PhD Candidate: Children's Upbringing in Islamic Institutions in Colonial/Postcolonial Indonesia (...

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 01 Nov 2022

Are you interested in how Islamic organisations in colonial/postcolonial Indonesia practised charity in children's homes? Then join us as a PhD candidate in the NWO-funded project 'Child separation: politics and practices of children's upbringing by faith-based organisations in colonial/postcolonial Indonesia (1808-1984)'.

The Radboud Institute for Culture and History seeks a PhD candidate for the NWO-funded project 'Child separation: politics and practices of children's upbringing by faith-based organisations in colonial/postcolonial Indonesia (1808-1984)'. This project investigates how children from various ethnic-cultural groups in the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia came to be separated from their parents to be fostered, adopted or raised in faith‐based children's homes. The project concentrates on how Protestant, Catholic and Islamic actors practised charity in the upbringing and education of these children. It analyses the entanglement of the practices of these faith-based institutions with colonial and national politics. Interference with children's upbringing was key to Dutch imperial ambitions to reshape the local populations of colonial Indonesia into governable subjects. Such policies and practices did not end with the process of decolonisation and nation-building of the Republic of Indonesia.
The goal of the project is to trace the voices and perspectives of affected children and their descendants. Through reconstructions of life stories, the project will furthermore bring institutional records into conversation with personal memories and family archives. The project moreover aims to create a digital map of faith-based children's homes and orphanages, which will help former pupils and their relatives to trace possibly fractured family lines.

Your research will focus on Islamic children's homes and orphanages in colonial/postcolonial Indonesia, their policies and practices, the main actors and pupils, as well as the relations with consecutive administrations and similar Christian faith-based institutions. You will concentrate on the initiatives of Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama, Islamic charities which, already in the colonial period, initiated numerous children's homes, orphanages as well as European-style elite boarding schools in the Indonesian archipelago.

Through fieldwork in Indonesia you will trace and chart archival collections and data relevant to these institutions. You will carry out an in‐depth historical analysis for two location‐based case studies of Islamic institutions in which both primary sources such as archival records and published sources are linked with oral history interviews with some of those who were brought up there as a child; write life stories of some of these former pupils brought up in Islamic orphanages, children's homes and similar institutions, based on archival findings combined with their personal sources; contribute historical resources relating to Islamic institutional or out‐of‐home care in colonial/postcolonial Indonesia for a database and interactive map of child separation projects in colonial/postcolonial Indonesia.

You will write a PhD thesis and participate in the Graduate School for the Humanities, which includes taking courses for approximately six months and providing academic service to the Faculty of Arts at Radboud University, also for six months. Your research will be embedded in the Radboud Institute for Culture & History (RICH), which focuses on understanding the complexities of Europe in a changing world, and of the changing world of which Europe is a part. You will collaborate closely with the researchers in the project who focus on Protestant and Catholic child separation projects. In addition, you will work with scientific and societal partners in Indonesia, where part of your research will take place. During your research in Indonesia, you will be hosted by the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Yogyakarta.


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