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Research

My PhD research at EUI was supervised by Prof. dr. Corinna Unger and Prof. dr. Laura Downs.  It was financially supported by NUFFIC.

In my thesis, I analyse and compare the ways in which different interest groups such as charitable organisations, Christian missionaries and nationalist and Islamic activists envisioned education for indigenous girls in late-colonial Indonesia. In doing so, my thesis puts forward a reinterpretation of the concept of ‘civilizing missions’ in the Netherlands Indies. On a methodological level, I mainly draw on colonial childhood studies and critical discourse analysis,  adopting gender and age as my main categories of analysis. I am particularly interested in the relationship between (gender)ideologies and educational practice on the ground. 

My research focuses on four regions in the Netherlands Indies: the Princely State of Yogyakarta, Western Sumatra (Minangkabau), Northern Sulawesi (Minahasa) and Flores. Source material includes missionary correspondence, documents from the Ministry of Colonies, photographs, and a large selection of published materials such as magazines and newspapers. I use source material in Bahasa Indonesia as well as Dutch. My source material comes from governmental, missionary and private archives in the Netherlands and Indonesia.

I am always interested in exchanging ideas with other historians of gender, education, colonialism and/or Southeast Asia who share my research interests.