Bart Luttikhuis is a researcher at Leiden University and KITLV in late colonial history and the history of decolonization, with a particular empirical focus on early to mid-twentieth century Indonesia. From June 2014 to May 2017, he was affiliated with the project ‘Dutch military operations in Indonesia, 1945-1950’. As of 1 June 2017 he has started work as a researcher in the NWO-funded project ‘Violence strikes root: why vigilantism became central to Indonesian politics, 1943-1955’, which examines the mobilization and gradual legitimization of semi-private (but often state-funded) vigilante militias in Indonesia during the turbulent 1940s and 1950s. Within the research program 'Decolonization, war and violence', Bart is co-coordinator of the project 'Decolonization compared'.
Bart studied history and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam and the Humboldt University Berlin. Subsequently, his doctoral research at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) resulted in the thesis ‘Negotiating Modernity: Europeanness in Late Colonial Indonesia’ (2014). This thesis deals with the question of what it meant to be a ‘European’ in a colonial society, arguing that racial hierarchizations are often overemphasized in the historical literature. Bart joined the KITLV in spring 2014. His research there focused both on the synchronic and diachronic contextualization of violence during the Indonesian war of decolonization, tracing continuities of revolt between colonial, decolonizing, and independent Indonesia, as well as locating the Dutch-Indonesian conflict within the regional and global political and military context.