Research Programs and Projects

prof. dr. Susan LegĂȘne

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On the right side of this page you can select a recent or ongoing research program or project of the History Department or of organizations affiliated to this department.

Research profile

The historians in the Faculty of Humanities focus on the key concepts of attribution of meaning, the formation of power, and globalization. The research focuses on the interaction in the course of time between:

  • attribution of meaning: how people attach meaning to the world around them
  • formation of power: the ways in which people join together and mobilize resources to achieve certain goals and how they anchor their influence in institutions
  • globalization processes: how and how far cultures, societies and physical environments in different parts of the world become interconnected.

The faculty has five ordinary chairs of history: Cultural history, Political history, Economic and Social history, Medieval history and Non-western history. There are endowed chairs in the fields of History of government finances, History of Protestantism, and Labour and Migration.

There is particular expertise in the following areas: culture, religion, communication, education and science, politics and social studies, gender, ethnicity and identity, the environment, economic institutions, and historical theory. From a geographical point of view a fairly wide area is covered. Not only is a broad knowledge of Dutch and European history available, but also a broad knowledge of the history of other parts of the world, including in particular East and Southeast Asia, Africa (East Africa, Morocco) and the Atlantic region. Some VU historians take part in the interfaculty research institutes CLUE and VISOR. Most form part of the interfaculty research institute currently being formed, Culture & Values (C&V). C&V is coordinated by the Faculty of Arts.