On Thursday, 1 July, the Humanities Education Award was handed out. The course Rhetoric and Writing taught by Imogen Cohen in the Bachelor’s in English Language and Culture, was announced as winner by the jury. The Audience Award, for which people could vote during the past weeks, goes to Ken je Plaats: Wereldbeeld, Identiteit, en Conflict, 1550 tot 1650, taught by Djoeke van Netten and Jonas van Tol (Bachelor’s Geschiedenis). An Innovation Award was handed out to the course deemed the most innovative by the jury: Erik de Jong’s Biophilia (Bachelor’s Cultuurwetenschappen). All three winners received a cheque worth €1000.
The Faculty of Humanities Education Award is handed out annually to a course that stands out because of its innovative qualities or in which inspiring teaching methods are used. In total, four Bachelor’s and two Master’s courses were nominated this year, selected by the jury from the courses that were entered into the competition.
‘The jury feels that all lecturers deserve an award after this unusual year, but even so, we think it is important to hand out the jury award, Audience Award and Innovation Award’, says Sabine van Wesemael, chairperson of this year’s jury. Van Wesemael: ‘The jury was very impressed by the courses that were entered into this year’s competition. Read below what the jury thought of the winning courses.
The 2021 jury consisted of:
Sabine van Wesemael - Director Graduate School of Humanities (chairperson)
Judith Noorman - winner Education Award 2020 (jury and Audience Award)
Gerwin van der Pol - Teaching & Learning Centre (TLC) FGw
Liesje Verhave - student member of the Faculty Student Council (FSR) FGw 20/21
What makes this course so special is the close relationship between theory and practice, explains the jury. In this course, students do not only get to learn about the powers of persuasion and the history of rhetoric and its relevance today, but also put themselves on the line: they write speeches that are not only judged by their lecturer but also by their fellow students. The goal is to help students beat the so-called imposter syndrome, in which people feel they are not as competent as others perceive them to be. The jury feels that this course could easily be included in many other Bachelor’s programmes, because it is of major importance for students to develop their creative writing skills.
Ken je Plaats (‘Know your Place: Worldview, Identity and Conflict, 1550-1650’) concerns the influence of changing worldviews on the lives of people in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The tensions brought by these changes were tangible on many different levels, that all come to the fore in this course. The jury shares that the students who nominated this course for the Education Award were not only raving about the lecturers’ teaching skills, but also about the content of the lectures themselves: this course dusts off history and offers an innovative perspective on a much-discussed period in history, the Dutch Golden Age.
This course won the Audience Award with almost a third of the audience votes.
According to the jury, Biophilia is an extraordinary course that greatly appeals to present-day students: the course’s central premise is the human relationship with nature, which is fundamental for determining what our position is on earth. The relevance of the Humanities is made indisputably clear in this course, says the jury. Both the jury and the students who nominated this course were impressed by the number of different perspectives that come to the fore in this course, as well as pleasantly surprised by the alternative teaching methods. The course inspired a surge of creativity among its students and has resulted in final projects consisting of such things as letters, plans for a children’s book, and a series of paintings.