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Praveen Sewgobind

Associated Doctoral Fellow


Campus Neues Palais

Dissertation Project

Entanglements of Hindustani Coloniality: Transcultural Belonging in the Age of Globality

The quest for belonging among Hindustani communities in The Netherlands has triggered diversified sets of multiple cultural affiliations. Embodying a history of double migration (from India to Suriname to the Netherlands), members of these Indian-Surinamese-Dutch cultural groups seem to engender memory practices that transcend national boundaries, reshape outlooks on coloniality, and disrupt notions of collective memory. The project is therefore designed to clarify, firstly, the operations of Hindustani diasporic memory: how are such memories constructed, invoked, reworked, rejected, amalgamated, and expressed? Secondly, an analysis will be made of the entanglements of Hindustani and Afro-Surinamese colonialities, and their co-constructing and reciprocal relation with dominant Dutch modes of engaging/non-engaging colonial history in the contemporary Netherlands. The ensuing ongoing negotiation of belonging and non-belonging among Hindustani arguably highlights how the enacted interconnectedness of cultures could be feeding into both local and global mnemoscapes, simultaneously and serially, prompting novel perspectives on migrant subjectivity. The project will analyse literary and theoretical texts generated by and about Hindustani and Surinamese that indicate such hybridised memory practices, in order to understand how novel diasporic realities forged by the dynamics of history, memory, and “identity” inform new modes of decoloniality, and point to the need for a radical reconsidering of the very notion of a “major” Eurocentric cosmopolitanism.


Praveen Sewgobind explores the nexus of South Asian diaspora memory and migration, in relation to decolonial cosmopolitanism. He holds a B.A. in English Language and Culture from the University of Amsterdam, and an M.A. in Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam. Praveen has organised two academic conferences, a two-day international conference exploring tensions between theory and practice in the humanities at the University of Amsterdam: Is Thought Action? NICA/ASCA Conference Exploring Tensions Between Academic Theory and Praxis Link to Article and an International Graduate Conference at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society (LUCAS). 

Area of Expertise

Cultural Analysis

Fields of Interest

Cultural and Social Analysis

Critical Theory

Political Philosophy


Curriculum Vitae

2020 – 2021: Research Professor (Diversity & Inclusivity), Design Academy Eindhoven

2020 – 2021: Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher, Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam

2019 – 2020: Visiting Postdoctoral Researcher, Graduate Center, City University New York

2016 – 2019: Associate Doctoral Fellow at RTG Minor Cosmopolitanisms, University of Potsdam

2015 – 2016: PhD researcher at LUCAS, Leiden University

2012 – 2014: M.A. Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam

2009 – 2012: B.A. English Language and Culture, University of Amsterdam


Sewgobind P., Kwakoe, Baba and Mai: Revisiting Dutch Colonialism in Suriname, Postcolonial Interventions: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Vol. IV, Issue 2 (June 2019) 264-300: Online. Link to Article

Paper Presentations

"Raced Bodies, Erased Histories: African and South Asian Entanglements in Suriname.'' Presented at the Northeastern University Conference (Re)Writing Global Histories: Movement, Memory, and Materiality. Boston, United States. March 2019.  

''Raced Bodies, Erased Histories: African and South Asian Entanglements in Suriname.'' Presented at the Goethe University Conference Postcolonial Narrations: Moving Centers and Traveling Cultures. Frankfurt am Main, Germany. October 2018.

"Memory Practices Among Diasporic Hindustani Communities in the Netherlands and Suriname: Transcultural Belonging and Identity in the Age of Globality." Presented at the Institute for Kashmir Studies, University of Kashmir, Srinagar, Kashmir. November 2017.

"'We Will Now Remove This Roadblock !': Combating Israeli State Terror in Palestine." Presented at the IFAO/Humber College Conference The State of (In)Equality: Social Justice Under Siege. Toronto, Canada. October 2017.

"Detroping White Privilege: 'Diversity' Politics Beyond the Token Paradigm." Presented at the Humboldt University Conference Race, Power, and Privilege in Academia. Berlin, Germany, July 2017. 

“’We Will Now Remove This Roadblock !’:Combating Israeli State Terror in Palestine.” Presented at the University of Innsbruck Conference Terror on Tour III: Borders, Detours, and Contingencies. Innsbruck, Austria, March 2017.

“Demasking Black Pete: Resisting Colonial Amnesia in the Netherlands.”  Presented at the European Race and Imagery Foundation/Innsbruck University Conference Returning the Gaze II: Stories of Resistance. Innsbruck, Austria. November 2016.

“Demasking Black Pete: Resisting Colonial Amnesia in the Netherlands.”  Presented at the IFOA/Humber College Conference Truth, Lies, and Manufacturing Memory. Toronto, Canada. October 2016.

“Meandericity Meets Cultural Hegemony: A Critical Elaboration of Hall’s Legacy.” Presented at TU Dortmund University. Dortmund, Germany. February 2016.

“Beyond Hybridity, towards Meandericity.” Presented at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome. Rome, Italy. October 2015.