‘Public Health’ in the Middle Ages: Healthscaping Urban Europe – Bijeenkomst van de werkgroep ‘History, Health and Healing’ – 7 februari 2020, Utrecht

‘Public Health’ in the Middle Ages: Healthscaping Urban Europe
Bijeenkomst van de werkgroep ‘History, Health and Healing’
Tijd: vrijdag 7 februari 2020, 13.00-18.00 uur
Locatie: Universiteitsbibliotheek locatie Uithof, Heidelberglaan 3, Utrecht (Boothzaal)

Tijdens deze bijeenkomst van de werkgroep HHH presenteren leden van de onderzoeksgroep ‘Healthscaping Urban Europe’ hun onderzoek. Na een inleiding van Prof. Guy Geltner, die het project coördineert, volgen drie presentaties die vervolgens worden gerefereerd door twee specialisten: een in de mediëvistiek, en een in de geschiedenis van public health. Daarna is er plenaire discussie en een borrel.

Aan deelname zijn geen kosten deelname verboden. Wel wordt u – in verband met de catering – verzocht zich aan te melden bij de secretaris van de werkgroep, Timo Bolt: t.bolt@erasmusmc.nl.


Over het onderzoeksproject:

Premodern Healthcaping brings together a group of medievalists across several disciplines to explore how urban residents in two of Europe’s most urbanized regions – Italy and the Low Countries – thought about and pursued population-level health. The 5-year project, funded by an ERC Consolidator grant, is based at the University of Amsterdam and builds on insights reached by scholars of premodern medicine, urbanism and material culture, which challenge the identification of public health as a uniquely modern phenomenon. Over the next years, this project will trace the development of community health, safety and wellbeing as a major aspect of the public good and as a key means of justifying and legitimating power in an urban context. It will explore the transmission of and tensions between medical theory and urban policy in this regard, and will examine the extent to which these were enforced from the political center outward, guarded and resisted by for instance major economic stakeholders, including the church, as well as neighborhood agents. Using a combination of methodologies drawing on anthropology, geography, cultural history and science and technology studies, this group seeks to define a new key for observing how historical communities aspired to live in places where health could bloom.

Het programma:

13.00-13.30: Inloop en koffie; introductie

13.30-14.00: Toekomstplannen van HHH

14.00-14.30: Guy Geltner, ‘Introduction to Healthscaping Urban Europe: Towards a multiscalar approach to Healthscaping’

14.30-15.00: Janna Coomans, ‘Healthscaping the Late Medieval Low Countries in 4 programs’

15.00-15.30: Theepauze

15.30-16.00: Taylor Zaneri, ‘In, Around, and Under the Medieval City: Water and Waste in 14th Century Bologna’

16.00-16.30: Claire Weeda, ‘The mediation of medical knowledge in Netherlandish cities, 1300-1500’

16.30-17.00: Referenten (Catrien Santing en Eddy Houwaart) gevolgd door plenaire discussie

17.00-18.00: Borrel




Guy Geltner, ‘Introduction to Healthscaping Urban Europe: Towards a multiscalar approach to Healthscaping’
My opening remarks (10 minutes) will briefly introduce the goals and structure of Healthscaping Urban Europe, its work packages and participants, and the project’s “stand van zaken,” before letting contributors speak for themselves. My closing remarks will delve into the broader methodology we have been extrapolating from and adding to our project/s through conversations with scholars of health working across historical-cultural and paleo-scientific fields. Adopting a multiscalar approach, I argue, is a congenial way to expand and improve our conversations with health historians working with diverse admixtures of evidence in and beyond urban societies in western Europe.

Janna Coomans, ‘Healthscaping the Late Medieval Low Countries in 4 programs’
Whereas the vast majority of Europe’s inhabitants spent their lives in a rural environment, almost half of the population in Flanders lived in cities around 1350, a proportion reached in Holland by 1500. Both larger metropoles and the many dozens of Netherlandish towns with a few thousand inhabitants generated extensive series of administrative records. These sources allow studying the efforts that inhabitants and local governments undertook to prevent disease and promote health. Based on the foci and subjects that these archival sources convey, this paper argues that healthscaping practices during the fourteenth and fifteenth century can be divided into four main goals or “programs.” Netherlandish urban communities sought to ensure: 1: well-functioning infrastructures; 2: sufficient and high-quality water and food; 3: organized (but not necessarily centralized) waste disposal; 4: a morally healthy community. This paper briefly discusses what these programs entailed, and what studying them in relation to each other can tell us about the perception of health at a group level in late medieval urban society.

