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Veni awards for four Leiden Humanities researchers

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded Veni funding to four Humanities researchers in at Leiden University. This award offers promising young scientists the opportunity to develop their own ideas over a period of three years.

In total NWO awarded a Veni to 154 researchers this year. Veni, together with Vidi and Vici, is part of NWO's Talent Scheme.  The funding, of up to 250,000 euros, is intended for excellent researchers who have recently obtained their PhD.  

More than 1100 researchers submitted an application for a Veni. With these 154 awards, NWO is investing a total of 38.3 million euros in fundamental and curiosity-driven research. 

Seventeen young Leiden scientists, including four Humanities researchers, can now make a start on their research projects. A short summary of their projects is given below. 

Leaving a Lasting Impression: The Earliest Printed Books in the Low Countries

Anna Dlabačová– Dutch Language and Culture
The influence of Dutch book printing on spirituality and visual culture at the end of the Middle Ages was far greater than previously thought. Cultural-historical research into the first generation of printed books paints a new picture of religious practice in the transitional period from manuscript to print.

Polytheism as language. A linguistic approach to divine plurality in the religious experience of Greek worshippers

Saskia Peels – LUCAS
The ancient Greeks knew a plurality of gods (polytheism), who helped them in all aspects of life. But what image did they have of these often complex gods? And why did a Greek sometimes turn to one god, and at other times to another? A linguistically inspired method helps us.

Epic Pasts: pre-Islam through Muslim eyes

Peter Webb – LIAS
Since Islam’s rise, Muslims have been interested in pre-Islamic history, and contrary to much current opinion, they have not simply rejected all pre-Islamic heritages as incompatible with Islam. EPIC PASTS explores how Muslims confront their pre-history, and reveals how changing impressions of pre-Islam have reshaped the definition of Islam itself.

The Family Business of Power

Jasper van der Steen– History
This project approaches the Nassau family between 1550 and 1815 as a family business and explores how the Nassaus organized their family and attempted to maintain continuity and expand their power. It demonstrates that dynasties functioned more logically and consistently than historians have previously assumed.

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