Esmeralda Tijhoff

Some thoughts on History, Politics, and the Art of Living


EsmeraldaTijhoffAbout drs. Tijhoff

Hello world! I live in a house that holds too many books with my two children and two cats. I am finishing my PhD about the five sisters Boissevain at the University of Groningen. I am also the chairwomen of Memoiresbureau. I have run a company in text writing and webdesign until 2011, and I occasionally still present workshops in communication, webdesign, programming and handling social media. I love to combine my interests so I am an active member of the online community to promote an inclusive history. I am also an editor for the Dutch Biography Journal.

This blog is a way to ventilate opinions and tips for improving one’s environment, mental being and human relationships.

As a citizen of the world, we all have a responsibility to make the planet and society a better place.


My PhD project is called ‘The Boissevain sisters: knowledge and power on the threshold of democracy’. Supervisor: prof. dr. Mineke Bosch. The project concerns the role elite women played in the development of social movements and civil society at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century. This approach offers a new perspective within the study of political culture, family culture, elite studies and women’s history. Its main question is how kinship ties and family networks function as vehicles of personal power and of social and political change by enabling especially their female members to participate in different ways, and sometimes even to take up leading positions.


In 2017, I took the initiative to start a foundation to promote an inclusive history in the public domain. Stichting Memoiresbureau has since given lectures about women in history and developed materials to be used in workshops about gendersensitivity in history. They are also part of the Alliance for Genderdiversity and mingle in online discussions whenever they feel history is being abused or deliberately misrepresented.

The access to historical facts and stories has greatly improved since the internet and sites like Wikipedia. Genealogical research is a vibrant field of studie for Do-It-Yourself historians; the people who have no or limited official training in history. But we also see a significant rise in the abuse of history for political or business gains. Fake news, fake stories and an utterly rigid view of past events are no longer exceptions. When a minister can claim that Christianity has a history of tolerance (as opposed to another religion), we know the past is being mutilated to fit ones own believes.

When large groups of the population are claiming Black Pete should stay because it is ‘a tradition’, and turn a deaf ear to the fact that Pete is a relative new invention and used to be white,… then we know society has a problem. When slavery is still considered something the Dutch didn’t do, or should just turn the page on; when large proportions of society do not see themselves reflected in the history books; in schools; when ‘good old times’ are being referred to in order to push emancipation and genderdiversity back. When this kind of ignorance is deliberately used to push political agenda’s, it is up to historians to step up and provide alternative, inclusive stories about the past. Memoiresbureau is one of the ways historians can become an actieve contributor to the public debate.


I sing in De Introns, and played the guitar in Malamondo and LinK. You can book these band by sending an email or visit their websites.




As a child, I always wanted to be an inventor or an astronomer. I loved math. So I was a volunteer at the Cosmos Sterrenwacht Lattrop during high-school, wrote a small book about quarks and superstrings and tried to get my head around singularities in black holes. But I never made it to study mathematics. I enrolled in History instead, a study I believed would be better suited for a storyteller and writer like myself. With history, I could understand society and its inhabitants better.
But my beta-side found a way to surface again when I looked for ways to share valuable information with the world. My first website was build in HTML and includes some iframes,… It was a long, long, long time ago. It contained all the feminist articles I came across, all the activities in the Netherlands on feminism, LGTB and Womensissues, and all the address of queer, gay bars I could find. Next I build a national website for De Heksennacht, and I learned PHP with MySQL to manage all the extensive data I collected. I also mastered Photoshop to be able to make my designs. It was also very helpful to create posters, flyers and other material for my PR activities.
I build a lot more websites on the way, improving my skills with the help of my dear friend and the internet. Before I knew it, I could start a business in webdesign and programming called Fonkel, a name that hinted to the glistering of an emerald. I gave up Fonkel when I started as a PHD-student at the university. Since then, my sites are mainly build using WordPress so non-programmers can easily manage and update them. But who knows, I might start coding again.



Wetenschappelijke publicaties

A.E. Tijhoff, ‘Emancipatie met de Boissevains’, in: Tijdschrift voor de Biografie (november 2017).

Bosch en A.E. Tijhoff, ‘Do the Dutch remember 1968?’, in: L’Homme. Europäische Zeitschrift für Feministische Geschichts- wissenschaft (2009).

A.E. Tijhoff, ‘Thuis in de stad. Hoererende dames en winkelende vrouwen in Amsterdam rond 1900’ in: Historica jrg. 31 nr.2 (2008) 3-5.


Bijdragen aan boeken

Mineke Bosch en Esmeralda Tijhoff. ‘Adjeng Kartini’s Memoranda on women’s education’, in: Tiffany K. Wayne (red.), Feminist writings from ancient times to the modern world (Greenwood 2011).

-, ‘Moderata Fonte’ in: Carolien Ceton (red.), Buiten de gebaande paden. Hoe denken vrouwen door de eeuwen heen (maart 2012).

-, ‘Gender. Met een voorwoord van Geertje Mak’, in:  Linda Huijsmans en Mirjam Hemker (red.),  Lesbo-Encyclopedie (Amsterdam 2009).



