Universiteit Leiden

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Elena Burgos Martinez

University Lecturer South and Southeast Asian Studies

Dr. E.E. Burgos Martinez
+31 71 527 5273

I am part of Leiden University's Institute for Area Studies: School of Asian Studies, where I coordinate and lecture in a variety of theoretical and methodological courses at BA, MA and PhD level. Amongst them, I coordinate a lecture series for PhD candidates across faculties, entitled 'Discipline and Place in the Humanities and Social Sciences' (with Leiden Global), whereby higher education paradigms, research ethics and (inter) disciplinary identities are problematised from critical and decolonial stances. Positionality and reflexivity are central to my research and teaching. I am available to supervise Research Masters, Master students and PhD candidates, whose research focuses on maritime encounters in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, environmental colonialism, contemporary (non-positivist) notions of sustainability, the political ecology of waste and crisis, and ideas that offer critical perspectives to environmental topics and problematic.

More information about Elena Burgos Martinez


For almost a decade, I have extensively researched local and collaborative processes of environmental knowledge production in multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural Eastern Indonesian islands, through the lenses of critical ethnographic research.  I have more specifically focused on the semantic expansion of local conceptions and practices of sustainability across seas in Northeastern Indonesia, and the politics of waste management and dependency networks with capitals. Currently, my research has incorporated critical archival theory and methodologies to contribute to a fairer understanding of transoceanic and maritime relations that were and are defining for what we now call environmental history. I am interested in the archival journeys of 'invisible actors': people whose role and agency was obscured by the biases of the time, and of this time.

I am also actively engaged in the re-conceptualising and re-theorising of formalised notions of connectivity, place and space within fields like Island Studies, and the Maritime Social Sciences and Humanities, and the pursue of more coherent research methodologies for places that challenge the status-quo of past scholarship.

Curriculum vitae

  • BKO (Basiskwalificatie Onderwijs)- Leiden University (Netherlands)
  • PGCAP: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (Durham University, England)
  • Durham Learning and Teaching Award (DULTA)
  • PhD in Environmental Anthropology, Durham University (in progress)
  • PhD in Sociolinguistics (Edinburgh University, Scotland)
  • MSc in Social Anthropology (Edinburgh University, Scotland)
  • MSc in Education and Language (Edinburgh University, Scotland)
  • MA in Pedagogy (Granada University, Spain)
  • BSc in Geology (Granada University, Spain)


  • Political Ecology: Beyond Nature & Society
  • Politics South and Southeast Asia
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Social Theory in Everyday Life
  • Discipline and Place in the Humanities and Social Sciences (inter-faculty Research MA and PhD course)

Research grant

Global Transformations and Governance Challenges Grant (co-applied with Dr. Daniela Vicherat Mattar and Dr. Jyothi Thrivikraman of LUC)

The many faces of food markets during COVID-19: Stories of solidarity and change through and with food

Local experiences are at the forefront of the global COVID-19 pandemic response. Thus, we are in a unique position to listen and learn from the plurality of practices of solidarity that have been assembled by local communities to respond to the impact of the pandemic and its collateral effects. By embedding ourselves in food markets in The Hague and Leiden, from different disciplinary angles, this project aims to identify the stories of solidarity and (in)formal support networks that have been locally mobilized in response to COVID-19.

University Lecturer South and Southeast Asian Studies

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS Indonesie

Work address

Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 3
2311 BZ Leiden
Room number 002A



  • Island Studies Journal Associate Editor
  • e-Struktural: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture (Indonesia) Member of the Editorial and Academic Board
  • Leiden University's Honours Academy Co-coordinator for the Pre-University College Programme in Den Haag
  • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain Reviewer
  • Teaching Anthropology Journal Reviewer
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