As of 1 November 2014, Professor Hester Dibbits has been appointed endowed professor of Historical Culture and Education at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The chair, established for a period of four years, has been made possible by the National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts (LKCA). Dibbits (1965) holds the chair for one day a week and combines the position with her leadership of the International Master of Museology and a professorship in Cultural Heritage at the Reinwardt Academy (Amsterdam School of the Arts).
In her research and teaching work, Dibbits will examine the use of heritage in educational collaboration between schools, heritage organisations, museums and the tourist sector. In science, culture and education there is a strong growth in the range of heritage programmes, which are often linked to such themes as identity, community building and local or national culture. The question is what this means in a globalising world marked by transnational exchange, large-scale migration and unprecedented rapid growth in the field of digitisation and social media.
With research into these issues, the chair performs a bridging function between the academic world and the field of heritage. It also contributes to the development of critical and analytical heritage education. The role played by the chair reflects the mission of the Centre for Historical Culture as an initiator, coordinator and producer of academic research into historical culture in a globalised society, and the mission of the LKCA as a centre of knowledge that focuses on the professionalisation of culture and heritage education. The board of governors of the chair consists of Professor Maria Grever (chairperson and director CHC, ESHCC), Professor Stijn Reijnders (ESHCC) and Piet Hagenaars (senior policy and research LKCA).
In her work Dibbits seeks to connect the academic world and practice. She also employs a historical-ethnological perspective, with particular attention for heritage and the culture of everyday life in the early modern era and in contemporary society. She was previously a researcher at the Department of Ethnology at the Meertens Institute (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and worked as chief curator at the Netherlands Open Air Museum. The LKCA now has two endowed professors at the Amsterdam School of the Arts, as professor Folkert Haanstra is also affiliated with the organization.