Matthias van Rossum

21 March 2019 - 12:59

Senior Researcher

Matthias van Rossum (1984) is Senior Researcher working on Global Labour History with a focus on maritime labour history, coercion in labour relations and the dynamics of labour conflicts and social relations.

Matthias completed his dissertation at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2013. In his dissertation, he studied social and intercultural relations between European and Asian sailors working for the Dutch East India Company in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. This resulted in the study Werkers van de wereld (Uitgeverij Verloren: Amsterdam 2014).

Matthias completed the Researchmaster in Economic and Social History cum laude at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His study on the working of conflict and solidarity in intercultural relations among European and Asiatic sailors working on the Dutch intercontinental merchant fleet (1890-1945) was published as Hand aan Hand (Uitgeverij Aksant: Amsterdam 2009) and awarded with the J.R. Bruijn-prijs 2009.

Before his PhD, he worked as a teaching assistant (IIS, UvA) and as a junior researcher in a project on the history of psychotropic substances in a global perspective (Metamedica, VUmc) (2008).

After his PhD, Matthias worked as lecturer in early modern social history at Leiden University. He was also project leader of the Dutch Ships and Sailors project (Huygens ING, VU, 2013-2014) and worked as postdoc on the history of forced labour, convicts and internment in the Dutch East-Indies (1700-1942) as part of the Labour Camps project (2014-2015).

In 2015, he was awarded the prestigious VENI Grant of the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO). Matthias has published extensively on the Dutch maritime history, the history of sailors and maritime labour markets in Asia, the history of globalisation, slavery and slave trade, and other related topics.

He currently studies the history of slavery and slave trade in early modern (Dutch) Asia as principal investigator in the NWO research project Between local debts and global markets: Explaining slavery in South and Southeast Asia 1600-1800 (NWO Veni Grant, 2016-2019). He is co-applicant to the research projects Resilient diversity: The governance of racial and religious plurality in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800 (NWO Vrije Competitie Grant, 2017-2021) and Digital Forensics for Historical Documents (KNAW Onderzoeksfonds, 2018-2020).

IISH Staff | Matthias van Rossum - Photo by Martin van Welzen

Current Research Projects

  • Between local debts and global markets: Explaining slavery in South and Southeast Asia 1600-1800 (NWO Veni Grant, 2016-2019)
  • Resilient diversity: The governance of racial and religious plurality in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800 (NWO Vrije Competitie Grant, 2017-2021)
  • Historische Verkenningen Vakbeweging (2017-2018)