Fields of interest
- Trans-imperial history
- Formal empires and informal networks
- Social and economic history of the French early modern empire
- Legal practices in the Dutch early modern empire
- Early modern Spanish cultural expansion
Elisabeth Heijmans is a historian of early modern empires with a particular emphasis on trans-imperial and cross-cultural interactions. Her PhD research focused on directors of the early modern French companies, their networks and their strategies. It demonstrates that French early modern expansion relied on company directors’ private trade, on cooperation with other European empires and on the integration in local political and trading contexts of overseas agents. Her current research relates to the governance of diversity in the early modern Dutch empire and focuses on practices of law in the different Dutch settlements.
In 2013 Elisabeth Heijmans completed her MA degree in history at the University of Louvain-la-Neuve on the circulation of knowledge in the Spanish early modern empire. In 2018 she defended her PhD dissertation entitled The Agency of Empire: Personal Connections and Individual Strategies in the Shaping of the French Early Modern Expansion (1686-1746)’ at Leiden University. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer at Leiden University within the project “Resilient Diversity: the Governance of Racial and Religious Plurality in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800”.