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Rise Up, Take a Knee: 27 June 2019

Rise up take a knee.jpg

Workshop Schedule:

Thursday June 27th

10.45: Coffee served, workshop registration open.

11.00: Official welcome by Remco Raben.

Introduction to the UGlobe Decolonization Research Group: Rachel Gillett, Matthijs Kuijpers and Laura Henderson.

11.15: Research Panel 1: “Decolonising Performance.”

Charissa Granger, “Steelpan music and performance as a decolonial epistemology,”

Bram Ieven, “Becoming White? Fresku’s zo doe je dat (2015) as a critique of white innocence in the Netherlands.”

Fouad Mami (Skype), “Reconciling with the Algerian Body: The Practice of the Nailaiyat’s Dance”

Fiona Harmsen, “Giving Voice to Minority Footballers in the Netherlands.”

Comment: Audience

Chair: Laura Henderson

12.45: Lunch

13.30 Research Panel 2: “Confronting and Subverting Authority”

Yann Descamps, “Yes, I Said It, Alright?!” Chris Rock, African-American Comedy and Race Relations in the United States”

Arnaud Kauze, Pop Culture, Regime Change and Resistance: Post-Arab Spring Youth Activism and Memory Politics Fueling Resilience

Alison Fischer, “Zwarte Piet in Court: Legal barriers to contesting racism in Dutch culture”

Chair and comment: Kai Heidemann

15.00: Coffee served.

15.15: Round Table: Pop Culture and the Legacy of Empire – Connections and Directions

Featuring: Griff Rollefson, Mitchell Esajas (TBC), Aafje de Roest, Isabel Awad, Daan van Dartel.

Moderator: Remco Raben

17.15:  Borrel and Borrel hapjes


Friday June 28th, Drift 13, 003

9.00: Coffee served.

9.15 Research panel 2: “Competing and Contesting”

Souvik Naha, “Pitch Imperfect: Cricket in the Struggle for Nationhood in the Early Phase of Colonisation,”

Matthijs Kuipers, “The Race to Bandung: Cycling, Modernity and Anti-colonial Politics in Colonial Indonesia”

Patrick Effiboley [Skype], “Race as an asset for reinforcing a national prestige: the case of Jesse Owens reverberating in the colonial France”

Irene Blum “Colin Kaepernick in comparison to black athletes and activism in the 1950s.”


Chair: Agnes Elling

11.00: Coffee served.

11.15: Round Table 2: Marjet Derks, Jacco van Sterkenberg, Agnes Elling, Geert Buelens

Moderator: Rachel Gillett

13.00: Lunch [catered]

14.00: “Towards a Knowledge Consortium: Decolonization/Empire/Colonialism”

Group brainstorm, network and planning session led by Rachel Gillett and Frank Gerits

Agenda: Overview, general discussion, focus questions in groups, report back. Set date for follow up, and next action steps.

16.00: Borrel [own responsibility]



Workshop Participants

Remco Raben – Netherlands – Professor Dept. History and Art History UU – Long-Decolonisation of Indonesia, Postcolonial Netherlands,

Rachel Gillett – Netherlands – Asst. Professor Dept. History and Art History UU – Race in France, popular culture, and the black Atlantic from French perspective

Matthijs Kuijpers – Netherlands – Lecturer Dept. History and Art History UU – Postcoloniality in The Netherlands, food history, colonial history and the history of racism

Laura Henderson – Netherlands – UGlobe Organizer and Assistant Professor, Netherlands Institute of Human Rights – Democracy and Human Rights

Paroma Ghose – France – PhD – Music, Hip-hop [Withdrawn for medical reasons]

Irene Blum – [Bio to come]

Charissa Granger – Netherlands –  Erasmus University Rotterdam, Center for Historical Culture – Steelbands as discolonial practice

Bram Ieven – Netherlands – University of Leiden – Dutch and European modernist art and politics,  contemporary culture and globalisation

Fouad Mami – Algeria – Faculty University of Adrar – The Practice of the Nailaiyat’s Dance

in Algeria

Yann Descamps – France – PhD in American studies from the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Chris Rock, African-American Comedy and Race Relations in the US

Arnaud Kauze – US – Assist. Professor, Montclair State U – Post Arab Spring Youth Activism

Allison Fisher – Netherlands – Zwarte Piet and legal challenges to the use of the figure in the Netherlands.

