Solidarity and Togetherness

Premodern Masterclass for Research Masters and PhD students

1 (afternoon)-2 July, 2014, University of Groningen

National Research School for Medieval Studies

National Research School in Classical Studies : OIKOS


Project Description:

“Solidarity and Togetherness. Forms, ideals, rituals, rhetoric and institutions of community

ethos” is part of a three-year collaborative project in the field of premodern studies,

initiated by scholars at the Faculty of Art of the University of Groningen. It seeks to explore

the concept of “Sustainable Citizenship: Origin, Shape and Practices of Civil Society and Civic

Experiences in Premodern European Traditions”. It is the aim of this programme to

investigate how the western history of civic experience can be employed to promote

knowledge of and reflection on the role of the citizen in past and present societies. This

Masterclass for Research Masters and Ph.D. students addresses broad research questions.

We would like to challenge the participants to cross their disciplinary boundaries and

chronological specialization. Together we want to explore historical experiments and

organisations, but also rituals and ideals of togetherness, which forged bonds and thus

solidarity at local, regional, national and transnational levels in past societies.



We, premodern historians and literary scholars, are convinced that strategies developed in

difficult times to adapt to and to learn from transformations, and to find sustainable

alternatives to ensure a functioning community are no recent phenomenon. Studying the

past – and in particular studying premodern societies – offers valuable insights and

alternative solutions for the tackling of today’s problems. It provides us with an inventory of

past experience in the coming into being of community spirit and an ethos of responsibility

for the Common Good of society


Participants read four short articles, (two theoretical, two case studies). Before the

Masterclass they sent a written essay to the organizers, (max. 4 pages) in which they express

their view on the possibility of studying S & T with a relevance for present day problems.

These essays end with four points of discussion (one for each speaker) which address the

aims of our project.


We cordially invite participants from art history, law, literature, philosophy, religious studies

and other relevant disciplines


Credit points: 1 ECTS


Information and registration: Cora Zwart M.A.,

Costs: € 30 (for coffee, lunch, dinner and excursion). We can help you to find




Federico Botana (Queen Mary, University of London),

“Works of Mercy in Late Medieval Italy”


Sabrina Corbellini (University of Groningen)

“Solidarity, Morality and Europe according to Ju rgen Habermas”


Catrien Santing (University of Groningen)

“Larry Siedentop’s individual and the coming into being of Western

Liberalism. Togetherness and the ideal of (moral) equality”


Michael Sommer (University of Oldenburg)

“Social and political cohesion in the Roman Empire, vertical and horizontal".