EU leaders return to Maastricht for a conference 20 years after Treaty: a video registration.

The poem as vision

In Culture
Saturday, 24 December 2011 11:18

Biography of M. Vasalis sees the light

M. Vasalis is the pseudonym for Margaretha Droogleever Fortuyn-Leenmans (1909–1998), whose three collections of poems published between 1940 and 1954 enjoyed unprecedentedly high print runs. “If your work sells well, you’re immediately viewed with suspicion by the literary elite”, says Meijer. “If you’re a woman as well, it won’t be long before you’re accused of simple and one-dimensional writing. This is what happened to Vasalis. She did get recognition, but her male peers from the literary movement ‘de Vijftigers’ still accused her of being simple and outmoded.

After four years doing research and supervising PhD candidates and postdocs at the European University Institute in Florence, Professor Kiran Klaus Patel decided to relocate to Maastricht University. As of 1 September, he is the new professor of European and Global History and head of the History Department at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. 

Graeme Evans, extraordinary professor of Culture and Urban Development, on Maastricht as Capital of Culture 2018

Maastricht is aiming to be named the European Capital of Culture in 2018. That the city is taking this aim seriously is evident, among other things, from the fact that it is funding an extraordinary chair in Culture and Urban Development at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. So does the new professor think Maastricht has a shot at winning?

Graeme Evans (1954) comes from London. When he went to Bromley Grammar School in the late 1960s, the area stood at the centre of a lively music scene. “People like David Bowie and the Rolling Stones came from the same area and neighbourhood schools.” And Evans himself was no stranger to that world: he played the guitar and saxophone in different bands, performed gigs in clubs and even made recordings as a session musician. Perhaps not with quite the same result as the Stones, it’s safe to say – but being a professor is no bad gig either.

A different sound in science

In Culture
Friday, 16 December 2011 11:57

Vici grant for Karin Bijsterveld’s Sonic Skills research

Volcanic activity has traditionally been predicted by measuring the vibrations of the earth. That is, until people started to see volcanoes as a sort of organ pipe, and started to listen instead to the sounds that they make. The result: better predictions of volcanic activity. “We don’t have ears for nothing”, says Professor Karin Bijsterveld, PhD. “But the act of looking is much more developed in the sciences, including technology and medicine, and visual information is valued much more highly than auditory information,.” In the coming years – and with the help of a sizeable NWO Vici research grant – Bijsterveld will put her ear to precisely these areas.

Morality versus technology

In Culture
Monday, 12 September 2011 11:10

Do you influence technological development?

Quickly checking your email on your smartphone, sitting in the sun with your laptop to work or even driving your car to work: technology is an integral part of our daily lives. "While technology gives us a lot, we also know that what it brings with it are not only blessings. Often with technology come risks or adverse effects and responsibilities that you might not immediately expect," says Prof. Tsjalling Swierstra, professor of Philosophy at Maastricht University (UM). His department focuses on the relationship between technology and morality, and therefore on ethical and societal aspects of technology. On Friday 16 September 2011, he will deliver his inaugural lecture titled 'Heraclitean Ethics. Dealing with the impacts of soft technology '.

The art of preserving art

In Culture
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 00:00

Ever heard of ‘found art’? It is art made from found materials, such as disposed household waste. But imagine that an empty milk carton in one of these objects starts to rot and smell awfully. How would you, as a museum curator, handle it? Replace the milk carton with a fresh one – if available? Take another milk carton and process it to prevent it from deteriorating? Or simply try to ignore the smell and leave it as it is for the sake of authenticity? Vivian van Saaze addresses these and other questions in her dissertation ‘Doing Artworks – A Study into the Presentation and Conservation of Installation Artworks’. Under the supervision of Prof. Renée van de Vall, van Saaze is involved in a project that is changing the perspective of art conservation.

Rewarding evil with good

In Society
Thursday, 20 May 2010 10:29

Criminal justice from a spiritual perspective

The walls of his office are lined with portraits and quotes by philosophers. Three bookshelves are stuffed with books on law, philosophy and religion, respectively. And still hanging on the noticeboard are the mindmaps with which Jacques Claessen began his PhD dissertation six long years ago. The central question, ‘What behaviour should be considered punishable, and what not?’ has gradually been replaced by ‘How does the mystic view crime and punishment?’ The project has led not only to a dissertation, but also a journey of personal development. Read on to find out how an atheist became a ‘mystic on training wheels’.

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