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Houssine Alloul, James Symonds and Leendert van der Valk have been selected for a residency at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS-KNAW) in Amsterdam. The scholarship will allow them to work on their own research project for five months during the 2024-2025 academic year.

The selected projects:

  • Housine Alloul, Assistant Professor of Modern Global History: Ottoman Envoys to Europe: Negotiating Difference in the Diplomatic World, 1832-1914
    This project seeks to write Ottoman diplomats back into European history. Moving this multi-religious group of Ottoman officials center stage again, Alloul’s project corrects conventional narratives that often paint the world of diplomats as a singularly Western European one in which non-Western actors played no active part.
  • James Symonds, Professor of Historical Archaeology North of the Alps: New Worlds & New Commodities: Transformations of Everyday Life in 17th & 18th century Dutch Republic
    How were tobacco smoking and tea drinking practices received and adopted in the Dutch Republic? In this project, Symonds will investigate how goods related to the consumption of colonial commodities grew in number to become the ‘new norm’ in Dutch households. The project is part of the NIAS theme group Early Dutch commerce and indigenous landscapes.
  • Leendert van der Valk, Journalism lecturer: Atlas of the Dutch History of Slavery
    How many people were enslaved under Dutch colonial rule? Who were they and where did they live? As journalist in residence, Van der Valk will work on the ‘Atlas of the Dutch History of Slavery’. The core of the book is the 30 ‘overlooked’ colonies and trading posts, shedding light on the one million or more ‘forgotten’ children, women and men enslaved by Dutch traders.

The researchers will become part of a carefully selected community of about 50 scientists, artists and writers who will receive NIAS Fellowships for the 2024-2025 academic year.


NIAS – one of the institutes of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) –provides a physical and intellectual space for advanced research in the humanities and social sciences that is driven by curiosity and cross-discipline collaboration. It offers temporary fellowships to international and Dutch scholars. NIAS is located in Amsterdam.