Thematic Seminar Cities in motion: infrastructures and experiences of urban mobility (Europe, 1800-1970)
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleLET-GESB3202-CEH
Credits (ECTS)10
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Arts; History;
dr. A.M.G. Arnout
Other course modules lecturer
dr. A.M.G. Arnout
Other course modules lecturer
dr. A.M.G. Arnout
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. A.M.G. Arnout
Other course modules lecturer
dr. M.G.W. Reichgelt
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
PER 1-PER 2  (05/09/2022 to 29/01/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksAccessible to exchange students
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
After the successful completion of this course:

You will be able to conduct historical research under the supervision of the lecturer, which means that you can:
  • find, select and process relevant literature and historiography on a historical topic, in the form of a status quaestionis;
  • formulate a relevant, well-defined research question within the theme provided, and compose a research plan;
  • choose and apply a relevant research method;
  • conduct empirical research by means of finding historical source material in archives, libraries and/or databases; you are able to select, analyse and interpret those data
You will be able to
  • formulate and execute a research plan;
  • report orally about your activities in a convincing and scholarly manner;
  • report your findings in a scientific paper with a clear argumentation structure and adequate annotation, in correct English or Dutch;
You will be able to provide constructive feedback on the arguments of fellow students, and to process feedback from others in your own work.
Every day, millions of people travel through and between cities. From the pavements people walk on, from the asphalt roads they cycle or drive over and from the train and subway tracks that transport the trains, trams and metros they stand or sit in, most of the infrastructures and modes of mobility used throughout the world today came into being during the long 19th century.  During this century, in most cities throughout the world, there was an enormous increase in the overall amount of traffic, and in the variety of its participants. Around 1900 streets were populated by an increasing number of pedestrians, horses and dogs, carts, carriages and their drivers, (omni)buses and trams, bicycles, roller-skaters, cars, taxis and so on. The increase in traffic was accompanied by an ever-expanding infrastructure that was supposed to regulate and facilitate it: from pavements, asphalted roads and tram tracks, to train stations and parking buildings, to safety islands, road markings and traffic lights. 
            Facilitating the smooth circulation of goods and people in and between cities came to be a main priority for urban and national governments. New regulations were introduced, new materials and new forms of infrastructure, which altered the way the urban environment looked, felt, sounded and smelled. They also made for new emotional and sensory experiences. Human bodies encountered other humans, animals, objects, technologies and materials in new ways. They were required to learn new skills in order to navigate the urban environment, such as paying attention to new visual and auditory signs and comporting their bodies in new ways. As recent research has shown, this was a highly emotional process. This theme course seeks to explore how and why these modes, infrastructures and experiences of (urban) mobility shifted between 1800 and 1970.  
            We will explore the different strands of scholarship that have dealt with this question of changing (urban) mobility over the last 40 years and we will explore how new spatial, emotional, sensory and experiential perspectives might help us to gain new forms of knowledge. The first part of the semester will focus on reading and compiling relevant scholarship and exploring potential sources together. This will allow students to start exploring their own subjects towards the end of period 1, when they will formulate a research proposal, which they will continue to carry out during the second part of the semester. Classes during the second period will focus on methodology, writing and presenting. Different assignments  en cours de route (e.g. research proposal, presentation and writing sample) will build towards the end product: a scholarly paper of ca. 5500 words.


Presumed foreknowledge
Admission to themed lectures in B2 and B3 is contingent on successfully completing the courses, which are part of the writing and research skills track: RADAr: Academic Language Proficiency (NB:before 2020-2021 the Language Proficiency was part of History of Globalization ór Tutorage), Tutorage and Study Skills, Writing History.
See the Education and Examination Regulations (EER) 2022-2023.

Exchange students: Only admitted if you are in a BA-degree program in History (USA: majoring in History).
Test information
Paper: academic paper of ca 5500 words 
Portfolio: different assignments including research proposal, presentation and writing sample

Required materials
Via Brightspace
Publisher:Via Brightspace
Title:Writing History! A companion for historians
Author:J. Kamp et. al.
Publisher:Amsterdam University Press, 2018

Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Test weight30
Test typeProject
OpportunitiesBlock PER 2, Block PER 2

Minimum grade

Test weight70
Test typeProject
OpportunitiesBlock PER 2, Block PER 3

Minimum grade