HERA: European research funders invest in international cooperation in the humanities

30 August 2016

Eighteen international cooperation projects conducting humanities-led research will receive funding from the European HERA Joint Research programme Uses of the Past. The research programme was set up by 24 research funders from 23 countries and will be supported financially by the European Commission. NWO is one of the participating research funders and also coordinated the application and selection procedure. A total of 21 million euros is available for the research projects. Researchers from four or more countries are involved in each project which receives funding. Dutch researchers play a part in seven of the eighteen funded projects. Two of the research projects have a Dutch project leader.


Dutch researchers are involved in the following funded projects (the researchers are listed in alphabetical order):

Memory Laws in European and Comparative Perspectives
Representing the Netherlands: Dr Uladzislau Belavusau (University of Amsterdam)
Memory laws are instruments used by states to dictate particular interpretations of historical events. The researchers in this project study these laws in the light of current debates on state censorship, universal and academic freedom of expression and the oppression of minorities.


Understanding Sharia: Past Perfect/Imperfect Present
Representing the Netherlands: Prof. Léon Buskens (Leiden University)
For centuries, Muslims have been debating how they ought to live according to God’s will. The researchers study how Muslims construct a contrast between ‘authentic’ Islamic Law and ‘customs’ or ‘culture’ which have been passed down, both in national legal systems and in the newly formed communities in Europe.


Printing the Past. Architecture, Print Culture and Uses of the Past in Modern Europe
Representing the Netherlands: Prof. Caroline van Eck (Leiden University)
In the 19th century, architecture increasingly became the art form in which the past manifests itself in publications, drawings and reconstructions on paper. This research project studies the architecture and publication culture in Europe between 1800 and 1900.


Sound Memories: The Musical Past in Late-Medieval and Early-Modern Europe
Representing the Netherlands: Prof. Karl Kügle (Leiden University) – project leader
Drawing on a musical past was not an invention of Romanticism. Even in the Middle Ages, ‘old’ music was used to give ideological legitimacy to various political schools of thought. Five transnational teams in Cambridge, Heidelberg, Prague, Warsaw and Utrecht will jointly examine how ‘old fashioned’ musical traditions were used not only by reformers but also by the powers that be in Western and Central Europe between 1200 and 1600.


Accessing Campscapes: Inclusive Strategies for Using European Conflicted Heritage
Representing the Netherlands: Prof. Rob van der Laarse (University of Amsterdam) – project leader
Despite being demolished and ‘forgotten’, former 20th-century labour camps, concentration camps and extermination camps still pepper the European landscape and their rebirth as memorial camps is on the rise. The researchers will develop new tools to make these monuments of totalitarianism, terror and genocide accessible to the general public as conflicted heritage.


Multilingualism and Minority Languages in Ancient Europe
Representing the Netherlands: Prof. Alexander Lubotsky and Dr Alwin Kloekhorst (Leiden University)
We do not know which languages were spoken in the border region between Europe and the Near East before the beginning of our era. By studying recently excavated inscriptions in Northwest Turkey, which date from 500 BC, the research team will reconstruct the language situation in this area in this period.


The heritagization of religion and the sacralization of heritage in contemporary Europe
Representing the Netherlands: Dr Irene Stengs (Meertens Institute)
Religious buildings, objects and traditions are conserved and appreciated as cultural heritage all over the world, which is pushing their original spiritual dimension into the background. At the same time, cultural objects, traditions and exceptional architecture with heritage status are being given unassailable, almost sacral significance. This project studies what these – often conflicting – forms of sacredness, both secular and religious, say about our age.


Further information

For more information, please contact:

Sander Steeman
e.: hera@nwo.nl
t.: +31 70 3440567

Source: NWO