Social and Cultural History combines two historiographical trends:
1. Social History, which focuses on the history of all societal groups.
2. Cultural History, which explores the behaviour and cultural expressions of said groups.
Social and Cultural History is interdisciplinary in character and regularly combines social history with social geography or economic history, and cultural history with cultural anthropology. Both have a transcending approach as regards time and area of expertise. This approach manifests itself in topics such as ‘The Rise of the West’. However, Social and Cultural History can also focus on shorter time spans. The UvA is the only university in the Netherlands with such a combined specialisation.
The research of Social and Cultural History is geared among others towards:
The period explored varies from the late middle ages to the twentieth century, with special emphasis on the seventeenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Researchers have a close relationship with the International Institute of Social History (IISG) and the Amsterdam City Archives. They also participate in the (inter)national networks of urban historians, as well as the N.W. Posthumus Institute (which is an interuniversity partnership for social and economic history).
Lecture themes include global history, urban history, civil society, capitalism, reading clubs, economic elites, fin-de-siècle, revolutions, drug use and the prevention thereof, leisure time activities, the construction of public space, globalisation and the global positioning of the Netherlands.
Apart from compulsory courses of the Master’s programme, such as History Master Atelier, students also participate in seminars of their choosing in the field of Social and Cultural History.