Join the Huizinga Institute online Forum

Now that you have grown used to the little office spheres in your house, you might find yourself rambling to the coffee machine as if it is truly listening to you like you colleague used to (and who knows, maybe it is). It can be hard to find kindred spirits to discuss your research and interests with. The PhD/ReMA council created an internet forum on which you can discuss these and many more topics. Would you like to share some recipes you have been working on since the quarantine? Are you walking into research-related problems and are you in need of an extra pair of eyes? Maybe you have been listening to a new podcast which provided an interested perspective on cultural history. You are invited to join us!

Enter the forum here and register via the button on the right sidebar. Should you have any trouble registering, please contact the Huizinga office (

Best wishes,

The Huizinga Institute PhD/ReMa council

Workshop ‘Comfortable with Uncertainty: Academia in Coronavirus Times’ by Anna Tijsseling – 23 April 2020

Comfortable with Uncertainty: Academia in Coronavirus Times – a workshop by Anna Tijsseling, 23 April 2020, 11.00 – 15.30


Venue: Online
Open to: PhD candidates and ReMA students who are a member of the Huizinga Institute
Credits: 1 ECTS
Coordination: PhD/ReMa-Council
Maximum no. of participants: 15
Language: English
Registration: register here. 


Are you able to carry these Corona times? Or, are you enduring them? (In Dutch: ben je deze tijd aan het dragen of verdragen?). Are you able to breathe? Or are you actually… holding your breath, waiting for a signal that will tell you when it is safe again to breathe in and out generously, just where you are? This workshop helps you to slow down, connect with yourself empathically and take stock of what it takes for you to start carrying this situation, to find out what it takes for you to get comfortable with uncertainty.


References & literature (will be provided)



11.00 – 12.30 Where is Your Breath? Empathically Observing and Connecting with the Three Basic Positions Attached, Detached and the Open Middle

12.30 – 14.00 Lunch break

14.00 – 15.30 Taking Stock & Figuring out How to Choose the Open Middle (A Hundred Times per Day)


This workshop addresses the theme of being comfortable with uncertainty through different work forms. Brief bits of theory will be alternated with exercises and assignments. We will work with metaphors, stories and the casuistry offered by the participants. Participants are expected to be capable and willing to share their personal experiences and to be both willing and prepared to reflect upon their own parts in their experiences.

Huizinga/OSL workshop ‘From Distant Reading to Distant Viewing: Using Computer Vision to Enrich Historical and Literary Research’

The Hague | 12 May 2020

Time: 10.00 – 17.00. Venue: Dutch Royal Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek), Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, 2595 BE The Hague. Open to: PhD candidates and RMA students who are a member of a Dutch National Research School. Members of OSL and the Huizinga Institute have first access.

Available places: 20 (lecture programme + workshop) and an additional 20 places for auditors (lecture programme only).

Credits: More details on credits and assignments will be available soon; registration will open in early April.

Coordination: Sophie van den Elzen and Thomas Smits (Utrecht University)
Keynote: Leo Impett (Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome); more guests will be announced soon.


Digital humanities research has long been strongly textually oriented (Arnold and Tilton 2019). Increasingly, however, methods are being developed to incorporate the visual into DH analyses. This workshop will introduce participants to the basics of “distant viewing”: cutting-edge computer vision techniques in humanities research.

Like distant reading, these methods have proven useful to perform (historical) cultural analyses at a macro-scale. They can be used, for instance, to analyze the relationship between text and image in the nineteenth-century transnational press, to map the circulation of images in internet culture, to do visual stylometry (authorship attribution), or to study pictorial traditions, genres and motives in thousands of paintings. However, technological gains in computer vision go beyond merely increasing the scale at which we can research cultural phenomena. They also have the potential to change how we understand the cultural work of the visual vs. the textual, as they challenge traditional views of how images are consumed, cognitively processed, and assigned meaning (Moretti and Impett 2017; Arnold and Tilton 2019).

