Dutch Racism

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9789042037588Philomena Essed and Isabel Hoving (eds.)
Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2014, 425 pp.

Dutch Racism is the first comprehensive study of its kind. The approach is unique, not comparative but relational, in unraveling the legacy of racism in the Netherlands and the (former) colonies. Authors contribute to identifying the complex ways in which racism operates in and beyond the national borders, shaped by European and global influences, and intersecting with other systems of domination. Contrary to common sense beliefs it appears that old-fashioned biological notions of “race” never disappeared. At the same time the Netherlands echoes, if not leads, a wider European trend, where offensive statements about Muslims are an everyday phenomenon. Dutch Racism challenges readers to question what happens when the moral rejection of racism looses ground.

The volume captures the layered nature of Dutch racism through a plurality of registers, methods, and disciplinary approaches: from sociology and history to literary analysis, art history and psychoanalysis, all different elements competing for relevance, truth value, and explanatory power. This range of voices and visions offers illuminating insights in the two closely related questions that organize this book: what factors contribute to the complexity of Dutch racism? And why is the concept of racism so intensely contested? The volume will speak to audiences across the humanities and social sciences and can be used as textbook in undergraduate as well as graduate courses.


Philomena Essed and Isabel Hoving: Innocence, Smug Ignorance, Resentment: An Introduction to Dutch Racism

1: Narratives and Legacies of Dutch Racism
Kwame Nimako, Amy Abdou and Glenn Willemsen: Chattel Slavery and Racism: A Reflection on the Dutch Experience
Esther Captain: Harmless Identities: Representations of Racial Consciousness among Three Generations Indo-Europeans
Evelien Gans: “They Have Forgotten to Gas You”: Post-1945 Antisemitism in the Netherlands
Halleh Ghorashi: Racism and “the Ungrateful Other” in the Netherlands
Michael Orlando Sharpe: Race, Color, and Nationalism in Aruban and Curaçaoan Political Identities
Melissa Steyn: De la Rey, De la Rey, De la Rey: Invoking the Afrikaner Ancestors

2: Black Bodies, White Fantasms
Gloria Wekker: Diving into the Wreck: Exploring Intersections of Sexuality, “Race,” Gender, and Class in the Dutch Cultural Archive
Rebecca P. Brienen: Types and Stereotypes: Zwarte Piet and His Early Modern Sources
Joseph D. Jordan: The Enunciation of the Nation: Notes on Colonial Refractions in the Netherlands
Joy L. Smith: The Dutch Carnivalesque: Blackface, Play, and Zwarte Piet
Liesbeth Minnaard: Between “Dutch Tolerance” and “Moroccan Normality”: Benali’s Bruiloft aan zee as Challenge to an All Too “Happy Multiculturality”

3: Normalizing Racism, Resisting Humiliations
Lida M. van den Broek: Neither With, Nor Without Them—Ethnic Diversity on the Work Floor: How Egalitarianism Breeds Discrimination
Dienke Hondius: Black Dutch Voices: Reports from a Country that Leaves Racism Unchallenged
Sandra Trienekens and Eltje Bos: Strategies and Aesthetics: Responses to Exclusionary Practices in the Public Arts Sector
Guno Jones: Biology, Culture, ‘Postcolonial Citizenship’ and the Dutch Nation, 1945–2007
Marc de Leeuw and Sonja van Wichelen: Institutionalizing the Muslim Other: Naar Nederland and the Violence of Culturalism
Miriyam Aouragh: Refusing to be Silenced: Resisting Islamophobia

4: Dutch Situations: Reflections from Visitors and Other Keen Observers
Stephen Small: First Impressions: Race and Immigration in Holland
Ellie Vasta: The Politics of Avoidance – the Netherlands in Perspective
Pooyan Tamimi Arab: The Covenant of the Allochthons: How Nativist Racism Affects Youth Culture in Amsterdam
David Theo Goldberg: Racisms in Orange: Afterword

The Contributors

Philomena Essed is professor of Critical Race, Gender and Leadership studies, Antioch University (USA), PhD in Leadership and Change Program. Her books and edited volumes include Everyday Racism; Understanding Everyday Racism, Race Critical Theories; A Companion to Gender Studies (“outstanding” 2005 CHOICE award); and, Clones, Fakes and Posthumans: Cultures of Replication.

Isabel Hoving is diversity officer at the Leiden University and affiliated with the Department of Film and Literary Studies of Leiden University. Her books include In Praise of New Travellers, Veranderingen van het alledaagse, and several other volumes on migration, Caribbean literatures, African literature and art. In addition to her academic work, she is an awarded youth writer.

*Rodopi: http://www.rodopi.nl/ntalpha.asp?BookId=Thamyris+27&type=new&letter=L