The new rural. Material expressions of countryside cultures

The “rural”, a topic currently receiving ample attention, concerns (collective) imagined representations of the countryside and concrete, everyday cultural expressions, as well as the interactions between the two. Drastic changes in the countryside have resulted in new perceptions of everyday rural lifestyles and a wide variety of associated images. The research investigates these changes and their effects, exploring how (urban and non-urban) people perceive rural cultures and construct their identities vis-a-vis ’the rural’. Material culture will be a central focus of attention, taking architecture, construction and “dwelling” as cultural expressions, in which questions of individual, group, local, regional, and national identities are addressed.
Moreover, work is also being done on a second, revised version of the Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World. The latter will place the research into material culture of the Dutch countryside in an international comparative perspective.