Research in the Centre for Historical Studies
The Centre is devoted to research on a wide range of aspects of historical investigation spanning from Classical Antiquity to our own time. Research interests are mainly focused on the cultural, social, political and economic diversity of Western societies, but also expand to the non-western world (notably South East Asia, Africa) and cover issues such as post-colonialism and transnationalism.
Three research groups facilitate interdisciplinary research on themes which are at the heart of current debates in historical disciplines and the wider society. Researchers operate interdisciplinary and international.
- ‘Sustainable societies: past and present’ studies forms and practices, arrangements, cultures and institutions which explain and contribute to the social coherence and sustainability of societies from antiquity to the present. It is unique in its endeavour to lay bare the historical and cultural roots of the present-day relationship between politics, state and society. It addresses explicitly the role of literary, artistic and religious culture in these processes alongside that of the more familiar political institutions.
- ‘Regions, Networks, Mobility’: research in this theme group is based on the idea that money, goods, news, knowledge and beliefs function and become meaningful in networks of exchange within or crossing borders. The complexity of the historical processes involved is addressed interdisciplinary, thereby challenging economic, social, cultural and political historians as well as other researchers in the arts and humanities and beyond to cooperate and develop new and exciting insights and interpretations. The theme is embedded in Groningen’s research strength in the history of regions and in the evolving new research area of the circulation of knowledge.
- ‘Thinking about History and Historical Culture’. The University of Groningen has a long and internationally recognized expertise in the metahistorical reflection of history and culture. The aim of this research group is twofold: to surpass the limits of one single historiographical perspective and to analyze human memory as it manifests itself in (auto-)biographical writing, historical products of individuals or groups that collect, record or write ‘their own’ history such as game designers, historical novelists and film producers.