Research Seminar: Curing and curating crises: A transhistorical perspective​
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleLET-GESM4309
Credits (ECTS)10
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Arts; History;
dr. S. Boodts
Other course modules lecturer
dr. S. Boodts
Other course modules lecturer
dr. S. Boodts
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. S. Boodts
Other course modules lecturer
dr. L. Foubert
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
PER 1-PER 2  (05/09/2022 to 29/01/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
This course helps you develop your abilities in primary text analysis and deepens your understanding of broad historiographical and methodological problems in the study of pre-modern perceptions of collecting and display. You are familiarized with cultural historical, material culture, sociological and anthropological models for studying historical movements in the ancient and medieval eras. As a result, at the end of the course, you will have:
  • learned to analyze and contextualize a variety of historical evidence (e.g. literary texts in edited and manuscript form, archaeological records, and art historical sources).
  • learned to recognize changes in the significance of texts and objects when they are used in other contexts than those they were originally intended for.
  • developed the capacity for close analysis of sources through the use of relevant theoretical frameworks related to transhistoricity.
  • learned how to communicate research results to a learned community of both scholars and non-scholars.
  • mastered how to report the decision-making process of a creative project, how to defend the choices you made, and how to value your skills for future research environments.
The topic of this research seminar is market-driven. In recent years, so-called transhistorical exhibitions have become increasingly popular in museums worldwide. Instead of organizing an exhibit according to traditional categories (such as chronology, style, genre), curators choose to bring together objects from different time periods and cultural backgrounds. This transhistorical lay-out invites the viewer to discover surprising connections and to attribute new meanings. Many museums – in the Netherlands and elsewhere – are in a stage of transition, leaving behind their ‘traditional’ design and implementing a transhistorical approach in their permanent as well as temporary collections instead. Because of this emerging change, museums and cultural institutions are in need of academic graduates in history or art history, who are trained in the transhistorical approach. In this course, you will be introduced to the concept of the transhistoricity on the level of theory as well as practice. Specifically, we will approach the covid-19 crisis that has dominated the news in 2020 through a transhistorical lens.

Crises like the covid-19 pandemic have rocked society since time immemorial and historical research can teach us much about the way in which people respond to crises. You will explore how ‘curating’ objects can help societies to ‘cure’ crises and how the viewer plays a material role in attributing meaning to an object or text. You will bring together the results of these explorations in an exhibition of your own and a research paper that goes with it.


Presumed foreknowledge

Test information


Required materials
To be announced

Instructional modes

Test weight60
Test typeProject
OpportunitiesBlock PER 2, Block PER 3

Minimum grade

Test weight40
Test typeProject
OpportunitiesBlock PER 1, Block PER 2

Minimum grade