Taylor Zaneri, ‘In, Around, and Under the Medieval City: Water and Waste in 14th Century Bologna’

This paper examines the daily lives in, around, and under Bologna from AD 1200 to 1500. It examines how critical public health issues such as water cleanliness, domestic rubbish, and industrial waste disposal, among others, were managed by households, neighborhoods, and professionals. What kinds of waste were present in medieval Bologna, and how was it disposed of? How did the experience of health and cleanliness differ around the city? This paper analyzes and maps published archaeological evidence uncovered through excavations of the era’s houses, churches, workshops, and canals. It combines GIS, archaeological and environmental techniques with traditional historical sources, to pinpoint health hazards, sources of contamination and pollution, as well as to identify cleanliness promoting actions, and examine how “public health” varied throughout the medieval city.

Claire Weeda, ‘The mediation of medical knowledge in Netherlandish cities, 1300-1500’
In recent decades, many historians dealt with the dissemination of Greco-Arabic Galenism via western European universities from the twelfth century onwards. However, university centres of knowledge and the health experts that emerge from them, are but one of the many vectors transmitting and validating ideas, technologies and practices of the health of bodies. Monasteries or local parish schools equally served as sites of knowledge of Galenism, spiritual healing and best practices. Latin and vernacular regimens, mirrors, and books of conduct encouraged individuals to scrutinize their own health practices, teaching them self-discipline in accordance with social position, age, and gender. Norms relating to the health and hygiene of bodies, moreover, were mediated via regulations proclaimed by town criers, such as ordinances and statutes, through sermons, through health workers, in the courts, in market places (including slave trade), and in households.

Although it is evident that Netherlandish urban communities had access to and applied medical knowledge in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century regulations, to date little is known about how, by whom, why and in what context this knowledge became available to them. My paper seeks to address these questions. I will discuss, firstly, the number and origins of Netherlandish medical students in this period and their positions as city doctors and rectors of local schools. Secondly, using contemporary library catalogues produced at monasteries, chapters and courts, I will demonstrate the accessibility of specific medical texts in religious and urban communities. Thirdly, I will discuss how confraternities such as the Zielbroeders and Cellites played a significant role as health workers in Netherlandish cities in this period. Charting how medical ideas, transmitted by lay and religious workers, texts and institutions, turned into norms — that were also resisted by urban populations — will help us to understand how theory and practice intersected.

Masterclass Alison Landsberg: ‘Representing the Past: Memory, Aesthetics, Politics’

Masterclass Alison Landsberg (George Mason University, Fairfax VA, USA): ‘Representing the Past: Memory, Aesthetics, Politics’


This masterclass is part of the international conference “The Stage of War: Academic and Popular Representations of Large-Scale Conflicts” that will take place on 26-27 March 2020 in Rotterdam (attendance required).


Dates & time

Symposium: 26-27 March 2020 (10:00-17:30)

Masterclass: 27 March 2020 (11:45-13:00)


Venue: Erasmus University Rotterdam, Campus, M-Building

Masterclass open to: PhD students and Research Master Students


Available places: 15.

Costs: None – the symposium fee is included. When you are admitted to this masterclass, you will automatically be registered for the conference. Please note: the conference dinner in Hotel New York on Thursday 26 March (€35,-) is excluded and can be booked separately by informing the Huizinga Institute.

Registration: register here. Registration deadline: 2 March 2020



The conference ‘The Stage of War’ focuses on academic and popular representations of war and other large-scale conflicts. Keynote speaker Alison Landsberg (George Mason University, Fairfax VA, USA) will build on her keynote lecture in the masterclass ‘Representing the Past: Memory, Aesthetics, Politics’.


The masterclass is organized by the Huizinga Institute i.c.w. Maria Grever and Siri Driessen, and is aimed at PhD candidates and Research Master Students. Participants will receive 1 ECTS after successful participation. Attending the symposium (both days) is a mandatory part of the masterclass.


A detailed programme will be made available soon, but registration is already possible.


Indication of preparatory literature:


Parts of/excerpts from:


  • Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History
  • Alison Landsberg, Engaging the Past: Mass Culture and the Production of Historical Knowledge, Columbia University Press 2015
  • Jacques Rancière, Politics of Aesthetics


Invitation: Huizinga PhD conference – 30 & 31 March 2020, Dominicanenklooster Huissen

Date: 30 & 31 March 2020
Venue: Dominicanenklooster Huissen
Open to: PhD candidates and RMA-students (exclusive for Huizinga members)
ECTS, only for PhD candidates: 3 (with presentation), 1 (auditor)

Registration: Huizinga staff members, ReMa students and PhD candidates of all years are more than welcome to join this conference as auditors. Register here

Third-year PhD candidates who are members of the Huizinga Instituut present (a part of) their research at this conference. Their talks will be discussed by co-referents (who have been invited by the candidates themselves) and the audience.

