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Huizinga Summer School 2015 – University of Groningen

Johan Huizinga: Cultural History, Material Culture and Biography

Date: 22-24 June, 2015
University of Groningen
Coordinator: Dr. Monika Baár (Groningen) + coordinator 2
Registration: PhD programme
Registration: RMa programme


2015 will see the 70th anniversary of Johan Huizinga’s death and the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Huizinga Institute. In order to mark these anniversaries, the annual summer school will be dedicated to Huizinga’s writings and it will also reflect on the relevance of his intellectual legacy in the contemporary academic word. Accordingly, the summer school will encourage students to enter into a ‘dialogue’ with Huizinga’s thought by embarking on a close reading of his work and by considering how his thoughts have resonated with new developments in the field: what have been the continuities and discontinuities in the trajectories of cultural history in recent decades? In order to facilitate this process, the reading for each session will include texts written by Huizinga to serve as a point of departure, and writings by contemporary scholars which will initiate the reflection on recent trends and developments in cultural history.

The Summer School will consist of two parts: a one-day symposium dedicated to Huizinga’s legacy, with contributions from Dutch and international scholars to be held on 22th June, 2015 and an educational component consisting of two preparatory sessions in Amsterdam in early June and two masterclasses which will take place on 23-24 June 2015 in Groningen.

Participation and assignment

Active participation is expected. ReMA students and PhD students will need to reflect on the work of others as well as on their own research. Assignments include scrutinizing articles, preparing assignments and an intervention. Participants will be provided with the material in digital format. ReMA students will complete the course by writing an essay of approximately 4000 words on a topic of their choice which relates to one or more themes of the summer school. These papers will be graded by the course coordinators.


5 ECTS. Certificates available upon request.

Preliminary programme

Preparatory sessions
  • Wednesday May 27, 2015. 13.00-17.00 – Prof dr Wessel Krul (RUG), foremost expert on the work of Johan Huizinga.
    Venue: Bungehuis, Spuistraat 210, Amsterdam – Room 4.01
    World and Image in Johan Huizinga’s Writings
    More information about the masterclass.
  • Thursday June 18, 2015. 13.00-17.00 –  Dr Eelco Runia  (RUG)
    Venue: Bungehuis, Spuistraat 210, Amsterdam – Room 4.01
    Not science, but life itself
    More information about the masterclass.

Monday, 22 June, 2015 Academy Building, Senate Room (Day School)
Broerstraat 5, Groningen

One-day symposium on Johan Huizinga’s Intellectual Legacy

The keynote speakers include scholars working on various fields, who will draw on Huizinga’s work in order to tackle both theoretical and practical issues related to the study of cultural history today.

Welcome and Coffee

Opening by Prof. Gerry Wakker, Dean of Faculty of Arts, and Prof. Michael Wintle (Academic Director Huizinga Instituut)
Chair Prof. Mineke Bosch/Prof. Raingard Esser

11.15 – 12.30
Prof. Peter Burke (Cambridge) – The Task of Cultural History in the 21st Century
lecture and discussion


13.30 – 14.45
Prof. Wessel Krul (RUG) – Form and Play in Huizinga’s Conception of History
lecture and discussion


Prof. Catrien Santing (RUG) –
Johan Huizinga’s Artistic Talents and (his Way of) Doing History
lecture and discussion

Round Table with Prof. Mineke Bosch (RUG), Prof. Christoph Strupp (Hamburg), Prof. Lodi Nauta (RUG), Prof. Michael Wintle (HI/UvA)

20.00-21.00: Optional evening program: Stroll along the footpaths of Huizinga’s life and the students masquerade in Groningen.


Tuesday 23 June 2015 Academy Building (AM) and Groninger Museum (PM)
Broerstraat 5, Groningen / Museumeiland 1, Groningen


a master class conducted by Prof. Peter Burke (Emeritus Professor of Cultural History, Emmanuel College, Cambridge)
‘Exiles and expatriates in the history of knowledge: the case of historians’.

The masterclass will reflect on the following question: How do historians choose the topics that they write about?  For personal reasons, or as a response to the debates of their own time?

Required reading:

  • E. Labrousse, Bayle (OUP, Oxford and New York,1983).
  • Peter Burke,The Age of Braudel’, in The French Historical Revolution. The Annales School 1929-89 (Polity Press, Cambridge), pp. 32-64.

Recommended reading:

  • Eric Hobsbawm, Interesting Times


“The Historical Sensation”: Huizinga and the Groningen Masquerades
conducted by Dr. Egge Knol, curator of the Historical Collection in the Groninger Museum, Dr. Marta Kargól, Fashion and dress researcher, and PhD Student Rozemarijn van de Wal (RUG)
(For all Summer School participants and BA students)

Wednesday 24 June 2015 Groninger Archieven (AM) and Menkemaborg (PM) (Day School)
Cascadeplein 4, Groningen / Menkemaweg 2, Uithuizen


“Things in Lives”: Commonplace Objects in History

Keynote Lecture: Dr. Sara Pennell
‘Mundane Materiality: or should small things be forgotten?’
respondent Prof. Hans-Peter Hahn (Frankfurt)

Presentation and discussion of students’ objects of choice with Dr. Sara Pennell

Presentation ‘Things in Lives’
PhD student Caroline Vreeling and Prof. Mineke Bosch present the sketchbook of the Feith House, by Louise Feith (1911/12) as an object to be studied.

Lunch (and transfer to Menkemaborg)

Visit to the 18th century mansion Menkemaborg,
guided tour and lecture by Prof. Yme Kuiper (RUG) followed by dinner

19:30 return to Groningen