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’ (ASH Dissertation Award 2017-18). During her PhD, she was also a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s European Institute and Department of Epidemiology. The popularising version of her thesis, De Hongerwinter, was published in 2019 by Prometheus, and her academic monograph appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2020.
De Zwarte’s 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’ (2019-24). Working with famine experts from sixteen countries, it investigates the past and present significance of European famines in educational institutions and the heritage sector.
In 2021, she started with the research project 'Food, Famine, and the End of Empire in Indonesia, 1940-1950', for which she was awarded a NWO Veni grant. This project investigates the dynamics between warfare, famine and decolonisation processes during the Japanese occupation and Indonesian National Revolution.
De Zwarte is affiliated as a researcher to the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies. 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.