Curriculum 2017-2018: Course units for PhD and ReMa students

Netherlands Research School for Medieval Studies


1. Academic year overview

Although many course units are intended for both PhD and ReMa students, some are specifically aimed at one of these categories. The overview below states for which category of students each activity is intended. More information about the structure of the programme can be found at the bottom of the list. More information about exact dates (where necessary) will follow. When registering, please state the following:

PhD students: University, topic of PhD project, supervisor, work address

ReMa students: University, 1st or 2nd year, e-mail address, home address


15 September 2017

For PhD and ReMa students (1 ECTS)
“Alternative Facts and the Middle Ages“ (Workshop Theory and History of the Field)
Venue: Utrecht
“We are living in medieval times” – Donald Trump. The Research School's introductory activity to the new academic year is a workshop that focuses on the booming catchphrase 'alternative facts.' All interested scholars are welcome to participate but especially all new members (ReMa, PhD, and up) of the Research School are expressly advised to join to become acquainted with each other and existing members of the School. You can register with the organization (Pieter Boonstra, RUG; Nathan van Kleij, UvA; Theo Lap, RUG; Mark Vermeer, UU) through
Deadline: 1 September 2017.
Further information:


4 October 2017
For PhD and ReMa students (1 ECTS)
“A History of Rhythm: Historical Anthropology and Medieval Studies”
Masterclass with Prof. Jean-Claude Schmitt (EHESS, Paris) and Dr. Babette Hellemans (RUG).
Venue: Groningen.
Please register before 15 September 2017 with
Further information:


17-20 October 2017
For PhD and ReMa students (2 ECTS)
“Editing Medieval Texts. Techniques, opportunities and Challenges”
Autumn School in Medieval Languages and Culture 2017, Henri Pirenne Institute Ghent, collaborating with  the Netherlands Research School for Medieval Studies. There will be a maximum of 20 participants.  The registration costs are waived for the Schools’ PhD and ReMa students participating in this course as part of their degree programme. They  write a short paper.
Venue: Ghent.
Application deadline: 10 September 2017.
Further information:


27 October 2017
For PhD students (1 ECTS) and ReMa students (1 ECTS)
23rd Medieval Studies Day: “Representations of East and West in the Middle Ages”
Venue: Nijmegen
Coördination: Prof. Maaike van Berkel/RU, Prof. Johan Oosterman/RU  and Prof. Paul Bakker/RU.
The annual Medieval Studies Day brings together Dutch and Flemish medievalists so that they can share information about recent developments in the field. A permanent feature of the event is a series of presentations by PhD students who are in the early stages of their research. (Please send in  proposals before 15 September 2017 to  ReMa students write a short paper. (Please register via
All participating medievalists are required to register before 17 October 2017 via
Further information:


8 November 2017
For PhD students (4 ECTS)
“Netherlands Research School for Medieval Studies: Third PhD Conference”
Venue:  Utrecht.
Conference for advanced PhD Students. Provisional dates (to be determined in consultation with the participating PhD Students).
During the conference, each of the participants will hold a presentation on his or her research (30 min.). This will be followed by a response from a referee. Interested parties (for example, ReMa students) are welcome to attend, although as audience and not as participants.
Conference Language: English.
Further Information:


December 2017-January 2018
For ReMa students (5 ECTS)
Course unit “Material Culture"
Venue: Utrecht
This course will be dealing with various kinds of material culture as sources for knowledge and research. A basic premise is that material sources are of the same level of relevance as other kinds of sources, like written sources. As with all kinds of sources the reliability of elements of material culture is a fascinating topic that will be discussed. Various kinds of material sources will be discussed and analysed, varying from images to archaeological remains, and from liturgical objects to architecture. Material in Utrecht will be visited and discussed and confronted with scholarly interpretations of material elsewhere, for example in Rome.
Five sessions (11.00-15.00 h): 1, 8 and 15 December 2017, further dates in January 2018 to be announced.
Lecturers: Prof. Lex Bosman/UvA , Dr. Andrew Irving/RUG and Dr. Martine Meuwese/UU
Please register before 1 October 2017 with


