from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.


Please see the CHID website for information on the CHID Fee withdrawal policy: