The House of Representatives continues to struggle with the boundaries of a decent debate. Should people be allowed to say anything they want, and if not, where are the limits? The House recently made yet another attempt to set boundaries. Expert in Political and Parliamentary History Carla Hoetink (Radboud University) explains why this is so hard to do.
Initiatives such as the Children's Books Week are supposed to get large numbers of children reading again. This is sorely needed, as the reading skills of young Dutch people have been on the decline for years. But according to literary scholar Jeroen Dera, students can also dramatically improve their language skills, as well as their critical thinking, by reading more. 'Reading skills are one of the greatest predictors of social success.'
Can a teacher voice their own political opinions to the class? In recent years, discussions about what teachers can and cannot say have frequently surfaced in the media. Meanwhile, teachers are expected to teach pupils good citizenship. Discussions about the duties of teachers may seem like a modern phenomenon, but even in the 1950s there was much talk about such issues. History teacher and researcher Renée ten Cate researches the changing role of the teacher as citizen-maker.
Researcher Sándor Chardonnens (Radboud Institute for Culture & History, RICH) is featured in the NPO TV programme Iedereen Verlicht on 9 October. The docuseries features personal stories of people who are spiritually engaged in improving themselves and the world
If you would like to know how long it took to get from Eindhoven to Deventer around 600 years ago, the updated version of Viabundus - which is like a variation of Google Maps for the 1350-1650 period - can be used to calculate just how much time was needed. One of the things that the project’s researchers managed to achieve this year was a more accurate map of Brabant’s road network.
They were the largest slave traders in Amsterdam: Jochem Matthijs Smitt and his son Coenraad Smitt. Yet their trading company was not known in history until historians Jessica den Oudsten (Radboud University) and Ramona Negrón (Leiden University) found a pile of notarial deeds about the difficult voyage of slave ship 't Gezegende Suikerriet in 2022. In their book De grootste slavenhandelaren van Amsterdam they describe the arduous circumstances on board.
The fact that everyone already knows the content of the Annual Budget seems to be the rule rather than the exception on Prince's Day. More surprising than the Budget, however, are the extravagant outfits, in particular the hats, sported by female politicians on this occasion. Professor Anneke Smelik: “The merry, lavish hat parade is a typical Dutch response to our aversion to rituals.”
The issues that arose in the 1970s share striking similarities with our current crises, from energy crises and inflation to concerns about the quality of life on earth. Researchers from Radboud University have written a book about how Dutch parliament dealt with these issues in the 1970s. On 1 September, Prime Minister Rutte was presented with the first copy of this book. Later that same day, the researchers discussed their research results with other dignitaries, including the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
After the attacks on 11 September 2001 in New York, nothing was left of the once iconic twin towers but a huge pile of debris. But debris, dust and steel acquired value because they mixed with the remains of unidentifiable victims. In his book project, researcher László Munteán explores the complex relationship between materiality and memory after the 9/11 attacks.