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Schipper de Leeuw, W.J.J.

Schipper de Leeuw, W.J.J.

Mineke Schipper de Leeuw, born in Polsbroek, the Netherlands, in 1938. Ph.D from the VU University, Amsterdam. Professor of Intercultural Literature Studies at Leiden University.

Fellow (1 September 2007 – 30 June 2008)


My research consisted of two parts. Firstly, I participated in the research group “Coming to terms with a shattered world: A multi-disciplinary approach to mediations of violence in Africa”. I studied contemporary urban paintings by Congolese artists depicting the violence which has dominated people’s lives over the past decades. My finished contribution to the planned book consists of a chapter entitled: “Crisis Narratives in Congolese Urban Paintings.”

Secondly, I worked on my individual project. Equipped with the experience and insights gained from my earlier NIAS research on the proverb “Never Marry a Woman with Big Feet”. (Yale UP, 2004) I addressed another world-wide genre from a comparative point of view: creation and origin myths. The central question is: how did the first people come into being and how did they become men and women, physically and socially, according to stories of the creation in cultures from around the world? The provisional title is: “In the beginning there was nobody: the first human beings in creation myths”.