Nadine Akkerman wins Dr Hendrik Muller Prize 2021

11 November 2021

Her publications on women's history, diplomacy and espionage in the early modern period are read by a wide audience and she uses innovative methods for her research. Nadine Akkerman, associate professor of early modern English literature at Leiden University, is receiving the Dr Hendrik Muller Prize 2021 for her work.

Women of various professions – from laundresses to ladies-in-waiting – were successful spies in seventeenth-century England. This is what Nadine Akkerman describes in her book Invisible Agents, the first analysis of the role of female spies in the seventeenth century. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on early modern English literature and history, including women's history.

By using, for instance, 3D scanners to read unopened seventeenth-century letters, she sheds new light on the role of women, diplomacy and espionage in the early modern era. She is also the leading expert on Elizabeth Stuart. According to the jury, her leading research and innovative methods make Nadine Akkerman a deserved winner of the Dr Hendrik Muller Prize 2021 for social sciences and humanities.

About Nadine Akkerman

© Photo: Rob Blackham

Dr Nadine Akkerman (born in 1978) is associate professor in English literature and works at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS). She studied English language and literature at VU University Amsterdam where she also completed her PhD, graduating cum laude in 2008.

The scientific recognition of her work is evident from the many grants and prizes she has received, including an ERC Consolidator Grant, a NWO Veni and an Ammodo Science Award. She has also been awarded several international fellowships, including a NIAS Fellowship, a fellowship of the Royal Historical Society and recently a fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford. She is an inspiration to young researchers and a committed member of The Young Academy.

Her new book Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Hearts will be published by Oxford University Press on 25 November 2021.

Award ceremony and symposium

The Dr Hendrik Muller Prize will be awarded on Tuesday 14 December 2021 during a symposium compiled by Nadine Akkerman: Tegendraads in het archief: luisteren naar het fluisteren. You are cordially invited to attend.

The Dr Hendrik Muller Prize

This biennial prize is intended for a researcher working in the Netherlands who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of humanities and/or social sciences and who has been awarded a PhD in the past 15 years.

The Dr Hendrik Muller Prize is the successor to the Dr Hendrik Muller Prize for the Behavioural and Social Sciences, which was awarded by the Academy from 1991 to 2017. The renewed prize was first awarded in 2019.

The prize consists of a sum of EUR 25,000 and a certificate. The money can be used by the winner to finance all or part of a research project at his or her discretion. The Dr Hendrik Muller's Vaderlandsch Fonds – founded and named after the Dutch businessman, scientist and diplomat Dr Hendrik Pieter Nicolaas Muller (1859-1941) – makes the prize possible from a financial point of view. The Academy handles the judging and the awarding of the prize.

You can find more information about the Dr Hendrik Muller Prize at knaw.nl/hmp and at www.mullerfonds.nl.