This course offers a survey of early modern cultural history, focusing on a number of relevant topics. Cultural persistence and cultural change are considered as complex processes connected to a concrete historical context. Specific attention is paid to topics which received ample attention during the last decades: the theoretical framework (with attention for the problem of elite and popular cultural and the relationship with other disciplines from the humanities), communication and culture (with specific attention for the role of and interplay between different modes of communication), the relationship between culture and relgion (with specific attention for the problem of reformation, disciplining and confessionalisation), and the way the Old World perceived the New World (and vice versa). All these topics are elaborated and analysed by using recent and relevant articles assigned by the teacher. The classes are conceived an active discussion platform.
This class also tries to realize an international collaboration with the Jagiellonian University of Krakow, Poland. There will be a lecture given by prof. Rafal Szmytka, and at another occasion, prof. Szmytka will come to Antwerp with his Polish students. This is an opportunity to organize a joined Antwerp-Polish class in which mixed groups of Antwerp and Krakow students work together around articles assigned in advance. Furthermore, the reader of this course will contain a number of articles dealing with the cultural and religious history of early modern Poland or Krakau.