In September 2016 I started a NWO-funded PhD-project at ASCA (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis) and the department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam. I work as a lecturer in the bachelor of Media and culture within the department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam and I am part of the Film Studies team. Before I was part of the Television & Cross-Media Culture team. My expertise as a researcher concerns the position of media within the fields of memory studies, postcolonialism, travel studies and mobility studies with the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia as my main research topics. I have presented both published and unpublished research at national and international symposia. To date I have written several publications on colonial discourse in Dutch East Indies travel writing and the relation between home movies from the Dutch East Indies and postcolonial cultural memories. Since 2019 I am an editor of Indische Letteren, the academic journal of the Working Group Indo-Dutch Literature. The journal focuses primarily on Dutch-East Indies literature, but also publishes articles on topics that address Dutch East Indies literature in media, history, theatre and art.
My PhD project, titled ‘Remembering Violence: Cultural memory, popular culture and the Indonesian War of Independence’, is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) as part of the funding instrument ‘PhD in the Humanities’. The project will be embedded in the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies (ACGS) and I will be part of the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA). Moreover, fieldwork will be conducted in Indonesia. My main promotor is prof. dr. ir. Jeroen de Kloet (UvA), a leading expert in the field of globalisation studies with a special interest in Asia and contemporary China. Daily supervision will be realised by dr. Leonie Schmidt (UvA / SOAS, University of London), an expert in the study of Indonesian visual culture and researcher at The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
This PhD-project investigates how cultural memories of the violence during the Indonesian War of Independence are produced, constructed and consumed through contemporary Indonesian popular culture. For the past few years, Indonesian popular culture has been structurally and continuously referring to the Indonesian War of Independence, including its atrocities. This project takes Indonesian war-themed popular culture as its object of study.
By analysing production, textual and reception practices of war-themed popular culture, this project maps these emergent popular memory cultures. The project takes cultural and prosthetic memory (Assmann 1995, Landsberg 2004) as its conceptual point of departure and will first analyse how producers of war- themed popular culture negotiate memories of the war during the production process. Second, the project will analyse how popular cultural products construct memories of the Indonesian War of Independence. Third, it analyses how Indonesians consume – i.e. read, negotiate, contest – these popular cultural memories.
Arps, Arnoud. "Geschoten in Indonesië: Geweld tijdens de dekolonisatie herinnerd in Indonesische oorlogsfilms." Indische Letteren 32.1 (2017): 33-50.
“Seeds of Memory: historical re-enactment, authenticity and local mnemonic practices” presented as an Asia Institute Seminar at the Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne (Melbourne, 7th of May 2018).
“Helden van de natie: De periode 1945-1949 in Indonesische populaire cultuur” presented during the theme day ‘Onze vierde generatie, aan de slag’ in Kumpulan Bronbeek, organised by Stichting Indisch Erfgoed and Stichting Klein Bronbeek (Arnhem, 21st of January 2018).
“Remembering Violence: Cultural memory, popular culture and the Indonesian War of Independence” presented at the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) as an Entre Nous meeting for researchers and guest researchers (Leiden, 16th of January 2018).
“Carte Blanche: Het geweld en de faam van Raymond Westerling in dekolonisatieliteratuur” presented at the ‘Indische Letteren Symposium 2017: Indische beroemdheden’ in Bronbeek, organised by the Working Group Indo-Dutch Literature (Arnhem, 5th of November 2017).
“Pop patriotism and violent memories: Remembering the Indonesian War of Independence through contemporary Indonesian popular culture” presented as a public lecture at the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta, organised by the History department (Yogyakarta, 16th of August 2017).
“Prosthetic memories of a violent struggle: The Indonesian War of Independence in contemporary film perjuangan” presented at IACS Conference 2017 organised by the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society (Seoul, 30th of July 2017).
“The laughing giant and the people: Prosthetic memory, cinema and the Indonesian War of Independence” presented at ICAS 10 Chiang Mai 2017 organised by the International Convention of Asian Scholars (Chiang Mai, 21st of July 2017).
“Weg naar Indië: De waarde van Indische home movies als familiale film en cultureel erfgoed” presented at the 59th Tong Tong Fair (The Hague, 26th of May 2017).
Invited speaker for the opening roundtable of the Trauma Studies in the Digital Age workshop, organised as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellowship carried out by dr. Anna Menyhért at the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 10th of May 2017).
“Geschoten in Indonesië: Geweld tijdens de dekolonisatie herinnerd in Indonesische oorlogsfilms” presented at the lecture session “Indië herinnerd’ at Leiden University, organised by the Working Group Indo-Dutch Literature (Leiden, 3rd of February 2017).
"Remembering Violence: Cultural memory, popular culture and the Indonesian War of Independence” presented at the RMeS Winterschool & Graduate Symposium 2016-17, organised by the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture and the Research School for Media Studies (Rotterdam, 20-21 January 2017).