Preliminary programme:


Monday 30 March 2020

Chair: Prof. dr. Arnoud Visser


Welcome and introduction





Sam de Schutter (Leiden University)
The Global Workings of Disability in the Two Congo’s, 1960-2009
Referent: t.b.a.




Larissa Schulte Nordholt (Leiden University)
What Is an African Historian? Negotiating Scholarly Personae in UNESCO’S General History of Africa
Referent: t.b.a.


Ayşenur Korkmaz (University of Amsterdam)
Local and diasporic family memories of the Armenian genocide: a transnational ethnography
Referent: t.b.a.


Coffee and tea


Paul Hulsenboom (Radboud University)
Batavians and Sarmatians: Dutch perceptions of Poland, Polish perceptions of the Netherlands, and Dutch and Polish national identity formation (1618-1864)
Referent: t.b.a.


Desiree Krikken (University of Groningen)
“My plot, your plat, our inhabited landscape” [the relationship between early modern people and the European physical landscape]
Referent: t.b.a.


Drinks and dinner


Tuesday 31 March 2020

Chair: t.b.a.



Cora van de Poppe (Utrecht University)
Language Dynamics in the Dutch Golden Age: linguistic and social-cultural aspects of intra-author variation
Referent: t.b.a.


Frank Birkenholz (University of Groningen)
The Paper Company: the Impact of Paper on the Dutch East India Company in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Referent: t.b.a.


PhD Council




Renske Hoff (University of Groningen)
In Readers’ Hands: Early Modern Dutch Bibles from a Users’ Perspective
Referent: t.b.a.


Didi van Trijp (Leiden University)
Enlightened Fish Books: A New History of Eighteenth-Century Ichthyology (1686-1828)
Referent: t.b.a.


Coffee and tea


Berrie van der Molen (Utrecht University)
Drugs and public perception in The Netherlands. The regulatory imperative, drug use and governmentality in the public debate since 1945
Referent: t.b.a.


Anne van Veen (Utrecht University)
The History of Animal Testing and Alternatives
Referent: t.b.a.






Wetenschappelijk recenseren – Prof. Floris Cohen (Universiteit Utrecht)

Wetenschappelijk recenseren – Prof. Floris Cohen (Universiteit Utrecht)


Datum: woensdag 26 februari 2020
Tijd: 10:00 – 16:00 uur
Locatie: Potgieterzaal (Universiteitsbibliotheek UvA, Singel 425, Amsterdam)
Bestemd voor: Promovendi en Research Master studenten
Credits: 1 ECTS
Coördinatie: Prof. Floris Cohen in samenwerking met het Huizinga Instituut
Aanmelden: registreer hier vóór 24 januari 2020 (registratie op volgorde van aanmelden)
Maximaal aantal deelnemers: 10
NB: Deze cursus wordt geheel in het Nederlands gegeven


Wetenschappelijk recenseren

Het schrijven van recensies van wetenschappelijk werk hoort bij de taken van een academicus. Enerzijds gaat het daarbij om het beoordelen van de waarde van een bepaalde studie voor het vak. Anderzijds worden vakgenoten erdoor op de hoogte gesteld van een nieuwe publicatie. Vroeger was het gebruik dat vooral hoogleraren de recensies in vaktijdschriften voor hun rekening namen. Tegenwoordig komen ook promovendi hiervoor in aanmerking. Een recensie kan een boek maken of breken, en alleen al daarom is het van belang dat een recensent zich verdiept in de eisen en voorwaarden van de kritiek.

Voor het schrijven van recensies van wetenschappelijk werk bestaan geen vaste richtlijnen. Anders dan bij het schrijven van literaire kritieken gaat het bij het recenseren van vakliteratuur niet om esthetische oordelen en smaak. Toch is er ook in de wetenschap een duidelijk verschil tussen goede, matige, slechte en onaanvaardbare recensies. In dit atelier komen vragen aan de orde als ‘Wat zijn maatstaven voor een goede recensie?’ ‘Vergt het recenseren van een wetenschappelijk boek een speciale manier van lezen?’ ‘Hoe maak ik een samenvatting die recht doet aan het boek?’ ‘Hoe blijf ik een academische toonzetting houden als een boek werkelijk niets voorstelt?’ ‘Hoe bespreek ik een congresbundel of een andere publicatie waaraan meerdere auteurs hebben meegewerkt?’ ‘Wat te doen als ik in het te recenseren boek plagiaat meen tegen te komen?’ ‘Is het toegestaan het boek van een vriend te recenseren?’

