Select Page

Huizinga Summer School 2022: ‘Applied Cultural History’

Since recently, Applied History has (re)emerged as an umbrella term for historical research aiming to have direct impact on today’s society. Advocates of applied history argue, more particularly, that much historical research can and should have a significant impact on the ways in which policy makers, politicians, consultants, journalists, scientists and activists define, understand, try to solve and intervene in societal challenges of today. Not only by encouraging them to reflect on various dimensions of time and change (thinking in time), but also by broadening their perspectives (lateral thinking), by critically interrogating their own historical assumptions and analogies, and, traditionally, by learning from best practices and failure paths from the past. Historians, they suggest, have an essential role to play in advising experts to carve out alternative scenario’s and solutions for today’s future.

What is and could be the added value of and for cultural history and cultural historians in this respect? What could today’s policy makers and other experts learn from our expertise in studying historical patterns of meaning making; discourses, narratives and images; cultural transfer and appropriation; emotions, senses, bodies; space and place; intersecting identities and identification, and so forth? What can we, on our turn, learn from them to better understand the past? And: what are the limitations and risks of the increasing focus on societal impact in doing cultural history?

The 2022 Huizinga Summer School (3 ECTS) aims to familiarize PhD candidates and Research Master students with current debates, strategies, practices and challenges of Applied History, with the particular goal to systematically explore the significant impact cultural history has to offer.

The program of our three days workshop will consist of various components:

  • What is Applied History and what could it be? Recent debates in the Low Countries and beyond.
  • Reading and discussing recent case studies of applied history (e.g. Journal of Applied History, History and Policy, learning histories).
  • Huizinga staff members telling about their personal experience with applied cultural history.
  • How to create societal impact: discussing advices and best practices from NWO and NWA (Dutch Scientific Agenda).
  • Huizinga alumni in cultural history (ReMa/PhD), who will reflect on their daily added value in e.g. policy making, consultancy, activism etc.
  • Collective exercises to (re)define and address major challenges of (post)covid society, climate crisis, institutional racism, housing crisis, political polarization etc.
  • Collective exercises to (re)define and address more specific topics from more specific clients.
  • Reframing your own thesis as starting point for an innovative applied cultural history project.
  • Professional training with training actor to convince sceptic professionals about your added value as a cultural historian.
  • Creating a new, joint agenda for cultural applied history in the Low Countries and beyond.

For this Summer School we hope to attract PhD candidates and ReMa students who aspire to develop a critical and creative position in current debates and practices of applied/cultural history and to develop the field in new, inspiring directions.

Lecturers: prof.dr. Jan Hein Furnée, prof.dr. Lotte Jensen, dr. Harm Kaal, and more lecturers to be announced.

Fully booked? Contact the Huizinga office for a spot on the waiting list ( 

Register (0/25 spaces left)

This course is fully booked. For a spot on the waiting list, contact