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Stephan Sanders Next Guest of the Director at NIAS

Stephan Sanders Guest of the Director at NIAS

Author Stephan Sanders has been invited by the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study and the Dutch Foundation for Literature to be a fellow as the Guest of the Director. Sanders will write a book on the increasing dichotomy between ‘white’ and ‘black’ in politics and public debate.

Stephan Sanders (1961) is a Dutch writer, columnist, essayist and radio- and television presenter. At NIAS, he will explore why attention to ‘mixed’ people – from very light to very dark and all tones in between – has disappeared from political and public discourse. Through portraits of prominent thinkers such as Albert Murray, Maryse Condé and Barack Obama, who reject the black-white dichotomy, Sander aims to bring ‘mixedness’ back into view.

Sanders writes columns and essays for De Groene Amsterdammer, Vrij Nederland, NRC Handelsblad, de Volkskrant and Trouw, particularly about (political) philosophy, multi-ethnic and multi-religious relations and literature. He studied Political Science at the University of Amsterdam, after which he debuted in 1989 with Gemengde ervaring, a philosophical reflection on the Rushdie affair. Sanders’ essays have been published in collections such as Buitenwacht (De Bezige Bij) and Binnenste Buiten (Meulenhoff). He also presents Brainwash (HUMAN), a radio programme on NPO Radio1. His new book is expected to be published by Van Oorschot.

Stephan Sanders will be Guest of Director of Prof. Jan Willem Duyvendak from September 2020 until January 2021, which is made possible by the support of the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

About the Dutch Foundation for Literature

The Dutch Foundation for Literature has the task of supporting writers and translators, and of promoting Dutch literature abroad. It invests in the quality and diversity of literature through grants for writers, translators, publishers and festivals, and contributes to the production and distribution of Dutch and Frisian literature at home and abroad. With the support of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, it aims to promote a thriving literary climate, embedded in literary history and attuned to the latest developments in the publishing industry.


The Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS-KNAW) is one of the oldest Advanced Study Institutes in Europe committed to promoting interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research for established and early career scholars. It is an intellectual haven where scholars, artists, writers and journalists come together in an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment.