The research theme From generation to generation is coordinated by Geertje Mak. Based on the concept of the ‘generation’, with this theme Mak wants to contribute to thinking about history as a process of generational transfer. One aspect that cannot be avoided is sex: sex in its concrete forms and variations, but also the social, cultural, economic, moral, legal and political regulation of sex. The regulation of sexuality almost always means the regulation of gender; but it also concerns the question of who is permitted to marry whom, for example, which is often linked to the transfer of property and power, as well as culture, knowledge or identity. A politics of ‘generation to generation’ can either perpetuate or eradicate inherited (religious, racial, class) differences. A history of ‘generation to generation’ analyses historical processes of transfer and transformation of social difference via the regulation of gender and sexuality.


In her book project, Households in Netherlands New Guinea, Mak takes a micro-historical approach to show how colonial intervention was shaped in New Guinean society at the apparently prosaic level of missionary households with Papuan foster children. Within the NWO project Children as Objects and Agents of (Post)colonial) Change (COACC), she is also researching the central role that children played in colonial missions.


Related projects


partners: University of Amsterdam, Radboud University, Maastricht University, Ghent University, European University Florence, University of Münster


  • Geslacht: towards a philosophy of gender history’, planned project. Partners: Bob Pierik, (UvA)



Geertje Mak, Huishouden in Nederlands Nieuw-Guinea (inaugural speech Universiteit van Amsterdam 2017).


Geertje Mak, Marit Monteiro en Lies Wesseling, ‘Save the Children?’, Introduction to special Issue BMGN Low Countries Historical Review over Child Separation in (Post)Colonial Policies and Practice.


Geertje Mak, ‘Mannelijke vrouwen in historisch perspectief’, Nacht van de Geschiedenis Rijksmuseum Amsterdam 26 okt 2019.


Zie ook

Interview met Geertje Mak voor het NTR televisieprogramma De Kennis van Nu, ´De Gendercode´, 22 april 2020.