NWO grant for Jan Bloemendal’s TransLatin research project

Jan Bloemendal has been awarded an NWO Open Competition grant for his project entitled TransLatin: The transnational impact of Latin plays from the early modern Low Countries, a qualitative and computational analysis. The grant amounts to a sum of 750,000 euros, which will enable Bloemdal to appoint two post-doctoral researchers (specialising in New Latin and Digital Humanities) and a research assistant, and to call in IT assistance, for a period of four years.

About the project
During the Renaissance and beyond, literature was a border crosser. There was a notable mutual influence of playwrights from different countries, because their plays were widely read and performed. Latin plays, particularly from the Netherlands, played an important role in this interaction. The aim of the project is to unravel the workings of this process through historical research and modern computer technology. We intend to trace and analyse playwrights’ networks and the migration of themes, motifs and phrases. By doing so, we will show –  ‘transnationally’ – that the Netherlands were deeper embedded in Europe than expected, and write a new literary history of early modern theatre.

Humanities Cluster scores
No less than thirteen of the 41 grant-awarded projects come under Humanities. Three of these thirteen applications were made by institutions from the KNAW Humanities Cluster. Besides the Huygens ING TransLatin project, the winners included the Tolerant migrant cities? The case of Holland 1600-1900 project by Prof. Dr Manon van der Heijden (Leiden University) and her IISH colleague Prof. Dr Leo Lucassen. The third project receiving a grant is Spread the new(s). Understanding standardization of Dutch through 17th-century newspapers by historical linguist Nicoline van der Sijs (Meertens Institute). The grant amounts to a sum of ca. 300,000 euros, covering the appointment a PhD student for a period of four years and the development of a teaching module and a website entitled ‘Krantentaal vroeger en nu’ (‘Newspaper language then and now’).

And finally, there is one project based on HSN data of the IISH. HSN stands for Historical Sample of the Netherlands. The project in question is The burden of infectious diseases. Child and adult mortality from infectious diseases in Amsterdam, 1854-1926 by Prof. Dr Angelique Janssens (Radboud University) and Prof. Dr Jacco Wallinga (Leiden University Medical Center).

About the Open Competition
NWO’s Open Competition SSH (Social Sciences and Humanities) aims to promote excellent, free, curiosity-driven research with a research question and problem statement primarily linked to the social sciences or the humanities. Researchers are invited to apply for funding for several different types of research: small or large research projects, individual projects or group-based projects. The research may be disciplinary, interdisciplinary or domain-exceeding in nature, and it may focus on international collaboration between researchers and/or research groups.