Universiteit Leiden

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Research programme

Medieval and Early Modern (600−1800)

This research cluster aims to analyse and interpret the creation, function, dissemination, and conservation of medieval and early modern culture by exploring the relationships between cultural products (texts, objects, practices) and their societal and historical contexts.

Geert Warnar

Europe underwent radical changes in religious, intellectual, political, and cultural arenas between 600 and 1800. These changes include, for example, the advancement of the natural sciences, urbanisation, Humanism, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, developments in painting, architecture, arts, and crafts, and the introduction of an art market. These transformations were accelerated by increasing lay literacy, the growth of universities, the use of the vernacular alongside Latin, and the invention of the printed book and image. Each of these factors contributed to more intense participation by the laity in a scholarly culture that was once almost exclusively clerical.

Our Medieval and Early Modern research cluster investigates the creation, function, dissemination, and conservation of the cultural products (texts, objects, practices) of medieval and early modern society. We take an an interdisciplinary approach; LUCAS members conduct innovative research on diverse topics ranging from the interactions between literature, visual arts, architecture, and their audiences, to the dissemination of words, ideas, aesthetics, and material objects within, and beyond, the European world. Over one thousand years of culture is explored within this cluster, spanning virtually all of Europe. Moreover, research and teaching engage with a number of fields, including Art History, Book History, Literary Studies, and several historical European languages.

LUCAS members in this research cluster participate in a number of national research schools, and regularly develop and integrate new methodologies (including Digital Humanities) into their studies. Many projects hosted by LUCAS enjoy NWO funding and are characterised by dynamic collaborations with other scholars and institutes, both in Leiden and further afield.

Connection with other research

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