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Ramon Selles, Bilyana Manolova and Kevin Hoogeveen have received funding for their doctoral research at the UvA through the NWO programme PhDs in the Humanities. Financiers are the Programme Office Sustainable Humanities and the NWO domain Social Sciences and Humanities.

The accepted proposals:

Humans and nature in the Roman literary imagination, 50-100 CE
Ramon Selles, Amsterdam School of Historical Studies

How did the Romans understand the relationship between humans and nature? This project presents the first systematic study of how that relationship is represented in Latin literature from early imperial Rome (50-100 CE). Its focus is on three central themes in the literary sources: water management, land use, and animals. By means of an ecocritical analysis of selected passages from a wide variety of texts, from epic poetry to technical prose, this project provides insight into the larger cultural discourse on humans and their environment in imperial Rome.


Becoming Post-Socialist: Life Writing in Eastern Europe after 1989
Bilyana Manolova, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis

After socialism’s collapse, the people living in the former Eastern Bloc had to re-invent their individual and collective self-understandings. This project argues that life writing played a crucial role in this process. Focusing on a corpus of post-1989 autobiographical works across different media (text, film, and visual art) from Bulgaria, Russia, and Ukraine, the project examines how people experienced and documented the process of becoming post-socialist subjects. It formulates a new, relational approach to post-socialist subjectivity, and contributes to a more in-depth understanding of Eastern European identity politics.


The peasant’s potent move: Internal migration and the socio-economic transformation of Egypt, 284-642 CE
Kevin Hoogeveen, Amsterdam School of Historical Studies

What was the contribution of the rural population of Egypt to the big socio-economic changes of Late Antiquity? They have barely left any sources themselves, but others have written about them, especially about their migratory behavior. By studying this migratory behavior, this project intends to better understand which role the peasantry played in societal developments, as well as these societal developments themselves.