Torsten Feys

Dr. 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.


Core publications

  • Torsten Feys,The battle for the Migrants: The Introduction of Steamships on the North-Atlantic and its Impact on the European Exodus Research in Maritime History vol. 50 (St. John’s: International Maritime Economic History Association 2013).
  • Torsten Feys ‘Shipping Companies as Carriers and Barriers to Human Mobility: The Atlantic and Pacific Border Regimes of the United States,’ World History Connected, 11:3 (2014) 34 pars.
  • Torsten Feys ‘Between the public and the State: The Shipping Lobby’s Strategies against US Immigration Restrictions 1882–1917,’ International Migration Review 49:4 (2015)