Masterclass with professor Tamar Herzog, 25 January 2016
By Bram De Ridder
On 25 January, the transnational research team was honoured to receive professor Tamar Herzog (Harvard University, http://scholar.harvard.edu/therzog/home) in Leuven for a masterclass on the topic of early modern borders and boundaries. During this session, we first and foremost discussed the conceptual and methodological development of transregional history, as well as where this concept fits in the wider spectre of historiography. Secondly, in a large section on border management during the Eighty Years War, professor Herzog elaborated on the constructed nature of early modern borders and their essentially negotiated nature. Drawing useful connections between how borders were created, perceived, and transformed in Europe and beyond, one particular research theme that appeared as requiring further attention was that of ‘the border in and as a part of society’. The masterclass could further deal with this issue as we subsequently presented our projects on the printing press in the ecclesiastical province of Cambrai, and on the implications of the numerous Spanish-Flemish marriages in the seventeenth century. Especially interesting here was the discussion on the layered nature of such marital alliances, if only because this type of cross-border weddings is usually studied from only one particular perspective, either at the level of the family or with the wider Empire in mind.
We again thank professor Herzog for her thoughtful remarks during the masterclass, and will soon present some of the texts that have been reworked with her advice!