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Material Culture (5 ECTS)

This course will be dealing with various kinds of material culture as sources for knowledge and research.

A basic premise is that material sources are of the same level of relevance as other kinds of sources, like written sources. As with all kinds of sources the reliability of elements of material culture is a fascinating topic that will be discussed. Various kinds of material sources will be discussed and analyzed, varying from images to archaeological remains, and from liturgical objects to architecture. Material in Utrecht will be visited and discussed and confronted with scholarly interpretations of material elsewhere, for example in Rome.


  1. prof. dr. Lex Bosman (University of Amsterdam): a.f.w.bosman@uva.nl
  2. prof. dr. Sible de Blaauw (Radboud University Nijmegen): s.deblaauw@let.ru.nl
  3. dr. Wendelien van Welie-Vink (University of Amsterdam): W.A.W.vanWelie-Vink@uva.nl

Final learning outcomes

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  • define and employ key terms in the study of material culture
  • articulate the methodological implications of material culture research for your field of enquiry
  • have experience of applying object theories to the analysis of specific objects, practices or sites
  • show initiative in creating an original research project


  • Research proposal  (24 April)        10%
  • Presentation           (8 May)           30%
  • Final paper             (5 June)           60%

Course schedule

There will be five meetings in Utrecht, 14.00 - 17.00h.

16 April: Medieval Studies and Material Culture. Approaches from three disciplines
Location: Drift 25, 103
Teachers: Lex Bosman, Wendelien van Welie, Sible de Blaauw

24 April: Liturgy in books and objects
This session will be at Museum Catharijneconvent, Lange Nieuwstraat 38.
[Reading to be announced]
Teacher: Wendelien van Welie

1 May: Archeology and architecture at the Dom square
[Reading to be announced]
* submit a proposal for your paper
Location: Drift 21, 104
Teacher: Lex Bosman

8 May: presentations by students
Location: Drift 21, 104

13 May: guest lecture
+ final remarks
Location: Drift 21, 104

5 June: final date to submit your paper! Email your paper to all three teachers.

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