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Netherlands New Guinea, 1949-1962: A Civilizing Mission in the Era of Decolonization

“Netherlands New Guinea, 1949-1962: A Civilizing Mission in the Era of Decolonization,”

with Dr. Grace Cheng (Director, Center for Human Rights, San Diego State University; UH Political Science alum)

Date & Time: March 21, 12:00pm – 1:00pm (on Zoom)

Register here:

About the Talk: 

Although the “standard of civilization” had largely fallen out of favor in the postwar period, conceptions of “civilization” colored political campaigns regarding West Papua, or the Netherlands New Guinea (NNG), as the Dutch then referred to it, particularly in its efforts to retain the territory following the independence of Indonesia.  This talk presents the Netherlands’ evolving “civilizing mission” and its campaigns to gain international support for its continued possession of the NNG after 1949.  The talk refers to Dutch sources from the period that address its efforts to colonize the territory against the prevailing trend of decolonization, and how this undermined West Papua’s prospects for self-determination.

About the Speaker:

Grace Cheng received her M.A. in Asian Studies and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  She is Associate Professor Emeritus from Hawai’i Pacific University and currently the Director of the Center for Human Rights at San Diego State University, where she continues to teach courses in political science and history.  Dr. Cheng’s specialization is in comparative and international politics, and her current work addresses intersections of self-determination and human rights.

This talk is co-hosted by the UH Mānoa Center for Southeast Asian Studies and Center for Pacific Islands Studies.


Mar 21 2022


Time stated in HST.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM




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