For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
What we don’t see; The Side Wings of Slavery & Colonialism

What we don’t see; The Side Wings of Slavery & Colonialism

This lecture series brings together different, less exposed  themes on Dutch slavery and colonialism. The course intends to educate students about more than the general perception of slavery and colonialism.

Slavery in the former Dutch colonies is often discussed with reference to an overall picture about Trans-Atlantic slavery. The focus of this course is about what we don’t know, but should know about slavery. Why is it that the Dutch East Indies were long neglected when it comes to slavery, while numerically it is comparable with slavery in the Caribbean? How did Africans who were dragged to the New World in slave shackles, still achieved success in their lives? What was the significance of art and cultural expressions like dance in colonial times? Which traces of slavery are still visible in modern society? These are all questions that will be addressed.

Topics that will be discussed include:

  • Do 1 Nov Matthias van Rossum – Slavery in the East
  • Do 8 Nov Aminata Cairo – Dance & slavery
  • Do 15 Nov Mitchell Esajas – Traces of slavery in the modern Dutch society
  • Do  21 Nov Alex van Stipriaan – Plantation slavery in the Caribbean
  • Do 28 Nov Ellen Neslo – The coloured elite in colonial Suriname 1800-1863
  • Do 4 Dec Valika Smeulders – Slavery; heritage in Ghana & Curaçao


  • Coordination: Prof. Dr. Michiel van Kempen;
  • Drs Reggie Baay, Dr Aminata Cairo, Mr Mitchell Esajas, Dr Wayne Modest, Dr Ellen Neslo, Dr Valika Smeulders

Study materials

A reader and print texts.


Assessment will be based on a final paper which will be published on


Check Datanose for the exact information.


Check the website.



  • Can register in SIS (look for code 5512SLAV3Y) until a week before the start of the course.

Register in SIS (UvA students only)

Other parties

  • Such as contract students or students from other institutions, interested can register from June 14 through the registration form.

If you have any trouble while registering please contact:

What we don’t see; The Side Wings of Slavery & Colonialism
Mode Short-term, open uva courses
Credits 3 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in November