• VU Faculty of Humanities, Dept. of Art & Culture, History, Antiquity, De Boelelaan 1105 14th floor

    1081 HV Amsterdam


1981 …2019
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Personal profile

Personal information

Susan Legêne,

Hoogleraar Politieke Geschiedenis / Professor of Political History

Onderwijs- en onderzoeksfocus

  • Contemporaine geschiedenis, kolonialisme en dekolonisatie in vergelijkend perspectief, imperialisme en postkoloniale natievorming
  • Migratiegeschiedenis, diaspora
  • Politieke praktijken rond cultureel erfgoed en culturele instellingen - Unescobeleid
  • Geschiedschrijving: de betekenis van materiële cultuur, beeldmateriaal  en immaterieel erfgoed
  • Ontwikkelingen met betrekking tot e-humanities

Research interests

  • Contemporary history, colonialism, imperialism and decolonisation in comparative perspective, nation building
  • Migration histories, diaspora,
  • Cultural heritage, cultural institutions and political practices, UNESCO policies
  • Historiography: the meaning and value of material culture, visual sources and intangible heritage for historical research; ICT and history
  • Developments in e-humanities



Current and recent research projects

  • Colonial Normativity - Corruption and difference in colonial and postcolonial histories of empire and nations Research project Open Competition NWO (2019-2024); Collaboration with UGM Yogyakarta. 
  • Online Misinformation - Collaboration with Cornell Tech New York (2019-2021)
  • Uitsluitingsmechanismes van mensen van Afrikaanse afkomst in Nederland: wat is erover bekend? / On mechanisms of exclusion of people of African descent in the Netherlands
    Literature review in the context of the UN-Decade for people of African Descent, for Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (2017). Researcher: Artwell Cain.

  • Framing Prostitution/Prostitutie geëxposeerd
    Research project Amsterdam Museum/VU. NWO National Knowledge Agenda for Museums (2015-2017) See: Framing Prostitution blogs by researcher Annemarie de Wildt

  • BiographyNET - From the Biography Portal of the Netherlands to a Virtual Society of People Past and Present.
    Research project The Netherlands E-science Centre/VU/Huygens ING Instituut. (October 2012-2016)

  • Sites, Bodies and Stories - The dynamics of heritage formation in colonial and postcolonial Indonesia and the Netherlands.
    International NWO Research project Cultural Dynamics programme (2008-2013)

  • Agora: Creating the Historic Fabric for and Providing Web-enabled Access to Objects in Dynamic Historical Sequences.
    NWO-CATCH research project, with Computer Science (Faculteit der Exacte Wetenschappen) (2009-2013).

  • Unesco working group on culture, education and media in postconflict and postdisaster situaties & CRISP: Creative Industries and Sustainable Heritage Protection (2010-2013). 

  • PhotoCLEC - Photographs, Colonial Legacy and Museums in Contemporary European Culture
    (2010-jan. 2012). HERA JRP (UK, Norway, the Netherlands)

  • The future of the World Heritage Convention
    Policy research for Ministry of Education, Culture, Science (2010- juni 2012).



Other research collaboration




Bachelor programme

  • BA Contemporaine geschiedenis, afstudeerrichting Politieke Geschiedenis en Cultuurgeschiedenis / Contemporary History, track Political and Cultural History
  • BA-specialisation Geschiedenis en Erfgoed / History and Heritage
  • BA-minor course module Decolonizing Europe
  • BA-scripties, stages; BA theses, internships

Master and Research Master programme

  • MA introductory course History programme
  • MA specialisation course Politiek en Soevereiniteit (Politics and Sovereignty; course in Dutch)
  • MA scripties/theses, tutorials, stages/internships
  • Research-master programme joint core course on historiography, heritage and the nation, for researchmaster students and PhD candidates
  • Researchmaster theses
  • Amsterdam Summerschool course Decolonizing Europe: Summercourse Decolonizing Europe




Ancillary activities

  • Nationale Unesco Commissie | Den Haag | Member working group Cultural Conventions | 2014-01-01 - present
  • Academic Advisory BoardResearch Centre for Material Culture | Leiden | Adviseur | 2016-02-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where S. Legene is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Netherlands Social Sciences
citizenship Social Sciences
UNESCO Social Sciences
hermeneutics Social Sciences
photography Social Sciences
Afghanistan Social Sciences
cultural heritage Social Sciences
non-governmental organization Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1981 2019

Anti-slavery discourse and early 19th century transnational views on states, nations and citizens

Legêne, S., 17 Jun 2019.

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperAcademic

State Formation

Itineraries: A return to the archives of the South African truth commission and the limits of counter-revolutionary warfare

Rousseau, N., 2019, 374 p.

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD Thesis - Research VU, graduation VUAcademic

Open Access

Politieke geschiedenis: Wat betekent dat label voor onze verhalen?

Legêne, S., 2019, (Unpublished).

Research output: Contribution to ConferencePaperAcademic

Round Table Discussion
Political History

Response to “The hyper-local Indonesian revolution: Stories and sensations from around Bojonegoro and Mojokerto” by Remco Raben

Boter, B. & Legêne, S., 2019

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsiteProfessional

Open Access

Activities 2004 2018

Een avond met Nicolaas Jouwe - Inleiding

S. Legene (Speaker)
18 Sep 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationProfessional


Geschiedenis in de politiek: historische kritiek als tweede natuur

S. Legene (Speaker)
16 Jun 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationProfessional


An archipelago of critical thought and radical action

S. Legene (Speaker)
8 Oct 2018

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


Unhinging the national framework.

Lonneke Geerlings (Participant), B. Boter (Organiser), Susan Legêne (Participant), Mineke Bosch (Participant), Eveline Buchheim (Participant), Thomas D'haeninck (Participant), J.C.A.P. Ribberink (Participant), Marijke Huisman (Participant), Widya Fitria Ningsih (Participant), Margriet Fokken (Participant), B. Henkes (Participant), Rosemarijn Hoefte (Participant), Michiel van Kempen (Participant), Ditteke Mensink (Participant), Anne-Marie Mreijen (Participant), Rebecca van Raamsdonk (Participant), Marleen Rensen (Participant), Paulien Schuurmans (Participant), Giles Scott-Smith (Participant), Edy Seriese (Participant), G. Siertsema (Participant), M.F. Soeting (Participant), Rozemarijn van de Wal (Participant)
19 May 2017 → …

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventExpert meetingAcademic


DIVE+: Explorative Search for Digital Humanities

Viktor de Boer (Recipient), Oana Inel (Recipient), L.M. Aroyo (Recipient), C. van den Akker (Recipient), S. Legene (Recipient), C. Martinez-Ortiz (Recipient), W. Helmich (Recipient), Berber Hagendoorn (Recipient), S.C. Sauer (Recipient), Jaap Blom (Recipient), L.M. Melgar Estrada (Recipient) & J. Oomen (Recipient), 2017


Press / Media

Laat historici ontvankelijker worden voor afwijkende perspectieven

S. Legene


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities