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Nadine Akkerman elected member of the Young Academy

Nadine Akkerman has deciphered the correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, and studied 17th-century spies. Her fascinating historiographies have now been recognised with membership of the Young Academy.

If Leiden University had a specialist on the lives of famous women, it would have to be Nadine Akkerman, Senior Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature. In her so far relatively short career, she has examined the correspondence of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, the history of female spies and the lives of court ladies. Her research is both innovative and interdisciplinary, integrating state-of-the-art research methods. 

Prominent young researchers

Akkerman's innovative work has now been given national recognition: the Young Academy announced on 13 November that she has been awarded Academy membership. The Young Academy is the platform for prominent young researchers within the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), a group that Akkerman is highly honoured to be part of. 'It is a network of highly talented young researchers. I'm sure I will learn a lot from other members and at the same time I hope I can make a contribution to the group myself.'  

Reading unopened letters

The ten new members of the Young Academy will be formally installed on 26 March 2018. Akkerman believes there is scope for her to contribute and also to learn, particularly in the area of interdisciplinary partnerships. 'I am already working with many fields that are by no means obvious as partners. In my “Signed, Sealed, & Undelivered” research project, for example, I work closely with researchers at the Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary University in London. They generally study dinosaur teeth, but the technique they use for their work has also proved to be highly suitable for reading unopened letters. Who knows, maybe the Young Academy network will generate more of these unexpected partnerships.' 

DWDD pop-up museum

Another trait shared by the members of the Young Academy is that they have a firm footing in society with their research, actively disseminating their research findings by means of lectures and media appearances. Akkerman, too, ensures that her research ties in with contemporary societal issues. One of her recent activities was an exhibition on privacy, document security and WikiLeaks for the DWDD (Dutch TV programme De Wereld Draait Door) pop-up museum, and she also recently organised an exhibition in the Binnenhof museums in The Hague on the political power exercised by women. 

Image: Nadine Akkerman during the presentation of the Special Recognition Awards by the World Cultural Council on 8 November 2017.

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