Research

The Humanities Cluster has several groups that conduct research. Next to the Digital Humanities Lab and the Research & Development Team of the department of Digital Infrastructure, the three independent institutes focus on Dutch identity, history, history of knowledge, literature, global labour history, ethnology and linguistics. All groups increasingly rely on big data and cutting-edge digital infrastructure.

The Digital Humanties Lab(DHLab) is central to all existing digital humanities research at the three institutes of the KNAW Humanities Cluster. The mission of the DHLab is to advance the humanities through digital methods. DHLab is connecting different research departments at HuC and beyond through identifying shared research topics and fostering these connections through the application and development of digital research methods. This research group started in 2017.

The Research & Development Team aims for innovation in research methodology in the humanities. It builds prototypes to demonstrate that a new/proposed approach is actually viable, putting emphasis on data models and methods that support the richness of the humanities datasets, and the complexicities of the use cases. The department of Digital Infrastructure has had a Research & Development Team since 2015.

The research group Dutch Identity at the Meertens Institute examines from various perspectives, which emotional, aesthetic and political dimensions shape what is referred to as Dutch culture, traditions, architecture, design, heritage, food, religion, standards and values.

The research department History at the Huygens ING investigates the origin of the characteristic Netherlands society from the time before national states and identities even existed, with networks that were formerly more focused on exchange and debate than on the formation of a geographically rooted society in later centuries. How did the Dutch time and again go about shaping the characteristic elements of ‘the Netherlands’ and its society in interaction with foreign countries?

The research department History of Knowledge at the Huygens ING studies the translation of information into knowledge in social processes, in sequence: discussion, verification, order, classification and dissemination. Next, various groups in society appropriate the knowledge for various purposes. We study the dynamic processes of knowledge production and changes in knowledge along these lines from the early Middle Ages to the eighteenth century.

The research department Literary Studies at the Huygens ING focuses on which factors determine the function of ‘Dutch’ literature in national and international context and how this function changes. Using new methods and techniques from digital humanities, we investigate the role of literature in contemporary society and in the past.

The International Institute of Social History studies the different conditions under which workers are remunerated in a global perspective. The working hypothesis is that shifts in labor relations, embedded in larger societal structures, can help us to understand changes in long term patterns of social inequality, both within and between world regions.

Ethnological research at the Meertens Institute focuses on the Netherlands as a diverse society that is constantly in flux. In an era characterized by mobility, connectedness, and (virtual) networks, people continuously give new meaning to their place and their role in the world, as well as to that what they experience as belonging to themselves or to the ‘other’.

The Dutch language seems to be experiencing a turbulent period, the causes of which include intensive linguistic contact with English, the international lingua franca, but also with the languages of immigrants from inside and outside of Europe. The research group Variationist Linguistics at the Meertens Instituut studies what kinds of effects globalization have on the Dutch language in all its varieties.

Partner IISG Partner Meertens Instituut Partner Huygens ING