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Spores of Empire 2021

This workshop of Spores of Empire 2021 investigates the formative effects of colonialism on Dutch society and culture. In her White Innocence (2016), Dutch anthropologist Gloria Wekker elaborated on the concept of a colonial ‘cultural archive’, pointing at the colonial roots of present-day racism. This raises the question how imperial experiences have taken root in and shaped mainstream culture.


Wekker's work challenges historians to further explore the genealogies, dynamics and formation of this cultural archive. This workshop ‘re-centres’ colonialism and conceptualizes cultures of colonialism as an integral part of Dutch (and European) culture. They will explore the depth and width of both first-hand and second-hand imperial experiences and how they became integrated in the imaginings of self and the world and the cultural practices of the Dutch.


The workshop will take place on

  • Wednesday 21 April 2021, 13:30-17:00

  • Thursday 22 April 2021, 9:00-12:30 and 13:30-17:00

  • Friday 23 April 9:00-12:30


Sarah Adams, Iris Busschers, Caroline Drieënhuizen, Karwan Fatah-Black, Miel Groten, Nancy Jouwe, Matthijs Kuipers, Manjusha Kuruppath, Peter Malcontent, Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, Saskia Pieterse, Remco Raben, Bernhard Schär, Stephen Snelders and Thijs Weststeijn.

The workshop is an initiative of Matthijs Kuipers and Remco Raben (UU) and the Decolonisation Group at UU

Registration and programme:

Join us as well at the keynote lecture by Gloria Wekker on April 23rd (20:00 - 21:15 CET)! Titled “Een Reflectie op Witte Onschuld, 5 jaar later”, the lecture will be accesible to watch online via livestream:

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