Leiden University: Royal honour for Gert Oostindie

Gert Oostindie (1955) became head of the department of Caribbean Studies at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV-KNAW) in 1983, and was appointed director of the institute in 2000. He has also been Professor of Colonial and Postcolonial History at Leiden University since 2006, and was Professor of Anthropology and Comparative Sociology of the Caribbean at Utrecht University from 1993 to 2006.

Valedictory lecture
In his lecture about the Netherlands’ colonial and slavery past and its present-day resonance, Oostindie emphasised how important it is to talk about this history because it can bring people together in society. In telling this history, he said, people should seek the nuance, the differences in perspective and the contradicting voices, and should provide room for other dimensions such as emotion and imagination. But that this should be based on a good understanding of the historical context.