The day is intended for early-stage researchers who would like to learn about the principles, possibilities and pitfalls of research methods based on computer vision. Learning more about this may complement what you already know about digital humanities methods of ‘distant reading’, or help you think about how your current research questions could be operationalized at the larger scale. Or it may inspire you to formulate new project ideas. In any case, by the end of the day, you will have a sense of 1) what sorts of new research questions you can formulate with these methods, 2) what the workflow of this research looks like and 3) where to start: what are some collections, at the KB and beyond, which you can begin to explore using these techniques.

The day will start with a keynote by Leo Impett, whose work applies computer vision to analyze Aby Warburg’s Bilderatlas. After this, the trainers will give brief presentations on their own research, which are intended to inspire you to look at the possibilities of these methods for your own research interests. The afternoon consists of a hands-on workshop for max. 20 participants, in which we will go on a guided computational exploration of a dataset using the programming language Python. The day will also offer ample opportunity to discuss research ideas with trainers, peers and members of the KB team.


Registration will open in early April; more details on schedule, assignments and registration will be provided soon.

Cancelled: 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, find the full programme here).


Dates & time

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

Masterclass: 27 March 2020 (time tba)


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



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


Postponed: 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.



Monday 30 March 2020

Chair: Prof. dr. Arnoud Visser


10:15                    Welcome and introduction

10:30                    Workshop by Griet Coupé

                                How to give Effective Feedback

 11:30                    Sam de Schutter (Leiden University)
‘From a liability into an asset’: Transnational entanglements of disability and development in Tanzania, 1940s-1980s
Referent: Dr. Walter Nkwi Gam (UL)

12:30                    Lunch

13:45                    Larissa Schulte Nordholt (Leiden University)
What Is an African Historian? Negotiating Scholarly Personae in UNESCO’S General History of Africa
Referent: Dr. Walter Nkwi Gam (UL)

14:45                    Ayşenur Korkmaz (University of Amsterdam)
‘Sacred’ Journeys ‘Sacred’ Destinations: Ottoman-Armenian Roots Tourism in Eastern Turkey
Referent: prof. dr. Irene Stengs (VU)

15:45                    Coffee and tea

16:00                    Paul Hulsenboom (Radboud University)
Danzig Poets on Dutch Politics: The Place and Function of ‘Dutch’ Topics in Seventeenth-Century Poetry from Danzig
Referent: dr. Dirk van Miert (UU)

17:00                    Cora van de Poppe (Utrecht University)
Reader Management in P.C. Hooft’s Prose: Material and Linguistic Approaches
Referent: Prof. dr. Johan Koppenol (VU)

18:00                    Drinks and dinner


Tuesday 31 March 2020

                                Chair: Fons Meijer MA

 10:15                    Desiree Krikken (University of Groningen)
How to observe the landscape? The consolidation of a rhetoric of utility in early modern land surveying texts
Referent: TBA

11:15                   Frank Birkenholz (University of Groningen)
A ferocious paper consumer: the VOC’s acquisition and distribution of paper
Referent: TBA

12:15                    Lunch

13:45                    Renske Hoff (University of Groningen)
Transformative reading: the dynamic connection between early printed Bibles (1522-1546) and their readers
Referent: prof. dr. August den Hollander (VU)

14:45                    Didi van Trijp (Leiden University)
Marcus Élieser Bloch’s Fish Collection and the Politics of Preservation in Eighteenth-Century Europe
Referent: prof. dr. Wijnand Mijnhardt (UU)

15:45                    Coffee and tea

16:00                    Berrie van der Molen (Utrecht University)
Talking XTC: Tracing the discursive formation of ecstasy in current affairs programs on Radio 1
Referent: Dr. Alec Badenoch (UU)

17:00                    Anne van Veen (Utrecht University)
E is for Ethics? The Formation of Animal Experimental Committees in the Netherlands
Referent: Dr. Frans Stafleu (UU)

18:00                    Drinks




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 ( en aan het Huizinga Instituut ( 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.

