Volume 24, Issue 3/4
  • ISSN: 1388-3186
  • E-ISSN: 2352-2437



This article turns to the figure of the ship in the controversial Dutch celebration to explore what an oceanic framework might bring to the study of Dutch imperialism, colonialism, and slavery. Drawing on what Renisa Mawani calls an ‘oceanic approach and method’ for the study of colonial history, law, and colonial–racial orders, I examine the ship as an anchor point for abstracting, enacting, and rehearsing a colonial–racial order that emerged during the highpoint of Dutch imperialism and continues to permeate the national imaginary at present. Looking at how a Dutch ‘maritime imagination’ conditions imperial fantasies and desires, this article is an exercise in developing what I call a ‘cultural oceanography’ of Dutch imperialism and its aftermath.


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