About the Huizinga Institute

The Huizinga Institute is the national Dutch research network for Cultural History in the broadest sense. It was founded in 1995, and has flourished as a forum for debate and exchange of scholarly views in the field, also functioning as the principal Dutch provider of excellent, cutting-edge coursework and education for research master’s students and PhD candidates in this field. The Institute takes its name from one of the founders of cultural history: Johan Huizinga.

Directors and Advisory Board

The Huizinga Institute’s leadership board consists of Academic Director prof. dr. Arnoud Visser and Coordinator Annelien Krul MA. The Advisory Board is chaired by prof. dr. Judith Pollmann.

Cultural History

Cultural history is a broad, inclusive and dynamic discipline, taking up new specialisms all the time. The Institute encourages the study of culture in its historical manifestations and dynamics, and from a variety of mutually complementary perspectives; the main premises are historicity and interdisciplinarity. Focal points at the moment include:

  • cultural nationalism;
  • memory, heritage and identity;
  • the history of science and the humanities;
  • the history of concepts, political culture, and religious encounters.

The Huizinga Institute supports and encourages academic meetings and exchanges in these fields.

Teaching programme

A principal responsibility of the Institute is the training and supervision of PhD candidates and research master’s students in the field of cultural history. The teaching programme serves to familiarise the trainee researcher with various forms of cultural historical research and the methods used in them. It allows graduate students from across the country to meet and interact with their fellow graduate researchers, and with more senior and often internationally renowned scholars from the Netherlands and elsewhere (e.g. Peter Burke, Chris Bayly, Jo Tollenbeek, Siep Stuurman, Ben Kaplan, Floris Cohen, Joep Leerssen, John Breuilly), in the form of workshops, master classes and symposia on the focal points in cultural history outlined here.

Fields of study in Cultural History

In recent years the Huizinga Institute has supported teaching and scholarly events in the following fields (or plans to do so in the near future):

  • cultural nationalism, e.g.
    • cultural transfer
    • cultural golden ages
    • identity in literature
  • memory, heritage and identity
    • social forgetting
    • contested heritage
    • media history
    • dynamics of the literary canon
    • history of emotions
  • The history of science and the humanities
    • the circulation of knowledge
    • history of the book
  • The history of concepts, political culture and religious encounters
    • periodisation
    • the canon
    • cultural ordering and dynamics

Member institutions

The Huizinga Institute is represented at the following institutions:

  • University of Amsterdam (UvA, currently chairing the institute)
  • University of Utrecht (UU)
  • Radboud University Nijmegen (RU)
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)
  • University of Leiden (LEI)
  • University of Maastricht (UM)
  • University of Twente (UT)
  • Free University Amsterdam (VU)
  • Huygens ING