Successful PhD defence Aditi Dixit.

On 17 May, Aditi Dixit successfully defended her PhD dissertation in the Senate Hall of Utrecht University Hall.

Dixit was escorted by the Beadle into the hall at 16:15 precise. She was wearing an emerald, green saree, and followed by her paranymphs. There she met the doctoral committee, which included her promotors Professor Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk (Utrecht University) and Professor Christina Moll-Murata (Ruhr University, Bochum).

After the Chairman opened the ceremony, Dixit offered an introduction to her dissertation.

The committee was notably impressed. Members expressed their admiration for the previously unexplored angle from which the defendant had studied the political-economic determinants of the ‘divergence’ between Indian and Japanese textile industry between the late 19th and early 20th Century.

The questioning ended when the Beadle entered the room loudly announcing ‘HORA EST’. As the last committee member withdrew for deliberation, family took the opportunity to show how proud they were.


When the deliberation ended, the meeting was reopened and Dixit received her degree, followed by a ‘laudatio’. In her speech, Professor Van Nederveen Meerkerk not only lauded doctor Dixit for the research she had done, but also addressed her courage. Following her passion for the subject, Dixit left her partner and her family behind in India and moved to the Netherlands to realize her dream. Confronted with corona, she persevered, even though archives became inaccessible, and lockdowns made it impossible to travel to India. Her kind character was valued within the research group and outside. This was evidenced by the large group that had gathered that day to witness the ceremony.

As soon as the Committee left the room, preceded by the Beadle, friends and relatives burst out in a large, well-deserved applause.

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