Gerben Zaagsma, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts & Sciences, Huygens ING, The Hague, Netherlands will open the Conference via Live Skype Feed from The Hague. Biography: Dr Gerben Zaagsma has an MA in Modern History from Groningen University, the Netherlands (1996), and an MA in Yiddish Studies from SOAS, London (2001). He completed his Ph.D. at the Department of History and Civilisation of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy in 2008.
Before moving to Florence he worked for a historical research bureau at Groningen university and a local synagogue foundation. His dissertation analysed the participation of Jewish volunteers in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Since September 2008 he is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies and has been working on a project entitled ‘Jewish migrants and politics in Western Europe before the Holocaust’.
Dr Zaagsma has a broad interest in the social, cultural and political dimensions of modern Jewish history as well as Yiddish studies. He also has an active interested in the digital humanities and the ways in which new technologies reshape and transform humanities research and writing. He is the editor/maintainer of two internet portals which are dedicated to making online resources available to historians and other scholars: European History Primary Sources and Yiddish Sources. “Since September 2011 works as editor and web developer at the KNHG department of Huygens ING where he develops the new version of the website Historici.nl which will become an online community for historians working on the history of The Netherlands.”