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NIAS Newsletter 44 - Spring 2010

From the Archives

NIAS and Wim Blockmans

The 2010 issue of the NIAS Newsletter centers around the special role NIAS plays in the Dutch scientific landscape. Moreover, it also reflects on the special role of rector Wim Blockmans, who is retiring. For this purpose, this issue contains a Director’s Note instead of a Rector’s Note written by Theo Mulder, Director of Institutes at the KNAW 2006-2016, who looks back on Wim Blockmans’ time at NIAS.

Furthermore, some former NIAS Fellows have written about their experiences at NIAS. Esther-Mirjam Sent talks about how her year at NIAS inspired her to move back to the Netherlands after 15 years in the USA. Karla Pollmann mentions that even though the emblem of NIAS is an owl, the symbol of wisdom, its motto should be: “Through Imagination and Friendship”. Esther Benbassa writes about how her time at NIAS changed her and made her “look differently at people, a country or a religion and its customs and ways of seeing the world”. Rudie Botha explains that for him, NIAS was most of all “a state of mind”. Leonid Zhmud gives an insight into the differences between and the similarities of being a fellow at IAS (Princeton), Wiko (Berlin) and NIAS (Wassenaar). Ramesh Mishra looks back fondly on his time at NIAS and in particular Wim Blockmans. Robert Rohrschneider talks about how NIAS stands out as an interdisciplinary institute and the important role of Wim Blockmans. Astrid Erll describes Wim Blockmans as “open-minded, sociable, and intellectually ever-challenging”.



  • President’s Note (pg. 3) – Robbert Dijkgraaf
  • Director’s Note (pg. 4) – Theo Mulder
  • NIAS News (pg. 5)
  • Institutes, NIAS an Wim (pg. 7) – Peter Goddard
  • Heaven on Earth in Wassenaar (pg. 10) – Esther-Mirjam Sent
  • Ingenio Atque Amicitia: 1001 Words for NIAS (pg. 13) – Karla Pollmann
  • NIAS, A Little ‘Republic of Ideas’? (pg. 16) – Esther Benbassa
  • NIAS: a State of Mind (pg. 20) – Rudie Botha
  • Wassenaar, Princeton, Berlin: Some Comparisons (pg. 23) – Leonid Zhmud
  • Wim Blockmans and NIAS: Some Reminiscences (pg. 26) – Rahmesh Mishra
  • Crossing Disciplines (pg. 29) – Robert Rohrschneider
  • On NIAS, New Thinking, and Wim Blockmans (pg. 32) – Astrid Erll
  • Research Group 2010/11 (pg. 36)
  • Books written at NIAS (pg. 38)
  • Personal News (pg. 40)


Download to read (click on the link below):

NIAS Newsletter 44 – Spring 2010 (PDF)