Dr. Torsten Feys obtained a Master in History at the University of Ghent in 2003. In May 2008, he successfully defended his PhD A Business Approach to Transatlantic Migration: The introduction of steam shipping on the North-Atlantic and its impact on the European Exodus 1840-1914 at the European University Institute. He subsequently worked as a freelance researcher for the Red Star Line Museum (Antwerp) and as a postdoctoral researcher on a public history project 30 jaar OVAM in historisch perspectief. In 2011 he was awarded a FWO postdoctoral research grant with the project ‘The Global Rise of Modern Borders and Irregular Maritime Migration Networks (1875- 1930): A Comparative Research Project on Atlantic and Pacific Migration Systems’. His research centers on the commercialization of migrant transport, migration polices, their enforcement and their evasion. Currently, he works as a postdoctoral fellow on a Brain-Belspo project ‘Outcast or Embraced? Clusters of Foreign Immigrants in Belgium, c. 1840-1890’ which analyses alien mobility patterns and migration policies in Belgium. His research centers on expulsion during the second half of the nineteenth century. He combines this position with a part-time FWO fellowship at the History Department of the University of Ghent.
Kristof Loockx completed his degree in History at the University of Ghent in 2013. In 2014 and 2015, he worked as a scientific researcher in the Department of History at Ghent. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at the University of Antwerp (Centre for Urban History) under the supervision of prof. dr. Hilde Greefs and prof. dr. Anne Winter. The PhD research project ‘Foreign Seamen on the Belgian Maritime Labour Market, c. 1840-1890’ is part of the broader Brain-Belspo project ‘Outcast or Embraced? Clusters of Foreign Migrants in Belgium, c. 1840-1890’, and aims to investigate foreign seamen who were working in one of the most internationalized labour market segments during the nineteenth century. More specifically, his research explores the mobility patterns and trajectories, but also the recruitment patterns, profiles and career developments of foreign sailors. Tracing the individual trajectories of foreign seamen will, in turn, provide insights into social networks and encounters of this diverse and transnational community. His broad interests encompass nineteenth- and twentieth-century Belgium, maritime history, social history and the history of universities.
Sarah Heynssens obtained a Master in History at the University of Ghent. She worked as a researcher at the Centre for Historical Research and Documentation on War and Contemporary Society on Belgian colonialism, as an assistant curator at the Antwerp Fashion Museum and as a researcher at Antwerp University were she worked on forced displacements of children. At the moment she is researcher at the Belgian State Archives (Brussels). She specialises in colonial and migration history. Within the IMMIBEL-project she is responsable for the construction of the database of the foreigners files, the website and the valorisation and communication of the project towards the public at large.
Bart Willems is archivist at the Belgian State Archives (State Archives in Antwerp-Beveren) and has expertise in conserving, inventorying, making accessible and valorizing large archival series. Together with his colleague Filip Strubbe, archivist at the National Archives in Brussels, he will coordinate the archival and digitization aspects of the project. His historical research focuses on social and economic problems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a particular interest in labour and maritime history.
Filip Strubbe (°1980) is an archivist at the section ‘Contemporary Archives’ (1795-present) of the National Archives of Belgium, meaning he’s close to a large chunk of project’s source material. The huge collection of foreigners’ files has become one of his particular concerns and “calling cards” ever since he took up his job in late 2007. A background figure, he provides logistical back-up and advising support on the archives’ contents, structure and means of disclosure for the project. One might say that he plays somewhat of a “shadowy” role (which today’s archivists often pursue, but rarely achieve)…
Prof. Dr. Anne Winter studied history at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the London School of Economics. She obtained her PhD at the VUB in 2007 and was appointed lecturer in urban history at that same university in 2010, after carrying out research visits at Somerville College (University of Oxford), at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and at the University of Salzburg. Her research focuses on social and economic problems of the early modern period and the long nineteenth century in an international comparative perspective, with a particular interest in migration, social policies, urbanization and labour conditions in the transition period 1750-1850. She was awarded the six-yearly prize I. Vanderschueren for the best PhD in the Human Sciences by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2010), and the three-yearly prize of the Flemish Scientific Foundation (VWS) for the Human Sciences (2011), awarded by the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts (2011). Since October 2012 she holds the position of Francqui Research Professor.
Hilde Greefs is full-time senior lecturer in social history at the University of Antwerp and member of the Centre for Urban History. Her research focuses on social and economic history during the long nineteenth century, with a particular interest in migration, economic and social networks, maritime trade and business life in port cities. Her PhD-research on the business élite in Antwerp during the first half of the nineteenth century was rewarded with the price of the province of Antwerp in 2008. She was also funded by the University of Antwerp to conduct international research on maritime trade and international trade networks in several port cities in Europe and the United States.
Kenneth Bertrams (°1977) is lecturer at the Université Libre de Bruxelles where he teaches Economic History and Social History of Science and Technology. He holds a M.A. in Philosophy and a Ph.D. in History (2004). His research interests include the making of science-industry interactions, the development of public-private partnerships and the traffic of ideas among networks of experts within Western Europe and the United States. He has recently published articles in Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte and Enterprise & Society. His last book as single author is Universités et Entreprises. Milieux académiques et industriels en Belgique, 1880-1970 (Brussels, Ed. Le Cri, 2006). He has recently completed a research project on the business history of the chemical multinational enterprise, Solvay (1863-2013), which gave way to two books published by Cambridge University Press (2013). He is currently working on the transformations of the international relations of scientists during and after World War I.