Dr Manjusha Kuruppath

Staging Asia: The Dutch East India Company and the Amsterdam Theatre

Staging Asia: The Dutch East India Company and the Amsterdam Theatre


How is it possible that three playwrights in the early modern Dutch Republic wrote dramas based on contemporary political events in Asia? Reflecting on this remarkable phenomenon, Staging Asia traces the passage of the stories surrounding three political revolutions from seventeenth-century Asia through to the Dutch Republic and their ultimate manifestation as dramas.

This book explores the nature of the representation of the Orient in these plays and evaluates how this characterization was influenced by the channels that these dramatists relied on to gather information for their works. As these dramas exhibit strong connections to the Dutch East India Company, this work additionally examines the role of that enterprise in disseminating information on Asia and producing imagery about the Orient.


  • Early Modern South Asia
  • Dutch East India Company
  • Literary and Cultural History

I wrote my doctoral dissertation about the cultural and literary connections between the Dutch Republic and Asia in the early modern period. Like my doctoral research, my published articles have focussed on how the Dutch encounter with Asia was captured in writing in travel accounts and literary works. My dissertation titled Staging Asia: The Dutch East India Company and the Amsterdam Theatre has been published by the Leiden University Press. I am interested in the history of the Dutch East India Company, the history of South Asia and the wider theme of early modern interaction between Asia and Europe. 

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Approaches to History (Sociology)

Approaches to History (Anthropology)

General History XVIII (Eurasian Empires)

Disciplines of History

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