Director of Content of the National Museum of World Cultures (a museum group comprising the Tropenmuseum, Museum Volkenkunde, and Africa Museum) and the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He is also a professor (by special appointment) of Material Culture and Critical Heritage Studies at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. A cultural studies scholar by training, Modest works at the intersection of material culture, memory and heritage studies, with a strong focus on colonialism and its afterlives in Europe and the Caribbean.
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