Current projects - a selection

RICH involves society in her research in various ways. Below you will find a selection of our projects with societal impact.

Research in public space - Waalpaintings, street art of historical events in Nijmegen

Start project: October 2020
Estimated duration: 3 years
Initiators: Erika Manders & Dennis Jussen, RICH historians
Parties involved: Radboud Institute for Culture and History (RICH), Studio Hartebeest, Gemeente Nijmegen


Project description
The city centre of Nijmegen betrays little of what happened in the past. Who knows that residents of Roman Nijmegen served as bodyguards of the Roman Emperor Nero? Or that a Byzantine princess lived at the Valkhof for years in the tenth century? Waalpaintings takes historical knowledge to the city centre through a collaboration between researchers from RICH, artists, and external partners. By representing scientific historical knowledge of different time-periods in the public space, RICH brings the university to the city again.

At fifteen locations in the centre of Nijmegen, murals will illustrate an important historical event or period in the city's history. There is a strong connection between the location and the theme of each mural. The narratives of the murals are based on the ‘Canon van Nijmegen’, developed by Radboud’s historians back in 2009. Historians of RICH will introduce information, stories and images concerning each theme. Based on that, different artists portray different episodes of Nijmegen’s history.

The murals will become windows into the past. Not only for people with an interest in science and history, but for everybody passing by. Freely accessible, artistically exciting, and hopefully stirring up curiosity for the narratives behind the paintings. Next to that, the project is developed as an initiative made possible for and by the people of Nijmegen. Per mural the initiators are looking for sponsors and funds, from private citizens to companies or (public) institutions, to give the city ‘ownership’ of these fifteen paintings. In this way, RICH involves the city and its inhabitants in the creation of the series and tries to inspire both citizens and tourists alike (especially in corona-times) by means of art and history.

A walking tour will connect the murals. Via QR codes linked to the project’s website, those interested can learn more about the historical stories of the murals and the artistic process of the artists. The historians will develop an educational project for schools in the region based on the murals.

Citizen science - Gone with the Wind: what's your story?

Start project: November 2020
Estimated duration: couple of months
Parties involved: Radboud Institute for Culture and History (RICH)

Project description
The Americagone_with_the_windn film classic Gone with the Wind (1939) is still regularly shown in theaters or on TV worldwide. But the screening of the film also provokes discussion. Last summer, the American streaming service HBO Max pulled the film classic over concerns about the portrayal of black characters and the subject of slavery. Not much later, the film was shown again at HBO, but provided with an additional introduction by the African-American film scientist Jacqueline Stewart, who places the film 'in its various historical contexts'.

An opinion article by Liedeke Plate, professor of culture and inclusivity, about the film generated reactions from people who also wanted to share their experience with the film. Together with colleagues Marcel van den Haak and Selina Bick, Plate has now started a short-term research project to investigate why the film keeps getting the attention, but also how people use the film whether the book may have come to appreciate differently over time.

Citizen science
The investigation requires public help. The researchers have created an online questionnaire, in which interested parties can tell their story. By collecting lots of stories, the researchers hope to be able to draw clearer conclusions. In addition, with this research the researchers aim to create knowledge about ‘citizen science’ as the production of scientific knowledge from the standpoint of individual lives and media encounters.

Research on assignment - book about the Dutch political Party PPR

Start project: November 2020
Estimated duration: 1 year
Parties involved: Radboud Institute for Culture and History (RICH), Center for
Parliamentary History (CPG), Catholic Documentation Center (KDC), University of Groningen (professor Gerrit Voerman)

Project description
The Radical PoliticAfsplitsing_van de_Radicalen_uit_de_KVP-fractie_verklaring_van_kamerlid_Jacques Aarden (1968)al Party (PPR) was founded on April 27, 1968, by Christian radicals who had split off from the Catholic People's Party (KVP) and to a lesser extent the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP). In the period from 1971 to 1989, the party was represented in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Between 1973-1977 the PPR was part of the Den Uyl cabinet. In 1991 the PPR merged with a number of other parties to form GroenLinks. (source:

Although the PPR has played an interesting role in more than two decades of Dutch politics - with a focus on major themes such as social inequality, security, and the environment - no extensive study has ever been published on the party. When former party leaders held a remembrance meeting in honor of 50 years of PPR in 2018, the desire arose to do something about it. Material about the PPR is stored in the archives of the Documentation Center for Dutch Political Parties in Groningen (DNPP) and the Catholic Documentation Center in Nijmegen (KDC).

In November 2020, RICH, in collaboration with the Center for Parliamentary History (CPG), the KDC, and the DNPP, accepted the assignment to work on the creation of a public-oriented collection about the PPR. Various historians will delve into the material available about this party. In doing so, they will also explicitly try to link the major social themes of the PPR to comparable issues in the present. Together, these analyzes will lead to a public book of 100 to 150 pages that is expected to go to the printer at the end of 2021.