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A.S. (Arnoud) Arps MA

Faculty of Humanities
Departement Mediastudies
Photographer: Dymph Verdiesen

Visiting address
  • Turfdraagsterpad 9
Postal address
  • Postbus 94550
    1090 GN Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile


    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. Since the beginning of 2020 I am a Visiting PhD Researcher at the Center for Southeast Asia Studies (CSEAS) at the University of California, Berkeley.

    Before I worked as a lecturer in the bachelor Media and culture within the department of Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, both in the Film Studies and Television & Cross-Media Culture team. I also worked as a lecturer Dutch Studies at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS).

    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 I have presented both published and unpublished research at national and international conferences. 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.



    • MA course Displacement and belonging: Refugees in contemporary literature (Leiden University)
    • Guest lecture for the MA course Postcolonial Media Studies (University of Amsterdam)


    • BA thesis research seminar: 'War violence remembered in film'
    • Guest lecture for the BA course Een tint van het Indische Oosten: Indisch-Nederlandse reisverhalen 1800-1945 (Leiden University)


    • Media Research
    • Media theory and Academic writing
    • Introduction to Analysis I
    • Introduction to Analysis II - portfolio
    • Tutor of students
    • Guest lecture for the MA course Beyond Europe: Asia, Aesthetics and Politics
  • Publications


    • Arps, Arnoud. "Een omsteden koloniale beroemdheid. Het geweld en de reputatie van Raymond Westerling in de dekolonisatieliteratuur." Indische Letteren 33.4 (2018): 452-466.



    • Arps, Arnoud. "Geschoten in Indonesië: Geweld tijdens de dekolonisatie herinnerd in Indonesische oorlogsfilms." Indische Letteren 32.1 (2017): 33-50. 



    • Arps, Arnoud. "Reizende beelden Indische home movies verschuiven van de familiekring naar de openbaarheid." Indische Letteren 30.4 (2015): 215-229. ​​


    • Arps, Arnoud. "Impliciete feiten en expliciete fantasiën? Java en het ideale Indië van Augusta de Wit."  Indische Letteren 30.2 (2015): 120-133. ​​


  • Conferences


    • Invited panel speaker to discuss the (post)colonial representations and the dynamics of memory in the work of Iksaka Banu during Indië Next, organised by the Indisch Herinneringscentrum (Den Haag, 7 December 2019).
    • Invited to introduce and discuss the short film Gundah Gundala (Wimar Herdanto, 2013) as part of the IDleaks Thesis Prize 2019 (Amsterdam, 21 november 2019).
    • Trading New-Amsterdam for a Spice Island: Nutmegs, Dutch food history and the spirit of Indonesian Nationalism presented at the Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food. (Post)colonial foodways: creating, negotiating, and resisting transnational food systems (Amsterdam, 15-16 November 2019).
    • De koloniale geschiedenis van Indonesië door Indonesische ogen. Historische sleutelmomenten in Iksaka Banu's korte verhalen presented at the Indische Letteren Symposium 2019: De Indonesische stem in Bronbeek, organised by the Working Group Indo-Dutch Literature (Arnhem, 3 November 2019).
    • Patchwork memories and ambivalent positions: On the condition of being Chinese in Indonesia in Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly presented at the Sixth Annual ACGS Conference Racial Orders, Racist Borders, organised by the Amsterdam Centre for Globalisation Studies (Amsterdam, 17-18 October 2019).
    • An impossibility of existence. Remembering the Indo-Dutch repatriation in Contractpensions - Djangan Loepah! presented at the Narratives of Forced Migration in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries conference (Stirling, 16-18 September 2019).
    • Selamat Tinggal Hindia? Remembering Indonesia’s struggle for independence in media and culture presented as a keynote lecture during the Talk Show Cinema Indonesia at the tenth edition of World Cinema Amsterdam, organised by World Cinema Amsterdam in collaboration with the Indisch Herinneringscentrum (Amsterdam, 17th of August 2019).
    • An Animated Revolution: Remembering the Battle of Surabaya through Indonesian animated cinema presented as part of the panel 'Negotiating memory through contemporary Asian film and media' (Panel convenor) at the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 11), organised by Leiden University, the International Institute for Asian Studies and GIS Asie (Leiden, 16-19 July 2019).
    • Leading a leisurely life in the tranquil land of plenty: Nature, natives and colonial discourse in Facts and Fancies about Java presented at Borders & Crossings 2019 (Leicester, 4-6 July 2019).
    • Animating Heroes' Day: The remembrance of the 1945 Battle of Surabaya in Indonesian animation presented at the MSA Conference 2019, organised by the Memory Studies Association (Madrid, 25-28 June 2019).
    • Remembering as shattered pieces of coloured glass: Indonesian Chineseness and narrative structure in Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly presented at The NECS 2019 Gdańsk Conference 'Structures and Voices: Storytelling in Post-Digital Times', organised by the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (Gdańsk, 13-15 June 2019).
    • Remember, remember! The tenth of November: Remembering Indonesia's Heroes Day in Animated Film presented at the RMeS Winter School & Graduate Symposium 2018-2019, organised by the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS) (Leiden, 31st of January 2019).



    • 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).


    • Mending the Present with the Blood of Eagles: Mederka's Neo-Historical Re-imagining of Indonesia's Pluralism presented at the symposium Reading the Present through the Past: Forms and Trajectories of Neo-Historical Fiction at the University of Amsterdam, organised by the Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies and the University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam, 4th of March 2016).


    • Clashing Food and the Aesthetics of Travel: Othering Southeast Asia in Travel Literature and Food Travel Shows presented at the 'Mobilities and Place' Symposium at Liverpool John Moores University in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and Liverpool Hope University (Liverpool, 9th of May 2015).


    • Impliciete feiten en expliciete fantasiën? Java en het ideale Indië van Augusta de Wit presented at the Indische Letteren Symposium 2014: Reizen in Indië in Bronbeek, organised by the Working Group Indo-Dutch Literature (Arnhem, 9th of November 2014).
  • Publications








    • Arps, A. (2019). Feit, fictie, geschiedenis en herinnering: van kruisbestuiving tot vergelijkend perspectief: [Bespreking van: H. Straver (2018) Vaders en dochters: Molukse historie in de Nederlandse literatuur van de negentiende eeuw en haar weerklank in Indonesië]. Spiegel der Letteren, 61(2), 204-206. [details]




    • Arps, A. (2020). Historical re-enactment in Indonesië. Indies Tijdschrift, 2(2), 13. [details]
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    • No ancillary activities