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Merlijn Olnon 1

Merlijn Olnon

Manager Public Affairs

Role at NIAS

As NIAS’ Manager Public Affairs it is Merlijn’s mission to disseminate the work of our fellows, as well as to help develop and communicate the institute’s core values and goals. Merlijn does this through policy advice and development, fellows selection, maintaining and extending NIAS’ partner network and creating programmes and publications for public, academic and policy partners and audiences – such as the Opening of the Academic Year, NIAS Talks, symposia, conferences, policy papers, podcasts, books, interviews and articles.

Background – academic

Merlijn holds both a BA and a MA in Turkish languages and cultures (Leiden University), with minors in diplomatic history and international relations, an advanced master’s degree in Asian, African, and Amerindian studies (Research School CNWS, Leiden University) and a PhD in the history of relations between Europe and the Ottoman Near and Middle East (Leiden University). He has taught History of the Middle East 1300-1923 and Modern Kurdish History (Utrecht University) and has conducted extensive archival research in Amsterdam, Cambridge, The Hague, London, and Istanbul. Merlijn’s academic publications are on early modern Dutch, English, French and Ottoman history, with an emphasis on diplomacy and international relations, inter- and cross-cultural relations, law and state formation, and maritime, urban and social history. PhD thesis: “Brought under the Law of the Land”: The History, Demography and Geography of Crossculturalism in Early Modern Izmir, and the Köprülü Project of 1678 (2014).

Background – public

Over the past fifteen years, Merlijn has been active concurrently as Athenaeum Booksellers Academic and Public Relations Manager, and as a literary critic, editor and publisher. He is the founding editor and publisher of The Dutch Review of Books (est. 2015).