Utrecht (Utrecht University), Netherlands

Dutch Culture in European Context

when 3 July 2017 - 11 August 2017
language English
duration 6 weeks
credits 12 EC
fee EUR 2725

This special track offers you the opportunity to study European and Dutch culture from one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of The Netherlands; the city of Utrecht. Excursions will take you from the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the European Parliament in Brussels, to The Hague and Amsterdam where you will visit the seat of the Dutch government and see paintings by Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

A special track consists out of a number of courses, which have been successfully combined in the past. Registering for a special track is more convenient than for each course separately and it also often results to substantial discount.

During the first two weeks you will analyse Europe’s cultural pluralism and its varied identities that still exist today. The topics we will study, will help you to understand the complicated structure of Europe and may shed some light on the motives for integration as well as the obstacles on the way to European unity. Lectures will focus on the history, social and economic structures, culture, and current political and social debates within the wider European community. In light of these last topics we will organize a field trip to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the European Parliament in Brussels.

After two weeks students will focus more specifically on the Netherlands and Dutch identity. Students will be introduced to the rich cultural traditions that the Netherlands developed from the Dutch Golden Age to the present day in painting, literature, poetry and filmmaking. The two courses on the Netherlands will be devoted to specific themes, a theme for each week, of which the first will be Dutch identity and history. The lectures that will give you insight in the distinctive historical periods of Dutch history. Topics that will be discussed are the productive Golden Age of the 17th Century, as well as Dutch-American relations or Dutch traditions of tolerance and accommodation. The second theme (week 4) will give you the historical context of the preceding topics, and you will be introduced to the cultural expressions and traditions that support the Dutch in their claim to international fame as a cultural nation. During excursions you will visit some of the most world renowned paintings of Rembrandt and Van Gogh.

We then will proceed with the third theme, society. Lecturers will discuss the most characteristic institutions and arrangements of Dutch society such as the welfare state and the polder model. You will learn about the real role of the windmills, but also about other factors that contributed to the economic success and international orientation of the Netherlands. Finally, we will end with the theme of ‘contemporary Issues’. Topics discussed are the contemporary religious diversity and secularization, immigration and integration and Dutch traditions of cooperation reflected in the Peace Palace and the International Criminal Court. This course includes a full day excursion to The Hague, including a visit amongst others to the Dutch Parliamentary building (Binnenhof).

You will experience an intensive six-week programme with lectures and seminar groups. Together with other students you are expected to work on group presentations and assignments.

Course leader

Dr. Jaap Verheul

Target group

The programme is open for participants from all disciplines, although the course will focus on the humanities and social sciences.

Fee info

EUR 2725: course fees + materials + housing