Hester Dibbits (1965) is endowed professor Historical Culture and Education. The chair is funded 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 (lectoraat) in Cultural Heritage at the Reinwardt Academy (Amsterdam School of the Arts).
Dibbits 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. Dibbits studied History at the University of Amsterdam. She obtained her PhD from the Free University in Amsterdam after defending her dissertation on material culture and local identity in The Netherlands, 1650-1800.
Among her publications in English are: ‘Moroccan Dutch Boys and the Authentication of Clothing Styles’ (2007), 'Furnishing the salon: symbolic ethnicity and performative practices in Moroccan-Dutch domestic interiors.' (2009), 'Pronken as Practice. Material Culture in The Netherlands, 1650-1800.’ (2010) and ‘Stills of our liquid times. An essay towards collecting today’s intangible cultural heritage" (with Marlous Willemsen, 2014).
In her work Dibbits seeks to connect the academic world and practice. Her research and teaching at Erasmus University focuses on the uses of heritage in educational networks of schools, heritage institutes, museums and the tourist industry. 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.