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NWO funding for three new humanities PhD students

Three PhD candidates from the Faculty of Humanities have successfully applied for funding from NWO for new PhD candidates. The three upcoming researchers will receive funding from the PhDs in Humanities programme. With the funding, NWO wants to boost the recruitment and advancement of young talent in the humanities.

A total of 16 upcoming researchers received grants from NWO. They split a sum of almost 3.7 million euro. In addition, Leiden University makes a 20 per cent matching contribution to the three PhD candidates.

Below is an overview of all PhD candidates at Leiden University receiving funding from the programme:

Beyond the ‘Frontier’: The Making of Transregional Networks and Communities in the Peshawar Valley, 1739-1900.

Applicant: Gabrielle van den Berg (Leiden Institute for Area Studies)
Co-applicant: Jos Gommans (Institute for History)
Candidate: Timur Khan

Peshawar, a city and valley considered a perennial ‘frontier’ region today, held different positions in the transition from pre-colonial to colonial rule in South Asia. Between the end of Timurid-Mughal rule (1739) and British annexation (1849), several powers controlled the city. After 1849, the British defined it as a frontier outpost. How did these political changes impact Peshawar’s communities? In answering this question, my project will address themes of empires, transregional networks, local communities, and their role in shaping frontiers.

Language contact in the history of South America: the impact of Arawakan classifier systems

Applicant: Jenny Doetjes (Centre for Linguistics)
Co-applicant: Martine Bruil (Centre for Linguistics) & Rik van Gijn (Centre for Linguistics)
Candidate: S.E. Dunn

Language contact in the history of South America: the impact of Arawakan classifier systems
South America is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world, yet there are surprising pockets of uniformity between unrelated languages. Classifiers, words which are used to categorise nouns, much like grammatical gender in French, appear in similar patterns across unrelated languages. How these patterns developed is still largely unknown, although language contact is known to have played a role. This project looks to one of the most widespread language families, Arawakan, to explore the development of classifiers within South America.

New challenges, new tools, new opportunities: A data-smart methodological framework to study China’s changing policy-making process under Xi Jinping in the 14th Five-Year Plan

Applicant: Florian Schneider (Leiden Institute for Area Studies)
Co-applicant: Rogier Creemers (Leiden Institute for Area Studies)
Candidate: Vincent Brussee

Research on contemporary China is facing increasing challenges as a result of increasing political tensions surrounding China and the country’s inward turn. Hence, this project develops new methodologies to garner better insights on policy processes in China, especially focusing on China’s 14th Five-Year Plan. It makes use of text-as-data methods to systematically retrieve and analyse large quantities of policy texts. In doing so, it enriches both our academic toolkit, and provides new insights on the processes that underpin the development of contemporary China.

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