14 December 2017
Workshop "Medieval Bookbindings"
For PhD and ReMa Students (1 ECTS)
Introduction into the materiality of the medieval book.
Instructors: Dr. Karin Scheper (workshop) and Prof. dr. Erik Kwakkel (essay).
To receive 1 ECTS, students will read two secondary sources and write an essay of 1000-1500 words.
Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden, 14 December 2017, 1-5 p.m.
Please register no later than 4 December 2017 with


2 February 2018
For PhD en ReMa-students (1 ECTS)
Workshop “Current Research on Manuscripts and Printed Books 650-1600”
Second Graduate Conference in Book History.
Venue: Utrecht.
Participating PhD and ReMa students write a short review article on the papers given at the Conference to obtain 1 ECTS.
Registration and further information (deadline 15 January 2018): see


12-13 February, 2018
For PhD and ReMa Students (2 ECTS)
“Gregorian Chant : An Introduction” – Prof. Harald Buchinger (Univ. Regensburg)
Venue: Groningen
Further Information:
Please register with before 1 February, 2018


March – June 2018
Course unit “Introduction to the Study of Communication, Literacy and Knowledge and their Exploitation in the Middle Ages”
An advanced course unit covering the current state of affairs in the field of medieval communication, literacy (including orality, visuality and musicality) and various forms and traditions of knowledge.
Coordination: Prof. Marco Mostert/UU
8 sessions, alternately in Utrecht and Groningen (23 March, 6 April, 4, 18 and 25 May, 8 and 15 June). The final class, on 22 June, will be held in Deventer at the Athenaeumbibliotheek.
Further information:
Please register before 16 March 2018 via


26 March 2018
“Premodern Reading Cultures”
Utrecht Centre for Medieval Studies Seminar 2018
For PhD and ReMa students affiliated to the Netherlands Research School of Medieval Studies (1 ECTS)
Location: Auditorium, Museum Catharijne Convent (Lange Nieuwstraat 38, 3512 PH Utrecht)
Further information:
Please register with before 19 March 2018 (stating your membership of the research school)


29 March 2018
For PhD and ReMa Students  (1 ECTS)
"How to make money in the business of books"
Masterclass by Prof. Andrew Pettegree (University of Saint-Andrews, Scotland)
Venue: Utrecht
Further information:
There are 25 places available (first-come, first served basis).
Please register by sending an e-mail to  before 16 March 2018 (stating your membership of the research school)


March 2017 (CANCELLED)
For PhD students (1 ECTS)
Workshop: “Text Variation”
During the workshop, participants will work on textual material that they have contributed themselves. The purpose of the workshop is to give examples, using the contributed material, of the registration, classification and evaluation of text variants.
Lecturers: Prof. August den Hollander/VU and Prof. Sabrina Corbellini/RUG
Venue: Amsterdam.
Please register before 1 January 2018 via

13 April/30 May 2018 (3 ECTS)
For PhD and ReMa Students
Course unit “Gothic Book Scripts 1100-1500”
Instructor: Prof. dr. F. (Erik) Kwakkel/UL, Scaliger Chair
Course schedule: 7 sessions in April-May 2018 (dates: Fri 13/4, Fri 20/4, Wed 25/4, Wed 9/5,  Wed 16/5,  Wed. 23/5, Wed 30/5)
Time and Location: 1-5 pm; Leiden University Library.
Course reading: purchase Albert Derolez, The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century (Cambridge: CUP, 2003 or other edition); additional literature will be read.
The main aim of this seminar is to introduce students to the most prolific book script used across Europe and the British Isles from the end of the eleventh to the end of the fifteenth century: Gothic book script. This seminar course will i) Investigate the various stages in the development of Gothic book script, so as to help students date undated writing specimens; ii) Highlight regional variants that emerged, so as to help students localize manuscripts written in Gothic script; iii) Introduce offspring scripts, including the early book cursive and the hybrid scripts of the later Middle Ages. In addition, the course aims to develop the students’ ability to describe paleographical features and their development in a quantifiable manner, which is key to studying the temporal development and regional variety of the Gothic book hand.
Please register as soon as possible, but no later than 1 February 2018, via
Further information: Prof. Erik Kwakkel (


