Research projects

Department of Arts and Culture Studies

Artistic Exchange Project

This research project seeks to investigate the artistic exchanges that took place between the Dutch Republic and the Southern Netherlands between the years 1572 and 1672. We wish to gain insight into the circulation of artistic knowledge and examine how culture was transferred. Therefore, this project will examine how changes and innovation in the visual arts occurred as a result of ‘foreign’ influences caused by the mobility of artists (producers), the art trade (products), and exchanges of artistic knowledge (ideas). The project will enable us to point to the origins of the shared (cultural) heritage of both the Northern and Southern Netherlands, and perhaps more importantly, shed light on the complicated but fascinating process of cultural transmission in European History.

Cultural Classification Systems in Transition. The Social Valuation of Cultural Goods in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, 1995-2005

This research programme aims to both clarify and qualify the changes that have occurred in the classification of cultural products in different Western societies in the past 50 years. The comparative study of cultural classification systems - that is, the ways in which members of particular societies classify cultural products and develop corresponding rules of behaviour and practices - constitutes a very challenging, emerging field of research. It can greatly improve our understanding of the social nature of artistic valuation processes and practices, and, moreover, it can shed light on underlying, broader processes of social and cultural change.

Community Museums Past & Present

The research peformed in this project focusses on integration processes and the interaction between political and museological agendas; about the evolution of the canon from tangible to intangible heritage; and about new exhibition techniques and ICT applications inside and outside the museum. All these developments converge in the community museum and will redefine it in the 21th century.

Globalisation and Cultural Heritage

Up until 1945, collecting and preserving cultural heritage in public or semi-public institutions such as museums, archives, libraries, listed monuments, and archaeological sites was an activity carried out largely in the West. In the last twenty years, developments in communication and transport have made cultural heritage available to a world public.

This proposal will analyse and clarify recent global developments in cultural heritage and its institutions, on both a macro- and micro-scale. The connection between globalisation and cultural heritage will be analysed in two separate publications: a monograph on fundamental theoretical and conceptual aspects of globalisation and cultural heritage, and a dissertation on cultural tourism in the Black Atlantic and its implications for heritage institutions in Africa and the Caribbean.