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, Janskerhof 12, meeting room 0.02 (this is a changed location).
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 ( 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-Masterclass Grantley McDonald: ‘Negotiating orthodoxy: Erasmus and the theological implications of biblical philology’ (1 ECTS) – Amsterdam, 6 December 2019

Masterclass honouring the 40th Erasmus Birthday Lecture

Grantley McDonald: Negotiating orthodoxy: Erasmus and the theological implications of biblical philology

ReMa-students and PhD candidates can participate for 1 ECTS (for attending both the lecture and the masterclass). The Huizinga Institute will offer a certificate of participation afterwards. Please apply before 22 November via this link

Date & time: 6 December 2019, 12.00 a.m. – 2.15 p.m. (including lunch)
Venue: Trippenhuis Building, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1011 JV Amsterdam


While examining Greek manuscripts for his forthcoming diglot edition of the New Testament, Erasmus noticed something very odd in the first letter of John: the ‘Johannine comma’, a short clause on which western theologians had relied for centuries as the most explicit statement of the doctrine of the Trinity, was not present in his Greek manuscripts. He remarked on this absence in his annotations, but after his edition appeared, he was accused of undermining orthodox belief in the Trinity. When presented with a Greek manuscript containing the Johannine comma, he included it in a subsequent edition in order to avoid further controversy, a decision which only caused further dispute. Until recently, the source of the Greek manuscript in which Erasmus saw the comma has been unclear. Here we will explore the available evidence and present some conclusions.

Grantley McDonald is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford and leader of the FWF research project The court chapel of Maximilian I: between art and politics at the University of Vienna. He holds doctoral degrees in musicology (Melbourne, 2002) and history (Leiden, 2011). Grantley’s research has been distinguished with prizes from the Australian Academy of the Humanities (Canberra) and the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation (Amsterdam). He is author of Biblical Criticism in Early Modern Europe: Erasmus, the Johannine Comma and Trinitarian Debate (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016) and Marsilio Ficino in Germany, from Renaissance to Enlightenment: a Reception History (Geneva: Librairie Droz, in press), and co-editor (with Andrea Lindmayr-Brandl and Elisabeth Giselbrecht) of Early Music Printing in German-Speaking Lands (London: Routledge, 2018). He has been one of the editors of the Verzeichnis deutscher Musikdrucke (University of Salzburg) since its inception in 2012. He is also active as a performing musician.

Preliminary bibliography:
‘Erasmus and the Johannine Comma (1 John 5.7-8)’, Grantley McDonald, The Bible Translator 2016, Vol. 67(1) 42–55.

Fifteen promising young students at graduate level (MA students and PhD candidates) will be selected to participate in this Masterclass. In case you are interested, please apply before 22 November via this link.
N.B. We will inform you by 2 December whether you are invited to join the Masterclass. The public lecture by Grantley McDonald, Erasmus and the beginnings of English medical humanism, will take place later in the afternoon.

For more information, please visit the KNAW webpage. You may also contact Linda Groen,, +31 20 551 0727.


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);  11 June (12-20h) 2020 (note: not 5 June as previously advertised)
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.

Terugblik Masterclass Benjamin Schmidt: ‘Violent images, violence against images: the visual culture of violence in the in early modern period’ (23 March 2019)

Verslag Masterclass Benjamin Schmidt: De Brakke Grond 23 maart 2019

Het doel van deze masterclass was om een diverse groep studenten kennis te laten maken met elkaar en het werk van Benjamin Schmidt. Centraal stond hier Schmidt’s werk over de verbeelding van ‘exotisch’ geweld in de Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederland, alsmede zijn keynote-lecture tijdens het congres ‘Imagineering violence’, waarin Schmidt sprak over iconoclastisch geweld tegen christenen in vroegmodern Japan.

Van tevoren hadden alle deelnemende studenten (5 PhD’s, 7 ReMA studenten) een kort stuk geschreven over het werk van Schmidt. Hierin benaderden de deelnemers vanuit hun eigen expertise de thema’s van identiteitsvorming, verbeelding, en geweld. Dit zorgde voor een interessante mix van onderwerpen: executieliederen, de logica van geïllustreerde boeken, en de rol van geur in de verbeelding van imperiaal geweld in China.

