Introduction to the Special Issue: Engaging Empire: Histories and Historiography of Jews in the Dutch Colonies, 1700-1945 | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
2004
Volume 49, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1781-7838
  • E-ISSN: 1783-1792

Abstract

Abstract

Jews were present in Dutch colonial spaces from the beginnings of Dutch expansion. This presence raises questions about the intersection of Jews and Dutch colonialism. What did Jews mean for Dutch colonialism? And what did colonialism mean for Dutch Jews? This article explores the historiography of Jews and colonialism and considers what an ‘imperial turn’ in Jewish Studies could mean for the study of Dutch Jewish history. It also argues that Jewish history should be more fully incorporated in histories of Dutch colonialism. Many of the themes that are central to study of colonialism and empire such as racialized thinking, rethinking center and periphery, and mobilities of people, goods, and ideas are encapsulated in, and illuminated by, case studies examining Jews in Dutch colonial spaces. Thinking about Dutch Jewish history through an imperial lens and incorporating Jews into Dutch colonial histories colors in important and, heretofore, missing aspects of this shared past.

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