Shatanawi, Dr. Mirjam

Mirjam Shatanawi is a postdoctoral researcher at KITLV, where she conducts research on the provenance and makings of the institute’s collection of manuscripts and books from Indonesia. She is also a Senior Lecturer of Heritage Theory at the Reinwardt Academy (Amsterdam University of the Arts).

Trained in Arabic Studies (MA University of Amsterdam) and African/Asian History (MA School of Oriental and African Studies, London) and with previous work experience as a field anthropologist, her curatorial and research practice intends to connect these fields. She acquired her PhD from the University of Amsterdam (2022), with a thesis on the silences surrounding Indonesian Islam in museums in the Netherlands, for which she studied the histories of museum objects and collections.

Previously, she was involved in PPROCE (Pilot Project Provenance Research on Objects of the Colonial Era) and worked as a lecturer of Islamic art at the University of Amsterdam. Between 2001 and 2018, she worked as a curator at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, the Afrika Museum in Nijmegen and the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam. She has curated exhibitions on topics as wide-ranging as Muslim youth culture, the global Sixties and the artistic encounter of the Dutch artist M.C. Escher with Islamic art.

Selected Publications

Shatanawi, Mirjam, Making and Unmaking Indonesian Islam: Legacies of Colonialism in Museums. Leiden: Brill, forthcoming.

Shatanawi, Mirjam, Katarzyna Puzon, & Sharon Macdonald (eds.), Islam and Heritage in Europe Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities. London; New York: Routledge, 2021.

Shatanawi, Mirjam, ‘Museum Narratives of Islam Between Art, Archaeology and Ethnology: A Structural Injustice Approach’, in: Katarzyna Puzon, Sharon Macdonald & Mirjam Shatanawi (eds.), Islam and Heritage in Europe: Pasts, Presents and Future Possibilities, pp. 163–82. London; New York: Routledge, 2021.

Shatanawi, Mirjam, Islam at the Tropenmuseum. Arnhem: LM Publishers, 2014.

Shatanawi, Mirjam, ‘Engaging Islam: Working with Muslim Communities in a Multicultural Society’, Curator: The Museum Journal 55-1: 65–79, 2012.

Shatanawi, Mirjam, ‘Contemporary Art in Ethnographic Museums’, in: Hans Belting & Andrea Buddensieg (eds.), The Global Art World: Audiences, Markets, and Museums, pp. 368–385. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2009.

Related Research Project(s)

Unpacking KITLV Special Collections: Colonial histories, object biographies, knowledge practices, and local agency

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