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ERC Starting Grants for Cátia Antunes and Stijn Bussels

Dr Cátia Antunes, lecturer in economic and social history, Leiden University Institute for History, and Dr Stijn Bussels, who will come to Leiden in 2012-2013 to join the Leiden University Institute for Cultural Disciplines, have been awarded an ERC Starting Grant for their excellent proposals. The ERC encourages in particular proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries, pioneering ideas that address new and emerging fields and applications that introduce unconventional, innovative approaches.

Dr Cátia Antunes

How did 'free agents' (entrepreneurs operating outside of the myriad of interests of the centralized, state-sponsored monopolies) in Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire react to the creation of colonial monopolies (royal monopolies and chartered companies) by the central states in the Early Modern period? Dr Cátia Antunes strives to answer this question with her research entitled  'Fighting Monopolies, Defying Empires 1500-1750: a Comparative Overview of Free Agents and Informal Empires in Western Europe and the Ottoman Empire'. Her proposal will pioneer the study of empires in the Early Modern World by consulting primary sources that have now been used for about one hundred years to build a narrative of colonial empires based ont he actions of central states and the monopolies they imposed overseas. Her project will count on a team of four PhD students and one post-doctoral fellow.


Dr Stijn Bussels

Dr Stijn Bussels will be doing research to  'Elevated Minds:The Sublime in the Public Arts in 17th-century Paris and Amsterdam'. In the 17th century the sublime played a major role in the use of the public arts of architecture and the theatre to defend or contrast political rule. The sublime combines conflicting emotions: fear and awe, horror and fascination. It sweeps the public off its feet in an overwhelming experience of beauty mixed with terror and admiration, caused by stupendous works of art, terrifying natural events such as earthquakes, or acts that are so shocking they can hardly be put into words. The hypothesis of his program is that the early, often hitherto unknown editions and varieties of the sublime studied here should be understood primarily against a political backbround. Many of these were dedicated to important members of ruling families, made for prominent politicians, or read by the ruling classes.


About the ERC Starting Grant

The ERC Starting Grant aims to support up-and-coming researchers who are about to establish a new research team and to start conducting independent research in Europe. The Grant is awarded to promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders. It also supports the creation of excellent new research teams. 

The European Research Council (ERC) encourages high quality research in Europe through competitive funding.

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