Arps, Arnoud

Arnoud Arps is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and a lecturer within the department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. His expertise as a researcher concerns the position of media within the fields of memory studies and postcolonialism with the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia as his main research topics. He has written publications on colonial discourse in Dutch East Indies travel writing, the representation of war violence in Indonesian cinema and the relation between home movies from the Dutch East Indies and postcolonial cultural memories. In September 2016 he started a NWO-funded PhD-project titled ‘Remembering Violence: Cultural memory, popular culture and the Indonesian War of Independence’. The PhD-project investigates how cultural memories of the violence during the Indonesian War of Independence are produced, constructed and consumed through contemporary Indonesian popular culture. More information on his personal profile, publications and research can be found here.

Bakker, Laurens

Laurens Bakker is assistant professor at the Department of Anthropology (University of Amsterdam). He works on questions of governance, law and justice with a focus on land use, resource conflict, discourses of authority and non-state violence. Most of his research is focused on Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia.

At present he is principal investigator for the ‘Securing the Local’ project, which studies the role of non-state security groups in countering the threat of extremist violence and in providing ‘human security’. This is a comparative project that takes places simultaneously in Kenya, Nigeria and Indonesia and that is funded by NWO-WOTRO through its Security and Rule of Law Program. Jointly with Mohamad Nasir of Universitas Balikpapan and Muhamad Muhdar of Prakarsa Borneo, he also heads the Tiram Research Project in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. This project is funded by the International Development and Law Organization (IDLO) and seeks to develop and strengthen the participatory law-making capacities of government, CSOs and local communities in regional resource management.

Laurens studied cultural anthropology at Leiden University and received his Ph.D. in 2009 from the Radboud University Nijmegen, where he worked at the Institute of Anthropology and Development Studies and at the Institute for the Sociology of Law. His Ph.D. thesis “Who Owns the Land? Looking for Law and Power in East Kalimantan”. Which is available from the Radboud University repository at

Burgos-Martinez, Elena

Elena Burgos-Martinez is an environmental and linguistic anthropologist. She completed a PhD in Sociolinguistics at Edinburgh University (Scotland) and a PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at Durham University (England). For the latter, she explored the intersection between vernacular island systems in Eastern Indonesia and contemporary environmental theory of Indonesia. She has also conducted years of fieldwork and ethnographic research amongst coastal inhabitants of small islands in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. She is interested in the fields of political ecology, environmental theory and linguistic anthropology- particularly when aiming to meaningfully understand different paradigms and epistemes of indigeneity and knowledge that converge on small archipelagoes and how these conceptual systems operate.

During her time at KITLV, Elena will be developing a postdoctoral research project analyzing contemporary de-centralization movements in Eastern Indonesia and the development of new governing agencies in (and around) small Indonesian archipelagoes. She will be working under Dr. Ward Berenschot’s project on Indonesian citizenship and will pursue the design of theoretical, conceptual and methodological frameworks designed on the basis of vernacular processes of ‘autonomy’ and ‘citizenship’. During her time in Leiden, Elena will also work on two co-authored papers in collaboration with members of Leiden University’s department of linguistics and anthropology: a contemporary analysis of language policy and minority languages in Indonesia and a more reflective piece on the theoretical and methodological challenges of conducting anthropological research at sea and in coastal settings. More info can be found here.

Chin, Grace

Grace V. S. Chin received her B. A. and M. A. in English Literature from University of Malaya and her Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Hong Kong. She has held teaching positions in Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Hong Kong, and was also a visiting scholar at the University of Philippines Diliman and Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Her research interests include the literatures of postcolonial Southeast Asia and Asian women’s writings, with emphasis on gender identities and subjectivities in contemporary societies and diasporas, and her articles have appeared in leading journals, such as The Journal of Commonwealth Literature and The Journal of International Women’s Studies, as well as in books published by John Benjamins and Cambridge Scholars Publishing. She has several forthcoming publications, including a co-edited book by Springer titled, Women in Postcolonial Southeast Asian Literature: Gender, Identity, and Nation, and a co-edited Special Issue on Brunei English language and literature under World Englishes. Due to her current interest in the gendered discourses and meanings produced through language and literature in colonial Java, Chin is collaborating with Tom Hoogervorst on the representations of women in Sino-Malay fiction at KITLV.

Gellert, Paul

Paul K. Gellert (PhD, University of Wisconsin) is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville (USA). His research interests center on the political economy of natural resources and the politics of development in Indonesia. He is co-editor of a 2017 special issue in The Journal of World-Systems Research and a forthcoming book (Palgrave), both on ecologically unequal exchange. He has recently published a paper on resource nationalism in comparative perspective between Indonesia and Bolivia in International Journal of Comparative Sociology. Other publications have appeared in The Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. During this year as an affiliated fellow, he will be working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Indonesia’s Extractive Regime. He also will be collaborating with Dr. Ward Berenschot on developing new research on resource struggles in Indonesia.

