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Rosemarijn Hofte

Rosemarijn Hoefte is a historian specialized in the Caribbean. Her main research interests are the history of postabolition Suriname, migration and unfree labor, and contemporary Caribbean history. Her two current projects are ‘The Three Guianas; Similarities and differences’ and ‘Departing from Java’.

Rosemarijn Hoefte studied History at Leiden University, and Latin American Studies (MA 1982) and History (PhD 1987) at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Her dissertation was on British Indian and Javanese indentured labor on the largest plantation in Suriname. In 2006 she received a four-year NWO grant to study the history of twentieth-century Suriname. The synthesis of this research project, Suriname in the long twentieth century, was published in 2014. In 2010, she coordinated a three-country oral history project on the cultural heritage of Surinamese Javanese. In recent years she (co-)organized workshops on (post)colonial biographies (University of Groningen, 2007), the Three Guianas: Similarities and differences (KITLV 2013), and the Javanese diaspora (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta 2013). In addition to monographs and edited volumes, she has published more than 50 articles on the Caribbean and Latin America in scholarly books and journals, and the popular press.

Rosemarijn has wide-ranging research interests. In ‘The Three Guianas’ project she is specifically concerned with Suriname in comparison with Guyana and French Guiana. In ‘Departing from Java’ on the Javanese diaspora she studies Javanese migration and settlement in Suriname as well as the Surinamese-Javanese community in the Netherlands. She also is working on a study of the life and times of Grace Schneiders-Howard, a social activist and the first female politician in Suriname. Hoefte is charge of the KITLV Publication program with Brill Academic Publishers and she is the managing editor of the New West Indian Guide.

Selected Publications
(With Matthew Louis Bishop and Peter Clegg, eds), Post-Colonial Trajectories in the Caribbean: The Three Guianas. London: Routledge, 2017.
(With Matthew Louis Bishop and Peter Clegg), ‘Still lonely after all these years? Contemporary development in the ‘Three Guianas’, Caribbean Studies 43-2: 83-113. 2015.
‘Orang-kontrak: De verbeelding van Javaanse contractarbeiders in Suriname en Deli’, Acta Neerlandica 12:145-171, 2016.
(With Matthew Louis Bishop and Peter Clegg), ‘Hemispheric reconfigurations in Northern Amazonia: The “Three Guianas” amid regional change and Brazilian hegemony’, Third World Quarterly 2016 [DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2015.1135397].
‘Locating Mecca: Religious and political discord in the Javanese community in pre-independence Suriname’, in: Aisha Khan (ed.), Islam and the Americas, pp. 69-91. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2015.
Suriname in the long twentieth century; Domination, contestation, globalization. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
‘Learning, loving, and living in early twentieth-century Suriname; The movement of people and ideas from East to West’, Journal of Caribbean History 45-2 (2011): 190-211.
(With Leo Dalhuisen, Ronald Donk, and Frans Steegh [eds]), Geschiedenis van de Antillen; Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten. Zutphen: Walburg Pers, 2009.
(With Peter Meel [eds]), Twentieth-century Suriname; Continuities and discontinuities in a New World society. Kingston: Ian Randle/Leiden: KITLV Press, 2001.
In place of slavery; A social history of British Indian and Javanese laborers in Suriname. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998.
Click here for the full publication list (in PDF).


  • –present
    Professor, Suriname History , Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies