Bob van der Linden

1967 –
history and musicology, musician
Punjab, South Asia

Curriculum vitae

1967born in Amsterdam on February 16
1990BA history, University of Amsterdam
1990-1995MA modern Asian history, University of Amsterdam, with most coursework at Leiden and New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Universities
1995-2003Hindi-Urdu study with Dick Plukker, India Institute, Amsterdam
1997-2004PhD researcher, Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam
2004PhD under the supervision of Peter van der Veer (University of Amsterdam) and Dirk Kolff (Leiden University), University of Amsterdam
2004-2006co-worker, Documentation and Research Department, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
2006-presenttourleader, mainly to India and China, SRC-Cultuurvakanties, Groningen

Special activities and positions

  • Numerous research periods in India, Pakistan and UK, 1992-present
  • Received research grants from Amsterdam University Fund (1992), NUFFIC/STIR, The Hague: (1992), Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam (1997), Faculty of Political, Social and Cultural Sciences, University of Amsterdam (1998 and 2000), and Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), The Hague (1998, 2000 and 2006)
  • Research affiliate, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 1992-1993
  • Co-editor, program on 50 years of Indian independence for Dutch public television, broadcaster Foundation Hindu Media (OHM), 1997
  • Invited research presentations: UK (Oxford and Cambridge Universities) and USA (Hofstra University, New York and University of California, Riverside), 2006-present
  • Initiator and guide of “Indian Punjab” and “Bombay and East India” tours, SRC-Cultuurvakanties, Groningen, 2013-present
  • Peer reviewer, Journal of Global History, 2014-present



2004  Tradition, rationality and social consciousness: the Singh Sabha, Arya Samaj and Ahmadiyah moral languages from colonial Punjab. – PhD thesis University of Amsterdam. online
2006  Review of: John Whelpton, A history of Nepal, Cambridge 2005. Canadian Journal of History 41,2: 417-419.
Review of: B.R. Nanda (ed.), The collected works of Lala Lajpat Rai, vols. 1-6, New Delhi 2003-2005. Contemporary South Asia 15,3: 354-356.
2007  “A critical humanist among the professional experts.” Review of: Edward Said’s Reflections on exile and other essays, Cambridge MA 2002 and The last interview (DVD), Estate of Edward Said, 2004. Other Voices 3,1. online
“Music and manipulation.” Review of: Steven Brown and Ulrik Volgsten (eds), Music and manipulation: on the social uses and social control of music, New York-London 2006. IIAS Newsletter 44: 35. online
Review of: Pál Nyíri, Scenic spots: Chinese tourism, the state, and cultural authority, Seattle 2006. Canadian Journal of History 42,3: 579-581.
2008  Reprint of “Music and manipulation.” Review of: Steven Brown and Ulrik Volgsten (eds), Music and manipulation (2007). SPAFA Journal 18,2: 17-23.
“Individuality, literature and censorship: Gao Xingjiang and China.” IIAS Newsletter 47: 28-29.
Review of: Amanda J. Weidman, Singing the classical, voicing the modern: the postcolonial politics of music in South India, Durham, NC 2006. Contemporary South Asia 16,2: 256-257.
“Sikh music and empire: the moral representation of self in music.” Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory 4,1: 1-15.
“Music, theosophical spirituality, and empire: the British modernist composers Cyril Scott and John Foulds.” Journal of Global History 3,2: 163-182.
Moral languages from colonial Punjab: the Singh Sabha, Arya Samaj and Ahmadiyahs, New Delhi: Manohar (revised and extended version of PhD thesis 2004).
2010  Review of: Partha Mitter, The triumph of modernism: India’s artists and the avant garde 1922-1947, London 2007. Contemporary South Asia 18,1: 113-114.
Review of: Willem van Schendel, A history of Bangladesh, Cambridge 2009. IIAS Newsletter 53: 36.
“Percy Grainger and empire: Kipling, racialism and all the world’s ‘folk music’.” British Music: The Journal of the British Music Society 32: 13-24.
2011  Review of: Verne Dusenbery, Sikhs at large: religion, culture, and politics in global perspective, New Delhi 2008; and of: Verne Dusenbery and Darshan S. Tatla (eds), Sikh diaspora philanthropy in Punjab, New Delhi 2009. Contributions to Indian Sociology 45,2: 283-287.
CD liner notes, Songs of quest and inspiration: Cyril Scott – Ralph Vaughan Williams, Robbert Muuse, baritone/Micha van Weers, piano, Challenge CD.
CD release note, “Songs of quest and inspiration: Cyril Scott – Ralph Vaughan Williams.” British Music Society News, 132: 475.
“Sikh sacred music, empire and world music: aesthetics and historical change.” Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory 7,3: 383-397 (special issue: Sikh musicology).
2012  “History versus tradition again? A response to Bhai Baldeep Singh.” Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory 8,2: 247-251.
2013  Music and empire in Britain and India: identity, internationalism, and cross-cultural communication, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
2015  “Pre-twentieth century Sikh sacred music: the Mughals, courtly patronage and canonisation.” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 38,2: 141-55.
“Sikh sacred music and Rabindra Sangit: a comparison of music in imperial culture.” Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory (= Tenth Anniversary Issue: Encountering Sikh texts, practices and performances: Eesays in honour of Christopher Shackle, edited by Pashaura Singh and Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair) 11,1-2: 133-48.
“Non-Western national music and empire in global history: interactions, uniformities, and comparisons.” Journal of Global History 10,3: 431-56 (in press).
2016 Review of: Virinder S. Kalra, Sacred and Secular Musics: A Postcolonial Approach, London etc. 2014. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 39,3: 700-2.
2017Review of: Nalini Ghuman, Resonances of the Raj: India in the English Musical Imagination, 1897-1947, Oxford 2014. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts 24,1: 159-61.
2018 Arnold Bake: a life with South Asian music. London: Routledge.
2019“Songs to the Jinas and of the Gurus: historical comparisons between Jain and Sikh devotional music.” Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory 15,1-2: 230-45 (Special Issue: Music and Poetics of Devotion in the Jain and Sikh Traditions).