Masterclass Mieke Bal

Traveling Cultures: Movement, Conflict and Performance

Date: 20-30 September 2017

Deadline for applications: 15 May 2017

Many of the foundational myths informing “Western Civilization” are narrations of the often violent conflicts performed in a situation where cultures on the move meet. The Rape of the Sabine Women is just one of such tales that illustrate how Rome and its history offer a privileged perspective on the pivotal role of violence in establishing civilization, as well as on the strong cultural memory they produce through the works of art inspired by these myths. In the current global political situation, it is worth revisiting those myths to explore, with the tools of cultural theory, how the movement of cultures, which was once the standard of human cohabitation, has become seen as problematic in the present. In an anachronistic (“pre-posterous”) perspective, participants will bring analytical concepts with relevance for the present in its connection to the past, to bear on their own research projects. Close attention to cultural objects in view of the themes hinted at by the title, with the help of theoretical concepts will be the goal of the seminar.

Course information
The Masterclass is organised by and hosted at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR), in conjunction with the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), the Huizinga Institute. Research Institute and Graduate School for Cultural History, and the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL). The Masterclass comprises a series of excursions to locations in and close to Rome that have relevance to the seminar’s topic.

Staff: KNIR-fellow prof.dr. Mieke Bal (University of Amsterdam), in conjunction with prof.dr. Harald Hendrix (KNIR).

Guest lecturers: prof.dr. Ernst van Alphen (Leiden University), Kaspar Thormod MA (EUI Florence), various KNIR staff members.

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

Languages used in the Masterclass: English.

Assessment: preparation of a position paper prior to the seminar in Rome, on-site oral presentations, active contribution to plenary discussions, and a final essay to be submitted after the stay in Rome.

The Masterclass is open to a maximum of 16 selected students at (R)MA or PhD-level, as well as to early career researchers in the humanities and beyond.

Tuition is free for selected participants. Dutch participants may be eligible for KNIR bursaries covering all expenses (see below). Other participants are required to cover their stay in the KNIR at their own expenses (the costs of a KNIR residency amounts to € 200,- a person for the entire stay).

Bursaries for Dutch participants
Selected participants from KNIR partner universities (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit Leiden, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) are eligible for KNIR bursaries, comprising all expenses related to the Masterclass (tuition, lodging in Rome, conference fees, etc.). Personal expenses, including meals, are not included. Bursary students additionally receive a € 100 reimbursement of their expenses for travelling to Rome upon submission of their final essay.

Applications are welcome until 15 May 2017. Notice on acceptance will follow before 1 June 2017. This will include information on the selection for KNIR bursaries. 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
All participants will be housed at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome’s Villa Borghese Park. From there, it is only a short walk to the historical centre of Rome. The KNIR accommodation consists of shared bedrooms and bathrooms, and includes a living and dining space, a large kitchen, washing machine and wireless internet. All residents have 24/7 access to the library and gardens of the Royal Netherlands Institute.

Contact information
Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome
via Omero 10-12
00197 ROMA
Phone: (0039)063269621