Hagesteijn, Renee

Renee Hagesteijn is a political anthropologist and associated researcher at KITLV. She is interested in political dynamics, centralization processes, state formation; informal politics in formal political systems; conditions for political legitimacy and stability; consequences and limitations of scaling up political influence. Renee conducted MA fieldwork in West Java, Indonesia and wrote her PhD thesis on political dynamics in early continental South East Asia. While pursuing a career in science management at the national research council she remained interested in theoretical developments on the verge of anthropology, political science and history. Recently she caught up with the advances in digital scholarship. She is currently preparing a comprehensive, interactive database on early Southeast Asian written sources.

Loo, Vilan van de

Dr. Vilan van de Loo is a researcher, writer and journalist. She has published several books on the Netherlands-Indies, mostly biographies like Johannes ‘Pa’ van der Steur (1865-1945). Zijn leven, zijn werk en zijn Steurtjes (2015). Besides working on the biography of Governor-General J.B. van Heutsz (1851-1924), she explores the mysterious world of the ‘zeebaboes’ and adds frequently ladies novels from the Indies to the Leestrommel (

Read more: Van (

Purwanto, Bambang

Bambang Purwanto is Professor in History at Universitas Gadjah Mada Yogyakarta Indonesia, and from 2006 also Extraordinary Leiden Professor for History of Indonesia-Dutch Relations. He is currently the head of doctorate program for humanities at Faculty of Arts and Humanities Universitas Gadjah Mada. He was head of Centre for Southeast Asian Social Studies at Universitas Gadjah Mada in promoting Southeast Asian Studies in the region, and also involved in academic and research cooperation with different institutions in Asia, Europe, and Australia in the field of social sciences and humanities, particularly in history in last 20 years. He graduated from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) University of London United Kingdom, where he received his MA in 1989 and Ph.D in 1992. He has published widely on the economic history of Indonesia, social and daily life history, heritages, and Indonesian historiography. His edited book together with Henk Schulte Nordholt and Ratna Saptari on Indonesian historiography Perspektif Baru Penulisan Sejarah Indonesia published by KITLV together with Yayasan Obor Indonesia (2008) was reprinted in 2013.  Bambang, how he usually called is now working in his research on from clients to citizens and Indonesia during the revolution period of 1945-1950.

Ravensbergen, Sanne

Sanne Ravensbergen is a historian of colonial Indonesia. Her research focuses on the practices and ideologies of colonial law, legal pluralism, colonial liberalism, local elites, and the material culture of courts and legal professionals. The local setting of colonial legal spaces is the focal point of her work that tries to understand the interactions between state and society in the imperial context.

After obtaining a MA degree in Colonial and Global History at Leiden University (cum laude) Sanne pursued a PhD project on criminal law in colonial Java. Her dissertation Courtrooms of Conflict (currently under examination) demonstrates the role of criminal law practices, legal pluralities and courtroom dynamics in the process of colonial state formation in nineteenth century Java. As a visiting fellow at KITLV, Sanne will broaden her lens to Dutch colonial legal spaces outside of Java, specifically in the Indian Ocean World.

In the past two years, Sanne co-initiated and co-organised two international conferences entitled Ocean of Law, bringing together scholars working on the legal history of the Indian Ocean World. The proceedings of the first Ocean of Law Conference is forthcoming in a special issue of Itinerario (2018).

Patricia Tjiook-Liem obtained her Master of Laws at the University of Amsterdam. In 2009 she defended her Ph.D. dissertation on ‘The legal position of the Chinese in the Dutch East-Indies 1848-1942’ at Leiden University-Van Vollenhoven Institute. Previously her article ‘Fact and fiction on the Japanese Law’ was published in the legal magazine Rechtsgeleerd Magazijn Themis. This article dealt with the amendment of one of the most important articles of Dutch East-Indies’ constitutional law, an article directly related to the complex legal position of the Chinese in the colonial period. At present one of her main interests is the Chinese Indonesian Heritage Center (CIHC) of KITLV. The CIHC aims to collect and preserve the heritage of the Chinese in the Netherlands.


Our institute hosts several international postdoctoral research fellows. KITLV fellows are invited to present lectures, participate in seminars and cooperate in the institute’s research projects. This page lists, in alphabetical order, the visiting fellows currently staying at the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies.

Former Visiting Fellows

Here you can find the visiting fellows who stayed at our institute in the past.

Become a Fellow

Also interested in becoming a visiting fellow at our institute? Click here to check out the different types of fellowships we have available at KITLV.