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Currently, I am working on my research project: The Power of the Prisoner: Agency, Emotions and Gender in Nineteenth-Century Dutch Prisons. This research is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) through the PhD-in-the-Humanities-programme. Using a cultural perspective and a microhistorical lens, I examine which possibilities prisoners had to influence their lives and had impact on the formation of the modern prison system. Concentrating on mechanisms of power, emotional regimes and emotional practices, I analyse how the Dutch prison system was gendered and how prisoners tried to manipulate, negotiate and resist these mechanisms for their own purposes. In doing so, this research gives insight into how suppressive systems leave room for individual agency and how, at the same time, individual agency is limited by structure.


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