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NWO/Spinoza Prize for literature, microbiology, physics and medicine
Date:6/2/2008

for their children. Her didactic qualities are considerable. She is a source of inspiration for students in both the Netherlands and further afield. The Spinoza Committee expects that she will make further major discoveries, partly because the techniques she uses are being developed further.

This jury report served as the basis for the speech given by Prof. Didi Braat at the announcement ceremony for the NWO/Spinoza Prizes 2008 on 2 June 2008.

APPENDIX TO PRESS RELEASE NWO/SPINOZA PRIZES 2008

Jury report for Prof. J.Th. (Joep) Leerssen
Professor of Modern European Languages at the Universiteit van Amsterdam

Professor Leerssen receives the NWO/Spinoza Prize 2008 for his innovative contributions to imagology, Irish studies and research into cultural nationalism.

Joep Leerssen (12 June 1955, Leiden) studied Comparative Literature and English at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. In 1980 he obtained an honours MA in Anglo-Irish Studies from University College Dublin. From 1982 to 1984 he was a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto and from 1984 to 1986 assistant lecturer in Aachen, before gaining his doctorate with honours from Utrecht University in 1986. Since 1991 he has been professor of Modern European Literature at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. From 1996 to 2006 he was director of the Huizinga Institute (Dutch National Research Institute and Graduate School of Cultural History). In 2003 he was a visiting professor at Harvard University. He has been a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) since 2008.

Leerssen has an impressive list of publications to his name about national stereotypes and the relationship between literature, historical awareness and nationalism. With the recent books National Thought in Europe: A Cultural History (2006) and Imagology (2007) he has permanently established his reputation. His writings often trigger innovations in the disciplines
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Contact: NWO, Department of Information and Communication
voorlichting@nwo.nl
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Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
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