Suzanne Ros wins the Digital History Thesis Award

Suzanne Ros
Suzanne Ros

Suzanne Ros recently won the award for the best undergraduate thesis in digital history for the year 2020-2021. Her thesis is about the origins of the term Anthropocene and it's migration from geology to the other sciences, the public debate and beyond


Suzanne's thesis

In her thesis, Suzanne studies the emergence of the Anthropocene concept and how it has slowly been adopted from geology by other sciences. In her thesis she looks at how exactly this migration took place and to what extent it was accompanied by a politicization of the concept.


Research on the Anthropocene tends to focus on issues of periodization from the perspective of specific disciplinary interests. As a result, the historicity of the concept itself, such as questions of conceptual change and drift, is neglected, Suzanne argues. Her research aims to contribute to the historiography of conceptual history and knowledge history by scrutinizing the concept of the Anthropocene as it appears in scientific and public discourse.

In her research, Suzanne traces the history of the term and examines the geological debate surrounding the concept. Through digital analyses of the Anthropocene, she shows how the academic debate developed between 2000 and 2020, and how the term was transformed in the process. Through a case study of Dutch newspapers, she shows how scientific knowledge became increasingly politicized, providing insight into how a scientific concept migrates to the public debate and ultimately to the political sphere.

» Read the full jury report (in Dutch)
» Read the Centre for Digital Humanities' interview with Suzanne

What is the Digital History Thesis Award?

The Digital History Thesis Award is presented by the Department of History and Art History. The prize aims to stimulate digital history research among students. The best bachelor thesis receives €500.00, and the best master and research master thesis €750.00 each. Your thesis is eligible for the prize if you successfully apply digital methods or techniques.

» More about the thesis award