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Faculty Teaching Prize nominees in the spotlight

Who will win this year's Teaching Prize of the Faculty of Humanities? On Thursday September 12th, we will find out during the faculty party in the Stadsgehoorzaal. Prior to the award ceremony you can come and listen to a mini lecture/HUM Talk of the four nominees in which they will give a sneak peek of their lectures in ten minutes.

Award ceremony and HUM Talks

Good education is part of Leiden University. In order to reward good education and highlight the important role that teachers play, the Faculty Teaching Prize for Humanities is awarded annually. A lecturer is nominated by students and a jury decides who receives the prize. This year's award ceremony will take place during the faculty party at 21:15 in the main hall of the Stadsgehoorzaal.

This year's nominated teachers are Pepita Hesselberth, Luuk de Ligt, Ans de Rooij and Frank Chouraqui. To give you an idea of what it's like to be a student of such a top lecturer, you can join their mini lectures, called HUM Talks, during this evening's event. So do you want to learn more about how we can really transfer theory in the form of a TED Talk (or in this case HUM Talk), about what it's like to teach without using a PowerPoint presentation, about bluffing in Mandarin or about how, from a cultural-philosophical perspective, we actually distinguish ourselves from animals? Then be sure to join one of the HUM Talks this evening.

Pepita Hesselberth

Teaches: Film and Literary Studies and Digital Media
HUM Talk: 20:00 - 20:10 uur (in Dutch) 

Dis/connect: TED (un)doing Theory

In this talk I will discuss the tension between the TED Talk (as a format) and Theory (as a practice); between research and education; and between the need for simplification and the need for deepening in both. The case study I will use to do this concerns a cultural practice and media phenomenon: the hype surrounding tiny off-grid living. When it comes to TED Talks, it is important to simplify a complex phenomenon; the purpose of theory is to unravel the complexity of seemingly simple phenomena. Research and education seem to be at odds with each other in this respect. This talk questions how we can connect them.

Luuk de Ligt

Teaches: History
HUM Talk: 20:15 - 20:25 uur (in Dutch)

Giving a lecture without using powerpoint

Even in the Snapchat era, it is quite possible to teach without using PowerPoint. This will be illustrated with by far the most boring subject in the field of Greco-Roman history: the legal position of debtors in Rome in the fifth and fourth century before Christ. Believe me, students and colleagues, it doesn't get more uninteresting than this. It is precisely for this reason that I am counting on a massive turnout.

Ans de Rooij

Teaching: Chinese Studies
HUM Talk: 20:30 - 20:40 uur (in Dutch)

Pronouncing Mandarin: dare and bluff a little!

When learning a sound system that is so different from ours, well begun is half done! From a Dutch perspective, the tone system of Mandarin is difficult to learn. For us it is an unknown phenomenon that differences in pitch when pronouncing the same speech sound lead to different meanings! Tài wǎn, for example, means 'It's too late' but when you pronounce it using different tones: Táiwān, you say 'Taiwan'. To learn to distinguish these differences and to be able to make them yourself, is a difficult task that requires a lot of practice. Speakers of Dutch may have a tendency to pronounce the tones a little flat. So: dare to make a difference, exaggerate the tones and bluffing a little won't hurt either.

Frank Chouraqui

Teaching: Philosophy
HUM Talk: 20:45 - 20:55 uur (in English)

Making a Home in the World

This snippet is part of an introductory course on the Philosophy of culture. It focuses on the old philosophical assumption whereby the human creates cultures because she is different from animals: for the human, nature is not a home. We usually think that this is because humans are superior to animals, but the Western tradition began with the opposite view: we are too weak and inept to live in nature, and only culture is able to provide a home for us. We shall focus on Plato’s myth of Protagoras as a seminal dramatization of this intuition.  

Faculty party: 444 Years of Humanities

This year Leiden University, and therefore our faculty, celebrates its 444th anniversary. This calls for a special festive evening for the staff members and students of the Faculty of Humanities. So write Thursday 12 September down on your calendar, because it promises to be a fantastic party at one of Leiden's most beautiful locations: the Stadsgehoorzaal (City Auditorium).

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