This course involves learning how to make new discoveries that will contribute to a better understanding of historical events and processes that shape societies.
Our views of past events shape, and give meaning to the present. The research Master’s in Historical Studies brings history researchers together with literary, art and cultural experts to construct critical histories of both the past, and the present. We recognise that historical enquiry has important transformative potential not just for our ideas about the past but also for present day societies. We also recognise that to validate our interpretations, we have to look beyond our own discipline. That is why our programme has a strong international element and a connection to the other humanities. You’ll gain insight into general humanities methods and theories as well as those specific for historical studies. This will greatly benefit your own research and future contributions to scholarly and social debates.
The programme welcomes students with interest in all fields of historical research, but our own research primarily focuses on Europe and ‘its worlds’, including how Europe interacts with and differs from the rest of the world. Our research examines the full range of periods from antiquity to the present day. All of our research is performed in collaboration with scientists from other fields within the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS). We are joined in thirteen themed research groups.
- There is a strong focus on academic training in historiography methods and theory: you’ll learn how to use current conceptual tools and techniques for organising historical evidence as well as how to sift through and analyse a large number of important primary and secondary sources for your research. - In your first year, you take several courses with students from the other HLCS research Master’s in Literary Studies, and in Art and Visual Culture. This unique construction will allow you to view your own field from the perspective of the other humanities. - A personal tutor will guide you throughout the entire programme. He/she will give you advice on how to tailor our programme to best suit your interests, act as a sounding board for your research ideas, and help you make the right connections in the academic arena. - You’ll receive thorough preparation for eventual PhD research, including the writing of a publishable scholarly article and a proposal for a PhD project. - This programme strongly encourages you to go abroad for at least a semester. Students can use our connections to other universities (IRUN network) and research institutes to find a place that meet their academic interests.
Our research in this field
Any research done by students of the Master’s in Historical Studies will be supervised by a researcher at the Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies (HLCS) in Nijmegen. HLCS research focuses around the theme Europe and its Worlds and questions whether ‘Europe’ consists of different ‘worlds’ (in terms of culture and social conditions). Research looks at how it is addressed, how it differs from the rest of the world, and how it interacts with other parts of the world. Researchers from a variety of humanities disciplines collaborate in thirteen different thematic groups to explore the spaces, cultural practices, beliefs, texts and ideas related to Europe and its World.
- Thematic research groups There is a historian in almost all of these thematic groups. Although all the groups could be of interest to a historical researcher, our experience is that the following generate a lot of interest among the Historical Studies students:
- The Making of War. History and Memory of Crisis, War and Recovery This group focuses on research to critically map, describe, and evaluate the dynamic and comprehensive meaning of World War II to Europe and the world.
- Repertoires of Representation This group studies the historical variations of political representation, articulation and presentation.
- The Ancient World This group focuses on Greco-Roman Antiquity and its influence on later Western and Eastern cultures.
- Tourism, Travel and Text The research of this group looks at the traveller/tourist, the act of travelling itself (the journey), and the travel destination (conservation or even creation of heritage in relation to the destinations of travel).
Master’s thesis topics in Historical Studies: For their Master’s thesis research, students can work together with researchers from one of the HLCS research groups or choose a topic in a non-related area. A small sample of thesis topics that you could research in this programme: - The Pope under Pressure: Papal Propaganda during Times of Severe Crisis 1494-1549 - The Dutch Communist Party and the question of Apartheid. Analysing the CPN’s position in relation to South Africa’s Apartheid and the anti-Apartheid movement in the Netherlands - Christian Suburbs: Conceptions of Constantinople’s Religious Topopgraphy at its Limits, 330-1204 - Dogmatic democracy. Direct elections for the European parliament debated, 1958-1961 - 'Komt voor de deur op straat'. A spatial analysis of eighteenth-century Amsterdam violence
Academia and beyond
This programme is primarily intended to prepare its students for an academic career, in particular as PhD researchers. About half of our graduates find such a position in the Netherlands or abroad. The other half also often find academic positions with research orientated duties. Examples include: - Researcher at a cultural or scientific organisation or research centre - Assistant of a senior researcher - Teacher at an institution for higher education - Policy-making official in the fields of culture and science - Editor in the field of historical or cultural scholarship - Staff member of a publishing company or and text agency, usually with regard to scientific, historical or cultural journals - Curator of a cultural heritage institution or in the museological sector - Consultant for a political party