Audio KNHG-najaarscongres 2010 ‘A New Dutch Imperial History’


On Friday, October 1st, 2010 the Royal Netherlands Historical Society (RNHS) organized the conference ‘A New Dutch Imperial History. Connecting Dutch and Overseas Pasts’.

The conference ‘A New Dutch Imperial History’ aimed to integrate colonialism and imperialism into the historiographical debate in the Netherlands. Speakers at the conference sought fresh connections between the history of the colonies and that of the Dutch metropole, and explore the potential of new approaches in imperial history to the Dutch historical practice. Such issues are not only of interest to a small circle of specialists, but also to the wider community of historians of the Netherlands.

Keynote speakers from Great Britain (Alan Lester) and France (Romain Bertrand) expounded the latest developments in the field of the new imperial histories. Other participants were asked to explore the issue of connectedness, reciprocity and colonial identities in the Dutch colonial world. They did so by examining several themes of both Dutch and Dutch colonial history, including migration networks, the circulation of information and knowledge and the influence of the empire on culture and moral values.

The conference had four panels: 1) Migration circuits; 2) Information and cultural networks; 3) Imperial values and 4) Imperial knowledge. In a round table debate, specialists on colonial as well as Dutch metropolitan history were invited to reflect on the prospects of linking up their pasts into an integrated narrative.

Please click on the play buttons below to listen to the audio recording of the conference sessions; unfortunately, due to a technical error only an audio recording of conference sessions that took place in the auditorium of the National Library of the Netherlands is available.

  • Plenary session New imperial histories

    Welcome: Lex Heerma van Voss (chair Royal Netherlands Historical Society)
    Introduction/Chair: Remco Raben (Utrecht University)
    Keynote lecture: Alan Lester (University of Sussex) ‘The New Imperial History: A Debate’
    Discussant: Karel Davids (VU University Amsterdam)
  • Parallel session 1A Migration circuits
    no audio recording available
    Chair: Marlou Schrover (Leiden University)
    1. Roelof van Gelder ‘40.000 Letters over Sea: Forgotten Dutch Mail in The National Archives in London’
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    2. Henk den Heijer (Leiden University) and Karwan Fatah Black (Leiden University) ‘Eighteenth-century Surinamese-Dutch Migration Circuits’
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    3. Barbara Henkes (Groningen University) ‘Shame and Scandal in the Family: Global Dutchness and Apartheid in South Africa’
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  • Parallel session 1B Information and cultural networks

    Chair: Susan Legêne (VU University Amsterdam)
    1. Marten Jan Bok (University of Amsterdam) ‘Dutch Painters in Asia in the Seventeenth Century’
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    2. Vincent Kuitenbrouwer (VU University Amsterdam) ‘“A Campaign of the Pen”: Dutch Journalism and the South African War (1899-1902)’
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    3. Manjusha Kuruppath (Leiden University) ‘Casting Asian Despots in Dutch Drama: The Case of Van Seenwyk’s Thamas Koelikan
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  • Plenary session Colonial and post-colonial moralities

    Chair: Remco Raben (Utrecht University)
    Keynote lecture: Romain Bertrand (Centre for International Studies and Research, Paris) ‘The Politics of Colonialism and Post-colonialism’
    Discussant: Elsbeth Locher-Scholten (Utrecht University)
  • Parallel session 2A Imperial values

    Chair: James Kennedy (University of Amsterdam)
    1. Dienke Hondius (VU University Amsterdam) ‘Paternalism and other crucial concepts in the European history of race
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    2. Maartje Janse (Leiden University) ‘Distant Victims: The Paradox of Nineteenth-century Protests Against Slavery and the Cultivation System’
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    3. Alicia Schrikker (Leiden University) ‘Natural disasters in the Dutch East Indies in the 19th Century’
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  • Parallel session 2B Imperial knowledge
    no audio recording available
    Chair: Gerrit Knaap (Institute of Netherlands History)
    1. Marieke Bloembergen (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies) and Martijn Eickhoff (Netherlands Institute for War Documentation) ‘A National Obligation: Archaeological Research and Regime Change in Java and the Netherlands in the Early Nineteenth Century’
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    2. Fenneke Sysling (VU University Amsterdam) ‘Pygmies in the Polder. Dutch Anthropology in the Wider Imperial Space, 1890-1920’
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    3. Andreas Weber (Leiden University) ‘Forging New Connections: Adriaan David Cornets de Groot Junior (1804-1829) and the Mapping of the Javanese Language in the Early Nineteenth Century’
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  • Plenary session A New Dutch Imperial History?

    Chair: Remco Raben (Utrecht University)
    Report on the conference: Gert Oostindie (Leiden University)
    Round-table discussion: James Kennedy (University of Amsterdam), Gerrit Knaap (Institute of Netherlands History), Susan Legêne (VU University Amsterdam), Gert Oostindie (Leiden University), Marlou Schrover (Leiden University) and Henk te Velde (Leiden University)