About the programme for Research Master students

The Huizinga Institute – Research School for Cultural History’s curriculum is designed for graduate students in cultural history. It aims to provide research master students and PhDs with a coherent programme of courses in cultural history, with an emphasis on interdisciplinarity, method, and theory. Education at the School is divided into three strands:

  1. Thematic courses on interdisciplinary subjects for RMA students. With these modules, rotating every year, students can pursue their thematic interests or broaden their expertise. PhDs are welcome to participate when places are available. We offer 3 thematic courses of 5 ECTS each year.
  2. Summerschools, International courses, Masterclasses and Workshops (RMA students and PhDs). Tightly focused and intensive, these courses and activities are often (co-)organised by students. They allow them to delve into a subject with renowned experts in inspiring surroundings. We organise one summer school (5 ECTS), one international course (5 ECTS) and a minimum of 5 other activities (1-2 ECTS each) yearly.
  3. Core courses in cultural history (CC 1-3) for PhD candidates. Focusing on methods, theories and skills particular to the cultural historian, this programme aims to allow students to develop into all-round professional cultural historians. RMA students are invited to participate.

Furthermore, PhD candidates are expected, and RMA students encouraged, to participate in at least one of the Institute’s working groups. Working groups are ‘vertical’ groups, consisting of senior members and students with shared research interests in all phases of their studies. The groups, which are organised by students themselves, serve as reading groups, platforms for feedback, and breeding grounds for student-organised activities such as lectures and masterclasses (see also CC3 – Core Courses for PhD candidates).

Read more about each part of our RMA programme below or find our curriculum for 2020-2021 here.

Thematic Courses for RMA students

Thematic courses are designed for RMA students. They focus on varying, mostly topical, cultural historical subjects. Each year, at least three thematic courses are organized (15 ECTS). ‘Key Concepts in Cultural History’ is offered every year and ‘Heritage and Memory Theory’ every other year. The other theme courses are offered according to a rotating scheme, to facilitate optimal choice. PhDs are welcome to participate when places are available

A (non-exhaustive) list of our thematic courses:


ModulePointsCourse coordination
‘Key Concepts in Cultural History’ (offered every year)5 ECWillemijn Ruberg (UU)
Heritage and Memory Theory Seminar (offered every other year)5 ECIhab Saloul (UvA)
Gender, Sexuality and Generation5 ECGeertje Mak (KNAW/UvA)
History and Popular Culture5 ECRachel Gillet and Jochen Hung (UU)
Cultures of Reading5 ECArnoud Visser (UU)
Imagining the Self and Other5 ECYolanda Rodríguez Pérez (UvA)
Environmental History5 ECtbc
History of Knowledge5 ECtbc



Summerschools, international courses, masterclasses and workshops

Each year, the Huizinga Institute offers a Summerschool (5 EC) with a different theme, in collaboration with a different university. Furthermore, we offer an international course with a changing theme, co-organised with, and hosted by, the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (5 EC).

In addition to these larger courses, we offer several masterclasses and seminars that are often co-organised by students. Open to all graduate students, these activities are themed differently each year, responding to both current developments and topical interests and to students’ needs.

Core Courses for PhD candidates

 The CCs constitute the central programme for PhDs, but also offers learning opportunities for RMA students. RMAs are invited to participate in CC2 and CC3.


CC1: Positioning and designing your research

 During CC1 PhD candidates who have just started their project are introduced to the broad field of professional cultural history. In six sessions, they meet their peers and various inspiring experts to build their national network and reflect on the methods, theories and practices in the field, on interdisciplinarity, and the relevance of their own work. They learn to better position their project in a highly interdisciplinary environment, and to access experts and expertise that might be relevant to their project’s success. All in all, the course aims to help them fulfil the transition from being a student to a professional historian.

(short description – full version under ‘About the PhD programme’)

CC2: The cultural historian’s toolbox

CC2 focuses on concepts, sources, and methods in cultural history, with a pronounced hands-on element. It enables students to develop their methodological skills, based on their own research objects and interests. The course consists of small modules which alternate every year to ensure optimal choice. Only the reviewing course recurs every year. New modules will added over time, based on the interests and needs of our PhDs.

Each of the modules takes the form of workshop of three sessions, organised in cooperation with the Huizinga Research School’s partner institutions, such as the Rijksmuseum and the Huygens Institute. The modules are open to both RMA students and PhD candidates. In case of oversubscription, PhDs take precedence over RMAs.

Module PointsCourse coordination and partners
Memory studies2 ectsBarbara Henkes (RUG), Dienke Hondius (VU) and Susan Hogervorst (EUR).

Partners (tbc): KITLV, NIOD, Anne Frankhuis.

Material and visual culture2 ectsAnn-Sophie Lehmann. Partners (tbc): Rijksmuseum
Digital Text Analysis2 ectsHuygens Institute
Cultuurhistorisch recenseren2 ectsFloris Cohen

CC3: Cultural history in action

The CC3 course allows students (both PhD and RMA) to develop their interests and work on their professional competence. It consists of various activities, in different stages of their education. Each PhD participates in part 1 and 3 for 2EC. PhDs can additionally select module 2 to obtain 4 EC in total. RMA’s are invited to participate in part 1 and 2.

  1. Participation in Working Group

At the end of CC1, each PhD candidate selects a working group in which to participate. Within the working groups, which consist of both senior and junior members of the institute, recent work [in progress] is discussed. Also, the working groups initiate events that are of interest to their theme. Because active participation is expected, all students hand in a report on (a selection of) the activities of their group at the end of their second year. A form for this report can be found on the Institute’s web page. Should there not be a working group that suits a student’s interest, they can organise a new one for additional credits, provided that there is sufficient interest within the Institute.

  1. Organisation of cultural historical event or working group

Each PhD candidate should participate in the organisation of at least one cultural historical event or group. Organisational teams should consist of two to three students. Supported by the Huizinga office, they deal with the entire process, from conceptualisation and applying for financial support from the Huizinga Institute to making practical arrangements and hosting the event. In order to obtain the study points, students submit a brief final report to the office.

Organise Masterclass, workshop, or seminar: 2 ects

Organise Lecture: 2 ects

Organisation of working group: 2 ects

  1. Participation in Huizinga Symposium

PhDs are encouraged to participate every year. In their third year, they present their research (2 EC). RMa students participate at least once as auditors and write a short report on the symposium (1 EC).


Would you like to become a member of the Huizinga Institute? Find all information here.

Course registration policy

Members from other research schools are welcome to register for Huizinga Institute courses and activities. However, own members from the Huizinga Institute will have first access until a set date that is communicated in the course announcement. Students from other research schools will be placed on a waiting list. After the communicated date, free places will be offered to the students on the waiting list (in order of registration). Members of the Huizinga Institute that register after the priority date, will be added to the existing waiting list in order of registration. An exception is made for Huizinga RMA members who start their research master in February, since they missed the previous first access moment. They will be placed on top of the waiting list.


It is our goal to offer you stimulating learning opportunities with peers from different universities, in order to gather the 10 ECTS you are expected to gain at one of the Dutch National Research Schools. We ask our students to commit to a course, actively participate and, evenly important, to finish it. It would be unfortunate if the offered learning and ECTS opportunities are not fully used, since the availability is limited and a lot of our courses have waiting lists. Many thanks for your commitment!