The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

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The Dutch teacher, novelist, poet, legal scholar and journalist Jacob Israel de Haan (1881-1924) had a short but highly remarkable carreer. After he started his legal studies at the University of Amsterdam, he met Arnold Aletrino who was the first Dutch lecturer in criminal anthropology and had as well been the first serious Dutch scholar to defend homosexuals in print. Aletrino taught De Haan as a older friend on homosexuality. De Haan, who would become openly homosexual, took these lessons further than Aletrino (probably a closeted sadist bisexual) had meant. In 1904, De Haan published his first novel Pijpelijntjes which is a thinly veiled version of his own promiscuous gay life with Aletrino in Amsterdam's "Pijp" working-class district. The book is dedicated to Aletrino and the nick-names of the two main characters are similar to those of Arnold and Jacob, Sam and Joop. Aletrino and the betrothed of De Haan bought almost all copies of the book to prevent a scandal that would involve both of them. De Haan lost his job as a primary school teacher and journalist of the socialist daily Het Volk where he edited the children's page. The scandal could so continue while De Haan rewrote his first novel without dedication and with new nicknames. This book also refers to the first sex survey in Holland done by the other major Dutch scholar who took the homosexual case, Lucien von Römer. In 1908 De`Haan wrote a second novel Pathologieën that is both gay and sadomasochistic. After this, he mainly wrote Jewish and gay poetry. A line from one of his poems adorns the Amsterdam Homomonument (such a desire for friendship). He continued his legal studies and specialized in "significa" that stressed a linguistic approach. His dissertation was an interesting topic for homosexuals in those years, a study on the legal language of responsibility and criminal attribution.

In the 1910's he got interested in Zionism and he left Amsterdam for Jerusalem in 1919. But while in Palestina, he developed an interest in both Arab boys and the orthodox Jews who had always stayed in Palestina and who were opposed to irreligious and aggressive Zionism, and became himself opposed to Zionist goals. De Haan had connections with the Western press both in the Netherlands and England and conveyed points of view in a press and for a public that was totally unaware of anti-Zionist Jews living in Palestina. The Zionists hated it that De Haan criticized their project in the capital of colonialism and spoiled their monopoly on publicity in London. They told him to shut up and leave the colony, otherwise they would kill him. De Haan was a stubborn person with a strong feeling of justice and refused to do so. In the end, he was murdered in 1924 by a member of the Zionist organization Hagana. They still tried to put blame on the Arabs who should have killed De Haan because he had sex with their kids. Until this day, De Haan is a hero of Israeli orthodox Jews who rather try to overlook his sadomasochist and pedophile tendencies.

In my lecture, I will focus on the relation of science and homosexuality in the life and work of De Haan. It is a preparation for a biography that I consider to write on this remarkable personality."

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