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The jury of the Faculty of Humanities has named Marta Pelacani (research master Art and Performancie Studies) as the faculty winner of the UvA thesis prize. Her thesis on the role of socially engaged art in communities of Italian sharecroppers puts her in with a chance of winning the prize for the best master's thesis written at the UvA in the past academic year.

In her thesis, The Magical Atlas of Italian Sharecropping: exploring the role of storytelling, textiles, and socially engaged art in the intergenerational transmission of memory and heritage within Italy's illiterate sharecropping communities, Pelacani explores how knowledge can be intergenerationally transmitted in Italian peasant communities through socially engaged art. The jury, which graded the thesis with a 9.4, called it a ‘groundbreaking academic work’.

'The combination of lived experience of the researcher whose own family history is unraveled and in practice-based research creates a sparkling account. To embed a personal yet academically rigorous voice in a range of academically dense issues, including theoretical approaches round the subaltern, re-enchantment, the archive, the postdigital, and hauntology, is highly impressive.'

This year, the jury consists of Barnita Bagchi (World Literature), Jean Wagemans (Cognition, Communication and Argumentation) and Peter van Dam (Dutch History).

About the UvA thesis Prize 2024

The faculty winners of the UvA thesis prize are nominated by the participating faculties and win 1,000 euros each. They also compete for the main prize: 3,000 euros for the very best UvA thesis in academic year 2023-2024.