Prof. dr. Frits van Oostrom

Frits van Oostrum

One of the merits of Professor of Mediaeval Studies Frits van Oostrom (b. 1953) is the successful way in which he communicates the value and results of humanities research to a broader public. He was Professor of Pre-Romantic Dutch Literature in Leiden between 1982 and 2002. He has also held the post of Visiting Professor at Harvard University. 

Van Oostrom was the first Distinguished University Professor to be appointed at Utrecht University, where he also completed his degree with honours (cum laude) and his doctorate in Dutch Language and Literature. He received nationwide acclaim in 1996, when his book Maerlants wereld (‘Maerlant’s World’) won the Dutch AKO Literatuurprijs. Also a SPINOZA laureate (1995), Oostrom has held positions including that of President of the Committee for the Development of the Dutch Canon (September 2005-July 2007) and President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW, 2005-2008). In 2009 he was appointed as the President of the national Humanities Incentive Board (Regieorgaan Geesteswetenschappen). You can read more in an interview with the Distinguished University Professor that you can find under Prominent Figures in Utrecht or by visiting