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Angus Mol and Aris Politopoulos are the winners of the fourth LUCAS Public Prize 2022!

On Tuesday 12 April Angus Mol and Aris Politopoulos have been awarded the fourth LUCAS Publieksprijs.

Since 2018, LUCAS has had an Impact Committee, consisting of Olga van Marion, Sara Polak, Astrid van Weyenberg, Andries Hiskes, Rick Honings, Casper de Jonge and Thijs Porck. They reviewed the submissions that were sent to the committee. This year, there were 7 nominations.

Zeven nominees

Seven LUCAS employees were nominated for their public activities in the year 2021.

Annelies Schulte Nordholt

In 2021 it will be 200 years since the French poet Baudelaire was born. Annelies was the initiator of all kinds of public activities. Together with students who followed her 'Baudelaire, poète et critique d'art ' course, Annelies created a digital exhibition based on material that is kept at the Special Collections of the Leiden University Library: De bloemen van het kwaad: Charles Baudelaire in Nederland. On the occasion of the exhibition, Annelies, together with student Myrthe Galle, joined for a special Baudelaire episode of ‘Van Kluis naar Kussen’, a series of table discussions in which the use of material from the Special Collections is discussed. Finally, Annelies organised a successful Studium Generale series on Baudelaire .

Evert-Jan van Leeuwen

In 2021, Evert-Jan’s project about 'the horrors of consumerism in popular genre texts' was nominated for the Klokhuis Science Award. In his research, Van Leeuwen focuses on contemporary horror stories. These are often not about monsters, but about scary houses, cars and televisions. Precisely because in today's capitalist world people can become addicted to buying stuff, this kind of thing has become scary. Van Leeuwen has developed a teaching method with students, which played a role in the exhibition in the Lakenhal: The Doublespeak Translator. Van Leeuwen was awarded a stipend of 2000 euros by the Lakenhal to further develop the module for use in secondary education.

Aafje de Roest

On September 7, 2021, Aafje de Roest emailed her fellow Dutch students: 'Tomorrow morning at 9.00 am we will discuss all the beautiful things that the study Dutch has to offer under the hashtag #WIJZIJNNEERLANDICI!'. The reason was the rather uninformed presentation of the study by Abdelkader Benali in Trouw a week earlier. Under the motto 'there are many good reasons to study Dutch!' students and alumni shared in tweets and LinkedIn messages why they are Dutch students. The hashtag bundles the stories and highlight all the fascinating research that is being conducted within Dutch Studies. The hashtag became a success. At 10am it became #5 in the Trending Topic list on Twitter, at 5pm even #1 and then #2 for the rest of the day and the next morning! People tweeted about it, on LinkedIn the post was eventually viewed by 42,583 people, and NRC, the ND, Radio 1 and De Taalstaat picked up the action. Fokke & Sukke even created a comic about it.

Jürgen Zangenberg

Jürgen Zangenberg, professor of Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, strives to introduce students to the widest possible range of antiquity in his lectures. This is expressed in excursions to museums at home and abroad to expand theoretical knowledge with aspects of the material culture of antiquity. This drive has also led to Zangenberg 's collaboration on three major television productions on NPO2: Jezus van Nazareth, Jezus van Nazareth verovert de wereld en, in 2021, De vrouwen van Jezus van Nazareth. These productions were presented by Kefah Allush, filmed on location with Jürgen as a scientific sounding board. The underexposed role of women in the spread of early Christianity was the premise of the last series. The documentary, like the other twos, was broadcast during prime time and enjoyed great interest.

Peter Verstraten

Peter Verstraten, University Lecturer of Film Studies, has tirelessly disseminated his research to a wide audience. The list of achievements of the past year is long: he provided an English audio commentary for the Sylvia Kristel box for Cul tEpics on the films Pastorale 1943 and Mysteries, recorded a postcast, gave numerous interviews and lectures and was the compiler of the film program Psychoanakyse & Film, as well as the moderator at two meetings, in the Louis Hartlooper Complex Utrecht.


Frans-Willem Korsten

Frans-Willem Korsten conducts research at the intersection of art and activism. The Humanities should not retreat into the domain of thought. They have to show themselves correctly in making. According to Korsten, this means not only 'critical creation', but also the creation of possibilities under critical circumstances. In 2021 Frans-Willem addressed this subject in his book Art as an Interface of Law and Justice. Korsten also made a comic book with friends, The Meat-Free City, about the transition from factory farming to a climate-friendly form of production, in which animals are not simply treated as things, but also as independent living beings.



Angus Mol en Aris Politopoulos

Since 2015, Angus and Aris have been working on 'valorisation' and 'science communication' at the intersection of the past and popular culture, especially video games. They founded the VALUE Foundation with their own online platform Interactive Pasts, with which they produce their own videos, in addition to news, reviews and essays about video games and the past, via the live streaming platform Twitch and YouTube. The VALUE Foundation reaches its audience organically (via search engines) and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and has an international reach of about 25,000 readers/viewers per year. In addition, they have also organised various public events in recent years, such as the Culture Arcade, an exhibition in which visitors could discover world heritage through video games from different cultures, and RoMeincraft, finalist for The Great Archeology Prize 2019, a playful exploration of the Roman Limes in the popular building game Minecraft. VALUE's activities have been discussed in (inter)national news platforms such as The New Scientist, Der Spiegel, and Nu.nl.

At the end of 2020, the NWA project Streaming the Past: Livestreaming as a new way of sharing and democratising knowledge about the past of Angus and Aris, among others, as granted. Together with a number of colleagues and student assistants, they further increased the frequency (and quality) of their science communication activities in 2021, in particular through live streams of historical video games.

In addition to all their own activities, Angus and Aris also help other groups within the university with science communication activities. For example, they made their own podcast studio available to other scientists, including the editors of the Leiden Medievalists Blog (who were able to record the podcast Medieval Conditions there). In this way they not only share their scientific knowledge with a wider audience, but also their practical knowledge with colleagues.

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