WUR to research own colonial history

In the coming years, Wageningen University & Research (WUR) will be investigating its own ties with the colonial past of the Netherlands. A yet to be appointed historian will delve into Wageningen activities in Indonesia and Suriname. The WUR executive board has initiated this programme.

The study will take 1876 as its starting point, the year agricultural education in Wageningen began. The historian will reside with the Rural and Environmental History group. According to Ewout Frankema, chair of the group, the three-year programme is to deliver an account of facts: ‘We will refrain from any form of judgement. We do not aim to apply a moral standard to historical actions. Our goal is to learn more about our past.’

In the end, the study is to culminate in a book to be published in Dutch and English. The historian will reside in Indonesia and Suriname for long periods of time. In addition to being a good researcher and author, the historian must also be able to handle the publicity the study is likely to generate. Applications are welcome up to and including 31 May.