Rose Mary Allen: Contesting Respectability, Unheard Voices

Mon 27 March 2017 (17-19hrs.): Public Lecture
Contesting Respectability: Sexual Politics in Post-Emancipation Colonial Curaçao

The lecture examines the ways in which colonial politics of respectability, aimed at shaping ideal Curaçaoan male and female behavior, formed a response to racist representations of black sexuality and character in Curaçaoan society. By reflecting on the discourses of respectability in Curaçaoan society, the lecture offers an analysis of gender differences in the region from a Dutch-Caribbean perspective and analyzes experiences of inclusion and exclusion within the wider Caribbean context. Data to sustain this presentation are principally drawn from documents as well as oral history interviews with elderly Curaçaoans.

Moderation and Q&A: Esther Captain

Tue-Wed 28-29 March 2017 (14-17hrs.): Workshop
Unheard Voices: Critical Perspectives on Oral History

Researchers are often confronted with the fact that certain key information is not in written form but stored in people’s memories. This is particularly the case in societies where written information represents colonial or other dominant views while alternative views are silenced. Oral history is a technique for recovering silenced or ignored perspectives as well as for recollecting information about the more recent past that combines anthropology, history, storytelling and journalism. Someone who does oral history research is both a listener and an archivist and is involved in interviewing individuals about their lives, experiences and memories, usually focused on a specific topic. Oral histories, the results of this technique, offer a unique way to learn about past events and about the people that experienced or played important roles in those events. In this workshop, participants will look at oral history research findings, issues around reliability, transcription, interpretation and analysis.

Dr. Rose Mary Allen is a cultural anthropologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Curaçao dr. Moises da Costa Gomez. She is a recipient of a knighthood in the Order of Orange-Nassau by the Netherlands, the Cola Debrot award as well as the Boeli van Leeuwenprijs for her contribution to and achievement in the sciences. Publications include ‘Di Ki Manera’: A Social History of Afro-Curaçaoans, 1863–1917 (2007); and “The Oral History of Slavery, Afro-Curaçaoan Memory, and Self-Definition: A Caribbean Perspective on the 300th Anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht,” In: Sargasso: Journal of Caribbean Literature, Language, & Culture I & II (2014): 135-152.

Venue: Atria – Institute for Gender Equality and Women’s History Vijzelstraat 20, 1017 HK Amsterdam
Credits: RMA Students can acquire 2 EC if they attend all events, complete the readings and write an assignment related to the topic of the workshop.
Registrations: Please email Eloe Kingma at Be sure to specify your home institution and programme.