April – June 2018
For 2nd-year ReMa students (5 ECTS)
Course unit  "International Medieval Studies"
Research in Medieval Studies has become international in nature. Irrespective of the topics they study, medievalists are in contact with one another across national and continental boundaries. The trend is towards projects which are funded ever more often internationally. International projects in which participants from various countries take part are quickly becoming the norm. International congresses, such as the yearly gatherings at Kalamazoo and Leeds, are gaining in importance as venues for trying out new ideas, and for networking generally. Although publication in the medievalists’ mother tongues remains important, the results of their research need first and foremost to be brought before the international forum of their fellow scholars. In practice this means publication in English, e.g. in peer-reviewed journals, in conference proceedings, and in monographs. This course is meant as an advanced introduction to the internationalisation of Medieval Studies. Students will discuss their experiences with this ever-developing situation, its challenges and opportunities. The course is recommended for all Research MA students in their second year who wish to embark on a scholarly career in Medieval Studies.

Students will be given the opportunity to experience the Leeds International Medieval Congress (2-5 July 2018) at first hand. They will present the findings of the research which went into their Research MA theses in papers of 20 minutes. Because proposals for sessions at the Leeds IMC 2018 must be received by the end of September 2017, please inscribe for this course by 10 September at the latest, giving a provisional title for the paper you wish to present, to
Coordination: Dr. Rob Meens/UU.  Exact place and time to be announced.


20 June 2018
For 2nd-year PhD students (3 ECTS)
Course unit “Foundations of Own Research”
For PhD students half-way through the second year of their research. As a basis for discussion, all participants write a paper (approx. 5000/6000 words) on one or more of the main problems they are encountering in their research (e.g. methodology, source selection, the nature of the problem definition, etc.).

Coordination: Prof.em. Peter Raedts/RU and Prof.em. Paul Wackers/UU
Place: Utrecht.

Please register no later than 17 April 2018

Further information


June 2018 (POSTPONED)
For PhD students (3 ECTS)
Course unit “Working with Medieval Sources”
This course unit gives students the opportunity to see a large number and diversity of medieval sources from up close, and teaches them how to approach these sources. The focus is on how various disciplines deal with the sources that are important to them, which answers they look for in these sources and the results that a thorough examination of a source may yield. The course unit will be taught in the form of a five-day block at a location to be announced.
Additional information:


2. Structure of the programme


Course units for ReMa students

ReMa students must choose 10 ECTS  in  individual course units over a period of two years, from the annually changing range of approximately 20 ECTS presented in the overview above.  Please note that some course units are only open to 2nd-year ReMa students.


Course units for PhD students

PhD students must follow a basic programme that comprises 12 ECTS, spread out over three years. The components of this programme are listed in the overview above.


Workshop: Theory and History of the Field          1 ECTS

Course unit: Working with medieval sources       3 ECTS

Course unit: Foundations of Own Research        3 ECTS

PhD Conference                                                       4 ECTS

Medieval Studies Day                                              1 ECTS


Total                                                                        12 ECTS



Extra activities



In addition to the above programme, the School usually holds a number of ad hoc Masterclasses, depending on the availability of interesting ‘Masters’ to teach them. Each Masterclass is has a student workload of 1 ECTS.



If a number of PhD and/or ReMa students are interested in a specialist course in a certain field, they may ask the School to provide such a course. This will mainly concern skills courses. Each Workshop has a student workload of 1 ECTS.



Practical matters

Although many course units are intended for both PhD and ReMa students, some are specifically aimed at one of these categories. The overview above states for which category of students each activity is intended. 

Language: teaching is usually in English and/or Dutch, depending on the material and the participants.

The student workload in ECTS of certain components may be raised if the workload is increased.