Role at NIAS
As NIAS Programme Manager Merlijn’s mission is to help disseminate the research being done by our fellows, as well as the institute’s core values and goals, through maintaining and developing NIAS’ partner network and creating programs for public, academic and administrative partners and audiences – such as the Opening of the Academic Year, NIAS Talks, Symposia and Conferences. In this capacity he works together closely with Research & Project Associate Lukas M. Verburgt, Head of Academic Affairs Bernike Pasveer and Director Jan Willem Duyvendak, as well as with the NIAS Communications team and vrious production partners.
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 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 PR and Academic and Public Programming Manager, an editorial advisor for academic-cultural podium SPUI25, and a literary and academic critic and editor. Currently, he is also engaged as a freelance editor and publisher for a number of prominent academic and trade publishers, and is the founding editor and publisher of The Dutch Review of Books and the founding publisher of Jacobin NL.