Holi 2013, Noordhouterwijk, the Netherlands

Research Coördinators

Ellen BalDr. Ellen Bal
Ellen Bal is an associate professor within the Social and Cultural Anthropology department at the VU, Amsterdam. Her main interest and area of work involves anthropology and history of identity formation, ethnicity, migration, transnationalism, Indigenous Peoples, Indian Diaspora, and Youth & Human Security South Asia (Bangladesh and India) and the Netherlands.
kathinka sinha-kerkhofKathinka Sinha Kerkhoff
After doing her PhD in Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, Kathinka became Research Fellow and later the Director of Research at the Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) in India. As a resident in Ranchi (Jharkhand India) she was also involved in a number of post-doctoral research projects. She published on gender, education and youth issues, religious minorities in India and Bangladesh, (return-) migration, Diaspora, partitions and academic dependency. At present she is working on a book concerning the social history of plants in Bihar (India) and  interested in the history of tobacco cultivation and consumption in South Asia as well as in Indian return migration and development. Since 2010, Kathinka is the Regional Representative (South Asia) in Ranchi for the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Postdoctoral Researchers

kateDr. Kate Kirk
Kate Kirk has a PhD in Political Science from Queens University Belfast . She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the VU University Amsterdam. Her research interests include citizenship, integration policies, gender and migration, and diaspora politics. 
RatnakarRatnakar Tripathy
After doing his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Poona, India, Ratnakar Tripathy spent a number of years in the print and television media. Since 2002, he has been working in the culture industry and migration in the region of Bihar, India. His interest areas include culture, language dynamics in Hindi heartland, migration and development.  

Master students 2012-2013

aartiAarti Baldewsing (MA)
In her research Aarti looked at different forms of philanthropy in Bangalore, India. Click here to read  'The Act of Giving' For more information please contact Aarti at  
sarahSarah Janssen (MA)
In her research Sarah focused on feeling, having and making of home and belonging amongst Indian knowledge workers in Amstelveen and Amsterdam. She looked together with them at their material homes, their social networks here and in India and their personal sense of home. Click here to read 'No Place like Home'.  For more information please contact Sarah at

Master students 2013-2014

Sara de PrieSara de Prie (MA)
From January until April Sara conducted fieldwork amongst the (house)wives of the Indian knowledge migrants in Amstelveen and Hoofddorp. She found out more about where these women feel they belong, what transnational relations they have and most importantly looked at their identity as migrant women. Click here to read 'Personal Development in a Transnational Space'. For more information please contact Sara at
New ComponentZeger Polhuis (MA)
Zeger conducted fieldwork in the Netherlands on the migration experiences of Indian medical professionals in the Netherlands. He related these migration experiences to the medical workers' professional identities, practices and career trajectories, and studied the recruitment practices targeting medical professionals which structure their migration experiences. For more information please contact Zeger at