Urban History - Anne Winter and Wouter Ryckbosch

1st semester, 6 ECTS

The course Urban History focuses on the various  ways in which urbanity has been both product and motor of historical transformation processes. You will gain insight into the broad chronology, similarities and differences of historical urbanization processes in a long-term perspective. In a first part fundamental concepts like "city" and "urbanization" are discussed from a historical perspective and a short overview is given of the different ways in which "urban history" has beenal defined and put into practice. In the second (and most extensive) part a historical overview is given, ranging from the first emergence of cities to the present, with special attention for spatial and chronological variations on the one hand, and for interactions between different historical-societal dimensions on the other hand. The focus is on European cities, which are situated in a global context to allow the identification of  general and specific patterns.

Urbanisation in Early Modern Europe - Heidi Deneweth

2nd semester - 6 ECTS

A first part discusses the different models, dynamics and typologies that have been brought forward to frame the urbanization processes in Early Modern Europe. A second part takes a closer look at different features of early modern urban society, such as economic development, demography and social composition, political organization and social policy, spatial and material structure, and urban culture and mentality. The course takes a strongly interactive approach. A reader with recent literature on the topics studied provide the guide to this course.

Urban Archaeology - Dries Tys

2nd semester - 6 ECTS

City archaeology is a strong interdisciplinary concept, wherein work needs to be made of research on the public and private urban space, city landscape, architectural history, and living culture, and of course as well the very complex formation processes that have led to the well-known and impressive urban archaeological stratigraphy. In this course, we will pay attention to the development of urban archaeology as such, starting from the excavations of Winchester and York. Then we will look at research on urban archaeology, and the complexity and diversity of the sources and scientific debates, such as the debates on city walls, guildhalls, urbanization and lots structure, domestic space, etc. We will complete this with a thorough discussion of interesting case studies such as Ghent, Mechelen, London, and 's-Hertogenbosch. During the last week, we will have an excursion where we approach the city’s archaeology from all possible angles.