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, and is a frequent contributor to the Dutch mass media on his areas of expertise. 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.
Oostindie’s principal areas of research have been comparative Caribbean studies and Dutch colonial history. He published and edited, mainly in English or Dutch, over 25 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.
Realm between Empires; The Second Dutch Atlantic, 1680-1815. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 2018. (with Wim Klooster) (in press)
Sporen van de slavernij in Leiden. Leiden: Leiden University Press, 2017. (with Karwan Fatah-Black)
Serdadu Belanda di Indonesia 1945-1950; Kesaksian perang pada sisi sejarah yang salah. Jakarta: Obor, 2016. (with the cooperation of Ireen Hoogenboom & Jonathan Verwey)
Soldaat in Indonesië, 1945-1950; Getuigenissen van een oorlog aan de verkeerde kant van de geschiedenis. Amsterdam: Prometheus, 2015. (with the cooperation of Ireen Hoogenboom & Jonathan Verwey) (5th ed., 2017)
El Caribe holandés; El colonialismo y sus legados transatlánticos. La Habana: Editorial José Martí, 2014.
Dutch Atlantic connections, 1680-1800; Linking empires, bridging borders. Leiden: Brill 2014. (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. (with Inge Klinkers)
Postcolonial migrants and identity politics. New York: Berghahn, 2012. (ed., with Ulbe Bosma & Jan Lucassen)
Curaçao in the Age of Revolutions, 1795-1800. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2011. (ed., with Wim Klooster)
Postcolonial Netherlands; Sixty-five years of forgetting, commemorating, silencing. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2011.