Personal pages

Bregje van Eekelen

Biographical note

Bregje van Eekelen is assistant professor at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication at Erasmus University. She is a member of Young Erasmus (2014-2018), and a founding member of the Erasmus Institute for Public Knowledge (EIPK).

She has recently been awarded an EUR fellowship (2013-2014) and a National Science Foundation (NWO) Veni grant (2014-2018) for her project on the twentieth century history of creative thought in military-industrial contexts.

Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz 2010

Her dissertation from the University of California, Santa Cruz is titled The Social Life of Ideas: Economies of Knowledge. Both her dissertation and her current project (Brainstorms: A Cultural History of Undisciplined Thought) use a combination of historical and anthropological approaches to the study of traveling concepts, most notably concepts that are situated on the boundary between culture and economy. They include concepts such as ‘marketplace of ideas,’ ‘intangible assets,’ ‘knowledge economy,’ and ‘creativity.’ She studies the socio-historical conditions of the emergence of these concepts; the knowledge practices, bureaucratic categories, and narratives through which they are stabilized and kept in place; and how they structure common sense, both in the past and in the present.

Research and teaching

Her research has been funded by numerous grants, most recently the EUR fellowship (135.000 euros) and a Veni grant (250.000 euros). Others include a UC Chancellor’s Fellow Grant, UvA Employability Grant, Catharina van Tussenbroek Fellowship, Henriette Sara De Lanoy Meijer Fellowship, a Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Fellowship, a Nationale Talentenbeurs, a Fulbright NAF scholarship, a Vrouwe van Renswoude Fellowship, and grants from The University of California Regents.

Bregje van Eekelen’s research and teaching expertise include the anthropology of knowledge; modern societies and their genealogies; history of social science; language & war; work, governance, ideology; economic history and anthropology. At Erasmus, she has been teaching BA/MA courses in the sections Metahistory and World History, in for instance the philosophy of history (Theory of History, Historical Culture), Histories of Emerging Economies and honors classes on neoliberalism. She has also taught the MA Research Workshop “History, Memory, and National Identity.” Van Eekelen previously taught theory and history of anthropology, ethnographies of capitalism, and histories and cultural aspects of trade, travel, and tourism (University of California, Santa Cruz).

She was previously a Chancellor’s Fellow of the University of California, and she worked as an academic editor (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis).



Woudestein, Van der Goot Building, Room M6-31


Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Postal Address:

Erasmus University, M6-31
P.O. Box 1738, NL-3000 DR Rotterdam


+31 (0)10 408 88 38


+31 (0)10 408 91 35