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3 Humanities scholars receive Special Recognition Award

The international World Cultural Council (WCC) has awarded Nadine Akkerman, Victoria Nyst and Alicia Schrikker with Special Recognition Awards given to young scientists at the university organising the award ceremony. Leiden University organises the 34th WCC award ceremony this year.

Nadine Akkerman

Akkerman's work in English Literature has focused on bringing knowledge outside academia to connect with society. She already has three books to her name, notably on the life of Elizabeth Stuart and on Female Spies.

She has also organized exhibitions, making videos in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Akkerman has received numerous accolades, including worldwide recognition for her project “Signed, Sealed & Undelivered” on the rediscovered trunk of 2,600 undelivered 17th century letters. 

Victoria Nyst

Nyst’s work in sign language is not only outstanding scientifically but also has great societal impact. She has created a website with an overview of African Sign Language and an e-forum on Deaf Studies in Africa, as well as organizing an International Workshop for African Sign Languages. 

Locally, Nyst is documenting the history of the hearing-impaired in Leiden and will this year complement the Leidse collection of wall poems with the screening of a poem in sign language.

Alicia Schrikker

Schrikker’s work has focused on colonial and global history, particularly Sri Lanka’s transition from Dutch to English rule and colonial interaction in Asia, as well as disaster politics, revealing a deep commitment to how ordinary people deal with social injustice and economic adversity. 

Schrikker is an inspiring teacher who has built up a large community of scholars in Asia, developing new historical narratives that move beyond the Eurocentric paradigm, profoundly influencing national identities in Asia and Europe.


Other Leiden University scholars to receive the Special Recognition Award are Ann Brysbaert, Marike Knoef, Marianne Maeckelbergh, Sarah de Rijcke, Martina Vijver en Inge van der Weijden. 

World Cultural Council

WCC is an international organisation which aims is to contribute to science and to stimulate culture. Every year the organisation presents the Albert Einstein World Award of Science and the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts.

Besides these prestigious distinctions, a number of Special Recognition Awards are also awarded to scientists from the host university. On November 8th 2017,  Leiden University hosts this year’s event because Leiden astronomist Ewine van Dishoeck won the Albert Einstein World Award of Science in 2015.