Frits van Oostrom to receive Visser-Neerlandia Prize
On 15 October 2022, Distinguished Professor of Utrecht University Frits van Oostrom will receive the Visser-Nederlandia Prize by the Algemeen-Nederlands Verbond (ANV). With the aim of maintaining and developing the Dutch language and cultural community, the ANV awards the prize annually to people who dedicate themselves to man, society and primarily the Dutch language.
“Frits van Oostrom receives the prize as a reward for the way in which he has made a meaningful contribution to Dutch-Flemish cooperation in the fields of scholarship and culture”, the ANV announces, “and his great influence on the academic, literary and cultural life in the Netherlands and Flanders.”
A complete surprise
“The awarding of this prize came as a complete surprise to me. As I understood, the nomination came from Flanders, which makes me feel all the more honoured”, Van Oostrom says.
“The seed for my many Flemish contacts was sown in Utrecht, when as a student I took part in a Utrecht-Brussels seminar group led by the colleague professors Wim Gerritsen (UU) and Ria Jansen-Sieben (VUB). Sadly, they both passed away in the same days of October 2019, and I miss them.”
Update following the award ceremony
On 15 October, Van Oostrom accepted the award in Bergen op Zoom at a festive ceremony. In his laudation, writer Maxim Februari spoke of the mysterious way Van Oostrom gets things done. "It is a talent that I think, despite all the praise, is still underestimated in the academic, literary and cultural life of the Netherlands and Flanders."
Historian Els Witte, professor emeritus at the Free University of Brussels, also won the Visser-Neerlandia Prize. Laudatios to both winners will be published in the ANV journal Neerlandia in January.