Dr James Boyd

Honorary Research Fellow

School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Email:
boydjd2@cardiff.ac.uk
Location:
John Percival Building

Research interests

  • Atlantic migration from German Europe to North America
  • The micro-economics of migration
  • Migration networks in the context of German and American industrialization
  • Migrant transit systems
  • Prospect theory, risk, and the emigration decision

Research projects

2015 – Present: ‘Migration and Decision Making: Contemporary Echoes of Historical Phenomena’ Cambridge Humanities Research Grant 2016/0119, University of Cambridge.

2013-2015: ‘Connecting Colony & Republic: German-American Migration Across the Revolutionary Divide’ Gerda Henkel Foundation Forschungsstipendium AZ/37/V/13; Horner Library & Post-doctoral fellowship of the DHI, Washington DC.

I am a historian of Transatlantic migration, focusing on the largest European migration stream to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries, that of German-speaking Central Europe. I am currently conducting post-doctoral research for the University of Cambridge, on the project ‘Migration and Decision Making: Contemporary Echoes of Historical Phenomena’. The project examines prospect and risk in the migration decision, using historical findings to frame contemporary field research. 

My research also includes the microeconomic study of migrant circumstances, the transport and information networks used to reach North America, and how German-Atlantic networks fit within broader developments of German and American industrialization. From 2013-15, my research focused specifically on the endurance of colonial-era migration networks into the age of the American Republic. ‘Connecting Colony and Republic: German American Migration Across the Revolutionary Divide’ was supported by both the Gerda Henkel Foundation and the German Historical Institute, Washington DC. As well as demonstrating cross-century familial and community networks, a principal outcome of this research was to establish why indentured servitude disappeared from the German-Atlantic System. 

My doctoral research, supported by the AHRC, Royal Historical Society and Pasold Research Fund, was completed in 2013, and concerned the microeconomics of migrant communities in 19th century German Europe.

Projects

2015 – Present: ‘Migration and Decision Making: Contemporary Echoes of Historical Phenomena’ Cambridge Humanities Research Grant 2016/0119, University of Cambridge.

2013-2015: ‘Connecting Colony & Republic: German-American Migration Across the Revolutionary Divide’ Gerda Henkel Foundation Forschungsstipendium AZ/37/V/13; Horner Library & Post-doctoral fellowship of the DHI, Washington DC.

Publications

Articles

Boyd, J. 2016. ‘The Rhine Exodus of 1816/17 within the Developing German-Atlantic World’ The Historical Journal, 59 (1), pp. 99-123. 

Boyd, J. 2015. ‘The Role of Rural Textile Production in South West German Emigration: Württemberg Communities in the Early Nineteenth Century’ Textile History, 46 (1), pp. 28-49.

Chapters: 

Boyd, J. 2016. ‘Das Dorf Ölbronn: ein Spiegel des deutsche-amerikanische Auswanderung’ in Der Enzkreis: Historisches und Aktuelles, bd 15 Ostfildern, Thorbecke, 2016 [In press]

Boyd, J. 2015. ‘Merchants of Migration: Keeping the German Atlantic Connected in America’s Early National Period’ Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present, vol. 1, edited by Marianne S. Wokeck. German Historical Institute, Washington DC.

http://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=229

Reviews:

Boyd, J. 2016. ‘The Enzkreis District Archive, Germany’ Dissertation Reviews – Fresh from the Archives