Research School for Economic and Social History

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Postdoc ‘Colonial Entanglements and Long-term Legacies’ (Wageningen UR) – deadline 31 May 2022

Wageningen University & Research is looking for a postdoctoral researcher in the field of history in the project Colonial Entanglements and Long-term Legacies: Tracing the Footprints of Wageningen University in Indonesia and Suriname, 1876-present. The postdoc will investigate the activities, connections and legacies of Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in Indonesia and Suriname during and after the period of Dutch colonial rule. This 3-year project has been commissioned by the board of Wageningen University and will be carried out at the Rural and Environmental History Group under the auspices of an International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB).

The project investigates four sets of questions:

  1. What type of activities did (representatives of) Wageningen University and the research institutes undertake and with whom did they cooperate? What type of research and teaching programmes were developed and how did these affect post-colonial agricultural research and education in Wageningen, Indonesia and Suriname?
  2. How were research and teaching programmes organized and financed, who were the main stakeholders (companies, authorities)? How were co-operations between Dutch and local stakeholders governed? Who were the envisioned beneficiaries of research facilities (e.g. botanical gardens, experimental stations, laboratories) as well as schools established, who provided the financial and human resources to do so, and who benefitted?
  3. What was the political rationale and ideological context of Wageningen’s activities in the colonies and how were these ideas perceived and/or contested by locals who were engaged with teaching or research programmes? What were the stated ‘development’ purposes as well as less tangible mental, cultural and ideological frames of researchers or colonial government officials and how did these evolve over time?
  4. What were the long-term legacies of Wageningen’s colonial entanglements, for example with regards to agricultural development in Indonesia and Suriname, and the knowledge and training networks that were sustained or have disappeared in the course of time?

Applications are due by 31 May 2022.

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