News and events

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Appointment of two new Vice Deans

Following a careful selection process, on 24 November the Leiden University Executive Board has appointed Dr E.J.L. (Egbert) Fortuin and Professor M.P.A. (Mirjam) de Baar as Vice Dean and portfolio holders for Education of the Faculty of Humanities. As a result responsibility for the large education portfolio will now be shared among two Faculty Board colleagues.


Sharia, stoning and homosexuality

The Sharia, the Islamic legal system, pays greater attention to ethics than may have been thought. This was clear at the annual conference of the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS). Academics from throughout the world considered the question of how modern Islamic law handles stoning and the rights of homosexuals.


Dialects as the key to Japanese prehistory

Japanese was not always the language spoken in Japan. Researchers link the arrival of the language in Japan with the migration of farmers around 400 BC. Linguist Elisabeth de Boer has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant to carry out research on the further spread of the language in Japan.


Secrets of 17th-century letters finally laid bare

The archive of a 17th-century postmaster has been discovered in the Museum for Communication in The Hague. Using new scanning techniques, the international research team Signed, Sealed & Undelivered , headed by literary scholar Nadine Akkerman from Leiden University and historian David van der Linden from the University of Groningen, has unlocked the archive’s secrets.


Flags at half-mast and a minute's silence for Paris

Today at noon we will observe a minute’s silence as a token of respect for the French nation, following the recent events in Paris. On behalf of the Faculty Board I would like to invite all colleagues and students to join us at this hour.


University Sport Centre open again from Saturday

The University Sport Centre (USC) at the Einsteinweg in Leiden will be open again for sports enthusiasts on Saturday 31 October. Students of the University will also be able to use the Sport Centre for their exams from Monday 2 November.


The imagination as gaoler and as escape

Fiction is more effective than autobiographical non-fiction when it comes to conveying the sensation of enforced solitary confinement. That is the conclusion of writer and lawyer Maarten Asscher in his study 'Het uur der waarheid. Over de gevangenschap als literaire ervaring' (The Moment of Truth: Imprisonment as a literary experience.) PhD defence 29 October.


Sign up for the Master’s Information Day on 6 November

Have you already decided which master’s programme you want to do? Visit our Master’s Information Day on 6 November and find out what Leiden University has to offer you. Choose the programmes you want to visit and drop in at the Job Market Café where you can find out more about your prospects on the job market.


Free online linguistics course: Miracles of Human Language

Language is a little bit like owning a mobile phone. We use it all the time, but we don’t really understand how it works. Do all humans have language? This and many other questions will be answered by professor Marc van Oostendorp in the MOOC Miracles of Human Language: an Introduction to Linguistics.


Michiel van Groesen new Professor of Maritime History at Leiden University

As of 1 September 2015, Michiel van Groesen is Professor of Maritime History at Leiden University. He succeeds Professor Henk den Heijer, who retired and gave his farewell lecture at 25 September. Van Groesen believes Maritime History in Leiden, with its rich tradition, is uniquely positioned to make a broad international impact.


Launch of the European Network of Brazilianists – REBRAC

Sara Brandellero, Assistant Professor in Brazilian Studies (LUCAS), is a founding member of the newly launched European Network of Brazilianists working in Cultural Analysis/Rede Europeia de Brasilianistas de Análise Cultural – REBRAC. Network launched at international conference at the University of London.


The Middle East doesn't exist

On Friday 2 October journalist Sander van Hoorn starts his lecture series ‘The Middle East doesn't exist’, which was organised by the Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS). ‘If all goes well, people will understand the Middle East that bit less after my lectures.’


King and Queen consult China experts in Leiden

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima attended a meeting at Leiden University on 1 October to prepare for their state visit to China. China experts informed them about such topics as the image that Chinese people have of the Netherlands.