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Workshop ‘The Longue Durée Perspective’


How do you do longue durée history? This workshop aims to bring together historians who apply a longue durée perspective in their research or are contemplating starting a longue durée project. It primarily focusses on the particularities of doing longue durée research and invites the participants to reflect on their methods and share their best practices. Some questions that are likely to be explored are: How to select a strong corpus of sources? How to recognise and study (dis)continuity? And how much contextualisation is enough?

The workshop is led by Annelien de Dijn, Professor of Modern Political History at Utrecht University and author of the longue durée history and award-winning book Freedom: An Unruly History (2020). She will give the participants a unique glimpse into the making of her book and share some concrete examples of how she has applied a longue durée perspective. The workshop is organised by Anne Por and Edurne De Wilde (PhD candidates at Leiden University)

The aim of this interactive workshop is to give researchers an opportunity to exchange thoughts about longue durée history with an expert and learn from each other.


13.30-15.00: Opening

Round of introductions including shortly addressing the prepared questions (see preparatory assignment below)

 The possibilities and limitations of longue durée history

Discussion of the assigned texts

15.00-15.30: Break

15.30-17.30: Longue durée expertise

Annelien de Dijn on the making of Freedom: An Unruly History


17.30: Drinks


Readings (will be made available by the Huizinga Institute)

 Armitage, David. “What’s the Big Idea? Intellectual History and the Longue Durée.” History of European Ideas 38, no. 4 (2012): 493-507.

De Dijn, Annelien. “Introduction: An Elusive Concept.” Introduction in Freedom. An Unruly History, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2020.

Preparatory assignment

We ask all participants to prepare their answer(s) to the following questions: Have you come across practical issues in your own longue durée research? How did you deal with or solve these difficulties? Or, what type of problems do you think you might encounter?


ECTS are not standard issued after this workshop. We do however offer the option of participating for 1 ECTS with an extra assignment. Are you interested in participating for 1 ECTS? Please inform the Huizinga Institute via to receive more information on the extra assignment.

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