Het eerste thema dat werd besproken was dat van de academische biografie. Schmidt legde uit hoe hij, afgestudeerd als literatuurhistoricus, zelf visuele en materiële bronnen in zijn onderzoek heeft geïncorporeerd. Verschillende studenten vroegen zich af hoe zij zelf, zonder achtergrond in kunstgeschiedenis bijvoorbeeld, toch andersoortige bronnen (beelden, objecten) in hun onderzoek konden gebruiken. Schmidt drukte de studenten op het hart dat ze zich niet moesten laten afschrikken door het feit dat sommige disciplines nogal territoriaal kunnen zijn. Studenten moeten de mogelijkheden aanpakken om bijvoorbeeld de collecties van musea te bekijken en te gebruiken om zo juist ervaring op te doen, en moeten vooral niet bang zijn om fouten te maken.

Na deze introductie werden de verschillende thema’s besproken die naar boven kwamen in de geschreven essays (paratext, Europese identiteitsvorming, etc.). Na deze inhoudelijke stukken (1 uur verder) werd er een korte pauze ingelast.


Het tweede onderdeel van de masterclass ging over de vraag hoe onderzoekers zichzelf moeten verhouden tot geweld als onderzoeksonderwerp. In hoeverre kan je jezelf verplaatsen in een onderwerp? Hoe zorg je ervoor dat bij een gevoelig onderwerp zoals geweld dat je niet het geweld herhaald door het te bespreken? Aansluitend hierop werd ook de vraag van Huizinga’s ‘historische sensatie’ opgeworpen. De student die executieliederen onderzocht had bij sommige liederen ook de melodie ontdekt; het zelf zingen van zo’n (gewelddadig) lied kan historische kennis verlenen over de lichamelijke aspecten van geweldsverbeelding (er werd bijvoorbeeld geopperd dat deze liederen in zo’n geval door een groep zouden kunnen worden gezongen, omdat dit in de vroegmoderne periode ook het geval was). Ook kwam de vraag ter sprake over Schmidt zelf ooit had gedacht aan het herhalen van historische handelingen – zoals de Japanse traditie waarbij zowel van Europeanen en Japanners werd geëist om Christelijke iconen met de voet te vertrappen om zo de loyaliteit aan de Shogun boven die van het christendom te tonen. De lichamelijke ervaring van het treden van bronzen iconen met de blote voet zou wellicht nieuwe inzichten kunnen verschaffen in de ‘embodied knowledge’ die centraal staat bij dergelijke handelingen. Hoe voelt het brons op de blote voet? Hoe hard kun je trappen voordat je niet de icoon ‘pijnigt’, maar juist jouw eigen voet?

Bij andere studenten was dergelijke kennis problematischer. Een van de deelnemers doet bijvoorbeeld onderzoek naar executies in de 16de-eeuwse Nederlanden. Zelf een executie bijwonen is echter van een geheel andere orde dan een liedje zingen. Tegelijkertijd werd ook opgemerkt door de deelnemers dat er genoeg landen zijn (waaronder de VS), waar executies geen deel van het verleden, maar van het heden zijn. De historische omgang met geweld vraagt dan, volgens Schmidt, altijd een constante (ethische) reflectie in het eigen onderzoeks- en schrijfproces – een aspect waar meerdere studenten vanuit hun eigen achtergrond (waarvan één bijvoorbeeld als antropoloog) konden meepraten.

De setting van De Brakke Grond voor de gehele masterclass had een grote meerwaarde. De masterclass zelf vond plaats op het podium van het theater van de Rode Zaal, waarbij een kring van banken en stoelen voor een informele en gemoedelijke sfeer zorgden. Ook waren op locatie enkele kunstwerken te zien die zijn gemaakt in het kader van het ‘Imagineering Violence’ congres. De lunch aan de afloop van de masterclass zorgde ervoor dat studenten de mogelijkheid hadden om na te praten en elkaar beter te leren kennen, en tevens om nog in gesprek te gaan met Schmidt. Op deze manier was de masterclass niet alleen nuttig voor kennisoverdracht en kennisdeling, maar konden zowel PhD’s als ReMa-studenten onderling nieuwe contacten opdoen.

