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These are the seven Veni laureates of Humanities

No less than seven scholars of the Faculty of Humanities were awarded a Veni grant. Veni grants are aimed at excellent researcher who recently obtained their doctorate. With a maximum grant of 250.000 euros, the laureates can develop their research ideas in the coming three years.

Matriarchal Islam: Gendering Sharia in the Indian Ocean World

Mahmood Kooriadathodi - Leiden University Institute for Area Studies

Islam is generally interpreted as a patriarchal religion. This presupposition comes from reading the religion through a male-dominant perspective alone. This project turns to the Indian Ocean Islam for it offers a different understanding of several connected matriarchal Muslim communities, who all should be considered as part of the historical and human experiences of the Sharia.

Read more: Veni grant for Mahmood Kooriadathodi: Can Islam be Matriarchal?

Who owes what to future generations?

Tim Meijers – Institute for Philosophy

Many threats to the well-being of future generations, like climate change, are global in nature. Tackling them requires global cooperation. This project develops an approach to the fair allocation of the costs that come with protecting future people, taking existing global inequalities into account.

Read more: Tim Meijers receives a Veni for research into obligations to future generations.

Righting and Rewriting History: Recovering and Analyzing Manuscript Archives Destroyed During World War II

Krista Murchison – Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society

During World War II, thousands of irreplaceable manuscripts were destroyed. These destroyed collections, despite their enduring importance, remain largely ignored in conceptualizations of the archive. This project will advance ongoing discussions of the ‘immaterial archive’ and its social and historical significance by digitally recreating destroyed archives from four key nations.

Remembering Dissent and Disillusion in the Arab World

Judith Naeff – Leiden University Institute for Area Studies

This research project analyses experimental documentaries and fiction by young Arab makers about the protest movements of the 1970s in the region. The way in which they engage with this past reveals how they define their position in the dispiriting political context of the 2000s in the region.

Read more: Judith Naeff researches Arab ideals and disappointments with Veni grant.

Cattle colours in East Africa

Sara Petrollino – Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

The languages of cattle herders have incredibly complex expressions to refer to the colours and patterns of animal pelts. Little is known about how cattle colour systems work and this project investigates the semantic categorization and the expression of these perceptual domains across three East African languages.

Manioc roots: prehistory of Amazonia seen from the kitchen

Konrad Rybka – Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

How manioc, a poisonous root, became the staple of Amazonia and changed the lives of prehistoric Amazonian peoples remains a mystery. By studying the traditional tools used in manioc processing though their indigenous names, museum collections, and ethnographic literature, researchers will reconstruct their spread and understand its sociocultural consequences.

Read more: Manioc and Amazonian Prehistory: Veni grant for Konrad Rybka.

Nabataean Aramaic: a living language?

Benjamin Suchard – Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

The ancient people known as the Nabataeans left us thousands of texts. They wrote in Aramaic, the lingua franca of their time. But the Aramaic of their texts was heavily influenced by Arabic. This project will investigate whether Nabataean Aramaic was ever spoken or was only used in writing.

Read more: Benjamin Suchard receives Veni grant for research on Nabataean Aramaic as a spoken language.

In total, 25 young Leiden researchers received a Veni grant. Every year, the NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research), awards Veni grants to young researchers who recently obtained their doctoral degree. They receive a maximum of 250.000 euros for innovational research projects. The Veni grants are, together with the Vidi and Vici grants, part of the NWO's Innovational Research Incentives Scheme.

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