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Susie Protschky appointed professor of Global Political History

20 March 2023
As of 1 June 2023, Susie Protschky (Australia) is appointed professor of Global Political History at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam).

This chair is part of the department of Art & Culture, History and Antiquity (Faculty of Humanities). She succeeds Susan Legêne, currently dean of the faculty. Protschky’s research broadly focuses on colonial visual cultures, with a special interest in the global politics of photography. As a specialist in Dutch colonialism, her research ranges across histories of war and violence, environment and natural disaster, gender, race and concepts of modernity and citizenship.

Protschky: ‘I'm very honoured and excited to start this position. Political history at VU has developed a distinct profile within the broader field of political history in the Netherlands, with focuses on Europe’s and the Netherlands’ colonial past, post-colonial state formation, nation building, and the major migration movements and citizenship debates that come with these processes. Including the global dimension in the profile of political history enables broader perspectives on political developments both in terms of their geographic scope and the analytical scale that covers subnational and transnational actors.’

Department of Art & Culture, History, and Antiquity
Art & Culture, History, and Antiquity is the largest department within the Faculty of Humanities. It is an interdisciplinary department that sees its overall goal in developing knowledge of and critical reflection on the history, culture, and heritage of Europe in a global context. The Chair of Global Political History, is one of seven regular chairs that make up the History Cluster.

Pál Nyiri, head of the department and professor of Global History from an Anthropological Perspective: ‘Susie’s appointment forms part of a major renewal of the History Cluster within the department, which includes a recently appointed Professor and Assistant Professor of Global Economic and Social History and several ongoing searches, including an assistant professor of political history. The appointments made now will be central to shaping the department’s development in the years to come.’

About Susie Protschky
Susie Protschky obtained her PhD from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia) in 2009. She has worked at the University of Western Australia (Perth, 2008–10), Monash University (Melbourne, 2010–21), and more recently, Deakin University (Melbourne, 2021–3), where she was Associate Professor in History and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow.

Her current projects examine the relation between soldier photography, colonial violence and historical perspectives on decolonisation in Southeast Asia, and histories of living with natural disaster in colonial Indonesia. Her earlier research was on colonial art and tropical environments, modernity and citizenship, and monarchy and empire. Her latest book, Photographic Subjects: Monarchy and Visual Culture in Colonial Indonesia (Manchester University Press, 2019), won the Asian Studies Association of Australia Mid-Career Book Prize and the Royal Studies Journal Book Prize.

Her research has been supported by major grants from the Australian Research Council and fellowships at the Research Centre for Material Culture, Scaliger Institute (Leiden University Library), and the KITLV Leiden (Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies). She is an editorial board member of Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde (BKI) / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia