Eliza Steinbock, Sophie Withaeckx and Pieter du Plessis receive funding from NWO PhD in the Humanities

PhD supervisors Eliza Steinbock and Sophie Withaeckx and their PhD candidate Pieter du Plessis have received funding from the NWO PhD in the Humanities scheme for the research project titled ‘Belonging and Unbelonging in Amsterdam’s Het Zuid-Afrikahuis: A Decolonial Study of Dutch Whiteness in Relation to Afrikaner Whiteness’.

While Eliza Steinbock is the applicant for the project and will be supervising it with Sophie and also Margriet van der Waal (Groningen and Amsterdam Universities), Pieter du Plessis will carry out the research into the relation between Dutch whiteness and other forms of whiteness.

About the project

Dutch cultural heritage institutions have faced calls for decolonisation in recent years. Issues of belonging in these institutions and how they are informed by Dutch whiteness have come to be interrogated. Dutch whiteness is mainly understood in relation to racialised and colonised subjectivities, yet, how Dutch whiteness has been constructed in relation to other forms of whiteness still requires exploration.

Through decolonial theory, a critical biography of “Het Zuid-Afrikahuis”, a cultural and knowledge centre about South Africa, will be produced, illustrating how Dutch whiteness is informed relationally by Afrikaner whiteness. This will be examined through ethnographic and archival research.