Universiteit Leiden

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Modern and Contemporary Studies (1800−Present)


The Modern and Contemporary Cluster is the largest within LUCAS and home to more than 100 staff members and PhD candidates. Hosting a diverse group of young and advanced scholars, it offers an especially fruitful and dynamic environment for interdisciplinary collaboration.

Research within the cluster encompasses a wide range of disciplines and fields: members adopt broad humanities perspectives, but also actively seek cross-pollination with the social sciences and integrate interdisciplinary approaches into their research and teaching. Scholars in this cluster collaborate closely with international scholars through research projects, network groups, and other international activities. They also work together with scholars from the other two LUCAS clusters on research themes and projects that span longer historical periods, from ancient or early modern to contemporary times.

Scholars affiliated with the Modern and Contemporary cluster at LUCAS are committed to connecting their research with ongoing social, cultural, and political debates and showcasing its social relevance and impact by building bridges with other organisations and partners in society. Many members maintain a high public profile: they collaborate with several national research schools, participate in public debates, write columns, and act as jury members for public prizes.

Research themes

Members of this research cluster conduct research that relates to one or more of these themes below. Each theme is distinguished by particular questions, thematic preoccupations, and methodological or theoretical perspectives, but evidently also overlaps and resonates with other themes. Members are also active within several research and reading groups and other projects and initiatives within the cluster, each of which is connected to one or more of the following themes.

Research in the cluster Modern Modern and Contemporary Studies (1800−Present) unfolds along six overarching thematic areas:

  1. Historicising Art and Literature
  2. Intermediality, Media Practices and Media Literacy
  3. Memory and Identity
  4. Mobility, Globalisation, and Interculturality
  5. Play and Media
  6. Politics and Aesthetics
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