A Metropolitan History of the Dutch Empire
A Metropolitan History of the Dutch Empire
Popular Imperialism in The Netherlands, 1850-1940
€ 109,00
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15.6 x 23.4 cm
Table of Contents
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On names and terminology
Introduction - The Still Waters of Empire Run Deep
Dutch Indifference
The Metropole in the Colonial World
Conquering the Metropolitan Mind
The Politics of History
Case Studies from a Fragmented Empire
Chapter 1 – Food and Indifference: A Cultural History of the Rijsttafel in The Netherlands
Dichotomies of a colonial dish
The metropolitan rijsttafel
Who’s cooking?
The politics of colonial food
The limits of permeation (conclusion)
Chapter 2 – Indonesians and Cultural Citizenship: The Metropolitan Microcosm of Empire
Dissent and Cultural Citizenship
Wim Tehupeiory: Naturalization and social mobility
Tjipto Mangoenkoesoemo: Political dissent in the metropole
Jodjana: The arts and the idea of association
Imperial Citizenship and Double Consciousness (conclusion)
Chapter 3 – Schools and Propaganda: History Books and Schools as Sites of Imperial Campaigns
Schools, teachers and pupils
History Lessons
‘Classroom Collections’
Maps on the wall (conclusion)
Chapter 4 – Scouting and the Racialized ‘Other’: Colonial Tropes during the 1937 International Jamboree
The Advent of Dutch Scouting
An Empire without Boys
Imperial Imagery in Dutch Scouting
The 1937 Jamboree
Scouting and Dutch Imperialism (conclusion)
Chapter 5 – Missionary Organizations and the Metropolitan Public: The ‘Inner Mission’ and the Invention of Mission Festivals 156
Internal colonialism
Mission festivals
The choice for a missionary career
Gendered role models
Finding funds (conclusion)
Conclusion – A Fragmented Empire
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Matthijs Kuipers

A Metropolitan History of the Dutch Empire

Popular Imperialism in The Netherlands, 1850-1940

This book analyses popular imperial culture in the Netherlands around the turn of the twentieth century. Despite the prominent role that the Dutch empire played in many (sometimes unexpected) aspects of civil society, and its significance in mobilising citizens to participate in causes both directly and indirectly related to the overseas colonies, most people seem to have remained indifferent towards imperial affairs. How, then, barring a few jingoist outbursts during the Aceh and Boer Wars, could the empire be simultaneously present and absent in metropolitan life? Drawing upon the works of scholars from fields as diverse as postcolonial studies and Habsburg imperialism, A Metropolitan History of the Dutch Empire argues that indifference was not an anomaly in the face of an all-permeating imperial culture, but rather the logical consequence of an imperial ideology that treated ‘the metropole’ and ‘the colony’ as entirely separate entities. The various groups and individuals who advocated for imperial or anti-imperial causes – such as missionaries, former colonials, Indonesian students, and boy scouts – had little unmediated contact with one another, and maintained their own distinctive modes of expression. They were all, however, part of what this book terms a ‘fragmented empire’, connected by a Dutch imperial ideology that was common to all of them, and whose central tenet – namely, that the colonies had no bearing on the mother country – they never questioned. What we should not do, the author concludes, is assume that the metropolitan invisibility of colonial culture rendered it powerless.

Matthijs Kuipers

Dr. Matthijs Kuipers lectures on (post)colonial history and subjects like humanitarianism, human rights and racism at Utrecht University. He defended is PhD thesis on popular imperialism in The Netherlands in 2018 at the European University Institute in Florence and has published on topics ranging from colonial propaganda to the imperial dimension of the Dutch boy scouts.