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Steijlen, Prof.dr. Fridus

Fridus Steijlen is emeritus professor ‘Moluccan Migration and Culture in a comparative perspective‘ at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the VU University, Amsterdam, and was senior researcher at KITLV, where he is now honorary fellow. At the moment he is visiting professor at the Pattimura University in Ambon, the Moluccas, Indonesia. He is working on postcolonial migration from Indonesia and daily life in present day Indonesia. He coordinated the audiovisual project ‘Recording the Future’. This is an ambitious long-term data-generating documentation project creating an audiovisual archive on everyday life in Indonesia. Drs. Ireen Hoogeboom is taking over this project. Prof. Steijlen was also involved as coordinator oral history of the witness project, in the program carried out by KITLV, the Netherlands Institute for Military History (NIMH) and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies ‘Decolonisation, violence and war in Indonesia, 1945-1950’.

Fridus Steijlen studied anthropology, with a specialization in Indonesia and ethnic minorities, especially Moluccans, in the Netherlands, at the University of Amsterdam. After his graduation he worked at various institutions, particularly the University of Amsterdam and the Free University of Amsterdam. In 1996 he obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam with a doctoral thesis on the history of Moluccan nationalism in the Netherlands. After his completing his doctoral degree, he worked as a researcher at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam, until he became the coordinator of the Oral History Project on Indonesia at the KITLV (SMGI). In 2002 he became a researcher at the KITLV. On 17 Juni 2017 he was appointed endowed professor ‘Moluccan Migration and Culture in Comparative Perspective’ at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This chair was established by the Foundation of the Moluccan Historical Museum.

Steijlen was a senior researcher in a government-sponsored research project on the history of Moluccans in the Netherlands, coordinated by the Moluccan Museum in Utrecht. This research resulted in 2006 in a standard work on the history of Moluccans in the Netherlands. Between 2005 and 2008 Steijlen was responsible for the Indisch Knooppunt project, combining a digital research guide with oral history on Indisch organization. Finally Steijlen is regularly involved in training programs on oral history in the Netherlands and Indonesia.

Selected Publications

(With Eveline Buchheim, Satrio Dwicahyo and Stephanie Welvaart) Sporen vol betekenis; In gesprek met ‘Getuigen & Tijdgenoten’ over de Indonesische onafhankelijheids oorlog/Meniti Arti; Bertukar makna bersama ‘Saksi & Rekan Sezaman’ tentang perang kemerdekaan Indonesia. Amsterdam/Jakarta: AUP/Yayasan Pusaka Obor Indonesia, 2022.

‘Searching transnational relations between Moluccans in the Netherlands and the Moluccas’, Wacana 23-3: 552-576, 2022.

(With Gert Oostindie) ‘Ethnic ‘ferociousness’ in colonial wars; Moluccans in the Dutch army in Indonesia, 1945–1949’, Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde 177: 491–523, 2021.

Tjakalele bij volle maan (inaugural lecture). Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit, 2018.

Een Indische skyline; Indische organisaties in Nederland tussen 1980 en 2010. Amsterdam: AUP Press, 2018.

‘Friese koeien tussen de sawa’s; Een speurtocht naar Fries melkvee en melkproductie in Nederlands-Indië’, De Vrije Fries, deel 98: 88-100, 2018.

‘In and Out of Uniform. Moluccan Soldiers in the Dutch Colonial Army’, in: eds Eric Storm & Ali AL Tuma, Colonial Soldiers in Europe, 1914-1945; “Aliens in Uniform” in Wartime Societies, pp. 229-248. London, Routledge, 2015.

‘Indo-European Pasar Malam, Identity and Performance in the Netherlands’, in: eds Barbara Hatley & Brett Hough, Performing Contemporary Indonesia. Celebrating Identity, Constructing Community, pp. 203-220. Leiden, Brill, 2015.

‘Pasar Malam Indo-Eropa Identitas dan pertunjukan kebudayaan di belanda’, in: eds Barbara Hatley, G. Budi Subandar & Yustina Devi Ardhiani, Seni Pertunjukan Indonesia Pasca Orde Baru, pp. 245-266. Yogyakarta, Universitas Sanata Dharma, 2014.

‘Kollektief Muziek Theater’s Repositioning of Moluccan Issues’, in: B. Barendregt. & E. Bogaerts (eds.), Recollecting Resonances; Indonesian-Dutch Musical Encounters, pp.319-337. Leiden: Brill, 2013.

‘Closing the “KNIL chapter”: A key moment in identity formation of Moluccans in the Netherlands’, in: U. Bosma (ed.), Postcolonial immigrants and identity formations in the Netherlands, pp. 117-134. Amsterdam: IMISCOE/Amsterdam University Press, 2012.

(With Sheri Lynn Gibbings), ‘Colonial figures; Memories of street traders in the colonial and early post-colonial periods’, Public History Review 19:63-85, 2012.

To the memory of comrades; Personal remembrance of Dutch war dead in Southeast Asia, 1942-45’, Public History Review 16:64-77, 2009.

(With Henk Smeets), In Nederland gebleven; De geschiedenis van Molukkers 1951-2006. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2006.