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Dutch racism

Platform for Postcolonial Readings

The 15thmeeting of the Platform for Postcolonial Readings is dedicated to the new book Dutch Racism (Rodopi 2014), a timely intervention in a very polarised and often simplifying debate, edited by Philomena Essed (Professor of Critical Race, Gender and Leadership Studies, Antioch University) and Isabel Hoving (associate professor Film and Literary Studies and Diversity Officer, Leiden University).

This book is the first of its kind to present a comprehensive picture of the nature of (often-denied) Dutch racism. An interdisciplinary group of contributors carefully unfolds the legacy of racism in the Netherlands and the (former) colonies. They demonstrate how Dutch racism operates within and beyond the national borders, how it is shaped by European and global influences, and in what ways intersects with other systems of domination. Topics include colonial histories revisited, Afrikaner settler racism, everyday antisemitism and islamophobia, racism and interaction at work, contemporary novels, government policy, the integration exam, the psychology of racism in public debates, and 21th century resistance.

During the Platform meeting we will predominantly focus on the following questions:

×          what is specific to Dutch racism,

×          what contributes to its complexity, and

×          why is racism so intensely contested in the Netherlands?

We have invited Gloria Wekker (Utrecht University) and Guno Jones (Free University Amsterdam), contributors to the volume, to respond to these questions, taking their own contributions as a starting point for the presentation of their insights and opinions. The editors will moderate the meeting and guide us through this precarious and heavily contested field. In the discussions that follow the contributors’ presentations, comparative attention will be paid to racism in Belgium and beyond.

The meeting takes place at the Tropenmuseum, where the fascinating exhibition Zwart & Wit addresses similar topics and themes. We strongly recommend participants to visit this exhibition previous to the Platform meeting.

The meeting is open for all researchers, Research Master and PhD students working in the field of postcolonial studies and for all others interested in the topic of Dutch Racism. Please register with Eloe Kingma of NICA/OSL ( On request you can receive the introduction of Dutch Racism as preparatory reading.

Friday, 21 February 2014, 2-5 PM
Venue: Kenniscentrum Tropenmuseum, Linnaeusstraat 2, Amsterdam

The programme starts at 2PM sharp. Doors open at 1.30PM. Drinks afterwards.

The fee of 12,50 includes entrance to the museum and to the exhibition Zwart & Wit. (For reductions see:; free entrance with Museum Card).

Organizers: Elisabeth Bekers (VUB), Sarah De Mul (OU), Isabel Hoving (UL), Liesbeth Minnaard (UL), in collaboration with Nancy Jouwe (Kosmopolis Utrecht), Philomena Essed (Antioch U) and the Tropenmuseum Amsterdam.

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