SOAS University of London

Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Professor Gijsbert Oonk

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Gijsbert Oonk
Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies

Research Associate

Professor Gijsbert Oonk


Gijsbert Oonk (1966) is Head of the Department of History at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) Rotterdam, Netherlands. He is Associate Professor of African and South Asian History at ESHCC. He is also Honorary Research Associate for the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa, at University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In 2011-2012 he was the Alfred D. Chandler Jr. International Visiting Fellow in Business History at the Harvard Business School (Boston).

He specializes in business, migration and economic history. He is particular interested in the role of South Asian (Indian) migrants and settlers in East Africa. He recently published: Settled Strangers: Asian Business Elites in East Africa 1800-2000, Sage Publication, 2013).  This research has been funded by the Dutch Foundation of Tropical research (WOTRO/NWO). He also edited the book Global Indian Diasporas. Exploring Trajectories of Migration and Theory (Amsterdam University Press, 2007). In this volume the contributors critically review the concept of diaspora. His research and teaching activities are in the field of World History, especially African and Indian History.