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Ingrid de Zwarte (1988) is an Assistant Professor at the Rural and Environmental History Group (RHI). She studied History and Slavic Languages and Cultures at the University of Amsterdam. In February 2018, she completed her PhD in History at that same university and the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies with a thesis entitled The Hunger Winter: Fighting Famine in the Occupied Netherlands, 1944-45. During her PhD, she was also a visiting scholar at Columbia Universitys European Institute and Department of Epidemiology.
Her thesis was awarded the ASH Valorisation Award 2015 at the University of Amsterdam for contributing to an exhibition in the Dutch Resistance Museum and various media performances, and the ASH Dissertation Award 2017-18. The popularising version of her thesis, De Hongerwinter, was published last March by Prometheus, and her academic monograph will appear with Cambridge University Press in spring/summer 2020.
De Zwartes research explores the role of food and famine in modern conflict in the broadest sense: from hunger as a political and military tool in warfare to social self-organisation in times of hunger, and from the demographic impact of famine to the effects of hunger on migration and state formation. Before coming to Wageningen, she was able to further develop this research line as a Niels Stensen Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford, working on the research project Hunger as a Weapon: A Comparative Study into the Politics of Famine and Relief.
Together with M. Corporaal (PI) and L. Jensen, De Zwarte has been awarded a NWO NWA-ORC Grant for the project Heritages of Hunger: Societal Reflections on Past European Famines in Education, Commemoration and Musealisation. Working with famine experts from sixteen countries, it investigates the past and present significance of European famines in educational institutions and the heritage sector. Her subproject at WUR focuses on the politicisation of famine pasts in three heritage traditions: the Ukrainian Holodomor, the Leningrad blockade and the Dutch Hunger Winter. Within the project, she leads the work packages Famine, War and Conflict and Knowledge Utilisation, and co-supervises two PhD projects at the Radboud University and NIOD. The project will develop digital educational materials and policy recommendations, thus aiming to combine scientific and societal breakthroughs.
De Zwarte is affiliated as a researcher to the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, and is Associated Member of Oxford's History Faculty for the academic year 2019-20. She is editor of the War, Conflict, and Genocide Studies series at Amsterdam University Press, and co-organiser of the annual Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food.