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Marjolein Schepers is a researcher in migration history. Her research focuses on systems of inclusion and exclusion, social citizenship and migration infrastructures from the eighteenth century to the present. In October 2019 she started a  postdoctoral research fellowship of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) titled Just Passing Through? Urban Infrastructures of Transit Migration in the Low Countries, 1780-1870. She was affiliated with the Early Modern and Eighteenth Century Centre of the University of Warwick as IAS Fernandes Research Fellow, to collaborate with Beat Kumin, Rosa Salzberg and Felicita Tramontana on the subjects of 'Passanten' and transient migration infrastructures in the 18th-19th centuries.

She is specialised in migration history, as well as urban, rural and social history from the eighteenth century to the present more broadly; and has previously worked on topics as migration, settlement and belonging in the border regions of 18th-century Flanders and France (a monograph on the topic is in preparation with Queens-McGill University Press); as well as the implementation of civic integration policy in 20th-century Flanders and the spaces of arrival for colonial and postcolonial migrants from Congo in Belgium, 1908-1990.

Since April 2022, Marjolein is affiliated with KU Leuven as a postdoctoral researcher on the project 'An Interdisciplinary History of Prostitution in Belgium', in collaboration with Magaly Rodriguez Garcia, Stef Adriaenssens and Maarten Loopmans. She uses historical, economic and geographical research methods to study the trajectories of sex workers and the migration infrastructures of the commercial sex sector in 19th-century Antwerp. She also co-taught on the course History of Decoloniality and Subalternity at KU Leuven.

Education/Academic qualification

History, Joint PhD, Ghent University

Award Date: 31 May 2019

History, Joint PhD, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Award Date: 31 May 2019

History (Social History, International Relations and Postcolonial History), Bachelor, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Teaching in History and Social Sciences, Master of Education, Leiden University

History: Migration and Global Interdependence, Research Master, Leiden University

External positions

Lecturer in Postcolonial and Subaltern History, KU Leuven

Sep 2022Aug 2023

Postdoctoral Researcher, KU Leuven

Apr 2022 → …

Lecturer in Urban History, Brussels Centre for Urban Studies


Visiting Research Fellow, Leiden University


IAS Fernandes 2020-21 Research Fellow, University of Warwick


Visiting PhD Research Fellow, University of Leicester

Jan 2018Apr 2018

Core Member, Denktank Minerva


PhD student (joint PhD), Ghent University

Jan 2015Apr 2019


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