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PhD defence

The Eurasian Question

Wednesday 30 May 2018
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

'The Eurasian Question' The colonial position and postcolonial options of colonial mixed ancestry groups from British India, Dutch East Indies and French Indochina compared.

Eurasians were privileged groups of mixed ancestry in Asian colonial societies. They were the result of unions between European males and indigenous women. They neither belonged to the colonizers, nor to the colonized. When colonization came to an end, the Eurasians found themselves in a difficult position. The European rulers, on which their status was based, were gone. The new indigenous rulers usually perceived them suspiciously as colonial remnants and sometimes even as traitors. In this chaotic, sometimes violent situation, they had to decide where they belonged: in the country of their European fathers or the former colony, the country of their Asian mothers. This was a serious dilemma since they only knew the mother country from stories and lessons at school. In this project I have compared the position and options of the Indo-Europeans with those of similar groups from two other former Asian co lonies, the Anglo-Indians from British India and the Métis people from French Indochina. This study of Eurasians from three former colonies showed that an emancipation paradox of acquiring more rights while discriminated against more at the same time was instrumental in creating the framework in which Eurasians had to make their choices.


  • Prof. M.L.J.C. Schrover


PhD defences are free; you do not have to register.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

Press contact

Maarten Muns, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
+31 71 527 3282

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