Yvon van der Pijl received her PhD at Utrecht University, Department of Cultural Anthropology, with the dissertation ‘LEVENDE-DODEN: Afrikaans-Surinaamse percepties, praktijken rituelen rondom dood en rouw (‘LIVING-DEAD: African-Surinamese Perceptions, Practices and Rituals surrounding Death and Mourning). She studied at Wageningen University Research Centre where she obtained her MSc degree in Rural Development Studies. She got a Radboud Scientific Education Grant for a post-graduate study in ethics at Tilburg University and Radboud University Nijmegen. While finishing her dissertation she became Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Utrecht University.
Yvon van der Pijl has published on the anthropology of death, creolization, transnationalism, mobility, trafficking, Suriname and the Dutch Caribbean (see publications). At present her research focuses on death studies (‘death on the move’, ritual creativity, commodification and transnationalization of the mortuary sphere), global health, biopolitics, ageing and care over distance, disaster anthropology (vulnerability and disaster in the Caribbean) and human trafficking.
Yvon van der Pijl is director of the master’s program Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship. See for more information: http://www.uu.nl/masters/en/cultural-anthropology-sustainable.
Currently she teaches amongst others the undergraduate course Ethnicity & Nationalism, and master's courses Citizenship in the New World Order, Ethnographic Methods & Research Design, and Academic Professional. She is supervisor of both master's studens and PhD students.
Yvon van der Pijl is member of the UU Cultural Anthropology Research Group Sovereignty and Social Contestation in Complex Societies (SoSCo). See for more information: http://www.uu.nl/onderzoek/gedrag-in-sociale-context/onderzoeksprogrammas/sovereignty-and-social-contestation-in-complex-societies.
Interests & Expertise
Caribbean studies (Suriname, Dutch Caribbean, nationness, (non)sovereignty and belonging); anthropology of death; global health, biopolitics, ageing and care over distance; disaster anthropology; African-Caribbean culture, religion and identifications; cultural pluralism, creolization; globalization, mobility and human trafficking.
The Birth of a Multicultural Funeral Home (working title)
Yvon van der Pijl is research partner in the development of a multicultural funeral home in Amsterdam (council South-East), the Netherlands. The project is realized by Funeral Organization Yarden that started in 2014 with the participatory preparations for the design and building of funeral home. It is expected that the new funeral home will open its doors to the public in 2016.
Casualties of Care: Ageing, End-of-Life & Well-Being
Yvon van der Pijl developed research on ‘Casualties of Care’ that involves an exploration of the transnational connections between health care, contemporary technologies, policy and media hubs, and the ways they: 1) affect ageing and current end-of-life issues and decisions, including the experience of loss and grief; and 2) create (new) forms of biological citizenship, i.e. the right to have access to institutional medical (state) support that recognize (in)capabilities of the body. The assumption is that a growing number of old, sick, poor and lonely people, having their relatives abroad or otherwise absent, are becoming deprived of the axiomatic ‘traditional’ (family, community) safety net—even if just a myth—whereas other institutions for care and responsibility (e.g. palliative care, elderly or nursing homes, mental institutions) are either lacking or merely a ‘last resort’ of social isolation, passivity, neglect and abjection.
Yvon van der Pijl stresses this important research area, as ageing and chronic illness are no longer issues of concern to the so-called Western, industrialized countries alone. On the contrary, care of the elderly and mortally sick becomes an urgent question for societies and health care systems worldwide, in which, additionally, “aging, morbidity and death are increasingly viewed as ‘technological failures’ rather than as inevitable human trajectories” (Scheper-Hughes 2010: 318). The resulting global spread of health care uncertainty, and the phenomenon of transnational and transgenerational care confronts us with very actual, pressing (research) questions.
Research findings will, among others, published in the series ‘Life Course, Culture & Aging: Global Transformations’ (Berghahn Books under the auspices of the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology (AAGE) and the American Anthropological Association Interest Group on Aging and the Life Course).
Imagining the Nation in the Classroom: A Study of the Politics of Belonging and Nationness on Sint Maarten & Sint Eustatius
Yvon van der Pijl is co-applicant of the NWO-funded research project (research programme: Carribean Research: A Multidisciplinary Approach): Imagining the Nation in the Classroom: ‘A Study of the Politics of Belonging and Nationness on Sint Maarten & Sint Eustatius.’ The aim of this project is to study and compare the making and remaking of hegemonic ideologies of belonging and nationness in primary schools on the islands of Sint Maarten & Sint Eustatius.
For details about the project see: http://www.imaginingthenation.org
See also: http://www.erlacs.org/index.php/erlacs/article/download/9982/1049
Babel in the Dutch Caribbean
Yvon is co-applicant of the research project ‘Babel in the Dutch Caribbean’ that aims to push forward the boundaries of research on language, culture, citizenship and rights in the Dutch Caribbean, foregrounding the relation between language policies and pedagogic practices on the one hand, and the situated and processual nature of citizenship, and processes of in-/exclusion on the other (hand). The project is funded by the UU research focus area ‘Cultures, Citizenship and Human Rights’ (CCHR), see for more information: http://cchr.uu.nl
Human Trafficking Imagined
Yvon van der Pijl is research partner in the project ‘Human Trafficking Imagined.’ This ongoing research project, together with Cultural Criminology, Willem Pompe Institute, focuses on the link between law enforcement conditions in new EU-member states and trafficking victimization in these countries (e.g. Bulgaria/ Romania). Two research projects were funded by the UU Focus and Mass Research Programme Conflict and Human Rights (now CCHR).
Yvon van der Pijl is secretary of Stichting Instituut ter Bevordering van de Surinamistiek (IBS, Dutch Association for the Study of Suriname and the Caribbean), see: http://www.surinamistiek.nl.
Yvon van der Pijl is member of the editorial board of Oso: Tijdschrift voor Surinamistiek en het Caraïbisch gebied (Oso: Joural for the Study of Suriname and the Caribbean), see: http://www.osojournal.nl/oso/.
She is also member of the editorial board of the series Bronnen voor de Studie van Suriname (BSS, Series for the Study of Suriname).
Yvon van der Pijl is board member of the Dutch Association of Anthropologists (Antropologen Beroepsvereniging, Abv) on behalf of the Department of Cultural Anthropology, UU. See for more information: http://antropologen.nl.
Yvon van der Pijl is member of INTEGRATE International Network of Generational Transfers Research. See for more information: http://www.integratenet.org.