Current Research Project: The Poor Atlantic in Global History The history of the emergence of the transatlantic world has often been narrated in terms of the construction of wealth and power, and contextualised within the meta-narratives of capitalisation, globalisation, and empire. In thinking about the way the early transatlantic world relates to global history, historians have mapped the transatlantic flows of capital and commodities such as cotton and sugar. Yet something else surged below the surface, silently shaping the landscape of the transatlantic world and its place in global history: poverty. My book, The Poor Atlantic in Global History, will explore the role of poverty in the formation of the early transatlantic world and its relation to global history. I will integrate intellectual and socio-cultural historical approaches to interrogate the different meanings and experiences of poverty floating in the Atlantic. This problematisation of poverty provides a way to rethink landscapes of power in the Atlantic world and can contribute to our understanding of the history of colonialism. Further, mechanisms of charity and attempts to regulate poverty related to visions of ideal societies and provide insight into the visions of the world and ideal social orders that played a role in the construction of the Atlantic world. The book integrates the history of the late Middle Ages with the Early Modern period and challenges this frontier to create unique perspective on the history of poverty and its power in shaping global history.
Ongoing Research Projects I am in the process of developing an interdisciplinary research network. For information on past events see: https://blogs.eui.eu/maxweberprogramme/2014/12/09/spotlights-on-poverty/
Previous Research Project: The Franciscan Invention of the New World Integrating the history of the Middle Ages and using the perspectives of Franciscan history, this project offered an alternative history of the ‘discovery’ of the Americas and the unfolding of the early transatlantic world. Fundamentally it explored a deeper history of colonialism, not only by extending its chronology, but also by investigating the powerful role of ambivalence in the emergence of colonial regimes. It surveys the legal history of property, the complexity and politics of global knowledge networks, they early (and neglected) history of the Near Atlantic, landscapes of identity, violence, and the transatlantic inquisition, mysticism, apocalypticism, and religious imaginations of place.