Torsten Feys

Postdoctoral Researcher in Maritime and Migration History (19th-20th century)

Senior researchers Historical Research into Urban Transformation Processes (HOST) Migration & Diversity
  • Current position Postdoctoral Researcher in Maritime and Migration History (19th-20th century)
  • Contact Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Department of History
    Faculty of Arts and Philosophy
    Building C – Room 5.427
    Pleinlaan 2
    BE-1050 Brussels
  • Phone +32 2 629 25 80
  • E-mail
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Torsten Feys obtained a Master in History at the University of Ghent in 2003. In May 2008, he successfully defended his PhD A Business Approach to Transatlantic Migration: The introduction of steam shipping on the North-Atlantic and its impact on the European Exodus 1840-1914 at the European University Institute. He subsequently worked as a freelance researcher for the Red Star Line Museum (Antwerp) and as a postdoctoral researcher on a public history project 30 jaar OVAM in historisch perspectief. In 2011 he was awarded a FWO postdoctoral research grant with the project ‘The Global Rise of Modern Borders and Irregular Maritime Migration Networks (1875- 1930): A Comparative Research Project on Atlantic and Pacific Migration Systems’. His research centers on the commercialization of migrant transport, migration polices, their enforcement and their evasion. Currently, he works as a postdoctoral fellow on a Brain-Belspo project ‘Outcast or Embraced? Clusters of Foreign Immigrants in Belgium, c. 1840-1890’ which analyses alien mobility patterns and migration policies in Belgium. His research centers on expulsion during the second half of the nineteenth century. He combines this position with a part-time FWO fellowship at the History Department of the University of Ghent.

Key publications

Torsten Feys (2015) Between the public and the State: The Shipping Lobby’s Strategies against US Immigration Restrictions 1882–1917, International Migration Review 49(4).

Torsten Feys (2014) Shipping Companies as Carriers and Barriers to Human Mobility: The Atlantic and Pacific Border Regimes of the United States, World History Connected, 11(3): 34 pars.

Torsten Feys (2013) The battle for the Migrants: The Introduction of Steamships on the North-Atlantic and its Impact on the European Exodus Research, Maritime History 50 (St. John’s: International Maritime Economic History Association)

Torsten Feys (2010) The visible hand of shipping interests in American immigration laws, Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis 7(1): 38-62.

Torsten Feys (2008) Prepaid tickets to ride to the New World: The New York Continental Conference and transatlantic steerage fares 1885-1895, Revista de Historia Economica 26(2): 173-204.

Previous education

2008: PhD in History, European University Institute, Italy

2003: Licentiate in History, Ghent University, Belgium

2001: Candidate in History, Ghent University, Belgium

Previous positions

2011-2015: postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), CCC Ghent University, Belgium

2010-2011: postdoctoral researcher, IPG, Ghent University, Belgium

2008-2009: freelance researcher Red Star Line Museum, Belgium