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This was 2021! An overview of Humanities in the news

Online, hybrid, on campus... It was an unpredictable year, also for the Faculty of Humanities. Luckily, there were also non-corona related stories. Let's review 2021 with this list of the most-read news articles per month.


Linguists: crimefighters extraordinaire

Rector Magnificus Carel Stolker will retire on 8 February. If there’s one theme running through his career, it’s the links between the University and society. In this series of pre-retirement discussions, Stolker will talk one last time to people from within and without the University. In this first edition: linguists Willemijn Heeren and Tina Cambier on collaboration in applied science. > Read more

Also popular in January:


How can academics be supported in the face of threats on social media?

'Academics who share their knowledge with the outside world on social media are often insulted or even threatened. Especially female academics and academics of colour seem to regularly be the victim of sexist and racist comments.' This is what Ineke Sluiter, Professor of Greek Language and Literature and president of KNAW, stated during her Dies lecture on 8 February.> Read more

Also popular in February:


Computational tools reveal secrets of 17th-century sealed letter

In a world first, an international team of researchers has read an unopened letter from Renaissance Europe – without breaking its seal or damaging it in any way. Nadine Akkerman, Reader in early modern English literature at Leiden University, is co-author of the article that appeared on 2 March in Nature Communications. > Read more

Also popular in March:


Casper de Jonge: 'By broadening the canon we keep antiquity modern'

On 1 May, Casper de Jonge will be appointed Professor of Greek Language and Literature. ‘Greek literature did not come from Athens alone: authors from Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor also wrote in Greek.’ > Read more

Also popular in April:


‘Islamic primary schools have been important for Muslim emancipation’

The opening of Islamic primary schools has made an important contribution to the emancipation and integration of Muslims in the Netherlands. This is the conclusion of PhD candidate Bahaeddin Budak in his research into 25 years (1988-2013) of Islamic primary schools in the Netherlands. > Read more

Also popular in May:


Antjie Krog writer in residence at Leiden University this autumn

South African poet Antjie Krog will be the writer in residence at Leiden University in autumn 2021. Krog is famous for her poetry collections and books, which are often inspired by the history of South Africa. In her role as writer in residence, she will give the annual Albert Verwey Lecture and a series of classes. > Read more

Also popular in June:


Crossing the divide: learning about language policies and practices around the world

During the past year online meetings and lectures have become a firm feature of university life. One of the highlights of online activities has been the online seminar series ‘Language policy and practices in the Global North and South’ organised by guest researcher Anik Nandi. He tells us more about this weekly series aimed at those interested in language policy and literacy practices around the world. > Read more

Also popular in July:


Digitisation: ignoring it is no longer an option

‘Jelena Prokic, university lecturer and researcher at the Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities, will be preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the digital world. In September, six modules will start on subjects such as statistics and digitally searching through texts. ‘I think that everyone should be confident, creative and critical when dealing with digital technology.’ > Read more

Also popular in August:


Colonial without realising it

The nineteenth-century writer Nicolaas Beets and his son Dirk were thoroughly colonial, Nicholas without ever having been to the Dutch Indies, or any other colony for that matter. But they didn’t realise it. The new Scaliger Professor, Rick Honings, shows that writers’ archives are a treasure trove for those looking for ideas about the Dutch colonial past. > Read more

Also popular in September:


Why looted art lawsuits often fail (and what can be done about this)

There are as good as no clear rules for the return of stolen art. This means that rather than in court, many cases are decided in the political arena instead. In her PhD research Evelien Campfens suggests how this could change. > Read more

Also popular in October:


Students Ruşen and Rana fight for diversity in higher education

Two Leiden students stand a chance of winning the ECHO Award for Higher Education. Deniz Rana Kuseyri and Ruşen Koç are two of the six finalists for this annual national prize that is awarded to students who promote diversity and inclusion in their own discipline. > Read more

Also popular in November:


For LGBT+ migrants, dating apps are about much more than sex

When you think of migration, you probably won’t immediately think of dating apps. Yet such apps are important to many migrants, such as those who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer or questioning (LGBT+). Researcher Andrew DJ Shield studied the role that dating apps play in the migration process, and discovered that these online cultures provide more than just a space to flirt. Migrants might find a friend, a flat or even a bicycle. > Read more

Also popular in December:

The faculty's editors published 359 news items this year about the Faculty of Humanities. The faculty editorial team wants to thank everyone for their hard work and efforts. Happy holidays and to a year with even more wonderful stories!

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