Masterclass by Benjamin Schmidt: ‘Violent images, violence against images: the visual culture of violence in the in early modern period’ – 23 March 2019 (& 21 March Lecture)

Date:                  Masterclass: 23 March 2019 (& 21 March Lecture – time t.b.a.)

Time:                 10.00 – 12.30 h

Venue:              Brakke Grond, Vlaams Cultuurhuis
Open to:           ReMa-students and PhD candidates

Fee (non-members): n/a

Credits:             1 ECTS (available upon request)

Coordination:  Inger Leemans, Michel van Duijnen

Registration:   Maximum participants in masterclass: 15 (first come first serve base). Keynote open to all.

Register before 28 February 2019 via an email to 


Speaker: Benjamin Schmidt

Benjamin Schmidt is Professor of History at the University of Washington, Seattle, and author of several books, including the prize-winning Innocence Abroad: The Dutch Imagination and the New World, and the 2016 Inventing Exoticism: Geography, Globalism, and Europe’s Early Modern World.

Program: Keynote + Masterclass

Prof. Schmidt will present a keynote at the conference ‘Imagineering Violence’ on ‘fumi-e’, [‘stepping-on pictures] the symbolic iconoclasm that Europeans were forced to perform in early modern Japan. In particular, the keynote will explore the way in which such acts would have necessitated a re-performance of iconoclasm (in this case, literally stepping on icons) for Europeans in Japan.  It is clear that there were non-Dutch among the ‘Dutch’ in Deshima, including Catholics and Lutherans; yet it is also likely that Calvinists, too, would have had misgivings about the performance of iconoclasm. What were the material dimensions of such Asian-European encounters, and how did they influence this clash in attitudes over religious imagery and violence?

During the masterclass, participants will have the chance to relate their own research to the broader issue of the relationship between visuals and violence. Using the chapter on print culture and violence from Schmidt’s latest work, Inventing Exoticism, participants are invited to reflect on the ways in which early modern media grappled with the representation of violence, and how they positioned such representations in terms of geography, as well as religious and political identities.

Imagineering Violence Conference

The keynote is part of the two-day conference Imagineering Violence, which aims to analyze early modern techniques of representing violence and their transformations over time. In particular, the conference will cover the technical and performative aspects of the depiction of violence, whether in print or painting, on stage, in the anatomical theater, the scaffold, and elsewhere. What regimes of representing and staging violence can we trace? We assume that by zooming in on the concept of violence, we are forced to rethink traditional boundaries, between secular and religious realms, between East and West, between baroque and classical styles, between theatricality and spectacle, between the public and the private sphere.


  • day planning (incl. coffee and tea, and lunch breaks)

o   10.00 – 10.15   Ontvangst met koffie

o   10.15   Start Masterclass

o   12.30-13.30 Lunch at Brakke Grond

Preparation and proposed readings:

  • literature

o   General preparation: take note of the work of professor Schmidt

o   Read: Benjamin Schmidt, Inventing Exoticism, chapter 3.


  • preparation

o   Attend keynote lecture Benjamin Schmidt on March 21 (time/program to be announced shortly)

o   Write short essay (1-2 pages) on the connection between your research and Schmidt’s work, or more in specifically, on the theme of the masterclass. Formulate a question for professor Schmidt.

o   Participation in masterclass.

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. Please direct your request to and include the postal address you want the certificate to be sent to. Note: the certificate itself is not valid as ECTS, you  need to validate it yourself at your local Graduate School.


For more information on this masterclass and subscription, please see this page.

