PhD grant Floris Keehnen

NWO Humanities and the Humanities Regieorgaan have awarded a PhD grant to Floris Keehnen under the joint funding program PhDs in the Humanities. Floris will start his research on the values and valuables in the early colonial Caribbean on September 1st. 2013.

Values and valuables in the early colonial Caribbean. The role of material culture in contacts between the indigenous people of the Greater Antilles and Europeans, 1492-1600.

Floris Keehnen

Floris Keehnen

  • PhD candidate: Floris Keehnen

  • supervisor: Prof. dr. Corinne Hofman

  • Start: 1st September 2013

  • Duration: 4 years

  • The exchange of beads and other small items for gold between the indigenous people of the Caribbean and the Spaniards has often falsely been portrayed as colonial swindling and trickery. This research aims to eliminate this misconception through a critical reassessment of the role of material culture in the interactions and exchanges between these two cultural groups in the first century that followed upon first contact. The main questions to be answered are why the indigenous people accepted the seeming trinkets of the Europeans, what were the meaning and value of the exotic objects to them, and how and to what extent were these integrated into indigenous Caribbean society? The datasets that are used come from multiple disciplines, including archaeology, ethnohistory and history, and will be integrated in a unique way. Innovative means of conceptualizing the Indo-Hispanic exchanges and interactions are provided through the combination of theories on colonial encounters, colonialism, ‘value’, and material culture, while the approach of the subject includes analyses on local, regional and global scales. This will contribute to the construction of a more nuanced view of the indigenous engagement with European material culture in this period.


NWO PhD's in the Humanities
Archaeology of the Caribbeand and Amazonia
Prof. dr. Corinne Hofman

Last Modified: 30-09-2013