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Dr Guido van Meersbergen

Guido Van MeersbergenLeverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow

Tel: (+44)24 765 23624 (internal extension 23624)
Email: g dot van-meersbergen at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

Academic Profile

2016-2019: Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, University of Warwick

2015-2016: Max Weber Fellowship, European University Institute, Florence

2015: Teaching Fellow, Universiteit van Amsterdam and Universiteit Leiden

2010-2014: PhD, History, University College London

2009-2010: MA, European History, University College London

2007-2009: MA Research, History, Universiteit van Amsterdam

2004-2007: BA, History, Universiteit van Amsterdam

Current Research

Guido van Meersbergen is a historian of early modern global encounters whose research focuses on cross-cultural trade and diplomacy in early modern South Asia. During his Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (2016-2019) he will complete a project entitled Cross-Cultural Diplomacy Compared: European Diplomats in South Asia (1600-1750), which aims to contribute to a global history of early modern diplomatic exchange. Focusing on three geographical regions – the Mughal Empire, Southern India, and Ceylon –, “Cross-Cultural Diplomacy Compared” will analyse how early modern European and South Asian diplomatic actors interacted at different South Asian courts, forged diplomatic relationships, and mediated cultural difference. For a fuller project description, please visit the project page.

Guido is currently completing his first monograph, provisionally entitled Ethnography and Encounter: The Dutch and English East India Companies in South Asia (1600-1720). This book argues that the ways in which agents of the Dutch and English East India Companies (VOC and EIC) experienced and represented their Asian host environments had a profound bearing on their operations. Analysing how corporate writing cultures and ethnographic discourses were bound up with the Companies’ involvement in cross-cultural contact, this book presents case studies of Dutch and English engagements in India and Sri Lanka in the fields of commerce, diplomacy, and colonial governance. Ethnography and Encounter will be the first monograph to document the manifold ways in which ethnographic understandings shaped the outlook and actions of EIC and VOC representatives on the ground.

Selected publications

  • ‘Writing East India Company History after the Cultural Turn: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Seventeenth-Century EIC and VOC’, Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies (forthcoming)

  • The Merchant-Diplomat in Comparative Perspective: Dutch and other Embassies to the Court of Aurangzeb, 1660-1666’, eds. Tracey Sowerby and Jan Hennings, Practices of Diplomacy in the Early Modern World c.1410-1800 (New York: Routledge, forthcoming)

  • ‘Dutch and English Approaches to Cross-Cultural Trade in Mughal India and the Problem of Trust, circa 1600-1630’, eds. Cátia Antunes and Amélia Polónia, Beyond Empires: Global, Self-Organizing, Cross-Imperial Networks, 1500-1800 (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2016), 69-87.

  • ‘Kijken en bekeken worden: Een Nederlandse gezant in Delhi, 1677-1678’, ed. Lodewijk Wagenaar (ed.), Aan de overkant. Ontmoetingen in dienst van de VOC en WIC (1600-1800) (Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2015), 201-216.

  • ‘‘In goede en vertroude handen’: Communicatie en beleid bij de VOC tijdens de Hollandse Oorlog (1672-1678)’, De Zeventiende Eeuw 27.1 (2011), 80-101.

  • ‘De uitgeversstrategie van Jacob van Meurs belicht: De Amsterdamse en ‘Antwerpse’ edities van Johan Nieuhofs Gezantschap (1665-1666), De Zeventiende Eeuw 26.1 (2010), 73-90.

External Roles