Netherlands, Amsterdam

Conservation and Humanities: Objects as Evidence

when 11 July 2016 - 22 July 2016
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 10 ECTS
fee EUR 1000

Examining historical objects in Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum
Researchers often find themselves without dependable written sources; the only information available to them is contained within historical objects themselves. In this summer programme, students will be led through a series of object-driven examinations of pieces from the Rijksmuseum collections by a team of researchers, curators, conservators and scientists from the Rijksmuseum and the Rijksmuseum Conservation Department, the Conservation Department of the University of Amsterdam and the Bard Graduate Center in New York.
This method of gathering information from the objects allows us to ask more profound questions about the humans who made and used them. Humanities-based graduate students will emerge from this programme with a unique set of tools and perspectives for conducting research in material-based cultural history.

Course leader

Coordinator; Sylvia Nijhuis

Target group

This course is primarily aimed at students of history, art history, archaeology and anthropology, but other humanities students interested in questions of cultural heritage may apply. Master's and PhD level are preferred. Selection of applicants is based on academic achievement, relevant work experience and commitment to the field of conservation and research.

Course aim

At the end of the course, students will:
be aware of the potential that objects of cultural heritage have as historical evidence;
have a basic understanding of the material traces left by the making process, use and conservation of objects of cultural heritage;
understand the basic principles of analytical techniques used to investigate objects of cultural heritage;
be able to formulate relevant historical questions that can potentially be answered by investigating objects;
be able to a basic understanding and if necessary redirect the research questions asked by conservators and technical analysts

Fee info

EUR 1000: The Tuition fee includes: classes, access to course materials on Blackboard, site visits, UvA student ID card, orientation package, and certificate of attendance.


U21/LERU Partial Scholarship
If your university is a member of the Universitas 21 network and/or LERU network then you may be eligible for a partial scholarship of € 500. You must also be a current student at that university when you apply for the summer

Register for this course
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