Universiteit Leiden

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Gert Oostindie

Professor emeritus Colonial and Postcolonial History

Prof.dr. G.J. Oostindie
+31 71 527 2727

Gert Oostindie is Professor emeritus of Colonial and Postcolonial History at Leiden University and former Director of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies. He directed the government-funded research programme on ‘Independence, Decolonization, Violence and War in Indonesia, 1945-1950’, the NWO-funded programmes ‘Confronting Caribbean Challenges’ and ‘Traveling Caribbean Heritage’ and the programme ‘The Colonial and Slavery Past of Rotterdam’ commissioned by the Rotterdam city council. He is a frequent contributor to the media on his areas of expertise.

More information about Gert Oostindie

Spreekuur / Hours

Na afspraak / by appointment


Oostindie’s principal areas of research have been comparative Caribbean studies and Dutch colonial and postcolonial history. He published and edited, mainly in English or Dutch, over 30 books and authored a large number of articles on the colonial history and decolonization of the Dutch Caribbean; on history, ethnicity and migration in the Caribbean and Latin America in general; on Atlantic slavery and its legacies; on postcolonial migrations and the significance of colonial history to Dutch national identity; and on the war of decolonization in Indonesia. For further information, please consult the KITLV website.


BA, MA, Colonial and global history

PhD supervision

Colonial and postcolonial history. Caribbean and Latin American history. Indonesian history (Dutch colonial period). Area Studies. Migration, ethnicity and muticulturalism, politics, cultural heritage, slavery.  

Curriculum vitae

Gert Oostindie studied History and Social Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (cum laude, 1982), and obtained his PhD at Utrecht University (cum laude, 1989). He has been awarded many research grants and fellowships, served on editorial, scholarly and governmental committees both in the Netherlands and abroad. Between 2006 and 2015, he held the chair as Professor of Caribbean History at Leiden University; between 1993 and 2006, he was Professor of the Anthropology and Sociology of the Caribbean at Utrecht University. He has been director of KITLV since 2000 and holds his present Professsorship in Leiden since 2006. 

Grants & Awards

Since 2000, Oostindie was awarded four NWO project grants (totalling over 2 million euro's) and, as director of KITLV, major research funding by several Dutch ministries and the city of Rotterdam. 

Selected publications

Realm between empires: The second Dutch Atlantic, 1680-1815. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 2018/Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2018. viii + 337 pp. (with Wim Klooster)

Serdadu Belanda di Indonesia 1945-1950: Kesaksian perang pada sisi sejarah yang salah. Jakarta: Obor 2016, 374 pp. (with the cooperation of Ireen Hoogenboom & Jonathan Verwey)

Soldaat in Indonesië: Getuigenissen van een oorlog aan de verkeerde kant van de geschiedenis. Amsterdam: Prometheus 2015, 383 pp. (with the cooperation of Ireen Hoogenboom & Jonathan Verwey) (4th ed., 2016)

El Caribe holandés: El colonialismo y sus legados transatlánticos. La Habana: Editorial José Martí 2014, 303 pp.

Dutch Atlantic connections, 1680-1800: Linking empires, bridging borders. Leiden: Brill 2014, 440 pp. (ed., with Jessica V. Roitman)

Gedeeld Koninkrijk: De ontmanteling van de Nederlandse Antillen en de vernieuwing van het trans-Atlantische Koninkrijk der Nederlanden. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2012, 374 pp. (with Inge Klinkers)

Postcolonial migrants and identity politics. New York: Berghahn, 2012, 259 pp. (ed., with Ulbe Bosma & Jan Lucassen)

Curaçao in the age of revolutions, 1795-1800. Leiden: KITLV Press 2011, 180 pp. (ed., with Wim Klooster)

Postcolonial Netherlands: Sixty-five years of forgetting, commemorating, silencing. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011, 287 pp.

Dutch colonialism, migration and cultural heritage. Leiden: KITLV Press 2008, xii+360 pp. (ed.)

De parels en de kroon: Het koningshuis en de koloniën. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij/Leiden: KITLV Uitgeverij, 2006, 192 pp. (3d ed., Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2006).

Paradise overseas: The Dutch Caribbean: Colonialism and its transatlantic legacies. Oxford: Macmillan, 2005, xi+204 pp.

Decolonising the Caribbean: Dutch policies in a comparative perspective. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2003, 291 pp. (with Inge Klinkers)

Facing up to the past: Perspectives on the commemoration of slavery from Africa, the Americas and Europe. Kingston: Ian Randle/The Hague: Prince Claus Fund, 2001, xl + 150 pp. (ed.),

Knellende Koninkrijksbanden: Het Nederlandse dekolonisatiebeleid in de Caraïben, 1940-2000. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2001.
– Vol. I, 1940-1954, 358 pp.
– Vol. II, 1954-1975, 549 pp.
– Vol. III 1975-2000, 668 pp.
(with Inge Klinkers)

Ethnicity in the Caribbean. London: Macmillan, 1996, xiii+239 pp. (reprint Amsterdam : Amsterdam University Press, 2005). (ed.)

Etnicidad como estrategía en América Latina y el Caribe. Quito: Abya-Yala, 1996, 180 pp. (with Michiel Baud, Kees Koonings, Arij Ouweneel & Patricio Silva)

Fifty years later: Antislavery, capitalism and modernity in the Dutch Orbit. Leiden: KITLV Press, 1995, viii+272 pp. (Also published Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1996.) (ed.),

Roosenburg en Mon Bijou: Twee Surinaamse plantages, 1720-1870. Dordrecht, Providence: Foris, 1989, xii + 548 pp.

In het land van de overheerser II: Antillianen en Surinamers in Nederland, 1634/1667-1954. Dordrecht, Cinnaminson: Foris, 1986, xi + 250 pp. (1st and 2nd edition 1986.) (with Emy Maduro)

Professor emeritus Colonial and Postcolonial History

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Algemene Geschiedenis


  • KNAW LId COmmissie Omstreden Monumentnen
  • Leiud Universiteitsfonds LUF Bestedingscommissie Fonds Caribische Collecties
  • Instituut voor de Nederlandse Taal lid Raad van Advies
  • Commissie Immaterieel Cultureel Erfgoed van de Raad van Cultuur Member
  • Ministerie van OCW/NWO Lid Stuurgroep Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute
  • Prof. SLicher van Bath Fonds Lid Bestuur
  • Dr. Silvia de Groot Fonds Voorzitter Bestuur
  • KITLV-KNAW Directeur Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal- , Land- en Volkenkunde
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