Cultural History

We conceive ‘modernity’ as a concept, as a problem, and as a period.              

The Utrecht Cultural History research group focuses on the international dimensions of cultural modernity in historical perspective.
Cultural modernity as a topical problem entails a critical discussion of its origins, trajectory, variations and perceived decline, from a global perspective.
Above all, modernity requires a serious practical effort. The ideas and theories that deal with modernity as a cultural phenomenon are not free floating intellectual artefacts: they confront real situations and actual dilemmas.

Main research lines

  • Transcultural connections in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in particular reference cultures and the history of communication.
  • Cultural citizenship in Europe, in relation to modern arts and politics, public history, and religion and modernity.
  • Modern thought, including the history of science and the humanities (Descartes Centre), and the socio-cultural history of knowledge.

Methodologically, the group focuses on both long-established and innovative approaches, ranging from text mining to praxeography.

Ostrich CCTV
Gezicht op de in aanbouw zijnde Neudeflat (Vinkenburgstraat 26) te Utrecht, uit het noorden. Op de achtergrond de Domtoren (1961).  © Het Utrechts Archief
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Cultural History