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Medieval and Early Modern Studies (c. 600-1800)


This research cluster explores processes of cultural creation, reception and transformation within a wide range of societal contexts from the early Middle Ages until c. 1800.

The cluster focuses on diverse cultural expressions within their historical settings (including literature, art, architecture, manuscripts, books, performing arts) with a commitment to answer questions about their content, materiality and (continued) reception, as well as their roles in the transfer of knowledge and ideas.

The Medieval and Early Modern Cluster serves as the focal point for scholars within LUCAS who conduct research into the arts in society from the early Middle Ages through to the beginning of the modern period. It builds on the diverse expertise of its members – from early career scholars to leading experts within their field – to encourage the exchange of ideas and collaboration across disciplines and chronologies.  

LUCAS’ Medieval and Early Modern (MEM) cluster brings together expertise in the fields of art, literature and media. It focuses on the arts in society in Europe and beyond during a vast period of time, from the 7th through to the 18th centuries CE. Cluster members are united by their shared interest in understanding processes of transformation and continuity in medieval and early modern cultures. Thus, their research engages with some of the major changes and defining processes that have shaped our current cultures and worldviews, including the rise of universities, the transition from manuscript to print, the Protestant Reformation, the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment, and increasing globalization. 

Cluster activities

We organize

  • Monthly meetings
  • Once in two years a conference
  • Publication series
  • Collaborative Teaching
  • Medievalist Blog

Collaborations and partners

  • University Library – Scaliger Institute
  • Museums
  • Other clusters – Research Schools

Impact and valorization

  • We aim at preserving our objects of study for the future, and share them with a larger public, by publishing (digital) editions, organizing exhibitions, sharing our expertise outside Academia.
  • We reflect on the uses of the (medieval and early modern) past in the modern world.
  • Our research is important for the understanding of (current) collections, importance for libraries, archives, museums. Reflecting on the current organization and support for art & literature (patronage/mecenatism), on the (changed) role of art & literature in society
  • We are interested in important historical changes in our period and the repercussions for the present (religion, politics, education). The West and the Rest – colonialism – post-colonialism. History of the Humanities.
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