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Dive into medieval, early modern and modern history of Europe

European Urban and Cultural History

The minor European Urban and Cultural history will teach you about the history of Europe, with the Netherlands and Amsterdam and other large European cities as special case-studies. This minor is for you if you want to learn about Dutch and urban history in the European context.

Courses have different set-ups. Amsterdam: A Historical Introduction and Dutch History in European Context are introductory courses, taught in period 1, September - October. These courses are theory-based. 

The other courses are seminars, taught in period 2, November-December. You study and discuss scholarly literature and make varied assignments. Moreover, in most courses, you will experience history in excursions on foot and by bike in Amsterdam, both guided by teachers and in small student groups. Only the courses on Emotional History continue in Period 3, January.

Overview courses

  • Amsterdam: a Historical introduction

    This course introduces urban history and urban studies concepts and theories by applying them to Amsterdam and by drawing comparisons with other cities, focusing on the period 1000-2000. 

    Here we deal with questions like: How did towns develop? What plans existed for city development and who decided about choices? What were and still are characteristic buildings? What can urban public space be, how do we use and experience it, how is it designed and constructed, and how is it transformed? Who migrated to towns and who lived where?

    We have lectures and readings and explore Amsterdam on city tours on foot and by bike weekly. The written exam is in October, the resit in December  (oral) and January (written).

  • European Cultural History

    The long-distance covered by humanity has resulted in the world we are in today. Throughout the past, people and movements have worked towards offering the world a different face. Without the close study of that past, much of the present world cannot be understood. This course presents a concise overview of the major episodes in European cultural history, from Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages to early modern, modern and contemporary history, thereby highlighting the links with art and culture.

  • Amsterdam: Jewish Culture

    The image of Amsterdam as a ‘Jewish City’ – Mokum – has become strongly connected to the city’s identity. In this interdisciplinary seminar you will study when and how this image took root and in how far this reflected the historical development of the city’s Jewish communities. This course includes excursions to Jewish heritage.

  • Dutch Literature and Culture of the Golden Age

    In this course, you will acquire an in-depth knowledge of the literature and culture of the Dutch Golden age – the age of Rembrandt and Vondel – and study original texts and artworks.

  • Decolonizing Europe: History and Memory

    The course focuses on the impact of European imperialism on the dynamics of nation-state formation starting from ‘postwar’ Europe. You will study the political developments after the Second World War and how they had their influence on culture.

  • History of emotions (literature)

    The history of emotions is a booming field of interest amongst historians. During this course you explore how emotional cultures were shaped by the increasingly complex societies of urbanizing Europe in the early modern period. 

    This is a level 200 course.

  • History of emotions (research)

    This is the research variant of the course History of emotions (literature). Students of this course have classes together with students of History of Emotions L_GABAALG004. Extra tutorials and individual feedback will guide them through their research projects.

    Please contact the teacher about the set-up.

    This is a level 300 course.

Amsterdam: A Historical Introduction

The course 'Amsterdam: A Historical Introduction' introduces urban history and urban studies concepts and theories by applying them to Amsterdam and by drawing comparisons with other cities, focusing on the period 1000-2000. In this video, a brief look into the course is provided.