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Adrian van der Velde

Profile picture for Adrian van der Velde

Contact Information

History, 309 Gregory Hall
810 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Graduate Teaching Mentor


I am a scholar of early modern Atlantic World and European history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I recently defended my dissertation, entitled “When Unwelcome Night Came,” which examines the role of nocturnality in the British, Dutch, and French Caribbean in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Via the categories of mobility, religion, sociability, technology and production, and violence, my work employs a cultural methodology to explore the ways that people discussed and experienced the night and applies it as a lens to see the way that marginalized people—especially the enslaved—could use it to resist colonial authority.

Research Interests

Atlantic World



Cultural History

Early Modern Europe

History of the Night


MA, Wright State University

BA, Cedarville University


Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2022-2023)

7th Summer Academy of Atlantic History Travel Grant (2021)

William C. Widenor Teaching Award (2020-2021)

Graduate College Dissertation Travel Grant (2020)

ABD Fellowship (2019-2020)

Awards and Honors

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students: Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021

William C. Widenor Teaching Award (2020-2021)

Graduate Student Excellence Award - Wright State University (2016)

Graduate Student of the Year, Department of History - Wright State University (2016)

Courses Taught

Instructor of Record:

HIST 100 - Global History

HIST 255 - British Isles to 1688

HIST 308 - The Caribbean since 1492: From Columbus to Castro

HIST 348 - Early European Absolutism and Expansion

HIST 498 - Violence in Early Modern Europe and the Atlantic World

Teaching Assistant:

HIST 140 - Western Civilization to 1660 (advanced composition)

HST 1200 - West and the World since 1500

Highlighted Publications

van der Velde, Adrian. “Freedom, Religion, and Sugar: Nocturnality’s Promise in the Early Modern Caribbean,” SISMEL Series, Micrologus Library (Forthcoming in 2024).

van der Velde, Adrian. “Time(scapes) in the Atlantic World.” Oxford Bibliographies in “Atlantic History,” EIC Trevor Burnard. New York: Oxford University Press, 2023. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780199730414-0381 

van der Velde, Adrian. “Illuminating Colonial Spaces: Lighting the Caribbean in the Long Eighteenth Century,” Groniek Historisch Tijdschrift, No. 222, “Energie,” Winter 2020.