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Masterclass – David Armitage (Harvard University)

The History Manifesto

Date: Wednesday May 13 2015
Time: 10.00-12.30
Venue: UvA, Bungehuis 1.01, Spuistraat 210 Amsterdam
Open to: RMa students and PhD candidates (Huizinga, OPG, OZS Mediëvistiek)
Organisers: Inger Leemans (VU) and Matthijs Lok (UvA)
Information: huizinga-fgw <>
Note: This event is fully booked, please send us an e-mail with your name, university and research school. We will put you on our waiting list.

David Armitage will also give two public lectures on the 11th and 12th of May. More information about the lecture on May 11th can be found on More information about the lecture on May 12th can be found on

Masterclass David Armitage

In economics, politics and even history, we are haunted by the “ghost of short-termism”. In their History Manifesto, David Armitage and Jo Guldi make a strong plea for a return to long-term thinking in history, and the importance of historical perspectives for contemporary society. The future of history lies in the longue durée: “big is back.”

11-13 May, professor Armitage will be in Amsterdam for two public lectures and a masterclass for PhD Candidates and Researchmaster Students. His first public lecture, on May 11, (hosted by UvA) will cover the global history of ideas. His second public lecture (hosted by KNAW), on May 12, will encompass a debate about the history manifesto.

In this masterclass, participants will engage in a discussion with professor Armitage on the History Manifesto, on the role of longue durée in history, and on the global history of ideas.

David Armitage is the Lloyd C. Blankfein professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at Harvard University. He is an expert in the fields of both intellectual history and international history.

He was born in Britain and educated at the University of Cambridge and Princeton University; before moving to Harvard in 2004, he taught for eleven years at Columbia University. A prize-winning teacher and writer, he has lectured on six continents and has held research fellowships and visiting positions in Britain, France, the United States and Australia.

David Armitage is the author or editor of fifteen books, among them The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (2000), which won the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award, The Declaration of Independence: A Global History (2007), which was chosen as a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year, Foundations of Modern International Thought (2013). His articles and essays have appeared in journals, newspapers and collections around the world and his works have been translated into Chinese, Danish, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, with others soon to appear in Dutch, Greek and Turkish.


  • Jo Guldi and David Armitage, History Manifesto (Cambridge MA, 2014). Available online at:
  • David Armitage, ‘What’s the Big Idea? Intellectual History and the Longue Durée’, History of European Ideas 38, 4 (2012) 493-507.


Participants are required to have attended at least one of prof. Armitage’s lectures (see above). They are also required to prepare for and actively participate in a discussion on the History Manifesto. In addition, participants are required to write a short essay (max. 500 words) in which they connect their own research to the work of professor Armitage. The short essay should end with a question for professor Armitage.