nl en

War and Peace


Admission requirements

You have received your propaedeutic diploma within one academic year and your academic results are good (indication: 7,3 average). Students who meet the criteria may apply for a place in the Humanities Lab.


After a war has come to an end, nations, societies and individuals have to make the transition towards peace. Crucial in this process is the question how we deal with the violent events in the past. In this course we will look at how memories of war are produced and represented, and what their functions are.

Memory of war can be individual, but also belong to a culture, a nation, or to other kinds of group or minority identity. Questions which will be central in this course, are the following: What exactly is memory, how is memory produced? For which political or ideological processes can representations of memory be used? How does memory relate to experience? How does traumatic memory relate to “normal” memory? What is is the effect of new media archives on memory culture? And how is memory produced in societies in transition towards peace? What can they do in the peace-making process? These questions will be dealt with by means of a combination of theoretical texts, literary texts, art and films. Every week a guest will come and tell us about his or her research in the field of memory.

After six weeks, you will be familiar with some basic concepts and issues in Cultural Memory Studies, and start your own research in a case of Cultural Memory from your own country, background or area of study, and write an academic paper on your findings.

Course objectives

After finishing this course, you will:

  • Understand the theory of memory vs. historiography.

  • Be able to analyze cultural (re-) constructions and representations of war.

  • Be able to draw conclusions on the functions and effects of cultural memory of war, using the appropriate theory.

  • Be able to set up a research into cultural memory and write an academic paper about it.


Courses of the Humanities Lab are scheduled on Friday afternoon from 13.00 to 17.00. For the exact timetable, please visit the following website.

Mode of instruction

a. Plenary lectures
b. Seminars
c. Excursions
d. Literature study

Course Load

140 hours

Seminars: 7 ×4 hours 28 hours Reading for class preparation: 48 hours Writing three assignments: 24 hours Writing and revising of paper: 40 hours### Assessment method

a. Individual assignment: 1 paper: 2.500 words/ 3.000 words
b. Individual assignment: Presentation
c. Three Individual written assignments on the reading material.

The final grade is an average of these three grades. All three exams need to be passed with a 5.5 min.

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the final essay. Contact the course lecturer for more information.



Reading list

We will read works on Cultural Memory by Ernst van Alphen, Jan Assman, Andreas Huyssen and others. They will be made available through Blackboard.


Students of the Humanities Lab will be registered via uSis by the administration of the Humanities Lab.


Instructor: Mw. Prof.dr. Y van Dijk
Humanities Lab:
Office: e-mail
Phone: 071-527 2228 or 071- 527 8039


If all participants of this course are Dutch native speakers, this course will be taught in Dutch.
More information: website.