Robin Boast and Ihab Saloul
Postcolonial Heritage, Memory and Identity is part of a larger initiative at the University of Amsterdam called Postcolonial Studies Group. This group encompasses researchers from a diverse range of fields in the humanities (history, literature, theatre, music, memory) who seek to study Europe’s and particularly the Netherlands’ and the UvA’s colonial past and its legacies in the current postcolonial world. The group is partly inspired by growing debates inside and outside (Dutch) academia about racism and postcolonial memory and forgetting. Topics include but are not limited to:
In recent years, several eye-catching debates at UvA, in the Netherlands and in Europe have importantly been on Europe’s colonial past and postcolonial present: Zwarte Piet, Dutch colonial atrocities (1621-1948), Dutch racism, the lack of diversity at UvA in terms of curriculum, staff and students, the rise of ethnonationalism in Europe and the United States. Groups in Amsterdam from the UvA Diversity Committee to The University of Color to Decolonize the Museum to Framer Framed, as well as intense debates in the Dutch media show the need for an academic perspective on issues of the past and present of Dutch racism, particularly in relation to the Dutch past of slavery and colonialism.