The review process

The review process

In June 2018, the editorial committee asked two experts from the field to review the publication. The publication at this stage comprised all the posts and some featured multimedia, that were basically presented on the homepage in sequential order, with all the excerpted texts as guiding texts. The reviewers had as reference: one preceding publication (Croquemort: A Biographical Journey in the Context of Chad), a newly drafted peer review form, and the Bridging Humanities website that was still in progress and prepared for the launch of the journal in that same period.

Review 1

One review was submitted by Dr Stef Scagliola. This review can be found here: Dissenting Voices – Peer review 1. This review recommended that the submission should be rejected in its current state, but should be used as a test case on how to improve the format for the next contributions. Here are the main points:

a. It questioned the added value of co-creation and proposed that a workshop should be held to answer the question: How is knowledge about dissenting colonial voices perceived and consumed differently?
b. It suggested adding an explanation of the film essay.
c. It suggested a visual pathway for better understanding of the relationship between the various contributions and the large amount of texts (to avoid getting lost).

Review 2

One review was submitted by a reviewer who would like to remain anonymous: Dissenting Voices – Peer review 2. This review recommended that the submission should be accepted after some reworking. Here are the main points:

d. It suggested adding audiovisual media, because text was too dominant, so as to allow for new ways of writing.
e. It found that the publication was lacking innovative concluding statements.
f. It suggested including Indonesian voices, because without them it would lack agency of Indonesian historians.


In line with the suggestions of the peer reviewers the editorial committee chose to proceed with the publication process. In reaction to comments c and d. we produced the interactive multimedia story made with the digital storytelling tool Slices. The contributions of Anne-Lot were moreover substantiated with audiovisual material.

With regard to the focus and scientific approach of the research (comments a, e and f) the authors positioned the process more clearly in the introduction, a text that was rewritten in the last stage of the process. The authors explain their focus on the Dutch colonial debate and the need to decolonize knowledge in this regard, but also place their work and that of the dissenting voices they portray, in line with an anti-colonial tradition.  Furthermore, in the work of Anne-Lot Indonesian voices from the field and perspectives from Indonesian researchers on the Dutch historiography can be heard and seen.

The question whether the artistic contributions and the methodology of co-creation adds scientific value and generates new knowledge is still up for discussion, although we believe that bringing these different contributions together and building on the work of the the others does bring new perspectives and important room for self-reflection.

With regard to comment b, we acknowledge that more can be said about the explanation of the film essay, and especially the form of the pamphlet that has been chosen. Yet we decided to go ahead and let stand the text on the interpretation of filmmaker Sjoerd Sijsma.