Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Colonial and Global History (MA)

Heritage and Postcolonial Studies

The Heritage and Postcolonial Studies specialiation has a regional focus on colonial and postcolonial Indonesia, in transnational and comparative perspectives. You will critically study the politics and practices of archives in the context of colonial and postcolonial history, thereby engaging with debates and queries regarding their decolonization.

This new specialisation:

  • broadens to the field of Critical Heritage Studies, and towards the study of archival politics and practices, beyond (and including) those of the official national and regional archives;
  • will be structurally informed by postcolonial critical debates, and seek for strategies to open up archives for understanding alternative voices and uses than those that had been principle of collecting;
  • has a broad focus on the political dynamics of heritage formation in colonial and postcolonial Asian contexts (in particular of nineteenth and twentieth century Indonesia). 

Collaboration with the National Archive in The Hague

You will study the relationship between institutions and the archives left behind – i.e. the underlying reasons why the archives were compiled including the societal context within which the institutions were founded and operated, and the reasons particular records were kept. You will also learn how to manage archives both during class and through your own research, including how to make archives accessible for historical research. You will have the opportunity to apply theory in practice thanks to the programme's structural collaboration with the National Archive in The Hague.

Focus on the colonial context

A particular focus during the programme is on the archives created in a colonial context. In Jakarta alone there is in excess of 10 kilometres of Dutch-language archive material collected by the Dutch East India company and colonial institutions. In other South-east Asian countries, South Africa, Surinam and the Dutch Antilles there are many more hundreds of kilometres of Dutch-language archive material. During the Master’s programme you will acquire the skills needed to manage these archives and make them accessible for historical research.

Gain important digitisation skills

The programme will also provide you with the knowledge and skills required of archivists in response to digitisation. Archivists today must be more than specialists in the field of structuring and describing archives, palaeography, diplomacy, institutional history but equipped in the compilation and management of archives within the framework of information science. The specialisation provides focused training to meet this need.

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, see the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

This website uses cookies. More information.