Universiteit Leiden

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Catia Antunes

Professor History of Global Economic Networks

Prof.dr. C.A.P. Antunes
+31 71 527 2735

Catia Antunes is a Professor of History of Global Economic Networks at the institute for History.

More information about Catia Antunes

Cátia Antunes (1976) obtained her degree in History from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, after reading at the Centre of Urban History, University of Leicester (UK) and the History Department, Leiden University (The Netherlands). She obtained her PhD in November 2004, under the supervision of Prof. Richard T. Griffiths and Prof. Femme. S. Gaastra, with the dissertation Globalisation in the Early Modern Period: the economic relationship between Amsterdam and Lisbon, 1640-1705.

In 2003 she became Assistant Professor at the Economic and Social History section, Institute for History, Leiden University. In 2004 and 2005 she did post-doc research for the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia in Portugal. She spent the academic year of 2007-2008 at the History Department of Yale University, on a Fulbright Research grant as a guest of Ezra Stiles College, under Prof. Stuart B. Schwartz. As of March 2013, she has been appointed Associate Professor in Early Modern Economic History.

Catia’s interest for cross-cultural business networks during the Early Modern period has developed into a broader research profile about free agency and empire building in the Netherlands in comparative perspective with other Western European Empires. This research profile has been awarded a VIDI grant by the Dutch National Science Foundation (NWO) in May 2012. This comparative approach will be further explored with a global intake on the way Western European and Ottoman maritime monopolies shaped free agency and informal empire building before the Age of Revolutions and has been awarded a Starting Grant for the research project 'Fighting Monopolies' by the European Research Council in July 2012.

In 2014, Catia expanded her research into a new interdisciplinary field of research. Together with maritime archeologists, specialists in dendrochronology, climatologists and environmentalists, looked at factors surrounding the use of wood, exchange and depletion of forestry resources in Early Modern Europe, from a historical perspective (Marie Curie-ITN scheme). The ForSeaDiscovery enquires into the link between forestry, sea power and economic growth. 

From September 2017 on, Cátia explores the complexities in the governance of the Dutch empire, from the perspective of diversity in the project 'Resilient Diversity: the Governance of Racial and Religious Plurality in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800'. In a joint venture with Karwan Fatah Black (Leiden University), Ulbe Bosma (IISG-Amsterdam) and Matthias van Rossum (IISG-Amsterdam), we question how Dutch colonial institutions govern diversity in North America, the Caribbean, Western Africa and Asia. At the same time, we are looking for the reasons why institutions that govern diversity were so resilience and have had lasting impact on modern systems of governance.

In 2020 Cátia obtained an NWO Vici grant for the project 'Exploiting the Empire of Others: Dutch Investment in Foreign Colonial Resources, 1570-1800'.

Research interests

  • Urban History 1500-2000
  • Port History 1500-2000
  • Cross-Cultural Entrepeneurship, 1500-1800
  • European and Ottoman expansion overseas in comparative perspective
  • Social Network Theory
  • Globalisation in History and the Rise of the West
  • Governance of Early Modern diversity

Grants and Honors

  • 2017-2021: VrijeCompetitie (NWO)
  • 2014-2015: ForSeaDiscovery, Marie Curie ITN Grant
  • 2013-2018: Member of the Young Academy of Europe
  • 2013-2018: ERC-Starting Grant (European Research Council)
  • 2012-2016: VIDI, Dutch National Science Foundation (NWO)
  • 2011-2012: Carla Musterd Teaching Award for Best Teacher 2011, History Department, Leiden University
  • 2007-2008: Fulbright Research Fellow at the History Department, Yale University (USA) for the project: Atlantic Entrepreneurship: cross-cultural business networks, 1580-1776.
  • 2005-2006: post-doctoral grant by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia ( Portugal) for the project: Amsterdamand the Portuguese ports 1580-1640: globalization in comparative perspective

Major publications

Antunes C.A, P. & Fatah-Black K.J. (eds.) (2016), Explorations in History and Globalization. London: Routledge.

Antunes C.A.P. & Polónia A. (eds.) (2016), Beyond Empires: Global, Self-Organizing, Cross-Imperial Networks, 1500-1800. Leiden: Brill.

Polónia A. & Antunes C. (eds.) (2016), Seaports in the First Global Age. Portuguese Agents, Networks and Interactions (1500-1800). Porto: UPorto Edições.

Antunes C.A.P. & Gommans J.L.L. (eds.) (2015), Exploring the Dutch Empire: Agents, Networks and Institutions, 1600 – 2000. London: Bloomsbury Publishers.

Trivellato F., Halevi L. & Antunes C. (eds.) (2014), Religion and Trade: Cross-Cultural Exchanges in World History, 1000-1900. New York: Oxford University Press.

Antunes C.A.P. & Ribeiro da Silva F.I. (2010), Finding the way: Lisbon Inquisition Index database. Lisbon: Arquivo Nacional Torre do Tombo.

Antunes C.A.P. (2009), Lisboa e Amesterdao 1640-1705. Um caso de globalizacao na Historia Moderna. Lisbon: Livros do Horizonte.

Antunes C.A.P. (2005), translation M. Wiesebron: Brazilie in de Nederlandse archieven (1624-1654): de West-Indische Compagnie: overgekomen brieven en papieren uit Brazilie en Curaçao (O Brasil em arquivos neerlandeses (1624-1654): a primeira Companhia das Índias Ocidentais Neerlandesa: cartas e papéis vindos do Brasil e de Curaçao). Leiden: CNWS.

Antunes C.A.P. (2004), Globalisation in the Early Modern period: the economic relationship between Amsterdam and Lisbon, 1640-1705. Amsterdam: Aksant.

PhD supervision

Cátia has been PhD supervisor of the following candidates:

Erik Odegard; Kate Ekama; Joris van den Tol; Kaarle Wirta; Julie Svalastog; Elizabeth Heijmans; Edgar Cravo Bertrand Pereira

Professor History of Global Economic Networks

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Economische en Sociale geschiedenis

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 2.11




  • No relevant ancillary activities
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