Masterclass – New Trends in the History of Reading

Date: 13 December 2018
Venue: Museum Plantin Moretus (Antwerp), Vrijdagmarkt 22, 2000
Open to: PhD students, (R)MA students
Credits: 1 ECTS
Coordination: Prof. Sabrina Corbellini (RUG) & Prof. Wim François (KUL)
Registration (before 1 December 2018): email to

The masterclass New Trends in the History of Reading aims at presenting and discussing with ReMa and PhD students the newest development in the study and reconstruction of reading activities in premodern Europe. After a presentation of new theoretical and methodological approaches, the lecturers will engage the participants into a discussion about the approaches selected within the framework of FWO-NWO research project “In Readers’ Hands. Early Modern Dutch Bibles from a Users’ Perspective” (2017-2021), making use of late medieval and early modern printed books from the Plantin Moretus collection.

Further Information:


Masterclass – Professor Yasmin Haskell

Masterclass honouring the 39th Erasmus Birthday Lecture

Yasmin Haskell: Passions for and of Learning in the Early Modern Period

Date: 9 November 2018
Time: 12:00 – 14:15 (welcome from 11:30)
Venue: Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29, Amsterdam
ECTS: 1 (participating in masterclass & public lecture + small assignment)
Open to: PhD candidates & RMa students
Further information

How were the emotions (/passions) harnessed in education and science in the early modern period and which emotions or temperaments were especially associated with scholars and scientists?

How did the emotional experience of the schoolchild/ scholar/scientist differ from that of earlier times, and how were the emotions perceived in different places and contexts to affect, hinder, or further learning or intellectual work?

Participants in this masterclass are invited to explore the emotions in the early modern classroom, academy, and Republic of Letters. From the genial melancholy of Marsilio Ficino to the melancholy hypochondria of the late Renaissance, from the vices of the learned lamented in the German-speaking lands to the occupational hazards of learning deplored by physician Samuel Tissot in his inaugural professorial address at the University of Lausanne, on the ‘Health of Scholars’. Topics might include curiosity, bibliomania, zeal for travel, ambition, pride, anger, excessive admiration for authorities… and sloth!


Fifteen promising young students at graduate level (MA students and PhD candidates) will be selected to participate in this Masterclass. If you are interested, please apply before 20 October via this online form of the KNAW. We will inform you whether your application has been successful before 1 November 2018. The public lecture by Yasmin Haskell will take place later in the afternoon.

Yasmin Haskell

Yasmin Haskell, FAHA, is Chair of Latin and Director of the Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition at the University of Bristol, UK. From 2003-2016 she was Cassamarca Foundation Chair in Latin Humanism at the University of Western Australia, Perth. She is a Partner Investigator (formerly Foundation Chief Investigator) in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions: 1100-1800.

Haskell has published monographs, articles, and edited volumes on neo-Latin poetry, the reception of classical authors, the Latin culture of the early modern Society of Jesus, Latin in the Enlightenment, and the history of psychiatry and emotions, including Loyola’s Bees: Ideology and Industry in Jesuit Latin Didactic Poetry (Oxford: British Academy and Oxford University Press, 2003), Prescribing Ovid: The Latin Works and Networks of the Enlightened Dr Heerkens (London: Bloomsbury, 2013), Diseases of the Imagination and Imaginary Disease in the Early Modern Period (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), (with Juanita Ruys), Latinity and Alterity in the Early Modern Period (Tempe, AZ and Turnhout: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and Brepols, 2010), and (with Raphaële Garrod), Changing Hearts: Performing Jesuit Emotions Between Europe, Asia and the Americas (forthcoming Leiden: Brill, 2018).

Preliminary bibliography

  • S. Kivistö, The Vices of Learning: Morality and Knowledge at Early Modern Universities, Leiden 2014.
  • P. Hummel, Moeurs érudites: Etude sur la micrologie litteraire (Allemagne, XVIe-XVIIIe siecles), Geneva 2002.
  • Y. Haskell, ‘Physician heal thyself!’ Emotions and the Health of the Learned in Samuel Auguste André Tissot (1728-1797) and Gerard Nicolaas Heerkens (1726-1801)’, in Henry Martyn Lloyd (ed.), The Discourse of Sensibility: The Knowing Body in the Enlightenment (Springer, 2013), pp. 105-24.

Assignment for 1 ECTS

Will be announced soon.