Courses

Below you find the course descriptions of Cultural History of Modern Europe. The programme consists of compulsory courses, electives, an internship and a Master's thesis. Read more about the curriculum and our teaching and research environment, including our teaching staff.

Understanding Culture in the Modern World: Theoretical Perspectives (compulsory)

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Public history, memory and world heritage. Toward a participatory historical culture (compulsory)

Historians built their discipline on the assumption that the past is a ‘foreign country’ and that any understanding of this country requires experts with special knowledge and skills, that is: trained historians. Never, however, have academic historians owned the past. Many people engage with the past, through heritage sites, museums and historical theme parks, history education, commemorative rituals, or historical infotainment shaped as novels, movies, reenactments, computer games and the like. In this course we will engage with these public uses of the past in order to assess the role of (cultural) historians in a ‘participatory historical culture’.

Career Orientation
a. excursies / excursions
b. het analyseren van concrete (erfgoed-)instellingen in opdrachten/analysis of practices of heritage-institutions

Please note Only students from the MA Cultural History in Modern Europe and the MA Geschiedenis: educatie en communicatie are allowed to register for this course. All other students have to contact the programme coordinator.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Research Seminar Cultural History (compulsory)

This course explores the influential yet elusive concept of European civilisation. In current debates Europe is often characterised by way of an accumulation of cultural heritage, a measurable set of shared cultural values, a common identity, a core ideal. At the same time, the idea itself of a shared civilisation is contested. Isn’t the very concept of civilisation based on essentialism, exceptionalism, and the exclusion of 'others'? We will address this theme from both theoretical and historical perspectives. How to define Europe while taking into account its linguistic, religious, and ethnic diversity? How to reconcile the centrifugal realities of migration and knowledge exchange with the idea of civilisation? The cultural history of Europe has been one of cross-border influences and multiple images. Which characteristics have been said to be distinctly European, rather than American, Chinese, or African? What has Europe had in common with the rest of the world? How have Europe’s geographical borders been defined, given (or in spite of) its varied cultural heritage? Have Europeans actually shared such historical values as equality, secularism, and solidarity?
The aim of this course is not to provide definitive answers, but to look at the way cultural historians can address this topical issue. he entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Colonial Memory and Postcolonial Heritage

This course takes a comparative approach to the cultural history of colonialism, focusing on the memory and transnational legacies of ‘modern’ overseas empires

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Heritage and Identity

Infrastructure of Historical Culture

Infrastructuur van de historische cultuur: instellingen en instituties
De historische belangstelling van vandaag is gekanaliseerd in een fijn vertakte infrastructuur van musea, erfgoedcentra, archieven et cetera. Die infrastructuur is grotendeels het resultaat van de inspanningen van negentiende- en vroeg twintigste-eeuwse geschiedbeoefenaars. In deze cursus gebruiken we de geschiedenis van die instellingen als ingang voor een cultuurhistorisch onderzoek naar de historische interesse. We kijken naar de geschiedenis die in deze instellingen werd bestudeerd en naar de motieven waarmee dat gebeurde; naar de culturele categorieën waarin over het verleden werd gedacht; naar de politieke, religieuze en maatschappelijke posities die in de geschiedopvattingen doorklonken. We zoeken kortom een antwoord op de vraag: hoe werd er binnen die historische instellingen betekenis gegeven aan het verleden?

The Experience of Modernity

Modernity is commonly defined as a novel kind of society that emerged in the West during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, characterized by social, political, economic and cultural “modernization”, i.e. industrialization, democratization, mass culture, etc. This course discusses the everyday experience of these profound transformations, using historical case studies such as Fin de Siècle Paris, Weimar-era Berlin, the Holocaust and Cold-War Europe. Students will learn how we can access the experiences of common people who lived through these times, using approaches like microhistory and Alltagsgeschichte (history of the everyday). There will be a strong focus on the role modern technology (including mass media like the cinema, the telegraph, radio and TV) played in shaping these experiences of modernity.

The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by the International Office and the Programme coordinator. Acceptance is not self-evident.

Internship Cultural History

Students do an (international) internship and write an internship report; an alternative may be a practical/field research.

Before the start of the internship, students write a work plan and during the internship they submit weekly logs in reporting their activities.

Career orientation
Students gain professional experience working in a field related to cultural history.

The following courses must be achieved:
GKMVD16008 or GKMV17001: Ges-Cultuur begrijpen/Ges-Understanding Culture GKMVD16003 or GKMV17002: Ges-Public History en Werelderfgoed/Ges-Public History and Global Heritage
GKMVD16004 or GKMV17003: Ges-Europese beschaving/Ges-European Civilisation or GKMV18001 Ges-Research Seminar Cultuurgeschiedenis/ Research Seminar Cultural History

Thesis Cultural History (compulsory)

Students do individual research and participate in thesis tutorials with other students; they write a master's thesis on modern cultural history