Research and Society

Camerata Trajectina celebrates 40th anniversary and receives ‘Visser-Neerlandia’ culture award
Camerata Trajectina

Musical ensemble Camerata Trajectina has been awarded the ‘Visser-Neerlandiaprijs voor Cultuur’ by the Algemeen-Nederlands Verbond (ANV). The culture prize, consisting of a sum of € 15,000, was awarded for the ensemble’s success over the past 40 years in making unknown music and songs from the period 1550-1700 more widely known. Camerata Trajectina received the award during their jubilee concert on 30 November in Utrecht. The ensemble was established 40 years ago by Utrecht Musicology students Jan Nuchelsmans and Jos van Veldhoven. Its current artistic leader is Prof. Louis Grijp (Professor of Dutch Song Culture at Utrecht University).

Dik van der Meulen wins Libris History Award for biography of Dutch King William III
Biografie Koning Willem III 1817-1890

The ‘Libris Geschiedenis Prijs’ 2014, a prestigious Dutch history book award, has been awarded to Koning Willem III, 1817-1890 by Dik van der Meulen, the third of the series of biographies of King William I, II and III written at Utrecht University on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the Dutch Kingdom. The Libris Geschiedenis Prijs is awarded for historic studies that appeal to a wide audience. The jury praised the “compelling” biography: “In a sense, this fascinating book is a rehabilitation of a man who was known as ‘King Gorilla’.”

The first volume of the Kings’ biographies, Koning Willem I, 1772-1843 by Jeroen Koch, was nominated this year for the AKO Literatuurprijs (one of the most important Dutch literary prizes) and also for the ‘Prinsjesboekenprijs’, an award for the best political book of the year.

Documentary ‘The Value of the Humanities’
Documentary ‘The Value of the Humanities’

What purpose do the Humanities serve and why do they matter? What is the present of the Humanities and what kind of future are they going towards? In the inspirational and critical documentary The Value of the Humanities, director Shanti van Dam interviews eight prominent thinkers and scholars about these profoundly relevant issues. Among them are Rosi Braidotti, Frits van Oostrom and Paul Schnabel. They reflect on the Humanities’ past and present, the main challenges and possible futures of the discipline that has shaped and continues shaping our understanding of what it means to be human. The documentary was broadcast in September by VPRO on the theme channel NPOdoc.


Frits van Oostrom receives honorary doctorate of Open Universiteit
Prof. dr. Frits van Oostrom. Foto: Ed van Rijswijk

On 26 September, distinguished university professor Frits van Oostrom received an honorary doctorate of the Open Universiteit for his important contributions making Dutch medieval literature accessible for a large audience.

Royal Decorations for Orlanda Lie and Maarten Prak
Prof. dr. Orlanda Lie en prof. dr. Maarten Prak

Friday 25 April, the day before King’s Day, Prof. Maarten Prak (Economic and Social History) and emeritus Prof. Orlanda Lie (Medieval Culture) have been decorated as Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. In total, seven Professors of Utrecht University have received royal honours this year.

Professor Erik Huizer inducted into Internet Hall of Fame
Erik Huizer, foto marketingfacts.nl

Erik Huizer, professor of Internet applications at Utrecht University and CTO of SURFnet, was inducted into the prestigious Internet Hall of Fame. Huizer now holds the title of Global Connector. He finds himself in the company of Internet pioneers such as Vint Cerf and Jon Postel (the founders of the modern Internet) and innovators such as Linus Torvalds (the inventor of Linux) and Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the WWW). According to the jury of the Internet Society‘s recurring annual event, Huizer was honoured in recognition of ‘his contribution to the growth, connectivity and use of the Internet, both around the world and in the Netherlands’.


Alumnus Eric van der Donk elected best history teacher 2014
Eric van der Donk, beste geschiedenisdocent van 2014

During the national Night of History on 18 October in the Rijksmuseum, Eric van der Donk has been honoured as the best history teacher of 2014. A former student of Utrecht University (History department and IVLOS Institute of Education), Van der Donk is currently an internship supervisor in the master’s programme for history teachers at Utrecht University. He works as a history teacher at ‘Lek en Linge’ school in Culemborg.

The election, an initiative of public broadcaster NTR and the Rijksmuseum, was held for the first time this year. Chairman of the jury Hans Goedkoop praised Van der Donk: “In every part of his being, on every day of the year, he is committed to his profession. In this way the school subject of History has gained an extraordinary status at his school.”

Celtic languages and culture is best rated bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands
Keltische talen en cultuur

The bachelor’s programme that receives the highest rating by students in the Netherlands is Keltische talen en cultuur (Celtic languages and culture) at Utrecht University. That is the outcome of the National Students Survey 2014. Students of Celtic rated their satisfaction about their study programme with a score of 4.86 out of 5. The lecturers in Celtic also got the highest score: 4.7.

The National Students Survey is held each year among students of higher education. A total of 200,000 students participated in the survey, of which 8610 at Utrecht University.

Historian Maarten Prak wins Teacher Award 2013-2014
Marc van Mil,  Bert van der Zwaan (rector magnificus), Maarten Prak, v.l.n.r. (from left to right)

Maarten Prak, Professor of Economic and Social History, has been awarded the annual Outstanding Teacher Award 2013-2014 of Utrecht University. Students praise him for his enthusiasm and call him “a role model for students”. Besides his enthusiasm, the jury also praises his contributions to educational innovation as well as his attention for individual students.