prof. dr. M.L.M. van Berkel (Maaike)

Hoogleraar - Departement Geschiedenis, Kunstgeschiedenis en Oudheid
Hoogleraar - Radboud Institute for Culture and History

prof. dr. M.L.M. van Berkel (Maaike)

Erasmusplein 1


Postbus 9103

Maaike van Berkel is a social and cultural historian of the Middle East, with a particular interest in literacy, court culture, bureaucracies and power relations, urban organization, and, more recently, the management of natural resources.

She is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (since 2022) and director of the interdisciplinary School of Abbasid Studies (since 2018).

Her current research project (NWO VICI grant, 2019-2024) investigates water management in the premodern Middle Eastern city. Managing water is the greatest challenge this water-scarce region faces and has faced in the past. Despite challenging conditions, urban communities were able to organize their daily water. The interdisciplinary team of this project explores conditions for sustainable water management in the premodern Middle East.

Previously, she co-coordinated the NWO Horizon Eurasian Empires project (2011-2016), resulting in a synthesizing book that explores innovative methods and concepts for studying premodern Eurasian imperial rulers and elites in comparative perspective (Prince, Pen and Sword. Eurasian Perspectives, 2018).

She also co-headed the history work package of the FP7 project Anti-Corruption Policies Revisited: Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption (2012-2017). The results of this project are published in a volume (Anticorruption in History: From Antiquity to the Modern Era, OUP 2017), demonstrating developments in anti-corruption practices across space and time.

Her NWO VENI (2004-2008) project dealt with communication and conflict resolution at the caliphal court, the results of which are published in several articles.


Onderzoeksbeurzen en -prijzen