In Memoriam dr. Karin Willemse

It’s with great sadness and defeat to inform that our highly valued colleague dr. Karin Willemse passed away on Saturday March 18th, 2023. She has been affiliated with the History Department of the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication since 1998.

Karin received her doctorate cum laude as an anthropologist in 2001 at the University Leiden. Her dissertation 'One foot in heaven. Narratives on gender and Islam in Darfur, Western Sudan’ was published in 2007 by Brill Publishers. In Rotterdam, Karin was initially active as a lecturer in Non-Western History, and the later in Global History. The unique character of her methodical approach was soon recognized in the Netherlands and abroad. She also gave lectures at the graduate school of Erasmus University and Leiden University, and gave masterclasses in various places, including Sudan.

Karin had a wide range of interests but was first and foremost a passionate anthropologist with a big heart for Africa. Women and Islam had her special interest in this, and more recently issues related to migration and heritage as well. She participated in various interdisciplinary research projects in Sudan and South Africa, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NWO. Karin was chair of the Netherlands Association for Gender and Feminist Anthropology for many years.

In addition to her research, Karin was very active within the faculty, including chairing the programme committee for several years. With her passion and drive for her profession and education, Karin inspired both colleagues and students.

We know Karin as a very engaged and pleasant colleague. She was a "human face" for many of us in a sometimes hardening and increasingly bureaucratic academic world. She was empathetic, cheerful, driven, and energetic.

Karin will be greatly missed by all of us.

On behalf of all colleagues of the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

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