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The English East India Company and Dutch United East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC) have been central to recent historical understandings of the ‘global turn’. Both companies moved swiftly from their foundational purpose in the early 17th century to trade ‘beyond the Cape of Good Hope’ towards violent colonial conquest, the aggressive establishment and protection of trade monopolies, and the controlled movement of free and enslaved peoples. Recent studies have emphasised the non-linearity of these changes, drawing attention to the importance of cross-cultural interactions, indigenous agency, and the need to situate the local back into these transnational histories. The ‘world’ which these changes created, however, has largely been understood through the lens of male experience. Unlike the simultaneously-emerging ‘Atlantic World’ - where correspondence, diaries, and legal records written about and by women as part of a wider migratory experience have survived in greater quantity – the relative paucity of women’s writing and presence within and across these Companies’ operations has meant that such spaces remain essentially male in the historical imagination.


*Post-Seminar Event*
The Convenors invite attendees and any other interested scholars to join us for a glass of wine in the IHR Common Room after the seminar to celebrate the publication of Eva J. Holmberg’s new book, British Encounters with Ottoman Minorities in the Early Seventeenth Century: 'Slaves' of the Sultan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022).


This is an in-person session only.


All welcome. This event is free but booking is required.