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The Jantina Tammes Chair

The Jantina Tammes Chair was established in 2001 with a view to enhancing the teaching and research in Gender Studies at the University of Groningen. The holder of the chair, a distinguished professor from outside the Netherlands, is invited to spend a period of three months in Groningen. The visiting professor is expected to do some teaching as well as to participate in research seminars. The chair-holder’s most public duty is to give a lecture in the Great Hall (Aula) of the Academy Building. Each year a different faculty is responsible for making the appointment, in order to ensure that gender issues receive due attention across the full range of university disciplines.

Who was Jantina Tammes?

Born in Groningen in 1871, Jantina Tammes was one of the handful of female students at the University of Groningen in the early 1890s. She graduated with a teacher’s degree in physics and chemistry and biology and spent some time as a science teacher in her native city before being invited to work as an assistant to J.W. Moll in Groningen, one of the leading botanists of her day.

In 1901 she was the first woman to win a Dutch national bursary for a research visit to Java; unfortunately, her poor health prevented her from travelling to the Far East. In the meantime, however, she came into contact with the newly developing scientific subjects of variation, evolution and genetics, and became one of the first scholars publishing on these issues.

In July 1911, Groningen University awarded Tammes an honorary doctorate in botany and zoology. In 1919 the pioneering Tammes was made professor by special appointment in the study of variation and genetics and thus became the first woman professor in Groningen, the first professor (female or male) in her subject in the Netherlands, and only the second female professor (in any discipline) in the whole country.

Once appointed to her chair Tammes spent much time supervising the research of others. She also was involved in lively scholarly debates about genetics and mutation, during which she stood out as an opponent of eugenics. Besides that, she was a member of the editorial board of the journal Genetica. In addition, Tammes was active in the Dutch Association of Women Graduates (VVAO). In 1937 she resigned from her chair in order to devote more time to her research, and she died in Groningen in 1947.

Jantina Tammes professors

  • 2001/2: Faculty of Economics: Dr. Joyce P. Jacobsen, Professor of Economics, Wesleyan University, USA
  • 2002/3: Faculty of Philosophy: Dr. Nancy Fraser, Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York
  • 2003/4: Faculty of Spatial Sciences: Dr. Janet D. Momsen, Professor at the Department of Human and Community Development, University of California , USA
  • 2005: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences: Dr. Londa Schiebinger, Professor at the Department of History, Stanford University, USA
  • 2006/7: Faculty of Medical Sciences: Dr. Jill B. Becker, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan
  • 2007: Faculty of Economics and Business: Dr. Michelle Ryan, Senior Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter, UK
  • 2008: Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies: Dr. Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic studies in Glasgow
  • 2009: Faculty of Arts: Dr. Dena Goodman , Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, USA
  • 2010/11: Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences: Dr. Joanna Wyn, Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 2013: Faculty of Economics and Business: Dr. Victoria Brescoll, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, Yale University, USA
  • 2015: Faculty of Spatial Sciences: Dr. Aileen Stockdale, Professor of Environmental Planning, Queen's University Belfast, UK
Last modified:12 April 2019 4.39 p.m.
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