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Introducing: Anne Marieke van der Wal-Rémy

Anne Marieke van der Wal-Rémy is a historian who recently joined the Institute for History as a lecturer in the International Studies programme. She introduces herself.

As a former student of the Research Master African Studies at Leiden University, it is wonderful to come back to Leiden University and be part of the Africa section at the Institute for History. My specialisation in African History started at the University of Amsterdam and Stellenbosch University. Specializing in African History and Cultural (Intangible) Heritage, I graduated in 2009 from the African Studies Centre at Leiden University on a thesis about the Cape Town Minstrel carnival and the protests songs of the Cape Coloured community composed and performed during the apartheid period in South Africa. From December 2009 until December 2014 I worked as a junior teacher and PhD candidate at Utrecht University's Cultural History Department. As a teacher at Utrecht University I have assisted in the development and instruction of many courses, in particular the development of the course ´World History´ and ‘Oral History’.

My PhD thesis, to be published by Wisconsin University Press as part of the book series on ‘Folklore & Intangible Heritage in a Multicultural World’ funded by the Mellon Foundation, focused on the intangible heritage of the South African slave past and explored the (dis)continuities of the performance of Diaspora identities between the (pre)colonial and postcolonial period and the role the commemorated past played in identity formation. In subsequent research I explored the current local sentiments towards slave heritage and ongoing state policies directed at safeguarding this heritage. In 2015 I worked several months at Stellenbosch University in South Africa as a research fellow at the Department of History, working on a research project titled ‘Decolonising South Africa’s Heritage Landscape? A Dialogical Approach to Heritage Conservation and Intangible Cultural Heritage in Stellenbosch, South Africa’.

My ambition is to continue conducting research on issues related to the impact of the colonial relationship; slavery and forced migrations; diaspora memory strategies and creolisation processes and in particular focus on these issues within the Indian Ocean World context. As migration and integration processes remain important global phenomena and a pressing political issue in the present, I believe my specialisation in the history of forced migrations, diaspora cultures and creolisation will be very relevant in addressing both old and new questions about global interactions,  slave history and colonial history. I look forward to developing these new research projects in such a stimulating environment as Leiden University.