Tijdschriften en kranten leggen forse beperkingen op aan recensies. Gewoonlijk staan kranten niet meer dan 500 woorden toe, terwijl ook vaktijdschriften meestal slechts 1000 woorden reserveren (alleen voor recensie-artikelen meer, maar dan bespreekt de recensent vaak enige onderling samenhangende boeken.) Wat moet er nu op zijn minst in een recensie komen te staan, als er maar zo weinig ruimte beschikbaar is? Aan de hand van door jullie zelf te schrijven recensies gaan we tijdens het atelier gezamenlijk richtlijnen en voorwaarden opstellen, daarbij geholpen door de praktijkervaring van de docent.


Voorbereiding en literatuur

Van elke deelnemer wordt verwacht dat zij of hij van tevoren een recensie schrijft, die we tijdens het atelier met zijn allen kritisch doornemen. Die recensies worden nog voor het atelier plaatsvindt aan alle deelnemers toegestuurd, zodat iedereen elkaars recensie kan lezen. Dit jaar heeft de docent gekozen voor een boek van Bert Theunissen, ‘Nut en nog eens nut’. Wetenschapsbeelden van Nederlandse natuuronderzoekers, 1800 – 1900. Hilversum: VerLoren, 2000. Je moet dit boek zelf aanschaffen (de uitgever heeft nog net voldoende exemplaren in voorraad), of lenen in een bibliotheek.


Je recensie

De omvang van je recensie is 750 woorden. De taal is Nederlands. Je mag zelf een (fictieve) doelgroep kiezen. Je kunt kiezen voor een vaktijdschrift (bijvoorbeeld Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden), of voor een dagblad (bijv. Trouw), of voor een medium tussen die niveaus in (bijv. De Nederlandse Boekengids). Vermeld bij de recensie welk type doelgroep je op het oog had. Om beïnvloeding te vermijden is het raadzaam reeds gepubliceerde recensies niet vooraf te lezen.


Inleveren opdracht uiterlijk woensdag 12 februari 2020 door toezending aan de docent (h.f.cohen@uu.nl) en aan het Huizinga Instituut (huizinga@uu.nl). Tijdig inleveren van deze opdracht is verplicht om deel te mogen nemen aan het atelier op 26 februari. En wie een recensie heeft ingeleverd, verplicht zich daarmee om (behoudens onvoorziene, dringende omstandigheden) daadwerkelijk aan het atelier deel te nemen.

PhD defence Lisanne Walma (UU) – 6 January 2020

PhD Defence Lisanne Walma

Between Morpheus and Mary: The Public Debate on Morphine in Dutch Newspapers, 1880 – 1939

Monday 6 January 2020 – University Hall, Domplein 29 at Utrecht



This dissertation focuses on the development of the Dutch public debate on morphine between 1880 and 1939. Around 1900 morphine was known on the one hand as a medical ‘Morpheus’: an important painkiller. On the other, people knew the substance as ‘Mary’, a street drug used and sold nonmedically. Between 1900 and 1939 concern about the nonmedical use of narcotics greatly increased. Using an analysis of Dutch digitized newspapers, I show how morphine kept its medical reputation during this time.


First, morphine’s historical reputation safeguarded its medical status in the Dutch public debate. Before 1900 multiple types of recognizable morphine use already featured in Dutch discourse, which prevented emerging stories about addiction and trafficking from becoming central to the drug’s story. Second, between 1900 and 1939 morphine’s medical and nonmedical sides both developed in favor of morphine’s overall medical reputation. Emerging depictions of morphine’s palliative use supported morphine’s reputation as an important and universal medical drug. Morphine’s nonmedical uses became associated with only limited social harm. They mostly featured harm to specific individuals, foreign users who were not considered a model for Dutch society, or user contexts where cocaine and heroin featured in a more prominent or harmful manner.