-, Recensie ‘Biografie over Marga Klompé (1912-1986)’, Historica nr. 1 februari 2012.

-, Recensie ‘Biografie over Hilda Verwey-Jonker (1908-2004)’, Historica nr. 3, oktober 2011.

-, ‘Recensie ‘Anne Dijkman, Opzij & aan de kant met haar. De constructie van norm en afwijking in Opzij tussen 1972 en 2002’, in: Tijdschrift voor Tijdschriftstudies vol. 27 (2010) 78-80.




A.E. Tijhoff en G. Bijl, ‘Genderview. Interview met professor Joan Wallach Scott’, in: Historica jrg 35. nr. 3 (oktober 2012). 

-, ‘Who Cares? Interview met Eileen Boris’, in: Historica jrg. 34 nr. 2 (2011) 27-29.

-, ‘De kritische sympathie van Barbara Caine’, in: Historica jrg. 33 nr. 3 (2010) 25-27.

-, ‘De slag om de koffietafel. Huiselijke melksalons en chique grand cafés’, in: Lover jrg. 37 nr.4 (2010) 40-41.

-, ‘De Jodenster van Mies Bloch’, in: Lover jrg. 37 nr.3 (2010) 36-37.

-, ‘Genderview:  Joan Scott.’ Met Greetje Bijl. Historica nr. 3 oktober 2012.

-, ‘Joan Scott en het Land van kleine gebaren’, Historica nr.3 oktober 2012.

-, ‘Schatten uit het archief: Bordurend de geschiedenis in’, in: Lover Vol. 37, No. 1 (mrt. 2010) 36-37.

-, ‘Rode draad vasthouden. Ingrids laatste Pandora’, in: Pandora Tijdschrift van het Vrouwennetwerk Universiteit Utrecht jrg. 24 nr. 2 (2009) 28-29.

-, ‘De kranten van Paarse September’, in: Lover jrg. 36 nr. 2 (2009) 33-34.

-, ‘Mediamagneet: Maaike Meijer’, in: Lover jrg. 36 nr. 2 (2009) 39.

-, ‘Foute Vrouwenbewegingen. Levensverhalen van NSB vrouwen’, in: Lover jrg. 36 nr. 1 (2009).

-, ‘De jurk voor Spieghel Historiael 1931’, in: Lover jrg. 35 nr. 4 (2008) 33.

-, ‘Evgenia Ivanova’s questions’, in: Daily Visions, WIDE conference (11-10-2008).

-, ‘Last feminist standing’, in: Daily Visions,WIDE conference (10-10-2008).

A.E. Tijhoff en M. van den Berg, Judith “Jack” Halberstam over het leven buiten de norm ’ in: Lover jrg. 35 nr.3 (2008) 10-12.

-, ”Een walgelijke bundel.” De toneelstukjes van de Nederlandse Bond voor Vrouwenkiesrecht’ in: Lover jrg. 35 nr. 3 (2008) 33.

  1. van Leijenhorst en A.E.Tijhoff, ‘Rdeče Zore, feministisch queer festival in Slovenië’ in: Lover jrg. 35 nr. 2 (2008) 36-39.

-, ‘Het gebrek aan vrouwelijke hoogleraren’, in: Lover jrg. 35 nr. 2 (2008) 40-41.

-, ‘Mediamagneet: Mineke Bosch’ in: Lover jrg. 35 nr. 2 (2008) 43.
-, ‘De werkende vrouw’ in: Lover jrg. 35 nr. 1 (2008) 38-39.

-, ‘De typemachine van Johanna Naber’, in: Lover jrg. 35 nr. 1 (2008) 33.

-, ‘Mediamagneet: Marjo Buitelaar’ in: Lover jrg. 35 nr. 1 (2008) 25.

-, ‘Scouts zijn genderblind. Een interview met Marieke van den Brink’ in:  Pandora. Tijdschrift van het Vrouwennetwerk Universiteit Utrecht jrg. 22 nr. 3 (2007) 22-24.

-, ‘Mediamagneet: Liesbeth Woertman’, in: Lover jrg. 34 nr. 4 (2007) 25.

-, ‘Strijdliederen’, in: Lover jrg. 34 nr. 4 (2007) 33.

-, ‘700 Dagboeken over niets’ in: Lover jrg. 34 nr. 3 (2007) 34-35.



-, ‘De zes dochters Boissevain door Thérèse Schwartze’, (2016)

-, ‘De ADM van Boissevain’, (2015)

-, ‘Ooggetuigen van de Eerste Wereldoorlog: Mia Boissevain’, (2015)

Ashley Lauren, ‘Literacy in the Feminist Blogging Community: Esmeralda Tijhoff’, (; 2009)

Anna Wolters, ‘In de Arena. Van Rubens naar Balkenende. Deelnemers: huisarts George Wolfs en

historica Esmeralda Tijhoff’, in: Mosaïek. Interdisciplinair Cultuurwetenschappelijk Tijdschrift jrg 9. nr 3 (2008).

Carolyn M. Byerly en Karen Ross, Women & media. A critical introduction (Malden, MA 2006).


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