All research done by students of the Master’s in Historical Studies will be supervised by a researcher at the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH) in Nijmegen. RICH focuses on the dynamics of the interconnected world from historical, cultural, literary and artistic perspectives. Researchers from a variety of humanities disciplines collaborate in thematic groups to explore the cultural practices, beliefs, ideas, texts, networks, and infrastructures related to the dynamics of an interconnected world. As a Research Master's student, you choose to join one thematic research group and take part in its discussions, meetings, and activities. 

For additional information on the instructors of the RICH Research Master's, take a look at their research profiles.

Thematic research groups

Art and cultural scholars take part in many of the thematic RICH groups. Although all the groups could be of interest to you, our experience is that the following groups generate a lot of interest among Art and Visual Culture students:

Critical Humanities

This research group proposes to think critically about our methods, labour, and public role as scholars in the Humanities. How can we form compelling rationales for the humanities in neoliberal societies concerned with “real-world” applicability? How can we strengthen ties between the academic and nonacademic worlds? How can our training and toolkits as scholars help us not only problematise urgent social issues, but also help us imagine new futures and possibilities? This research group will focus on these and related questions with the aim to explore how critical analysis can be relevant beyond academic interests.

Memory, Materiality and Affect

Practices of cultural memory have received significant scholarly attention over the past two decades and constituted a major track of research at our Faculty as well. Building on the conception of memory as a performance of the past that is both embodied and mediated, the research group Memory, Materiality and Affect studies performances of memory by focusing on their material, affective, and transnational dimensions.

The Ancient World

The Ancient World group made it its goal to take care of the disclosure and publication of literary and non-literary texts and remains of material culture. Additionally, the group aims to study the processes of the formation and transmission of culture and perform historiographical analyses and reception studies of the ancient world.

Colonial Relations and Structures

The multidisciplinary group - consisting of researchers in Arts & Culture Studies, Art History, American Studies, History and Literary Studies - aims to increase societal knowledge about colonial relations and structures in past and present societies. Our research focuses on continuities and discontinuities of colonial relations, structures, interactions, and imaginaries. We aim to include the agency and knowledge of (formerly) colonized peoples in our research and narratives.


Master’s thesis topics in Art and Visual Culture

For their Master’s thesis research, students can work together with researchers from one of the RICH research groups or choose a topic in a related area. A small sample of thesis topics that have been researched in this programme:

  • Understanding the Post-Pompeian Era: Wall painting in the Roman Empire (AD 79-395)
  • Crime in a Nordic Space: The Production of Space in Forbrydelsen
  • William Marlowe in his time: an eighteenth-century view painter rediscovered
  • Unravelling the Fabrics of Time: A New Materialist Perspective on Slow Fashion Becomings
  • Spatial Constructions. The Expression of Identity in Three Delegated Performances Staged Outside the Gallery Space, 1994-2017