The Nicolaas Mulerius Stipendium for 2011 has been awarded to Dr Sabrina Corbellini, Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the Faculty of Arts. Every five years, the University of Groningen awards the Nicolaas Mulerius Stipendium, a grant worth €25,000, to a researcher who has demonstrated outstanding achievements. The presentation will take place on 18 February 2011 during the farewell ceremony for Rector Magnificus Frans Zwarts.
Sabrina Corbellini (Italy, 1969) is attached to the Historical Dutch Literature department of the University of Groningen as a Medieval Historian. She studied German literature at the University of Bologna (Master’s degree, cum laude 1993) and was conferred with a PhD in 2000 at Leiden University for a thesis written under the supervision of Professor Frits van Oostrom, entitled Italiaanse deugden en ondeugden. Dirc Potters Blome der doechden en de Italiaanse Fiore di Virtù (Italian Virtues and Vices. Dirc Potter’s Blome der doechden and the Italian Fiore di Virtù). This piece of research tried to establish a link between Medieval Dutch and Medieval Italian.
After 2000, Dr Corbellini spent a number of years working in the Medieval History Department of VU University Amsterdam. In 2008, she moved to Groningen, where she acquired an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council for the project Holy Writ & Lay Readers. A Social History of Vernacular Bible Translations in the Late Middle Ages, a piece of historical research into Medieval vernacular bibles.
The main focus of Corbellini’s research is the relationship between ordinary people and the bible during this period. ‘Could ordinary people read the bible in their own home in fifteenth-century Europe?’ she wonders. ‘And what did this mean to them?’ It is widely believed that the bible only became available to the people after the arrival of Protestantism. However, Corbellini suspects that the Protestants had less to do with the ‘liberation of the bible’ than is often assumed. During her research, she discovered that vernacular versions of the bible were in circulation long before that time. Not only in Italy, but also in the Netherlands, England and France. ‘I wanted to find out more; to see how many bibles there were, and more importantly, how they were used. Were they kept in libraries or did people really interact with the text?’
The Nicolaas Mulerius Foundation was set up in 1991 as a way of bolstering the University of Groningen’s profile as a classic, internationally-operating academic organization with a broad-based cultural identity. The Foundation awards grants to fields of science that serve to enhance this profile but are in an unfortunate position in terms of acquiring academic funding. The Rector Magnificus and former Rectors of the University of Groningen sit on the board of the Foundation.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the Foundation in 2001, it was decided that a grant worth €25,000 would be awarded every five years. Dr Corbellini will be presented with the Stipendium on Friday 18 February 2011 at 3 p.m. in the Martinikerk in Groningen. The presentation will be part of a special academic ceremony to mark the standing down of Professor Frans Zwarts as Rector Magnificus.
Contact: dr. S. Corbellini
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