Ellen van Wolde, born in Groningen, the Netherlands, in 1954. Ph.D. from Radboud University Nijmegen. Professor of Biblical Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen.
Guest of the Rector (1 September 2012 – 31 December 2012)
SEMANTICS AND SEMANTIC MEMORY. ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN CONCEPTUALISATIONS OF THE UNIVERSE’S BEGINNING AND ITS INFLUENCE ON PRESENT-DAY’S SEMANTIC MEMORY
During my fellowship at NIAS, I developed, discussed, formulated, and submitted my ERC Advanced Grant 2013 research-proposal entitled “Considering the Beginning: The Semantics of the Universe’s Creation and Semantic Memory”(Acronym: SOURCES). The primary aim of SOURCES is to expose essential characteristics and mechanisms of cultural diversity in relation to language and cognition, focusing on creation stories, as this topic unavoidably arises as soon as humans start thinking. Although a universal theme, it is expressed differently in different cultures. Analysis of these distinct views teaches us a great deal about human cognition, cultural production and the mechanisms behind the transmission and influence of the creation stories on people today. While at NIAS the interaction with the other fellows, especially historians and sociologists gave me new ideas. The intercultural setting fitted perfectly my research project on cultural diversity.