More details: https://www.uu.nl/en/events/between-morpheus-and-mary-the-public-debate-on-morphine-in-dutch-newspapers-1880-1939


The Huizinga ReMa/PhD-council is looking for new members

Dear all,
We have to announce the sad fact that two of the PhD-representatives are leaving the ReMa/PhD-council. Didi van Trijp and Bob Pierik will leave after years of service, to make place for a next generation of PhD representatives. We are therefore looking for two new PhD-members for the Huizinga ReMa/PhD-council.
The council represents all Huizinga PhDs and ReMA students and forms both an official and unofficial link between the program team and the board of directors on the one hand and the PhD/ReMA community on the other. Tasks of the PhD/ReMA-representatives include, but are not restricted to: attending the program team meetings where the yearly curriculum is designed and decided upon, giving advice on future courses, conducting a yearly survey, organizing our own events, and keeping an eye on the communication between the Huizinga Institute and the PhD/ReMA-candidates.
If you are interested or have questions about the function, please drop us an e-mail (d.c.vanoeveren@uu.nl), so we can inform you of the procedure. Let us know if you are interested before the 26th of January, so we can select new candidates before the 1st of February.
Best regards,
The Huizinga ReMA-PhD-council

Huizinga/KNIR/Hertziana course ‘Cultures of Science and Art in Rome, 1400-1900’ (8-17 May 2020) – Deadline for applications: 22 January 2020

Apple before 15 January via the KNIR website.

Course Content
As city of the pope, Rome has been an important religious and artistic center since the Middle Ages. It is less well known that Rome has also been a center of scientific research and the visualization thereof. This fact has been undervalued because of the traditional, but by now outdated, opposition between religion and science. Religion and science were by no means mutually exclusive, as the scientific activities of the Jesuits show. Therefore, this course will introduce Rome as a city of knowledge in its European and global contexts from 1400 until 1900. By looking specifically at the visual culture of science participants will learn about the networks that brought together artists, collectors, and intellectuals, and how these actors and their ideas influenced the practice of science and its visualization.

On the basis of case studies and interdisciplinary approaches – e.g. historical, art historical, digital humanities – participants will delve into this understudied aspect of cultural history. During the course we will visit a variety of sites in Rome (archives, libraries, churches, and museums) and analyze many different sources (manuscripts, printed books, prints, paintings, sculptures, photographs, architecture, and film) in order to analyzes and understand the city from the perspective of science and art.

dr. Sietske Fransen and dr. Matthijs Jonker

Target group and admission
The course is open to 8 RMA and PhD students who are a member of a Dutch National Research School (members of the Huizinga Institute have first access) and 8 international RMA and PhD students. The selection of RMA students is based on grades, the positioning of the course in the student’s curriculum, and a letter of motivation. The selection of PhD students is based on the letter of motivation and curriculum vitae. Students can apply via the link below. Include in your application:
– a letter of motivation
– a cv
– for RMA students: a recent list of grades officially provided by your university

Course format and assignments
Preparatory assignment, group assignment in Rome, individual presentation in Rome, final essay.

Credits and assessment
The study load is the equivalent of 5 ECTS (140 hours).

Tuition and lodging at the KNIR for selected participants is covered by the Huizinga Instituut (for students from Dutch universities) and by the Bibliotheca Hertziana (for international students). Personal expenses, including meals, are not included. Students can request a € 175,00 reimbursement of their expenses for travelling to Rome at the Huizinga Instituut, after submission of their final essay.

Facilities in Rome
All participants will be housed at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome’s Villa Borghese Park. From there, it is only a short walk to the historical center of Rome. The KNIR accommodation consists of shared bedrooms and bathrooms, and includes a living and dining space, a large kitchen, washing machine and wireless internet. All residents have 24/7 access to the library and gardens of the Royal Netherlands Institute.

Apply before
22 January 2020 via this link, submitting a motivation letter, a recent C.V. and an updated overview of study results.

More info
E-mail: secretary@knir.it
Phone: (+39)063269621

Uitnodiging Projectgroep Egodocumenten Huizinga Instituut – 28 February 2020, Amsterdam

Uitnodiging Projectgroep Egodocumenten Huizinga Instituut

Vrijdag 28 februari, 14.00-17.00 uur
Universiteitsbibliotheek, Belle van Zuylenzaal
Singel 425
1012 WP Amsterdam


Lezing door Martijn Wink over het dagboek van Franz Friedrich Christian Steinmetz die als majoor van de artillerie in 1808 en 1809 deelnam aan een veldtocht in Spanje, waar hij sneuvelde, met nieuw ontdekte informatie over de omstandigheden rondom de dood van Steinmetz.


Lezing Rik Vuurmans over de in Den Helder geboren Cornelis Dekker, die zich tijdens de Spaanse Burgeroorlog (1936-1939) aangesloot bij de Internationale Brigades en zijn ervaringen te boek heeft gesteld en in 1938 in eigen beheer uitgegeven.

