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Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational, and European Studies (ARTES)

The Amsterdam School for Regional and Transnational and European Studies combines humanities and social science-based approaches to the study of Europe and other world regions, and the relations between them.


ARTES research engages with political, intellectual and institutional cultures in their national as well as transnational dimensions, as well as questions of cultural, linguistic and religious identities, and their representations in music, the visual and performing arts, and literature.

As an interdisciplinary and transnational Research School, ARTES aims to go beyond traditional ‘area’ and ‘regional’ studies approaches, focusing also on the re-making and relations between world and regional orders, borders, and identities, historically and in today’s world.

Europe and Europeanness

A significant part of our research is centred on the contemporary European Union and European states, identities and ideas. Nonetheless, ARTES goes beyond the remit of most EU-studies programmes in bringing together both political/institutional as well as cultural and historical approaches. It extends its understanding of Europe and Europeanness to include also the multiple ways in which Europe has been, and continues to be, present beyond the traditionally conceived borders of Europe. ARTES research queries both formal plans for European unity, and the ways in which Europeanness has been and is made in practice, in the multiple and diverse lived identities of those who feel themselves to be ‘European’. A strong focus of our research is, accordingly, Europe’s historical and contemporary relations with the rest of the world, both with its immediate neighbours but also with other regions and powers. This includes research into how Europe has tried and tries to (re)make the world in its image, but also how its various worldly encounters have indelibly shaped Europe-making and Europeans – from formal and long-standing colonial and post-colonial encounters, to myriad networks of material and intellectual exchange.

Europe and the World

At the same time, ARTES brings together research groups focused on the politics, culture and identities of the Mediterranean and Middle East, the societal developments of Latin America, as well as those focused on the former Soviet Union, the Caucasus and Central and East Asia, and the relations between these world regions and Europe. The Amsterdam Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (ACMES) is associated with ARTES, and so is EAST, the Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian Platform. The Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA) is also affiliated with ARTES.

Humanities and Social Sciences

Our unique strength comes from combining both humanities-based and social scientific approaches, including cultural history, comparative literature, political, legal and institutional studies, geography, area studies, anthropology and religious studies. Such a wide-ranging set of approaches allows us to engage, at once, current political and geopolitical preoccupations but also wider cultural and political questions regarding, among other things, the constitution of a ‘European identity’, and the shifting confines of inclusion and exclusion in the ‘European home’.