NWO Vidi Grants for Dorothea Gädeke and Robert Flierman

Zandstenen muur met een portret van Ceasar en de woorden Veni, Vidi, Vici

Philosopher Dorothea Gädeke and researcher in the field of medieval culture Robert Flierman of the Faculty of Humanities have both received a NWO-Vidi of 800,000 euros. This will enable them to develop their own innovative line of research and to set up a research group over the next five years.

Dr. Dorothea Gädeke. Foto: Ed van Rijswijk
Dr Dorothea Gädeke. Photo: Ed van Rijswijk

What does it mean to be free?

Subject of the research of Dr Dorothea Gädeke is ‘Theorizing Freedom from Below’. Most theories of freedom focus on the state of being free. But can we fully understand what freedom means without the experience of unfreedom? This project will investigate how the way in which we think about freedom changes when rethinking freedom from the perspective of people who struggled to become free.

Dr. Robert Flierman
Dr Robert Flierman

How did medieval societies use the letter?

‘Lettercraft and Epistolary Performance in Early Medieval Europe’ is the title of the research project of Dr Robert Flierman. How did medieval societies use the letter and who were among its users? This project approaches the medieval letter as a performative medium that was read out aloud, translated and circulated in public. It explores how the letter was thus able to establish lines of communication between diverse social groups and across political boundaries and language-barriers, making it an essential tool for conflict-resolution and consensus-building in a world with rudimentary infrastructure and limited public order.