Hugo Soly

Professor emeritus Hugo Soly (1945) studied history at the Universiteit Gent. He obtained his PhD in 1973, for which he received the History Prize of the Crédit Communal de Belgique one year later. From 1967 to 1974, he worked for the National Fund for Scientific Research, and from 1974 to 1987, he was employed by the Universiteit Gent. Since 1987, he has been teaching at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he has been appointed full professor. From 1994 to 2002, he was director of the VUB Research Centre for the Study of Preindustrial Production Processes and Labour Relations and from 2002 onwards, he has been head of its successor, HOST, which functions as the core group of the FWO Research Group 'Labor, Labor Relations and Labor Markets in Western Europe, 1500-2000', in which twenty other research units from eight European countries and the United States participate. Together with Catharina Lis, he conducts comparative and cross-period research on industrialization and entrepreneurship, poverty and social policy, craft guilds, forms of deviant behavior, and perceptions of labor. In 2001-2002, he was awarded the Belgian Francqui chair by the Universiteit Antwerpen.


Core publications

  • Bert De Munck, Steven Kaplan & Hugo Soly (eds.), Learning on the Shop Floor. Historical Perspectives on Apprenticeship (New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2007).
  • Catharina Lis, Maarten Prak, Leo Lucassen & Hugo Soly (eds.), Craft Guilds in the Early Modern Low Countries: Work, Power and Representation (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006).
  • Catharina Lis & Hugo Soly, Disordered Lives: Eighteenth-Century Families and Their Unruly Relatives (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1996).