Roitman, Dr. Jessica Vance

Jessica Roitman is a researcher at KITLV working on Caribbean History. Her project, ‘The Dutch Windward Islands: Confronting the Contradictions of Belonging, 1815-2015,’ examines the intersection of migration, governance, and (hybridized) identities on the islands of Saba, St. Maarten, and St. Eustatius. This is part of the NWO-funded ‘Confronting Caribbean Challenges: Hybrid Identities and Governance in Small-scale Island Jurisdictions’ project.

Roitman received her BA in Religion at Maryville College (magna cum laude), received an MA in Latin American Studies from Vanderbilt University (magna cum laude), and a PhD in History from the University of Leiden in 2009 with a dissertation on inter-cultural trade and the Sephardim in early seventeenth-century Amsterdam. She was a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the recipient of a NWO-funded Rubicon post-doctoral fellowship at Birkbeck College, University of London.

 Roitman has worked on diverse topics including inter-cultural trade, networks and network failure, comparative migration histories, the construction of identities and ethnicities, trans-nationality, conflict resolution, cross-cultural encounters, and the dynamics of colonial law-making. She has previously worked at KITLV on the NWO– funded Dutch Atlantic Connections, 1680-1795 project which focused on the circulation of people, goods and ideas in the (Dutch) Atlantic world. Roitman also lectures on Early Modern History at the University of Leiden.

Selected Publications

(with Karwan Fatah-Black) “Being speculative is better than to not do it at all”: an interview with Natalie Zemon Davis‘ Itinerario 39 no. 1 (20015): 3-15

(with Han Jordaan)’Fighting a Foregone Conclusion: Local Interest Groups, West Indian merchants, and St. Eustatius, 1780-1810,’ Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis 12 no. 1 (2015): 79-100

‘Economie, imperium en eschatologie: de mondiale context van de joodse immigratie in de Amerika’s tussen 1650 en 1670’ in: Julie -Marthe Cohen (ed.), Joden in de Cariben. pp. 40-53/ Zutphen: Walburg, 2015.

(with Gert Oostindie) Dutch Atlantic Connections, 1680-1800: Linking Empires, Bridging Borders. Leiden: Brill, vii+422.

(with Aviva Ben-Ur) ‘Adultery Here and There: Crossing Sexual Boundaries in the Dutch Jewish Atlantic’ in: Gert Oostindie and Jessica Vance Roitman (eds.), Dutch Atlantic Connections, 1680-1800: Linking Empires, Bridging Borders, pp. 185-223. Leiden: Brill, 2014.

‘“A Flock of Wolves Instead of Sheep”: The Dutch West India Company and conflict resolution in the Jewish Community of Curacao in the 18th Century’, in: Jane Gerber (ed.), The Jews in the Caribbean, pp. 85-105. Oxford: Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2013).

Click here for Roitman’s  CV (in PDF).