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Nadine Akkerman wins Dr Hendrik Muller Prize 2021

Nadine Akkerman, associate professor of early modern English literature is receiving the Dr Hendrik Muller Prize 2021 for her work.

Nadine Akkerman

Akkerman’s interdisciplinary research focuses on early modern English literature and history, including women's history. Her research into spies particularly stands out. Women from all walks of life – be they laundresses or ladies-in-waiting – were successful spies in seventeenth-century England. This is what Akkerman describes in her book Invisible Agents, the first analysis of the role of women spies in the seventeenth century. 

The jury praises Akkerman's leading research and innovative methods. By using, for instance, X-ray microtomography scanners to read unopened seventeenth-century letters, she sheds new light on the role of women, diplomacy and espionage in the early modern era. She is also the leading expert on Elizabeth Stuart.

‘Very honoured’

Akkerman is pleased with the prize. ‘I am very honoured with the prize and delighted that I could propose a subject for a symposium. Together with Karwan Fatah-Black and Lotte Fikkers I will celebrate the Humaniora in the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam on 14 December.’

The prize consists of a sum of 25,000 euros that the winner may spend on a research project at his or her discretion. It is not yet known what project Akkerman will choose. ‘I have all kinds of plans, but as my spies would say, "I want to keep that a secret for now",’ she told KNAW.

The Dr Hendrik Muller Prize

This biennial prize is intended for a researcher working in the Netherlands who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of humanities and/or social sciences and who has been awarded a PhD in the past 15 years. 

The prize consists of a sum of EUR 25,000 and a certificate and will be awarded on Tuesday 14 December 2021 during a symposium directed by Nadine Akkerman. A programme will soon be available on the Academy website.

Nadine Akkerman (born in 1978) is associate professor in English literature and works at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS). She studied English language and literature at VU University Amsterdam where she also completed her PhD, graduating cum laude in 2008. 

The scientific recognition of her work is evident from the many grants and prizes she has received, including an ERC Consolidator Grant, a NWO Veni and an Ammodo Science Award. She has also been awarded several international fellowships, including a NIAS Fellowship, a fellowship of the Royal Historical Society and recently a fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford. She is an inspiration to young researchers and a committed member of The Young Academy.

Her new book Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Hearts will be published by Oxford University Press on 25 November 2021.

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