Tijl Vanneste


Tijl Vanneste successfully defended his Ph.D., Commercial Culture and Merchant Networks: Eighteenth-Century Diamond Traders in Global History in October 2009 at the European University Institute in Florence. After that, he was a research assistant at Oxford Brookes University (UK), working on the medico-legal experience in early modern France. Between November 2009 and November 2010, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Utrecht University (the Netherlands), where he worked on a project entitled, There’s something about diamonds - The role of formal and informal institutions in the organization of the diamond trade in pre-industrial Europe, directed by Prof. Beate Volker and Dr. Oscar Gelderblom.

Most recently, he published his first monograph, with Pickering & Chatto, Global Trade and Commercial Networks: Eighteenth-Century Diamond Merchants (Monograph in the seriesPerspectives in Economic and Social History, edited by Andrew August and Robert E Wright (London: Pickering & Chatto, June 2011)). He was a scientific advisor for the Antwerp diamond museum regarding an exhibition on Brazilian diamonds, in the framework of Europalia Brazil 2011. His research interests remain strongly attached to the field of economic history, in analyzing social and cultural underpinnings of trade as well as in researching the origins of our globalized present-day market society. He carries a strong interest in the history of colonial and independent Brazil and has published, with Prof. Eddy Stols, a chapter in a book about a Belgian diplomat-artist working and living in Brazil in the early nineteenth century (MARTINS, Carlos, PICCOLI, Valeria and STOLS, Eddy (Eds.). O diplomata e desenhista Benjamin Mary e as relacoes da Belgica com o Imperio do Brasil (Sao Paulo: Editora Linha Aberta, 2006), pp. 93-122). He is currenty working on the development of the Brazilian economy in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries, and is planning research on the topic of modernity, which he intends to analyze through issues of identity and belonging, and the tension between the local and the global that plays in these matters.

During his fellowship at the Beinecke, he will analyze the business correspondence of the diamond merchant Jean Chardin within the framework of a larger study on the institutional mechanisms on which the diamond trade has relied throughout history.

James M. Osborn Fellowship in English Literature and History
There's Something About Diamonds . . . The Role of Formal and Informal Institutions in the Organization of the Diamond Trade in Pre-industrial Europe
Visiting Fellow


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