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Tolerance, Identity, and Difference in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Term Offered: 
A woman in a headscarf views portraits in a Dutch museum
CHID Amsterdam 2019
Approximate Dates of Instruction: 
June 16, 2019 to June 25, 2019
Application Deadline: 
January 31, 2019
Information Sessions: January 18, 12:00-1:00, Padelford C101; January 23rd, 6:30pm, Rose Auditorium, Conibear Shellhouse

This program is co-sponsored by Student-Athlete Academic Services.

Russell Shorto has called Amsterdam “the world’s most liberal city,” and indeed, the Netherlands is well known for its “tolerant” approaches to drug enforcement, legalized prostitution, and gay rights. However, recent events 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 allegedly associated with Islam. Large segments of the Dutch populace—and prominent politicians—have expressed fear, 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.

This intensive, 10-day program contextualizes these debates by exploring the concept of tolerance in
narratives of Dutch national history and in contemporary debates about the place of religion, race, gender, and
sexuality in Dutch identity. Using Amsterdam as our site of analysis, we will explore Dutch ideas and practices of
tolerance and reflect on how these historical legacies are mobilized in contemporary debates over national
identity. We will meet with Dutch academics, politicians, and local activists, and students will be asked to reflect on how these discussions intersect with their own experiences, both abroad and at home.

This program is co-sponsored by UW Athletics and is designed to make study abroad accessible to student-athletes and other students with busy summer schedules. The program travel dates are June 15-25; independent study work will be completed in Seattle following the travel dates. Note that unlike other UW study abroad programs, this program’s fee includes airfare and all food costs.


CHID 471: Tolerance, Identity, and Difference (5 credits, I&S, Diversity)
CHID 470: Beyond Tolerance (1 credit, I&S)

Fulfills Requirements: 
CHID Ideas in the World
CHID Power & Difference
I&S Credit
Total Program Fees: 

*Note that the fees stated above do not include some additional costs, including, but not limited to: UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.64/day) and personal spending money. Remember that these costs will differ by program. Be sure to read our Fees, Financing, and Withdrawal information for details about the fee structure and payment schedule.