Select Page

Eline Kortekaas MA

PhD candidate


Area(s) of interest: Asian History, Colonialism & Postcolonialism, Dutch History, History of Books, History of Knowledge

Cohort/Start PhD: 2017-2018

Publishing houses as brokers of knowledge
University of Amsterdam

Project: Decolonizing Agricultural Knowledge is a subproject of Decolonizing Knowledge: Postcoloniality and the Making of Modern Indonesia’s Knowledge Culture, 1945-1970
Promotor(es): Prof. dr. Lisa Kuitert, Prof. dr. Remco Raben
Aanstelling: vanaf september 2017

This project is part of the overarching project Decolonizing knowledge’. Postcoloniality and the making of modern Indonesia’s knowledge culture, 1945-1970. This specific project delves into the role of the publishing industry in Indonesia from the 1940s to 1960s in producing and distributing knowledge and hence the shaping of postcolonial knowledge cultures. The methodology is drawn from the discipline of Book Studies which investigates the production, distribution and consumption of books.
Publishing houses tend to have an ambiguous role in the distribution of knowledge. On the one the hand they are commercial companies that are aimed at generating Prof. but on the other hand they are also ‘gatekeepers’ which influence the cultural climate by determining what knowledge will be made available in print and what not. The Dutch publishing houses seem to have continued their operations until well after the transfer of sovereignty in 1949 by changing their policies and publishing strategies. This situation came to an end in 1957 when all the Dutch firms in Indonesia were nationalized. The Dutch publishing house Van Hoeve, which was specialized in books on technology and science, lays at the core of this project. After the independence of Indonesia this publishing house became a pivot in publications of Indonesian scholars work as well as also educational publications. In 1957 Van Hoeve was taken over by Indonesians, but still exists nowadays.