Inlichtingen en aanmelden (niet verplicht)

Rudolf Dekker
Van Breestraat 116 (boven)
1071 ZV Amsterdam
Email: rdekker123@gmail.com

Looking back: first two meetings Huizinga Instituut Working Group on Utopia and Social Dreaming in Connected and Entangled Perspective

The Huizinga Instituut Working Group on utopia and Social Dreaming in Connected and Entangled Perspective conducted its first two sessions in September and November. Our first session had group member Dr Carolien Stolte, University Lecturer in History at leiden University, presenting an article by her on ‘”The People’s Bandung”: Local Anti-imperialists on an Afro-Asian Stage’, Journal of World History, Volume 30, Numbers 1-2, June 2019, pp. 125-156. This took place in the conference room of the Institute for History, Huizinga Building, Leiden University, on 23 September 2019. RMA students from Utrecht University attended, in addition to the group members and the presenter at the following Working Group session, Dr Joppan George, Fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden University. Carolien argued thatwhile the 1955 intergovernmental Conference of Asian-African Countries at Bandung is widely regarded as the beginning of the Afro-Asian movement, it is less well known that eleven days prior to the Bandung Conference, a conference was convened in New Delhi that should be considered its unofficial counterpart. In contrast to Bandung, which was closed to the public, large crowds attended the Delhi conference. Officially known as the Conference of Asian Countries for the Relaxation of International Tension, the conference was also instrumental in the formation of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization (AAPSO). In contrast to the “official” Bandung, this movement sought bottom-up, mass-based support for decolonization and nuclear disarmament through popular manifestations of international solidarity. Carolien widened our notion of the “Bandung Moment” by focusing not on interstate diplomacy but on more popular, as well as more populous, expressions of the “Bandung Spirit.” There was animated discussion, including on women’s transnational civic activism and on the role of Paul Robeson.

The second session of this working group was a joint one, on 25 November 2019, with the Modern South Asia Seminar at Leiden University. Dr Joppan George, who got his Ph.D. from Princeton University this year, and is a Fellow at IIAS Leiden presented on “Colonial Airmindedness: Views from British India.” He charted the course of airmindedness and the birth of the aerial being in India in the interwar years of the 20th century through a reading of the counter-archive of historical romances, memoirs, radio broadcasts, phrasebooks, travelogues, hoaxes, and rumors to recuperate the colonial subjects’ self-fashioning of technological modernity. Participants included Dr Steffen Rimner (International History, Utrecht U), Dr Radhika Gupta (Leiden U), and Dr Ole Laursen (Fellow, IIAS, Leiden), in addition to the working group members and many students from the Leiden South and South-east Asia undergraduate teaching programme.

Would you like to receive updates and invitations regarding the Huizinga Instituut Working Group on Utopia and Social Dreaming in Connected and Entangled perspective? Send a message to huizinga@uu.nl to be placed on this working group’s Email list.

The next working group meeting will take place on 11 December in Groningen, by Dr Vera Alexander on Entangled Gardens. More information soon.

Doing History Reflexively – a workshop led by prof. dr. Ann Rigney – 4 February 2020

Date: 4 February 2020
Time: 13.00 – 17.00
Venue: Utrecht University, Van Ravesteynzaal (1.06), Kromme Nieuwegracht 80.
Open to: PhD candidates who are a member of the Huizinga Institute
Credits: 1 ECTS (available upon request)
Coordination: Thomas Delpeut & Jon Verriet
Maximum no. of participants:  15

Language: English

Registration: Unfortunately this workshop is fully booked – please contact the Huizinga office for a spot on the waiting list



How do we engage as (theoretically informed, societally positioned, and creative) individuals with our objects of historical research and how does that personal engagement influence the outcome of our work? How far should we go in ‘giving in’ to it? The relation between researchers and the historical actors, events, and cultural objects we write about has frequently been problematized. In the past decades, this reflexivity has often given a new impetus in the way we ‘do history’. Scholars have implicitly and explicitly explored new ways of acknowledging the theoretical, methodological, and normative assumptions that shape our research, our own ‘situated’ societal position (e.g. Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, E.P. Thompson), and the cultural norms that shape our narratives (e.g. Michel de Certeau, Hayden White). However, much of this reflection remains highly theoretical and difficult to link to everyday practice. How does an early career researcher integrate reflexivity into their work in a feasible and defensible way? How can it shape our daily research practices and writing strategies? And does more reflexivity automatically result in better scholarly work?

