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idea #4 alumni magazine for humanities scholars

4 June 2024
Today’s humanities scholars end up in a wide variety of places. Which ones? And in what roles? With interviews, columns, articles and images, we give their stories a well-deserved stage in our alumni magazine idea #4.

“The theme of this issue of idea is ‘progress? However, not all progress is easily measurable.  That is why humanities scholars must remain themselves, continue to address and develop their own intellect, continue to study their philosophy, their insights into the past, language, media and the diverse art and cultural expressions and advance them in the interest of society.” 

Read the foreword by Freek Schmidt, vice-dean of education


The chance discovery of a philosophy book in a cabinet in Bangladesh was, in retrospect, the start of a second career for Nina van Egmond. The nursing lecturer would eventually obtain a PhD on the importance of human dignity for migrants. Since 2017, she has been a programme manager at the Dutch Council for Refugees. ‘Progress changes the way we live, but it's not necessarily an improvement.’  

Read the interview with Nina van Egmond 

Chroniclers are the bloggers of their time

The weather, grain prices, newspaper reports, local highs and lows or the effects of a flood -- a small selection of the subjects that earlier chroniclers found worthwhile recording for posterity.  For Erika Kuijpers and her team, the chronicles formed the basis of a unique project that resulted in an online data collection with more than 22 million words, more than 200 chronicles that are comprehensively searchable by everyone. 

Read the interview and take a look behind the scenes  

What a paranormal fair teaches us about AI 

‘Let's talk a little less about what artificial intelligence does and a little more about how it works. Dismissing the technology behind it as something for betas is a luxury we can't afford, ’says Professor of Journalism Studies Damian Trilling. 

Read the column   

The week of Boj van den Berg  

After obtaining a bachelor's degree in urban planning, Boj van den Berg pursued a master's degree in Heritage Studies at VU Amsterdam. Currently, as a pioneering urban planner, his work includes leading his Landscape Studio New Grounds and working for Marineterrein Amsterdam. This area serves as a testing ground for urban issues. Boj is responsible for setting up and carrying out experiments in the outdoor space. 

In 9 images he shows us his work week 

“We did it together sir!” 

Read alumnus Andrew Niemeijer's blog and more in idea #4 

Editorial team

idea is a semi-annual publication of the Faculty of Humanities. The next edition will be published in December 2024.

Ask the editors: