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dr. B. (Barbara) Henkes

Senior Lecturer/ass. prof.
Profile picture of dr. B. (Barbara) Henkes

My research focusses on changing national and cultural identifications in modern history. I am interested in processes of in- and exclusion that accompany the imagining and building (or dismantling) of national communities in times of political upheaval. Transnational entanglements through migration, kinship networks, academic and artistic exchanges, religious communities or political activism offer a rich field to explore these dynamics. A pluralist perspectives through the integration of different ‘voices’ is central to my work. This involves a manifest engagement with Oral History and Life Writing (ego-documents including film and photographs) in modern history writing. My commitment with Oral History and ‘human agency’ in 20th century history goes along with reflection on the representation of the past in the present (the politics of history). The impact of national-socialism on networks connecting the Netherlands with Germany has been a main issue in my research. Since 2006 my field of research encompasses the impact of Apartheid and racial thinking on  the exchanges between the Netherlands and South-Africa. Through the policies of migration in both countries and migrant networks spanning the orbit between Europe and Southern Africa I want to explore the changing national and cultural identifications that were involved .

Since 2014 I got involved in another researchproject concerning the heritage of the Dutch slaverypast in the Northern provinces of the Netherlands. We connect histories of different forms of involvement in slave trade and slavery with material traces in present society like houses, churches, university buildings, former shops, statues, monuments, street names and objects or paintings in museums. This resulted in 2015 in a teaching package from primary school in the Drentse Archives and a booklet on the Traces of the Slavery past in Groningen in 2016. A booklet on the Traces of the Slavery past in Friesland is planned for 2020.

Last modified:05 September 2023 07.45 a.m.