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.

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 (

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Mandal, Sumit

Sumit Mandal is an Associate Professor in the School of Politics, History and International Relations at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus. He is a historian interested in the transregional architecture of Asian societies. His research has focused primarily on Muslim societies in the Malay world – in relation to the Indian Ocean – as well as contemporary Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, and has centred on the question of cultural difference. His book Becoming Arab: Creole Histories and Modern Identity in the Malay World is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. At the KITLV, he is collaborating with Marieke Bloembergen, Tom Hoogervorst, and David Kloos on a workshop on ‘scholarly study, religious knowledge, and difficult histories’. He is also writing a paper for the workshop based on his current research on Muslim shrines as a way of exploring the history of the Malay world.

Pribadi, Yanwar

Yanwar Pribadi is Assistant Professor of Local History at State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Sultan Maulana Hasanuddin Banten, Indonesia and a researcher at Laboratorium Bantenologi at the same university. He received his PhD in Humanities from Leiden University, MA in Islamic Studies from Leiden University, and BA in History from Padjadjaran University. His works have been published in journals such as South East Asia Research, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, Studia Islamika, Al-Jamiah: Journal of Islamic Studies, and Journal of Indonesian Islam as well as in an edited-volume Religious Diversity in Muslim-majority States in Southeast Asia: Areas of Toleration and Conflict (ISEAS). In 2015 he was a visiting fellow at Department of Languages and Cultures of South East Asia, SOAS, University of London. In 2017 he will be a visiting fellow at KITLV in the research project From Clients to Citizens? Emerging Citizenship in Democratising Indonesia  and an Endeavour fellow at School of Social Sciences, Monash University. At KITLV Yanwar is preparing a book manuscript for Routledge Islam, State and Society in Indonesia: Local Politics in Madura.

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.

Schär, Bernhard

Bernhard C. Schär is a lecturer at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s chair for Global History, and an associated member of the ‚Centre for the History of Knowledge‘ in Zürich. He received his PhD at the University of Berne with a case study on two Swiss naturalists and secret lovers, who explored Celebes (Sulawesi) shortly before Dutch conquest of the island around 1900. The book, entitled ’Tropenliebe, was published in 2015 with ‚campus‘ in Frankfurt/M.. Bernhard’s current research focusses on the role of Switzerland as an ‚imperial service provider‘ during the ‚long 19th century‘. It aims at exploring how Switzerland was shaped by its contributions to imperial networks of trade, capital, science, missionary societies and mercenaries. He is currently leading a research project, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, on the transnational character of the Dutch Colonial Army (KNIL). The project focusses in particular on how Swiss mercenaries connected the Dutch Empire to the European ‚Hinterland‘ in the 19th century. In Switzerland, Bernhard has also played an active role in disseminating historical knowledge in teacher training, exhibitions, and by taking part in public debates on Switzerland’s history of ‚colonialism without colonies’. Bernhard will be a Fellow at KITLV between 20th August and 15th of October 2017.

Sienkiewicz, Simona

Simona Sienkiewicz received her B.A. and M.A. in both International Relations and Asian Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. She also studied Islamic Studies at the Universitas Islam Negeri Syarif Hidayatullah in Jakarta and it boosted her interest about religious issues in Indonesia. Currently, she is preparing a PhD dissertation about the role of tradition in the interreligious dialogue in Moluccas. Her research is funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education under the Diamond Grant program awarded to the most promising young researchers in the country. Besides her project, she is also interested in the diversity of Islam in Indonesia, the role of religion among religious minorities and Christian missionaries in North Moluccas and West Papua.

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.

Woolgar, Matthew

Matthew Woolgar is a DPhil History student at the University of Oxford, conducting research on the party system in Indonesia in the 1950s, focusing on West Java and South Sumatra. This project aims to re-evaluate the party system of the 1950s in the context of broader changes in Indonesian society in the post-independence period, drawing on a combination of archival sources, contemporary publications and oral history. He received an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from SOAS, University of London, and a BA in History from the University of Oxford. He also has an interest in modern Indonesian literature, and is currently co-editing a collection of short stories translated from Indonesian and co-translating another collection.


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.