Domingo, 27 de Setembro de 2020

Dutch Firms Exploiting Iberian Colonial Resources, 1650-1850

Início: Fim: Data de abertura: Data de encerramento: Países: Holanda

Doutoramento, Emprego, Estudos Ibéricos, História

O Instituto Universitário de História de Leiden irá nomear um candidato para uma posição de doutoramento no âmbito do projeto: «Dutch Firms Exploiting Iberian Colonial Resources, 1650-1850», com início previsto para setembro de 2020.

Os candidatos deverão possuir um mestrado em História, de preferência com especialização em História Global ou História Económica e Social dos Impérios Modernos; bem como fluência em inglês e domínio passivo de espanhol, português e holandês (incluindo a leitura de fontes arquivísticas).

As pessoas interessadas têm até ao dia 31 de maio de 2020 para apresentar as candidaturas.

Mais informações: PhD position: Dutch Firms Exploiting Iberian Colonial Resources, 1650-1850

PhD position: Dutch Firms Exploiting Iberian Colonial Resources, 1650-1850

Vacancy number: 20-161
Function type: PhD positions
Hours (in fte): 1.0
External/ internal: External
Location: Leiden
Placed on: 07 April 2020
Closing date: 31 May 2020


As of September 1, 2020, the Leiden University Institute for History will be appointing a candidate for a

PhD position: Dutch Firms Exploiting Iberian Colonial Resources, 1650-1850

Project description 
The overall project, Exploiting the Empire of Others: Dutch Investment in Foreign Colonial Resources, 1570-1800  starts from the idea that Early Modern European empires are portrayed and perceived as nationally geared enterprises, as entangled spaces at the peripheries and as zones of contact. In the Netherlands, these perceptions have filtered into the public debate that seeks to define material and immaterial responsibilities for the colonial past. What the historiographical perceptions, academic portrayals and public debate seem, however, to ignore is the role played by foreigners (being non-subjects of a specific king or republic) in exploiting the empires of other countries. This project will establish how and why Dutch entrepreneurs (being those taking risks in matters of trade or production, introducing innovations, making decisions based on information that others did not possess and searching for opportunities where most perceived risk) participated in exploiting the English, French and Iberian empires, as Dutch firms are particularly prominent in the European colonial landscape. Since Dutch entrepreneurs engaged in exploiting the resources of those other countries, what is the future of the public debate in the Netherlands, and Europe at large, regarding a shared responsibility for the colonial past? 

The answer(s) to these questions can be found in the multiple public and private archives that house extensive collections of the firms that operated from the Dutch Republic into the four largest empires in Western Europe. By combining original and recently uncovered archival sources pertaining to the relevant men (and some women), businesses and activities and their relationships with fellow traders, investors and political powers in situ, this project carries the seed to radically change commonly held perceptions regarding Dutch colonial participation and how these perceptions are often filtered into the public debate. This socio-economic entanglement of empires may have resulted in a shared European culture of exploitation that is impossible to disentangle within public debates that remain nationally bound.

By explaining how and why Dutch entrepreneurs participated in exploiting the English, French and Iberian Empires, this project will innovate current scholarship by: 1) introducing the centrality of private firms in obtaining gains in colonial exploitation outside the scope of sovereignty of the States General; 2) challenging the premise that Dutch colonial gains were exclusive to Dutch colonial endeavours and Dutch commercial companies, and consequently questioning the premises of the current public debate regarding Dutch state and societal responsibilities in colonial exploitation; 3) Exploring the exceptional nature of Dutch colonial ventures abroad as a simultaneous engagement in exploiting natural resources, cash crops, labour and tax farming/financial services for periods that extended to over 50 consecutive years of activity; 4) Focusing on cross-colonial exchanges in the main commercial centres of Europe, a phenomenon that resulted in a transnational system of colonial exploitation enduring beyond the postcolonial moment; 5) developing a model of European colonial exploitation that sheds light on the role played by private foreign firms in exploiting colonial resources, regardless of claims of sovereignty, and using as stepping stones the re-conceptualization of: a) transnationality in exploiting the colonies of other countries;  b) Stakeholdership of empire; c) Inter-state diplomatic exchanges as formatted and/or substantially influenced by private colonial exploitation, having as a consequence a European (rather than a particular) definition of overseas political economy. 

Key responsibilities

  • Conducting research on  Dutch private firms exploiting French Colonial Resources, 1650-1800, with particular interest for the firms Schonenberg, Coijmans & Van Belle (of Seville – Asientista de Negros), the firm Cloots & Co (of Cadiz) or the family firm Gildemeester (Lisbon)  (see project description). The principal investigator is willing to consider other firms when scientifically justified by the applicant in his/her application letter;

  • Writing a PhD thesis in English within four years;

  • Writing at least two (single- or co-authored) articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals;

  • Presenting draft articles or thesis chapters at conferences and workshops;

  • Co-organizing workshops, conferences and events with societal partners;

  • Being a team player (sharing and discussing collective data and actively participating in the societal and educational goals of the project as a whole);

  • Contributing to undergraduate teaching (within the limits of what has been established as best practices within the Institute for History).

Selection criteria

  • MA degree in History, preferably with a specialization in Global History or the Economic and Social History of Early Modern Empires;

  • Fluency in English. Very good passive command of Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch (including the reading of archival sources);

  • Demonstrable interest in the history of European colonialism, with methodological and theoretical insights of Global History and a specific interest for the economic and social history of Early Modern empires;

  • Excellent writing skills;

  • Ability to work both independently and as part of an (international) team;

  • Ability to work in an international and highly competitive environment.

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