Shanti van Dam new director of Erasmus Prize

16 October 2015

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Shanti van Dam has been appointed as the new director of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation (Erasmus Prize). Under her guidance the foundation will continue its aim to strengthen the position of the humanities, social sciences and arts by annually awarding the Erasmus Prize.

Martijn Sanders
, chairman of the Board: “The Erasmus Prize is a distinction for individuals or institutions that have made an exceptional contribution to culture or science, in Europe or elsewhere. Shanti van Dam has extensive experience in highlighting intellectual thought internationally and possesses a wealth of knowledge in the fields of media, culture and scholarship.

Asked about her motivation, Shanti van Dam replied: “As a documentary maker and scholar, my motivation has always been to emphasize the social relevance of the humanities and arts. Now I can also turn the spotlight on remarkable scholars and artists through the Erasmus Prize.”
The humanistic values of tolerance and critical thinking are not as evident as you would expect today, five hundred years after Erasmus,” says Shanti van Dam. “They are, however, achievements that we must cherish and celebrate, now perhaps more than ever before.

Shanti van Dam succeeds Max Sparreboom, who has been director of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation for the past sixteen years and who retires on 1 January 2016.

Short CV of Shanti van Dam
Shanti van Dam (1970) has eighteen years of experience in the fields of media, culture and scholarship. She was chief editor in the area of public broadcasting and produced film and television for many other media in The Netherlands and abroad. She graduated with distinction in History from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), and during her doctoral studies she was a research fellow at the École Normale Supérieure and at the University of Oxford. She gained her doctoral degree in the History of Ideas (UvA) with a thesis on the work of the French intellectual Théodore Reinach. With her own company ValueMedia, she has advised and produced for organizations such as Google, University of Oxford, TNO and the Centre for the Humanities (UU). Her most recent film, ‘The Value of the Humanities’, was aired by VPRO and is available at NPOdoc.