PhD Candidate in History, the International Institute of Social History and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Alexander Geelen is a PhD researcher at the International Institute of Social History and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research focuses on the regulation of mobility in the Dutch colonial overseas empire of the eighteenth century. In his sub-project, called ‘Bordering up: regulating mobility through passes, walls and guards’, he studies the praxis and theory behind mobility regulation and researches how one’s social background determined his or her mobility. By using legislation found in the newly digitalized archives of the WIC and VOC and data sets including thousands of court cases from both these archives, Alexander Geelen will study how the trading companies envisioned mobility regulation and how legislation intended to carry out these regulations functioned on the ground. His research spans a large part of the Dutch overseas colonial holdings of the eighteenth century and includes (among others) Batavia, Cochin, Elmina and Paramaribo as case studies.