Humanities Honours Blog


Honours Projects 2023
Honours Research Seminar

Board game – Chronicling Catastrophe

Group: Michelle Moonen, Jill Peters, Floor Schuurmans, Emma Tiggelaar, Puck de Vries. Supervisor: Roberta Biasillo

For the research seminar, we set out to discover more about human-made disasters across the world. First, we decided to delve deeper into one of these disasters to understand the many different aspects of such a happening, and to ensure an interdisciplinary approach to the subject matter. For this we chose the London Smog of 1952. Our various essays were on the topics of Dutch travellers’ experiences with the London fog in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the London Smog of 1952 and its implications on UK politics, the London Smog of 1952: A Literary Comparison of Predators, regarding the current media representation in the United Kingdom and China of the Great London Smog 1952, and the influence of London Smog chemical research on clean air policy.

After writing these essays the plan was to create a board game about six different human-made disasters around the globe and throughout time, to further not only our own knowledge about these occurrences, but also that of others. This board game was about the London Smog, the North Sea Flood, the Chernobyl disaster, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and the Jagersfontein Dam Collapse. The board game was based on the Dutch game ‘1 tegen 100’ and had the characteristics of a trivial pursuit game. A booklet was added to give background information on the different disasters. Eventually, the board game was produced under the name of ‘Chronicling Catastrophe’.


Book – What We Talk About When We Talk About Truth

Group: Im Korving, Mats Dieleman, Emin Ayverdi, Sabrina Botasheva, Sophie Hederova, Sarah van der Meijs. Supervisor: Rob van Gerwen.

Our group was created at the very last moment, and we all had different ideas about what we wanted to do. In the end, however, we were able to combine all our ideas under the theme of ‘truth’. Together, we wrote a book about the topic, and though our contributions were very diverse, in the end there was still a cohesive line running through it.

Our book covers the works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Arthur Miller, and Virginia Woolf, Turkish historical drama series, the experience of trans people in the Netherlands, and early modern alchemy. We each wrote not only an academic chapter on our topic, but also a creative piece that incorporated what we’d learned from our research and expressed it in a new way. Through our supervisor, we were also able to get into contact with a group of HKU students to illustrate our book.


Books and teaching manual – Children’s books on neurodivergence

Group: Jonathan Spek, Marieke van Vulpen, Bo Schuil, Ylea Groothuis, Isa den Toom. Supervisor: Coco Kanters.

How can we create a more inclusive Dutch primary education system that is suitable for neurodivergent children? Studies have shown that children on the neurodivergent spectrum struggle more in class, experience more social stigma, and deal with more negative attitudes towards them. In this project, we wanted to create a tool that can help teachers and children in their classes to foster a more safe inclusive environment for neurodivergent children. In addition, it can help neurodivergent children to feel recognized and understood. We found that children’s literature can have an impact on the environment by first creating awareness of neurodivergence, which in turn can lead to more understanding and acceptance. As our final product, we have written two children’s books for children from six to eight years old and a teacher manual that shows how the books can be used in a lesson. One book focuses on autism and the obstacles that children with autism can face and the other book sheds light on children with anxiety and how they can struggle with daily activities. The printed books could be a start of a series that could help teachers and their classes to move forward in improving inclusivity in the classroom.


Documentary – Unheard Echos

Group: Domien Verbeek, Jonathan Vince, Titia Janssen, Ive Veric. Supervisor: Erik Stei.

We made a documentary on the concept of echo chambers in The Netherlands. Watch it here!


Book/language – Atlan: An Auxiliary Language

Group: Niek Elsinga, Jonathan Roose, Jep Antonisse, Max Geraedts, Jarno Smets, Stijn Janssen. Supervisor: Ana Bosnic.

For the Honours Research Seminar, we made a language. It perhaps sounds very ambitious, which it was. Looking back at it, we can be very proud of what we have achieved, since making a language is far from easy. Besides, we not only created something that in intent and purposes is a language; we also made a script for it and wrote a big book. The language (we named it Atlan) allows a very fun, surprisingly elegant, rhythmic and poetic way of expressing yourself. We are very content with it, even if it is slightly more difficult to learn and understand than we had hoped. (Sadly, currently, none of us can speak the language proficiently but we will work on it.) The project got us to think about how much influence language has on the human condition. We had to learn a lot about linguistics, a field of study most of us did not know that much about. We also had to work together efficiently: the project would only work if everybody pulled their weight. If one failed everybody failed. We pulled it off and we are proud of it.

If you want to do something linguistically fascinating and philosophically rich, making a language is something we could recommend. Although, we must warn you: it is not an easy task. It is as hard as it is rewarding. We were also lucky because one of our group members ―Stijn, who pitched us all this idea in the first place― had already been working on a general outline for a constructive language. But what is most important is that you work on a project that you find fun and perhaps would to do regardless of the research seminar. Work on something that you always wanted to do, but thought too ambitious.

Check out the project on the Atlan website:


Video game and website  Dreamweaver

Group: Mieke Postma, Natasja Melse, Jaicy Schers, Eva Verhoeven, Julianne Schijns, Akke Nugter. Supervisor: Jelmar Hugen

For the research seminar, our group decided to make a video game. Mainly because we did not really have any idea of how much goes into making a video game. We decided to explore themes like femininity and womanhood because it creates a contrast with how the world of video games is somewhat of a “man’s world”. We wanted to learn more about video games as a new way of storytelling, and creating and sharing a narrative. In the end we probably underestimated the amount of work it takes to make a video games, but at the same time we are very proud of the product we ended up with. If you are interested in learning more about the process, the narrative, or want to play the game itself, head over to Hopefully you can find some inspiration in our process and final product!


Podcasts – Other-Worlds

Group: Bow Duinmeijer, Thomas Overduin, Aaron Riedl, Bas Broekhuizen, Bo Davids, Gijs IJpelaar. Supervisor: Irene Bavuso

Our group produced three podcast episodes in which we discussed and analysed various (academic) aspects of J.R.R. Tolkien´s, George R.R. Martin´s, and C.S. Lewis´ highly popular fantasy works, as well as the dynamics at play in their conceived Other-Worlds. You can find our episodes here