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The joint first prizewinners of the ASH Valorisation Award 2017-2018 are Over de Muur and Josephine van den Bent, as announced on 2 July at the ASH end of term event and awards ceremony.

This year the jury was confronted, yet again, by the impressive diversity in ASH researchers' areas of engagement - so many kinds of activities, important in different respects, showing the great many directions 'valorisation' can take. These efforts are truly commendable. In the end the jury made its choice based on which entry had the most (long-term) impact, but also its originality and the nominee's role in the initiative. The jury chose not to limit itself to one winner, but to select both an individual and a group project.

Josephine van den Bent was awarded the prize for her role as editor-in-chief of ZemZem, a Dutch language magazine on the Middle East, North Africa, and Islam, and for her role as president of the board of the Zenobia Foundation that promotes the study of east-west relations. In these capacities she recently organised a very successful public event Jeruzalem van Eden tot Heden, she actively participated in public debates and she led excursions in places such as Cairo. Altogether, there are many reasons to recognise and celebrate Josephine's public work.

Josephine van den Bent at the award ceremony. Photo: B. van der Pas

The group of founders of the weblog Over de Muur was awarded the prize for publishing no less than 59 articles on History in connection with current affairs and reaching over 37,000 unique visitors, all in the past year. Many of these publications were cross-posted across other media (e.g., Het Parool, Folia, Joop.nl, Neerlandistiek.nl) or quoted (de Volkskrant, NRC Handelsblad). The team has also started giving workshops to students and PhD researchers on how to write for a wide audience. Congratulations to the whole team for their important work: Darryl Barthé, Esmée Bruggink, Teun Dominicus, Lisa Kattenberg, Niels Mathijssen, Sara Polak, Steven Ottens, Thomas Smits, Klaas Stutje, Sabine Waasdorp, Edurne De Wilde, and Suze Zijlstra.

The Over de Muur group at the awards ceremony. Photo: B. van der Pas

About the award

The ASH Valorisation Award is presented annually to (a) member(s) of the Amsterdam School for Historical Studies. The award recognises an individual or team’s ability to reach new audiences, demonstrating a lasting impact on the public. The award is accompanied by a prize of € 250.