During this workshop we focus on the daily practices of PhD’s to help

  1. figure out what reflexivity means to them as researchers
  2. find practical day-to-day tools to ‘do history reflexively’, by focusing on 1. research practices, 2. data interpretation, and 3. writing strategies.

 Literature [will be provided]

  • Ann Rigney, “Being an Improper Historian” in: Keith Jenkins, Sue Morgan and Alun Munslow, eds., Manifestos for History (London 2007) 149-159.
  • Jo Tollebeek, ‘“Turn’d to Dust and Tears”. Revisiting the Archive’, History and Theory 43 (2004) 237-248.
  • Dossier with examples of reflexive approaches

Preparatory assignment

Participants will prepare a short contemplation (1/2 to 1 A4), containing:

  • A short discussion concerning what reflection means to them and their research project
  • An outline of one personal issue/problem/question that has come up in their own research with regard to reflexive practices
  • 2-4 examples of scholarly works (articles, books, websites etc.) illustrating how reflexivity can be put into practice. Explain these with ca. 2 sentences per example.

 Please submit your contemplation (huizinga@uu.nl) before Tuesday 21 January 2020.


13.00-13.30      Introductory lecture by Ann Rigney

13.30-14.30      Session 1 – Research practices

14.30-15.00      Break

15.00-16.00      Session 2 – Data interpretation

16.00-17.00       Session 3 – Writing strategies

Huizinga Summer School 2020: ‘Doing digital history. Critical approaches to your data’ (5 ECTS)

Dates and time: 8-9-10 July 2020
Venue: Erasmus University Rotterdam
Open to: RMa Students and PhD students who are a member of a Dutch Graduate Research School (onderzoekschool). Members of the Huizinga Institute will have first access until 1 December 2019.
Fee (nonmembers of a Dutch National Research School): € 250
Credits: 5 ECTS
Coordination: TBA
Register here. Maximum participants in this event: 20 – Unfortunately this course is fully booked – please contact the Huizinga office for a spot on the waiting list.


Description, Themes & Objectives

Are you wondering about how digital history can be applied in your research? Curious to learn where and how you can access historical sources for your PhD/ReMA project online? Would you like to critically explore new digital methodologies?

This 3-day summer school aims to acquaint and familiarise you with different digital sources and methodologies that are relevant for cultural historians (as well as political and social historians) in various fields of interest; from early modern to contemporary history. Our summer school provides an opportunity to experiment with and reflect on different types of datasets: from textual to audiovisual sources.

It offers hands-on workshops in small groups and under close supervision of experts, inspiring lectures by experienced digital historians and plenty of opportunity to engage in critical reflection with both experts and fellow participants. How do you explore large datasets and perform source criticism in – at times opaque – digital environments? In what ways does ‘going digital’ add to, change or challenge, your own practice as a historian?

Our team of experts will preselect a set of collections and tools that are suitable for your own PhD/ReMA research, based on your level of experience. In two to three modules, you will learn how to use this selection of datasets and tools to answer a research question of your own, visualise your results, and critically reflect on the process of ‘doing digital history’.

We welcome all levels of experience, beginners included!

Department of History and Erasmus Studio
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Norah Karrouche

Research Master course ‘Heritage and Memory Theory Seminar’ (5 ECTS)

Dates and time: 30 April, 8 May, 14 May, 20 May (note: not 22 May as previously advertised), 28 May (14:00-18:00); 5 June (12-20h) 2020
Venue: University of Amsterdam (room TBA)
Open to: RMa Students who are a member of a Dutch Graduate Research School (onderzoekschool). RMa Students who are members of the Huizinga Institute will have first access until 1 December 2019. PhD Candidates are allowed to register, however RMa Students will have first access.
Fee (nonmembers of a Dutch National Research School): € 250
Credits: 5 ECTS
Coordination: Prof. dr Ihab Saloul (University of Amsterdam)
Register here. Maximum participants in this event: 20 – Unfortunately this course is fully booked – please contact the Huizinga office for a spot on the waiting list


