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Thomas Verbruggen verdedigt met succes zijn doctoraatsthesis

  • 6 mei 2020

Op woensdag 29 april verdedigde HOST-lid Thomas Verbruggen met succes zijn doctoraatsthesis. In zijn proefschrift 'Maids on the Move': The Migration of Foreign Domestic Servants to Antwerp and Brussels (1850-1910)' werpt hij nieuw licht vanuit het perspectief van die twee bestemmingssteden op de migratieprocessen van dienstmeiden en de infrastructuur die zij gebruikten. De juryleden waren unaniem tevreden over de frisse inzichten van het proefschrift en de kwaliteit van het historisch onderzoek van Verbruggen.

Het doctoraatsproject werd begeleid door Hilde Greefs (Centrum voor Stadsgeschiedenis, Universiteit Antwerpen) en Anne Winter (HOST, Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Lees hier een samenvatting van zijn doctoraatsthesis (in het Engels):

In the second half of the nineteenth century, female domestic servants were no longer moving exclusively within regional traditional migration circuits but started to explore new migration paths crossing longer distances. This transition towards increasing levels of long-distance servant migration is intrinsically linked to a general democratization of long-distance migration. Due to innovations in the transport and communication infrastructure, long-distance migration became an option to a growing share of the European population. The main aim of this project is to compare the formation and development of different types of international female migration circuits during this period and analyse the role of various human and non-human actors within these developments. Three levels of analysis return in each chapter: a comparison between different types of migration circuits, an analysis of changes over time, and a comparison between two types of cities. More specifically, the focus is on international servant migration to two Belgian cities: Antwerp, an international commercial hub, and Brussels, the capital and largest city of the country. Existing research has revealed a democratization and feminization of long-distance migration towards both cities which has been connected to an increasing number of foreign domestic servants. As mentioned above, Antwerp and Brussels share this evolution in their migration field with other European cities which makes this study not only relevant to scholars interested in the social history of Belgium, but also to those who want to gain insights into the effects of the nineteenth-century transformations on overall female migration patterns.

Bron afbeelding: SAA, Beeldbank, Foto-Of#2942. Monochrome foto van twee dienstmeiden die een praatje maken in een landhuis van de bourgeoisie in Antwerpen, gedateerd tussen 1890 en 1900.