What are Low Countries Studies?
We understand Low Countries Studies to be the scholarly study of the language, culture, history and society of the Low Countries. The name Low Countries refers to the Netherlands and Belgium, more specifially the Dutch-speaking region of Belgium: Flanders. The interest in Low Countries Studies is not limited to linguists or literary scholars. We also count historians, art historians and political scientists amongst our members. Anyone with an academic interest in the Low Countries is welcome.
What does the ALCS want?
The aims of the Association are to:
- promote the scholarly study of the language, culture, history and society of the Low Countries;
- encourage research in Low Countries Studies;
- increase public awareness of the Low Countries, and especially the Dutch language, and Dutch and Flemish culture, history and society;
- represent the interests of Low Countries Studies in higher education at national and international level.
What does the ALCS do?
The ALCS tries to achieve its aims by:
- organising a biennial conference;
- organising student days;
- publishing a refereed academic journal (Dutch Crossing. A Journal of Low Countries Studies) twice a year;
- publishing an occasional series: Crossways;
- making available modest research grants to its members and postgraduate students;
- corporate membership of the University Council for Modern Languages which provide a platform for debate with policy makers in the UK and elsewhere;
- making representations to policy makers in government organisations, institutions of higher education and elsewhere.
The ALCS also helped set up Virtual Dutch, an inter-university teaching collaboration programme in Dutch Studies, involving University College London (UCL), the University of Sheffield, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Nottingham.
How does the ALCS fund its activities?
- We have a small capital which helps us to make modest research grants. This capital was made available to the Association as a result of the activities of the William and Mary tercentenary celebrations in 1988 and 1989.
- Our annual operarting costs, biennial conferences and other regular activities are covered by grants from the Nederlandse Taalunie.
- Occasionally, we receive donations from third parties (e.g. exhibitors at conferences, charities, embassies).
- Income from membership fees.