Dutch Wednesday 2018

'Dutch Wednesday' is een jaarlijkse serie lezingen en discussies op het NIP. De sprekers zijn prominente Nederlandse wetenschappers die op toegankelijke wijze over hun onderzoek vertellen.

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Dutch Wednesday

Het doel van Dutch Wednesday is verdieping en uitwisseling van kennis en stimulering van academische samenwerking. Tot de doelgroep behoren Russische en buitenlandse studenten, docenten en alumni. Vaak leiden de bijeenkomsten tot nieuwe contacten en gezamenlijke samenwerkingsinitiatieven.

Deze serie is tot stand gekomen met de financiële hulp van het Wilhelmina E. Jansen fonds.

Hans Schilderman

28th of March "Religion and Solidarity" 

Hans Schilderman, professor Religion and Care, Radboud University

What is the significance of religion for shaping the social lives of European citizens? Public life is said to privatize, pluralize and commercialize. Europeans live in welfare states and the market increasingly addresses their needs and concerns. The contribution of religions to the basic concerns of social life – so influential in many countries over the past centuries - has often been overhauled by the institutional provisions and public insurances for our care and wellbeing. Is there any room left for the social tasks of religions and the churches? Or does religion grow into a marginalized phenomenon: more a private concern in family life than a public effort to realize societal concerns? There are both normative and descriptive sides to these questions. The normative side concerns the issue what religions’ contribution to modern societies should be. What are the moral concerns that motivate their contributions? The descriptive side assumes simultaneously a preceding and subsequent question: does religion in fact represent a social force and if so, to what objectives does it successfully contribute? Answers to these normative and descriptive questions do not necessarily match.

Some of the intricacies of this issue I hope to clarify in this lecture at the Netherlands Institute in Saint Petersburg. After sketching some religious differences among European countries and their church-state dependencies, I will clarify the notion of solidarity from the idea of social capital. In doing so I hope to discuss religions’ opportunities and inevitable limitations in morally engaging in social issues.


Prof. Dr J.B.A.M. (Hans) Schilderman (1959) is professor ‘Religion and Care’, and key domain chairholder in Empirical and Practical Religion at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies at Radboud University in the Netherlands. His teaching interests and research expertise cover a variety of topics ranging from spiritual care, ritual and ethics to cross-national research on social and political issues in religion. He has been engaged in the NORFACE funded research program on religion and solidarity (EURESOURCE) and has been president of the International Society of Empirical Research in Theology (ISERT). As supervisor of the master 'spiritual care' he publishes on professionalization issues in spiritual care, and is currently studying the religious significance of quality of life in suffering.


Mark Deuze

 25th of April "Media Life"

Mark Deuze, professor Media Studies, University of Amsterdam

Research consistently shows how, through the years, more of our time is spent using media, how media multiply in everyday life, and that consuming media for most people takes place alongside producing media.

Media Life, as a concept, is a primer on how we may think of our lives as lived in rather than withmedia. T The way people experience media – the way humanity is digital – can be used as a prism to understand key issues in contemporary society, in which reality is open source, identities are – like websites – always under construction, and private life is lived in public forever more.

Ultimately, media are to us as water is to fish. The question is: how can we live a good life in media, like fish in water?

This presentation charts the options and opportunities for media life, focusing specifically on the working lives of those best positioned to show us how: media professionals.

Mark Deuze is Professor of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and before that worked at Indiana University in the US. His research focuses on media and everyday life and professional media production. Publications of his work include over 80 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and 9 books – including “Media Work” (2007) and “Media Life” (2012) with Polity Press, “Leven in Media” (2017) and “Making Media” (forthcoming in 2018) with Amsterdam University Press. His work is published both in Dutch and English, and has been translated in Chinese, German, Portuguese, Greek, Czech and Hungarian. He was a Research Fellow at the Center for International Communications Research of the University of Leeds in the UK, and a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Mark is also the bassist/singer of post-metal outfit Skinflower.


Pauline Kleingeld

30th of May "Is Character an Illusion? Virtue, Vice, and Situationism"

Pauline Kleingeld – University of Groningen

We regularly explain people’s behavior in terms of their character traits and evaluate it in moral terms. Psychological studies show, however, that human behavior reliably co-varies with morally irrelevant features of the situations in which we act. For example, when the sun is shining, people are generally more helpful than when it is cloudy, other things being equal. Some philosophers have argued on the basis of such results that moral character hardly exists and that it is unrealistic or even dangerous to strive to develop it. Their opponents respond that the development of a good moral character can and should remain a moral ideal. Who is right and how can we find out? In this lecture, Prof. dr. Pauline Kleingeld will discuss several relevant psychological studies and their implications for our thinking about human behavior and character in general, and about ethics in particular.

