CIDRAL Visiting Fellows

2023-2024: Maartje van Gelder

Maartje van Gelder is an associate professor of early modern history at the University of Amsterdam. Her scholarship has focused on the history of migration and commerce in Italy, the nexus of art and power, Christian-Islamic contacts, and civic ritual and contestation. She is the co-founder and former director of the Amsterdam Centre for Urban History and, more recently, of the research network Archives of Power/The Power of Archives.

Her current book project examines the connection between power and record-keeping by analysing the intertwined processes of popular protest and archival politics in early modern Venice. Drawing on insights from critical archival studies and from subaltern studies, the book argues that the Venetian authorities suppressed popular protest not only on the streets, but also in the archive. Parts of that project have appeared as articles in The Journal of Modern History and Past and Present.

She has held research fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2019), the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (2018), the Italian Academy for Advanced Study in New York (2013) and visiting appointments at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (2023), Columbia University (2013) and Birkbeck (2011). Her earlier work examined how Dutch merchants connected the Mediterranean and Atlantic commercial worlds, thereby permanently changing the Venetian economy.

2022-2023: David Fedman

David Fedman is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Study in the Department of History at the University of California, Irvine. A specialist in the environmental history and historical geography of Japanese imperialism, his research has taken him to forests up and down the Pacific Rim, from Kamchatka to Kalimantan.

His first book, Seeds of Control: Japan’s Empire of Forestry in Colonial Korea (University of Washington Press, 2020), received the Forest History Society’s Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award and the American Historical Association’s Pacific Coast Branch Book Award.

His most recent book, as co-editor, is Forces of Nature: New Approaches to Korean Environments (Cornell University Press, 2023).

He is also, a bit further afield, engaged in an ongoing collaborative research project with geographer Cary Karacas on the incendiary bombing of Japan's wooden cities during World War II. This project is housed at