On November 6th, assistant professor Naema Tahir defended her Ph.D ‘The Arranged Marriage – changing perspectives on a marital institution’, in the magnificent Senaatszaal of the Academy Building at Utrecht University. Here she stood in front of her supervisors prof. Barbara Oomen and prof. Bert van den Brink and the opposition commission with Utrecht Professors Hol, Bovens, Ippel and Leiden Professors Loenen and Gommans, and not to forget, at her side dr. Jason Dinse and prof. Albert Clement. The event was attended by many from the UCR community of faculty, staff and students. After the event, the UCR students received a charming guided tour of the old city of Utrecht with its main University buildings by former UCR student Elizabeth Mc Pherson.

Also on November 4th, Daan Lodder (Class of 2013) defended his Ph.D dissertation, entitled: ‘Slipping off the Horizon: Spirituality, Sights and Sounds of Landscape in the Times of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Four Case Studies’ in the Academy Building in Utrecht. Daan mentioned he was especially grateful that the opponents’ questions inspired a broad, interdisciplinary discussion concerning German Romantic and neoclassical ideas about landscape and spirituality, relating to a range of fields from art history, theatre studies, and musicology, to intellectual historiography, philosophy, and theology. As a UCR graduate, he intended his dissertation as something of an homage to the liberal arts, and was very pleased to hear how this discussion and the subsequent most eloquent laudation by supervisor prof. Albert Clement, reflected on the many wonderful intellectual and personal experiences he had in Middelburg over the years.

On November 4th, Christian Blaha, who teaches Composition in the Music Performing Program, defended his dissertation ‘What is possible in Middelburg, is not possible’ and David Ngira defended his thesis ‘The role of informal systems of dispute resolution in child rights protection in Kenya: a study of the Kipsigis’.