Pauline Kleingeld is Professor of Ethics and Chair of the Department of Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. She is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Holland Society of Sciences and Humanities. She is a member of the NWO-funded consortium "Sustainable Cooperation" (2017-2026). Her research is in the fields of ethics and political philosophy, with a special interest in Immanuel Kant and Kantianism. She is the author of several books, most recently Kant and Cosmopolitanism: The Philosophical Ideal of World Citizenship (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), which won the 2013 biennial NAKS Book Prize.


Jorrit Rijpma

12th of September 

Dr Jorrit Rijpma, Associate professor EU Law at the University of Leiden.

This year, dr Rijpma was rewarded the European subsidy as Jean Monnet Professor ad Personam. Rijpma studies European cooperation in the field of Internal Affairs and Justice, the so-called ‘area of freedom, security and justice’. In his research he mostly focuses on the migration policy of the EU and the institutional developments in this field.

Dr Rijpma studied Law at the European Law School of the University of Maastricht and at the College of Europe in Brugge. He was awarded the PhD degree at the European University Institute in Florence for his dissertation about the management of the external borders of the European Union. A part of his research took place at the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) in Warsaw.

Rijpma is a member of the standing committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law (Meijers Committee). He was a visiting lecturer at the Koç University in Istanbul and the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.



3rd of October, Jan Stroop - University of Amsterdam

Why young women say goodbye to Standard Dutch

During the last decades a new type of spoken “general” Dutch has developed, which is of sociolinguistic interest for several reasons. In the beginning, 1960-1970, it was spoken by younger women from the higher middle classes (scientists, writers, artists, politicians). Nowadays it is spoken by a lot of social groups, of all classes and ages, and by both sexes.  

The characteristic phenomenon of this new variety of Dutch is the lowering of the diphthongs [ei], [žy] en [Yu], which results in [ai], [Yu] and [au]:  [wein] changes in [wain] and sounds like English wine, [žyt] changes in [Yut] like English out and [nYu] changes in [nau] like in English now. Lowering means “articulated with a lower jaw and a more open mouth”. It is the same type of “natural” change as the lowering that took place in many other languages:  English wine, house; German Wein, Haus.

The reason why this development is taking place is the fact that lower diphthongs are easier for the speaker and better for the listener: they don’t need the accurate articulation higher diphthongs require and they are louder than higher diphthongs.

In English and German the change took place during the 16th and 17th centuries and became part of the standard language. Although /a.i/ also occurred in several Dutch dialects, it was not accepted in Standard Dutch, because it sounded “bad”, grammarians and writers thought in those days. And so the /ei/ remained the high diphthong of Standard Dutch for more than three centuries.

In the sixties and seventies of the last century the Dutch society changed in many ways. Old traditions and rules were ignored or violated, including the old rules of Standard Dutch. Especially women of the higher middle classes took advantage of the new social climate, by introducing, among others things, that “lowered” type of Dutch, which I named Poldernederlands (Polderdutch). 

Dr. Jan Stroop studied at the University of Nijmegen. In 1977 he received his doctorate ‘cum laude’ with a thesis on terminology and history of mills (Molenaarstermen en molengeschiedenis). From 1966 until 1974 he worked at the Meertens Institute for Research and Documentation of the Dutch Language and Culture.

In 1977 Stroop became senior lecturer at the department of Dutch linguistics at the University of Amsterdam. Stroop is known for his discovery, in 1997, of the so-called Poldernederlands, the new variant of Standard Dutch.

He wrote a book about it (Poldernederlands - waardoor het ABN verdwijnt, 2009) and set up a website about it. In 2010 his book Hun hebben de taal verkwanseld (Them have wasted the language) appeared, about alleged ‘incorrect’ and 'bad' Dutch. He regularly posts on the blog http://www.neerlandistiek.nl/

Stroop also participated in the Dialectatlas van het Nederlands (2011).

In 2014 his book Die taal, die weet wat (Much ado about language) appeared, a collection of articles about our intriguing linguistic instinct, and about language purists, who fulminate against the so-called corruption of the language.

Gepubliceerd door  Nederlands Instituut in Sint-Petersburg

9 april 2018