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 programme, take a look at their research profiles.

Thematic research groups

Literary scholars participate 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 the Literary Studies 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 research group Research in Education in Arts, Culture, History and Literature (REACH-Lit) focuses on teaching and learning in literature, arts and culture, and heritage, from primary to higher education. We look at teaching and learning practices, teaching materials, classroom context, and school organisation to better understand education in the humanities.

SCARAB: Studying Cultural Infrastructure and Reception Across Borders

The researchers united under the heading SCARAB focus on reception and infrastructure both within specific national cultures as well as across the boundaries of national cultures. Reception and infrastructure are viewed as ‘bearers’ of literary culture in particular, and as ‘instruments’ in the production, dissemination and consumption of (literary) culture over the centuries. As such, the SCARAB research group builds on an established research tradition at the Faculty of Arts in Nijmegen. Research focuses on the theory and practice of reviewing, the (inter)national reception of both individual writers and artists as well as cultural movements, and on break points in reception in general. Both contemporary and historical developments in cultural infrastructure are studied, with a focus on processes of (international) cultural transmission and on the role played by various institutions in the cultural field.

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.


Master’s thesis topics in Literary Studies

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:

  • Classicism under Justinian. A study of Justinian's classicising policies in the fields of literature, legislation and military conquest.
  • The early transmission of Sappho's songs as reflected in the ancient sources.
  • Performing the past, staging the future: memory, modernity, and (inter)nationalist identities at the Dublin Gate Theatre.
  • Austen: the next generation. Modern reworkings of Pride and Prejudice and the quest for new audiences.
  • Lolita - ethiek, lezer & effect. Een cognitief-narratologische analyse van Vladimir Nabokovs Lolita.