Select Page

RMA Thematic Course ‘History of Knowledge’

Course Desciption

During the last decades, the historicity of ‘knowing’ has become the focus of interdisciplinary historical study. What counts as ‘knowledge’ and who can be regarded knowledgeable greatly varies over time and place. Debates about such questions signal social and cultural tensions and changes. Knowing is no longer understood as the competency of male elites and not limited to learned institutions. As a field, history of knowledge evolved out of cross-pollination between history of science, of art, technology, and so on, as well as an integration of social and cultural history in general. Central are efforts to historicize concepts like science, technology, art, religion and develop broad and inclusive perspectives on knowledge practices. In particular for the early modern period, history of knowledge has created exciting dynamical perspectives.

This course introduces you to the main historical and historiographical questions and topics. The lectures address such themes as practical and material knowing, global circulation, politics of knowledge. Some maintain that ‘history of knowledge’ lacks a proper demarcation because everything can be regarded as ‘knowledge’. In this course you are invited to look at your own field of study from the perspective of ‘knowledge’. In the final paper you address a history of knowledge theme in your master work, engaging with a historiographical debate from the course.

The general format is a 3-hour seminar session with an introductory lecture, presentations and a class discussion. All participants are expected to:

  • Attend all sessions and read the texts seriously
  • During each session teams of two or three participants give a presenation relating their own work with the session topic.
  • Write a 3000-word report.


Credits & Certificate

Certificates of participation and credits will be issued after the event. The 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.

Dates and location

  • Friday 1 April 14.00-17.00, Utrecht University, Drift 25, room 103
  • Friday 8 April 14.00-17.00, Utrecht University, Drift 25, room 103
  • Friday 22 April 14.00-17.00, Utrecht University, Drift 25, room 103
  • Friday 29 April 14.00-17.00, Utrecht University, Drift 13, room 003
  • Friday 6 May 14.00-17.00, Utrecht University, Janskerkhof 15a, room 204
  • Friday 13 May 14.00-17.00, Utrecht University, Drift 25, room 102


This course is fully booked. Please contact the Huizinga office for a spot on the waiting list.

Register (0/27 spaces left)

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