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Resistance! Rebellion and Culture in the Former Dutch Colonies (EN)

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How did anticolonial rebellion come into existence and expression?

The means available to imperial powers to maintain their authority have been documented since the earliest colonial times. But gradually we begin to understand that the oppressed peoples had their own means of maintaining their dignity, come into revolt and develop successful ways of resistance. How did these ways of rebellion come into existence and expression? How was anticolonial resistance represented in art, printed matter, material culture, museums, literature and theatre? And where do we find these sources? Historians, sociologists, art and literary historians will raise and answer these kind of questions in a lecture series on resistance and rebellion during four centuries of colonial suppression in the Dutch colonies, as well as cases of 20th century rebellions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course the student can:

  • Give a clear insight in understanding the main views brought forward during the course;
  • Bring into relation different issues brought forward in different lectures;
  • Making clear how the position of rebels is neglected or downplayed during centuries of (neo)colonial writing of histories;
  • Give a personal reflection on the issues presented;
  • Show how historic events are reflected in our own days and have been (mis)interpreted during many years;
  • Know how to find published material on the subjects presented other than what has already been mentioned.


Prof. dr. Michiel van Kempen

Teaching format

Lectures and seminars


All students participating in this course have to deliver a final paper showing the above mentioned learning objectives, nicely written with a personal touch. The paper may be delivered in English or Dutch.

Study material

Literature will be offered through Canvas, or distributed during the course.



Number of participants



See website

Recommended prior knowledge

No prior knowledge is recommended. This course is a completely different approach of part of the material presented during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 courses Side Wings of Slaverey. However it is not at all necessary to have attended those former courses.


  • UvA-students can register themselves from 9 June, (look for code 5512RRCI6Y in SIS) until a week before the start of the course.
  • Other parties, such as contract students, UvA staff or students from other institutions, interested can register from 9 June, through the registration form.

The IIS strives to reflect current societal issues and challenges in the educational offer and attempts to integrate the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) in this course. For more information about these goals, please visit the SDG's website.

Facts & Figures
Mode Short-term, open uva courses
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in September