Description, Themes & Objectives

The analytical study of heritage and memory studies poses particular problems of method for all, from beginners to very experienced scholars. Due to its fundamental interdisciplinary, transnational and comparative nature, this seminar devises a specific format that explicitly addresses the methodological ins and outs of heritage and memory studies. We will critically examine the dynamics of the past from the perspective of tangible and intangible remnants, spaces and traces as well as the politics of forgetting and heritage appropriations, significations, musealizations and mediatization in the present. How key sites of heritage and memory in Europe and beyond are presented, interpreted, and renegotiated? And how do memory discourses operate as vehicles of local, national, continental and global identity building? Key topics will address the multidirectionality of heritage and memory as well as the theoretical implications identity and trauma, mourning and reconciliation, nationalism and ethnicity, diaspora and intergenerational memories, landscapes and mass violence, heritage preservation and commemorations, experience and authenticity, (dark) tourism, diaspora and postcolonial memory, and performative reenactments and the art of absence and forgetting. The objectives are to:

  • Introduce researchers to central concepts in the field of heritage and memory studies
  • Provide training with samples from advanced theoretical texts (reading, understanding, discussing and integrating literature in the researchers’ own projects)
Organization & Programme

The intellectual engagement with heritage and memory concepts and the ideas they develop is both necessary and often, quite problematic. In this 6-day seminar the collective effort to deal with this issue is as important as the acquisition of knowledge. The conceptual premise underlying this analytical approach is that interdisciplinary lacks the traditional paradigms that used to provide obvious methodological tools. Concepts offer a substitute; a methodology that is flexible, yet responsible and accountable. The aim is to open up an academic space where a common ground can be found without sacrificing specific and precious disciplinary knowledge.

The program will be announced in advance but the general format is a 3-hour seminar session with an introductory lecture, presentations and a class discussion. In preparation students will be given some theoretical texts to read; a full list of literature will be provided in advance. All participants are expected to:

  • Attend all sessions and read the texts seriously
  • During each session teams of two or three participants will present an object/case study of their own choice on which they bring to bear the texts and concepts
  • Write a 2000-word report with a special focus on a theme of choice.
Credits & Certificate

Certificates of participation and credits are available upon request after the event. Event coordinators will decide whether the participant has fulfilled all requirements for the ECTS. Note: the certificate itself is not valid as ECTS, you need to validate it yourself at your local Graduate School.

Research Master course ‘Cultures of Reading’ (5 ECTS)

Dates: Fridays 24 April, 1 May, 15 May, 29 May, 12 June 2020
Time: 13.15-16.15h
Venue: Utrecht University (Drift 21, room 0.06) and Utrecht University Library (29 May: Bucheliuszaal)
Open to: RMa Students who are a member of a Dutch Graduate Research School (onderzoekschool). RMa Students who are members of the Huizinga Institute will have first access until 1 December 2019; PhD candidates can attend as auditor (limited number)
Fee (non members of a Dutch National Research School): € 150
Credits: 5 ECTS
Coordinator: Arnoud Visser (UU)
Register here. Maximum participants in this event: 25 – Unfortunately this course is fully booked – please contact the Huizinga office for a spot on the waiting list

Cultures of Reading

Since the early modern period, reading has been essential for the transmission of ideas, but it is also a vital skill for the cultural historian. Reading is not a stable form of communication. It may be done in many different ways, depending on a host of historical, social, and religious contexts. In the past three decades the ‘History of Reading’ has become a vibrant scholarly field, exploring both historical practices as well as our own as researchers of earlier periods in history. Historians such as Robert Darnton, Carlo Ginzburg, Roger Chartier, Anthony Grafton, and William Sherman have developed challenging new approaches, highlighting a diversity of reading styles and at least as great a variety of research opportunities.

This course serves as an introduction to the cultural history of reading. In a series of lectures and seminars, the phenomenon of reading cultures is studied from a variety of different historical and disciplinary perspectives by academics from across the field of cultural history in the Netherlands, assisted by guest speakers from abroad.

The lectures and seminars that constitute the core of this course will be complemented by a working visit to the UU special collections.

Credits & Certificate

Certificates of participation and credits are available upon request after the event. The event coordinator will decide whether the participant has fulfilled all requirements for the ECTS. Note: the certificate itself is not valid as ECTS, you need to validate it yourself at your local Graduate School.

Huizinga ReMa/PhD curriculum 2019-2020

We are proud to present our ReMa and PhD curriculum for the forthcoming academic year:


Core curriculum Research master students:

Core curriculum PhD candidates:

  • PhD conference I (October 2019, 3 ECTS)
  • CCOI: Research into Cultural History Course (January-May 2020, 5 ECTS)
  • PhD conference II (Spring 2020, 3 ECTS)
  • CCOII: Anxiety with Sources (Spring 2020, 1 ECTS)
    Core curriculum ReMa-courses are also open to PhD candidates

Masterclasses, workshops and ateliers (open to both Research master students and PhD candidates):

And more TBA