Kai Heidemann -Netherlands – Asst. Professor, University College Maastricht, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Griff Rollefson – Ireland – Director of Graduate Studies, Dept. of Music, Cork University – CIPHER Project, Global Hip Hop

Aafje de Roest – Netherlands – Leiden University – Hip Hop, Football. Ethnicity and represent (the practice of expressing local identity in hip-hop). Dutch group Broederliefde case study.

Isabel Awad – Netherlands – Associate Professor Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication – humor in anti-racism efforts in European media

Agnes Elling – Netherlands – Mulier Institute –  sociale ongelijkheid in en door sport, vooral ten aanzien van sekse, etniciteit en seksuele voorkeur en de onderlinge intersecties.

Marjet Derks – Netherlands – Radboud University Nijmegen, Chair Sport & Cultural History

Jacco van Sterkenburg – Netherlands – Associate professor at Erasmus University and  Visiting Research Fellow at Mulier Institute – Athlete activism, Race and Sport in US

Souvik Naha – Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, Durham University

Geert Buelens –  is als professor Moderne Nederlandse Letterkunde verbonden aan de Universiteit Utrecht en als gasthoogleraar Nederlandse letterkunde aan de Universiteit Stellenbosch (Zuid-Afrika). In 2008 was hij Kluge Fellow van de Library of Congress. Zijn onderzoek gaat vooral over de wisselwerking tussen literatuur en samenleving.

Fiona Harmsen – [Bio to come]

Emery Patrick Effiboley – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for the Creative Arts of Africa/Wits Art Museum

Sports, music, and film generate engagement, passion, and enjoyment. Yet scholars and fans alike have sometimes seen them as ‘pure’ entertainment existing alongside or even outside of politics. This workshop will explore what happens when figures and pop culture products challenge attempts to ‘keep politics out’ of sports, music, and popular entertainment.

The workshop seeks to build upon work done by artists, sportspeople, filmmakers, and academics that shows how entertainment and racial exclusion are linked. We call for papers that examine the connections between popular culture, race-making, empire and politics. Often colonial subjects or racially marked citizens have been allowed/expected to excel in sports, music, and performance. But that acceptance has been conditional.
We invite explorations of what happens when challenges to racism and colonialism emerge from pop culture. What happens if the actions and artistry of figures like Colin Kaepernick, Thierry Henry, Beyoncé, Typhoon, or Lin-Manuel Miranda generate political engagement on a mass scale. Do institutions and social mechanisms change as a result? Are there legal or political changes that follow? Or is protest co-opted, neutralized and commercialized? What is the role of media and social media? How might our understanding of decolonization, decoloniality, and resistance change when we ask such questions?

This workshop is interdisciplinary and is open to practitioners, institutional representatives, scholars, activists and graduate students. We intend to provide a small number of partial travel grants (with special attention to artists, PhD students, and independent researchers) to facilitate attendance for those presenting. If you would like to receive this support, please indicate whether you have access to other funding to attend the conference, and an itemized list of what your estimated total cost of travel and accommodations might be.

The workshop is sponsored by the UU History Department and UGlobe Decolonization group. Workshop participants from the Benelux countries are cordially invited to join us for a brainstorming session on day 2 of the workshop. We will discuss the possibility of developing a research network, knowledge consortium, and series of events for studies of (continued/post-) colonialism, empire, and the aftermath of empire (decolon-ization /iality). See our website for more information:

Organising DecolGroup Members

  • Rachel Gillett, Urecht University

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