Minor Early Modern Culture

Discover cultural history with the Minor Early Modern Culture

Ontleding des menschelyken lichaamsWhat is cultural history? The best answer to this question is diving full-heartedly into its practice. Doing this, students will discover that cultural history is best defined by its diversity and flexibility: cultural historians have always practiced their ‘discipline’ by incorporating and combining insights and source material from many different fields, constantly renewing their methods, topics and sources of research and taking different ‘turns’. Focusing on early modern Europe (ca. 1450-1850), this minor gives an introduction in the main topics of cultural history and the different ways historians have studied them. Students will discover this dynamic history, from the classic cultural history of Burckhardt and Huizinga, through the Annales school and various Marxist approaches, to the anthropological turn, the linguistic turn, the spatial turn and finally the ‘digital turn’.  Students will be initiated in the various sub-disciplines in cultural history (f.i. historical anthropology, the history of visual culture, the history of science) by working with a large variety of sources. How do cultural historians work with ego documents, judicial archives, oral sources, pamphlets, objects, sermons, maps, portraits or statues? In ‘laboratories’ students may also explore the new digital tools used by cultural historical institutions and research groups. Finally, through a tutorial on the history of emotions students may try out their own cultural history skills by doing research in this upcoming field and write an essay on historical emotions.

The courses will be given by a combination of specialists in the field: historians, historians of art, architecture, and literature, historians of science, cultural anthropology and of book history. Part of the classes will be ‘on location’: in the rare book room researching manuscripts, on the streets analyzing statues, in museums discussing collections and classification, in research institutes getting acquainted with e-humanities projects (among others NIOD, Huygens Institute, Meertens Institute, VU Library). The minor Early Modern Culture, does not only give an introduction into the history and practice of cultural history, it also helps students to explore possible (new) sources to research and digital methods to conduct research, it will also provide the opportunity for students to get in touch with various specialists and with possible locations for internship positions.

Coordinators: prof. dr. Inger Leemans & dr. E. Jorink (Huygens Institute/ING)

  • Language of instruction: English
  • Duration: Period 1 & 2
  • Study type: Full-time
  • Field of Interest: Art, Culture and History
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