Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Susanna Lindberg: ‘I want to protect our plurality and openness’

Professor Susanna Lindberg has been appointed Scientific Director of the Institute for Philosophy with effect from 1 February. In her new role, she aims to foster connections among people. ‘I want my colleagues to feel good.’

The Institute for Philosophy experienced significant growth under Lindberg's predecessor, Douglas Berger. ‘The comparative philosophy track has become established, as has the continental philosophy track’, Lindberg says. ‘This gives us a unique position in the world. You won’t find the combination of analytical, continental, comparative, and political philosophy that we offer anywhere else. And where such a combination can lead to conflict at other universities, at Leiden we like to work together.'

Bringing together what is there

Lindberg has set herself the task of further embedding this collaboration in the institute. 'Of course, it would be nice if we could grow,' she says, 'but, given the faculty's financial situation, the focus is on consolidating what we already have. Our students go back and forth between specialisations, but precisely because of our rapid growth, staff don’t always know how to find each other yet. It would be nice if we started looking for each other more.'

A first step towards this has already been taken with a joint book presentation by staff from different parts of the institute. 'Five books were published last year, with two more to follow later this year,' Lindberg says. 'That's a huge number for an institute like ours. Presenting them together allowed us to talk about them and get to know each other better. If similar opportunities come up in the future, I definitely want to take advantage of them.'

Two-year research master's

In addition, Lindberg would very much like to re-establish for a two-year research master's. ‘I would like to keep the good students in Leiden,' she explains. At the moment, the best bachelor's students sometimes leave for Leuven or Nijmegen because they have more opportunities there. At the same time, we see that our master's is attractive to students who did their bachelor's elsewhere, but one year can be too short to compensate for differences in their previous education. A new master's could change this.'

This website uses cookies.  More information.