Doing cultural history: methods, historiography and the arts

This research cluster offers a forum to discuss methods and concepts for the study of cultural history and the history of the arts in an era where globalization, digitalization and the questioning of cultural hierarchies continue to expand the horizon of cultural history.

Andre Malraux and his Imaginary Museum (Photo by Maurice Jarnoux/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Our focus is on the study of aesthetic objects and cultural practices across historical contexts as well as the study of cultural transfer and circulation of objects, texts, practices, and ideologies. This involves both qualitative and quantitative methodologies concerning archival practice, documentation, and development of strategies for the academic use of artefacts and records, as well as the position of subjective and collective memories. 

Rather than developing a common methodology the research cluster seeks to cultivate a mutual scholarly awareness of the plethora of relevant state of the art methods to enhance the study of culture and its historical embeddedness in bodies, objects, texts, places, and practices. Importantly, this also involves critical awareness of how current change in archival practices and infrastructures may not only facilitate new approaches but also, at a deeper level, transform our understanding of objects and texts. Finally, the cluster aims to cultivate an interest in experimenting with original and uncommon methods and approaches to themes, objects and artefacts is part of the clusters’ course of action.

The Doing cultural history research cluster is thus founded on the common assumption that critical methodological development is essential to our ability to pose questions which are new to our disciplines.


Methodology and historiography

Doing cultural history means practicing and critically reflecting on both new and long-established methods for the study of cultural history, art history, literary history, and the histories of the performing arts. We critically examine historical concepts and discuss the criteria and politics of historical representation.

Archives, texts and objects

Doing cultural history is an active practice which depends on textual and material archives of all sorts. Recent developments in digitization is currently affecting and reshaping both archives and research practices. Our cluster is therefore also a forum for sharing knowledge on new archival possibilities, challenges and practices across the aesthetic disciplines.

Cultural contexts

Doing cultural history also means re-constructing contexts. Along with our historiographic and archival work the cluster will focus on social, political and cultural relations and structures surrounding our aesthetic objects.





Cluster leadership: Michael Eigtved and Christian Dahl


Name Title Phone E-mail
Brink, Dennis Meyhoff Postdoc +4535325472 E-mail
Dahl, Christian Associate Professor +4535329269 E-mail
Dalla Bonta, Giada PhD Fellow +4535324575 E-mail
Eigtved, Michael Associate Professor +4535331486 E-mail
Fastrup, Anne Associate Professor +4522158808 E-mail
Fjeldsøe, Michael Professor +4522144826 E-mail
Gehlshøj, Peter Koch PhD Fellow +4535328728 E-mail
Handberg, Kristian Assistant Professor +4535334869 E-mail
Hansen, Maria Fabricius Professor +4540876828 E-mail
Hermansen, Tom PhD Fellow   E-mail
Hesselager, Jens Associate Professor +4535325450 E-mail
Madsen, Søren Thorlak Enrolled PhD Student +4535331293 E-mail
Nykrog, Niels Research Assistant +4535332757 E-mail
Overgaard, Mathias Hindkjær PhD Fellow   E-mail
Reeh, Henrik Associate Professor +4535328231 E-mail
Sandbye, Mette Professor +4535328230 E-mail
Steinskog, Erik Associate Professor +4540499027 E-mail