World history from an anthropological perspective research group

World history from an anthropological perspective is a unique research group in Europe, perhaps in the world. The group combines methodological and conceptual insights from historical sciences and anthropology in order to come to a better of understanding of societies now and from past. Research and teaching focuses on themes such as migration, ethnicity, nationalism and cosmopolitanism; the birth of states and the construction of souvereignty and identity; and the social and political dimensions within which history and memory exist. Our research focuses on modern and contemporary history and we specialize in West and East Europe; North and East Africa; Central, East, South and South-East Asia; and North America and the Caribbean.

Focus areas

  • Socio-economic backgrounds of the birth of states in early modern Europe
  • Relationships between Chinese managers and local employees in Chinese companies in Europe
  • Relationships between French entrepreneurs and Moroccan museums
  • The changing socio-economic position of Hindustani people in Europe and the Caribbean
  • Changing identities in East Africa and their relationship to the circulation of goods, people and ideas
  • Chinese media and the world
  • Moroccan and Algerian migrant activism in Europe 

Institutional embedding
Our staff members work in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology and the Huygens Institute of Dutch History. They are also members of research centres and schools including:


Our staff members teach courses on Global History; Empires and States in Globalising World, 1500-present; Global Migration History; A Global History of Inequality; Migration, Ethnicity, and the Economy; International Relations from Below; International Organisations; Networks around the Indian Ocean; (BA); Idealism and Power in the Postcolonial state: Indonesia, India and Tanzania; Migrations and Circulations; Topics in the History and Anthropology of Mobility (MA).
Our staff members coordinate the minor in Migration Studies, the Honours programme of the Faculty of Humanities, the BA specialization in Empires, States and Nations across Borders, and the MA specialization in Migration and Mobility. The students currently taking the minor Migration Studies also have a weblog detailing their experiences.

We can provide thesis supervision for bachelor’s and master’s students wishing to write about the history and anthropology of migration, mobility and transnationalism based on archival research, ego documents and life stories research, material culture studies and anthropological methods and techniques.

Staff members of the World history from an anthropological perspective research group

Prof. Pál Nyíri, professor of World history from an anthropological perspective (migration, mobility, nationalism, tourism; China)
Prof. Ruben Gowricharn, special professor of Hindustani diaspora studies (migration and diaspora, inequality, entrepreneurship; the Netherlands, India, Caribbean)
Dr Frans Huijzenveld, university lecturer in world history and African history (migration, heritage and tourism in East Africa)
Dr Norah Karrouche, lecturer (migration, memory politics and nationalism; museums; Morocco)
Prof. Marjolein ‘t Hart, special professor of the birth of states from a global perspective (the birth of states from a comparative perspective; world economic history; the Netherlands and the Atlantic area).

PhD researchers
Amieke Bouma, Interest organizations of former GDR elites in unified Germany
Bram Colijn, (verbonden aan de Faculteit van Godgeleerdheid) Rituals of multi-religious households in China