K. (Karin) Lurvink, MA

Karin LurvinkKarin Lurvink is affiliated to the VU University Amsterdam as a PhD-researcher. She obtained her master's degree in history at the VU in 2010, specializing in Global History. Her master education included one semester of Graduate School at the Louisiana State University, and a research internship at the National Institute for Slavery History and Heritage (Ninsee). Besides working on her PhD project, Karin teaches Global History at the VU University, and is prospected to obtain her Basic Qualification Education (BKO) certificate in April 2013.

PhD research: Truck system in transatlantic perspective: Louisiana and the Netherlands ca. 1865-1940

The truck system – an oppressive labor system through which laborers were forced to spend (part of) their wages at the company store – existed throughout the world in the nineteenth century. In the historiography the truck system has been analyzed locally and individually in various countries, while newspapers from the nineteenth century show that people were aware that the system existed internationally.

The truck system existed on cotton and sugar plantations in Louisiana as well. In the historiography it has been incorporated into the discussion of re-enslaving the former slaves. However, the truck system existed in countries that did not have a history of slavery, for example, the Netherlands. ‘Was the emergence, persistence, and demise of the truck system in Louisiana an integral part of re-enslavement of the former slaves after 1865, or was it an independent phenomenon that did not essentially differ from the developments in other countries in the same period?’

This research will contribute to the historical debate about the relationship between economic development and re-enslavement efforts in Louisiana, and, if possible, shed new light on the truck system in the peat bogs in the Netherlands.

Supervisors: Prof.dr. K. Davids, dr. W. Verstegen

E-mail: k.lurvink@vu.nl