Netherlands American Studies Association

Debby Esmeé de Vlugt

M9JJNs94PhD Candidate, Roosevelt Institute for American Studies and Leiden University

Debby Esmeé de Vlugt joined the NASA Board in September 2019 and is a PhD Candidate at the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies and Leiden University. She has a master’s degree in US History from the University of Oxford and a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences (Summa Cum Laude) from University College Roosevelt.

Debby Esmeé’s PhD project focuses on the transnational history of the Black Power movement. More specifically, she is studying how Black Power ideology influenced black protest in the Dutch Caribbean from 1968 to 1975. Through this project, Debby Esmeé hopes to find out how ideas travelled within the network of the Black Power movement and how they were shaped by local and regional contexts. By placing Afro-Caribbean resistance in the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname into the framework of the Black Atlantic, she also hopes to move away from the Eurocentric historiography of Caribbean decolonization.

Overall, Debby Esmeé is most interested in 20th century social and cultural history, with a focus on identity construction, cultural heritage, resistance, and (transnational) networks. She has previously also worked in the fields of food history, women’s rights, and transatlantic migration.