oo often, the vantage point of knowledge produced about Asia and Africa has been, as one scholar notes, 'from the deck of the ship, the ramparts of the fortress, [and] the high gallery of the trading-house.' In an effort to facilitate more autonomous histories of regions outside Europe, tanap offers MA and Ph.D. programmes to train young, promising Asian, African, and European scholars. Research in voc archives is not an easy undertaking. Key skills must first be developed to make full use of the archives. However, the practitioners of these skills will make a profound mark upon the conception and writing of history on both the local and global levels.

The Advanced Master's Programme (AMP)

ANAP offers twenty scholarships in total for young, promising historians from Asia and Africa. The amp provides a year of intensive language and historical training at Leiden University and the National Archives of the Netherlands, culminating in a well-researched and original Ph.D. proposal by the student. A Master's degree in history or a related field is required for admission. Fellowships, which include allowances for travel, tuition, and living expenses, are set aside for students from regions where the voc archives are most relevant. However, other students with appropriate interests are encouraged to apply as well.

The Advanced Master's Curriculum

asic Dutch language acquisition and acquaintance with the archives are the heart of the amp curriculum. Both intensive and semi-intensive courses are offered to develop reading proficiency in early modern Dutch. Palaeography courses acquaint the participants with the work of deciphering and transcribing old manuscripts. A course of study on research methods explains how to explore the voc archives efficiently. Methodology and history courses, combined with preparatory research coursework, are designed to lead the amp students to the formulation of a Ph.D. proposal grounded in the relevant archival sources. The amp training takes one year and runs independently of the Ph.D. programme.

The first group of AMP trainees in the reading room of the National Archives in The Hague. (click image to enlarge)

The Ph.D. Programme

rom the Advanced Master's Programme, a number of tanap students will be eligible to embark upon Ph.D. research. Ph.D. candidates receive financial, technical, and academic assistance from Leiden University and the expertise of faculty and staff in the Netherlands working under tanap. Furthermore, these tanap Ph.D. students continue to receive support from supervisors in their home countries. Within the tanap framework cnws also offers a limited number of Ph.D. scholarships to Dutch students who will carry out their research in close co-operation with their Asian and African tanap colleagues.


he TANAP research programme in the Netherlands is a nation-wide endeavour involving experts from all major Dutch universities. The programme is housed at Leiden University, which has outstanding Asian and Oriental library collections and an especially broad base of faculty expertise and other scholarly resources in Asian and African studies. Administratively, the research programme is integrated into the Research School for Asian, African, and Amerindian Studies (cnws). A national team of scholars, the TANAP Programme Committee, is responsible for the quality and progress of the programme itself.

The specific initiative to develop the TANAP research programme came from the Institute for the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction (IGEER), a research cluster within CNWS. IGEER has a high international profile and a longstanding commitment to training non-western scholars, and most of the historical research on non-western societies conducted within the research school comes under its auspices. This research cluster will therefore provide the bulk of the expertise needed to conduct the TANAP programme at Leiden.



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