Masterclass Enenkel & Ottenheym

The Search for an Appropriate Past

Date: 19-30 May 2016

Deadline for applications: 15 January 2016

This masterclass aims to unite scholars from different disciplines in order to map out the various strategies used in the period c.1400–1700 to construct an appropriate past in art, architecture and literature, and to examine how this past was used in the creation of ‘national’ or local identities in Europe. The historical eras used in such constructions could be rather diverse. Sometimes passages or episodes from classical historical writings were quoted and integrated into early modern national or local history, such as the tales of the Trojans who had left their destroyed city to become the founders of various peoples, cities or noble families all over Europe. In the construction of national histories, local tribes mentioned in classical texts sometimes played a central role as true and antique ancestors, like the Batavians in the northern Low Countries, the Goths in Sweden, or the Sarmatians in Poland. Historical myths and claims from Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages (c.400–1100) also were used in these constructions of local history, with references, for example, to knighthood, chivalry, and the crusades. Sources were not only classical writers but also medieval chronicles (in both Latin and the vernacular languages), minstrels’ lyrics, (true and false) inscriptions and archaeological findings, and, above all, ruins and other architectural remains that the early modern intellectuals interpreted in a creative way.

In Rome we will visit and study iconic buildings from the classical period up to the reign of Constantine (among which the palace complex at the Palatine hill, and the Ara Pacis). Subsequently we will visit and study the world and libraries of the humanists, scientists and patrons in the arts and architecture of the 15th and 16th centuries, in which there was special attention for the reception of classical sources (among which the Palazzo della Cancelleria and the church of SS Nereo e Achilleo). Furthermore we will plan a 2 day visit to another important humanist center: Naples and surroundings; and we will include visits to 20th-century appropriation of the classics by Mussolini, for instance in EUR.

The Masterclass is This masterclass is organised in collaboration with the ERC funded project HistAntArtSI and is part of a research project funded by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences KNAW. Project description:

Course information
The Masterclass is a joint initiative of KNAW, the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR), and OSK. It is hosted at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (19 – 30 May 2016), and comprises on-site visits in Rome and excursions to other locations. Participants are expected to attend a preparatory meeting in Utrecht in February 2016 and to submit final essay by 30 June 2016.

Staff: KNIR-fellow prof. dr. Koen Ottenheym (Utrecht University, KNAW; coordination), KNIR-fellow prof. dr. Karl Enenkel (University of Münster, KNAW), and other specialists in the field.

Credits: 6 ects, assigned upon completion of the final essay.

Language of this Masterclass: English

Teaching method(s): Seminar, excursions, lectures, student presentations, assignments and essays.

Assessment: on-site oral presentations, active contribution to plenary discussions, assignments and a final essay, to be submitted after the stay in Rome.

The Masterclass is open to selected students at RMA or PhD-level in the humanities from KNIR partner universities: Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit Leiden, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

Selected students receive a bursary, comprising all expenses related to the Masterclass (tuition, lodging in Rome, excursions, travel, etc.). Personal expenses, including meals, are not included. Students receive a reimbursement of their expenses for traveling to Rome (to a maximum of 200 euro, based on tickets provided) after submission of their final essay.

Applications are welcome until 15 January 2016. Notice on acceptance will follow before 1 February 2016. Applicants need to submit an application letter containing information on their motivation, their C.V. and on the marks obtained in their current programme. Candidates can apply via the link below.

Facilities in Rome
Participants in this Masterclass will be housed at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome’s Villa Borghese Park or in a hotel nearby. From there, it is only a short walk to the historical centre of Rome. The KNIR accommodation consists of shared bedrooms and shared bathrooms, and includes a living and dining space, a large kitchen, washing machine and wireless internet. All participants have 24/7 access to the library and gardens of the Royal Netherlands Institute.

More information
Phone: (0039)063269621