Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Beyond Dissemination: Hindustani Identifications at the Nexus of Tradition and Modernity

An interdisciplinary cultural analysis of how the Hindustani double migration informs contemporary processes of identification and problematises the juxtaposition of tradition and modernity.

2015 - 2019

Hindustani in the Netherlands appear to show a variety of cultural “identities”. I analyse how their identifications with Indian, Surinamese, and Dutch cultural worlds develop in order to formulate a novel approach towards the contested notion of “identity”. 

The project explores the complex processes that have resulted from the Hindustani double migration (from India to Suriname to the Netherlands), which inform contemporary processes of identification. It argues that Indian, Surinamese, and Dutch cultures influence a fluidity of affiliations, which bring about questions regarding the relation between tradition and modernity, terms that are often juxtaposed. By critically assessing the (re-)production, circulation, and consumption of Hindustani cultures in the Netherlands, it seeks to problematise categorisations of tradition and modernity.

In order to do so, Hindustani literature and visual arts will be examined, and an analysis made of the increasing impact of Indian cinema (“Bollywood”) in the light of Hindustani identifications. A new theoretical model – meandericity - will be elaborated in the research project to better understand Hindustani cultural affiliations and, more generally, migratory subjectivity. 


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