Senior Researcher
History of modern Southeast Asia
+31 (0)20-5233800

Link to overview research output

Peter Keppy specializes in the modern history of Southeast Asia and graduated in 2001 at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam with his thesis: Hidden Business: indigenous and ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs in the Majalaya textile industry, West Java, 1928-1974.


Since June 2017 he is involved as a researcher in the KITLV / Leiden University NWO research project 'Indonesia in transition'. A history from revolution to nation building 1943 - 1958. 'Applicants are Prof. Henk Schulte Nordholt (KITLV), Prof. Nanci Adler (NIOD/UvA) and Prof. Gert Oostindie (KITLV/UL).

This year Keppy’s monograph will appear entitled Tales of the Southeast Asian Jazz Age. Filipinos, Indonesians and Popular Culture, 1920-1935 (Singapore, NUS Press). This publication is part of the project ‘Articulating modernity: the making of Popular Music and the Rise of New Audiences at Twentieth Century Southeast Asia’, coordinated by the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) in collaboration with the NIOD and Leiden University. The project was funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), 2010-2016.

Publications (selection)

  • Popular Music in Southeast Asia: Banal Beats, Muted Histories. Amsterdam. Amsterdam University Press, 2017 (co-authors: Henk Schulte Nordholt and Bart Barendregt)
  • Southeast Asia in the age of jazz; Local culture in the colonial Philippines and Indonesia, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies vol. 44 (2013): 444-464.
  • The politics of redress. War damage compensation and restitution in Indonesia and the Philippines, 1940-1957. Lead. KITLV Press (2010).
  • 'Twisted Roads to Employment: Revolution, Independence and the Fate of Indonesian Freedom Fighters', in: H. de Jonge & T. van Meijl (eds.) On the subject of labor. Essays in Memory of Frans Hüsken. Nijmegen. In the Walvis (2010): 17-21.

Other activities

  • With effect from 1 January 2018, the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport appointed Peter Keppy as member of the Pension and Benefit Board (PUR) for four years. The PUR is an independent administrative body and works closely with the Social Insurance Bank and a number of social organizations in the Netherlands such as Stichting Joods Maatschappelijk Werk, the Stichting 40-45, and Pelita. PUR is responsible for the admission to the schemes that provide financial support to (surviving relatives of) resistance members and victims of the Second World War in the Netherlands and the former Dutch East Indies. The Board determines the policy for these statutory regulations and advises the Social Insurance Bank (SVB), which is responsible for the implementation of these regulations.
  • Since 2013, Keppy is co-editor of the Amsterdam University Press’ series War, Conflict, and Genocide Studies.