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Early Modern Mobilities: Migration, Communication and Knowledge in the Early Modern World


Dr D.H. (Djoeke) van Netten

Faculty of Humanities

Capaciteitsgroep Geschiedenis

Members of the research group


The history of mobility is one of the most burgeoning fields of historical scholarship today. In contrast to older historiographical traditions that stressed the cohesive, stable and fixed character of Europe’s pre-modern communities, recent scholarship contends that international entanglements, produced by labour migrants, refugees, adventurers, diplomatic agents and common travellers, were key to the early modern experience. The globalization of markets, the internationalisation of conflicts, and the expansion of media industries were also deeply affected by voluntary and coerced migrations on an unprecedented scale across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

This research group brings together early modern historians interested in the driving forces, characteristics and effects of mobility and migration. More specifically, they look at conflict and refugees, transnational diplomatic networks, the mobility of texts and images, and shifting world views as a result of travel and exchange. It provides an intellectual home to several NWO programmes (Vici, Vidi) as well as various individual projects within ASH.

Achievements and envisaged results

The Early Modern Mobilities group convenes several times a year. The group will act as a regular reading/writing group and we also expect to organize workshops and conferences, and publish articles in scholarly journals, monographs, and doctoral dissertations. Members of the group will continue to apply for research grants both from NWO and from international funding bodies (ERC, NWO).  


The group collaborates with a number of institutions, including the Amsterdam Museum and the National Maritime Museum, Amsterdam, and the Humanities Cluster of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

A Trompe l’Oeil of Newspapers, Letters and Writing Implements on a Wooden Board
A Trompe l’Oeil of Newspapers, Letters and Writing Implements on a Wooden Board - Edward Collier, c.1699