Universiteit Leiden

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Shiru Lim

Assistant professor

Dr. S. Lim
+31 71 527 3030

Shiru Lim is a university lecturer at the Institute for History.

More information about Shiru Lim

Fields of interest

  • Europe in the long eighteenth century (c.1680-1820)
  • Europe and the Russian Empire in the long eighteenth century: conquest, civilisation, new imperial history
  • Intellectuals & the state: Counsel, criticism, expertise, authority, complicity, the 'public sphere', cities, intellectual freedom
  • The history of early modern & modern political thought: Power, its exercise and constraints; conceptions of nature, artifice, the political, and the civil; the politics of literature, drama, and the theatre


I am an historian of early modern and modern Europe; most of my work focuses on the period c.1680-1820. My overarching interests are in how people in the past have conceived of the relationship between the realms of the intellectual and the political, between knowledge and power, between intellectuals and the state, as well as between the built environment and intellectual life. A question central to my research projects is that of the nature of the relationship between intellectual authority and political authority.

I am currently completing my first monograph, Philosophy & Government in Enlightenment Europe: Frederick II, Catherine II, and the philosophes. This book recasts a group of well-known figures in a new account of visions of good government, exploring how intellectuals try (not necessarily successfully) to hold rulers to account, and play gatekeepers to the realms of the literary and intellectual into which those who wielded political power attempted to intervene.

At the same time, I'm also working on shorter projects concerning the eighteenth-century Russian Empire in the history of political thought; early modern French philosophies of stage acting, civility, and inequality; and the afterlives of 'the problem of counsel' in eighteenth-century political thought.

Grants and awards

2023-25 — Graduate Research Fellowship, Singapore Social Science Research Council
2014-17 — Graduate Research Scholarship, UCL
2014-17 — Overseas Research Scholarship, UCL
2015 — German Historical Society-DAAD Language Course Grant
2013 — Dean’s List, Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences, UCL
2012 — Sessional Prize, School of Slavonic & East European Studies, UCL

Curriculum vitae

2021-23 — AIAS-COFUND II Fellow, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS)
2019-21 — Early Career Fellow, Lichtenberg-Kolleg, Georg-August Universität Göttingen
2018-19 — Max Weber Fellow, European University Institute (EUI)
2014-18 — PhD in History, University College London (UCL)
2013-14 — MPhil in Modern European History, University of Cambridge
2010-13 — BA in History, University College London (UCL)

Assistant professor

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Algemene Geschiedenis

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 2.03A


  • No relevant ancillary activities
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