Dr. Rukmini Barua
Universität Göttingen, Germany
Intimacy and Dispossession: Working Lives in the Margins of Delhi
Rukmini Barua recently completed her doctorate in history from the Centre for Modern Indian Studies at the University of Göttingen. Previously, she trained in sociology at the Delhi School of Economics. Her PhD research focused on workers’ neighbourhoods in Ahmedabad. Drawing from both archival and ethnographic material, Barua’s PhD thesis traced the histories of the industrial areas of Ahmedabad from the 1920s to the 2000s. In particular, her thesis explored aspects of local political practices, property relations and communal violence in order to tell the story of the transformation of Ahmedabad’s labour spaces. Fieldwork for the doctoral research was conducted in two neighbourhoods in Eastern Ahmedabad – a former textile mill area and a more recently-settled industrial estate. Through this comparative approach, Barua has attempted to draw out the everyday dynamics of two interconnected socio-spatial formations.
Her doctoral and post-doctoral work broadly examine dimensions of everyday life in workers’ neighbourhoods in India. Her research interests include questions of informality, workers’ politics and mediation, transformation of urban spaces and property relations and gender. While at re:work, Barua will be working towards a journal article based on material collected during her post-doctoral project. This draws on oral narratives and life histories from Wazirpur, an industrial area in north Delhi.
In the past five decades, Delhi has witnessed phenomenal urban, industrial and demographic changes. Underpinning these transformations is a larger movement towards precarity. Barua’s post-doctoral research project attempts to understand the transformation of the domestic worlds of Delhi’s contemporary working poor. Thus, it broadly examines the social constitution of the home. More specifically, it explores the various forms of domestic arrangements that have emerged, the possibilities of romance, the negotiations of marital life and the formation of and the threats upon the household in a situation characterised by precarious living standards.
‘The Textile Labour Association and Dadagiri. Power and Politics in the Working-Class Neighborhoods of Ahmedabad’. International Labor and Working-Class History 87 (2015): 63–91.
Last updated: April 13, 2018
Dr. Alla Bolotova
Европейский Университет в Санкт-Петербурге (European University at Saint Petersburg), Russia
Life and Work in Single Industry Towns in the Russian Arctic
Alla Bolotova is a research fellow at European University St Petersburg’s department of anthropology. She completed her PhD in sociology at the University of Lapland in 2014 and graduated with magna cum laude. Her dissertation dealt with perceptions of the environment and practices of interaction with natural environments by people who settled in the new industrial cities built during the soviet period on the Northern periphery of the USSR. She also reconstructed and analysed concepts of nature that were characteristic of official Soviet discourse. Her current research interests are industrial communities and human—environmental interaction in the Arctic. At re:work, Bolotova will be working on a project entitled “Life and work in single industry towns in the Russian Arctic”. During this project she intends to analyse the life stories of people living in new industrial towns built during the 20th century in the Russian Arctic. Bolotova will be using an in-depth ethnographic and historical study to investigate the lived experiences of several generations of northerners who worked and lived in these towns during the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. Her study particularly focuses on the context of industrialization and processes of urbanization in the country and on the global level.
‘Colonization of Nature in the Soviet Union. State Ideology, Public Discourse, and the Experience of Geologists’. Historical Social Research 29, no. 3 (2004): 104–23.
‘Conquering Nature and Engaging with the Environment in the Russian Industrialised North’. PhD dissertation, University of Lapland, 2014.
‘Engaging with the Environment in the Industrialized Russian North’. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society 36, no. 2 (2012): 28–36.
‘Habitual Risk Taking in Dzerzhinsk. Daily Life in the Capital of Soviet Chemistry’. Research in Social Problems and Public Policy 14 (2007): 223–252.
‘Loving and Conquering Nature. Shifting Perceptions of the Environment in the Industrialised Russian North’. Europe-Asia Studies 64, no. 4 (2012): 645–671.
with Florian Stammler. ‘How the North Became Home. Attachment to Place among Industrial Migrants in the Murmansk Region of Russia’. In Migration in the Circumpolar North. Issues and Contexts, edited by Lee Huskey and Chris Southcott, 193–220. Alexandria, VA: CCI Press, 2010.
Last updated: October 01, 2016
Professor Frank Bösch
Universität Potsdam, Germany
Turning into the Present: Global Events and the Transformation of Germany around 1979
Frank Bösch is director of the Center for Contemporary History in Potsdam and professor of German and European 20th-century history at the University of Potsdam. Educated at the universities of Hamburg and Göttingen, he obtained his PhD in 2001 in Göttingen with a thesis on Germany’s Christian Democratic Union covering 1945 to 1969. He taught as assistant professor (Junior-Professor) at the University of Bochum (2002-2007) and as professor at the University of Gießen, where he was also head of the graduate school “Transnational Media Events”. In 2005 he was a research fellow at the GHI in London.
He is the author of several monographs, including books on media history, on the impact of scandals in Victorian Britain and imperial Germany, and on the social history of political parties and clubs. Frank Bösch is co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Zeithistorische Forschungen/Studies in Contemporary History, and co-editor of several series of books.
In 1979 a number of events with global repercussions prompted paradigm shifts. Distant events such as the revolutions in Iran and Nicaragua, the protests in Poland, the economic changes in Britain and China, the nuclear accident near Harrisburg, the oil crisis and the flight of the “boat people” from Vietnam even changed perceptions, practices and political decisions in Germany. Many of these events represented challenges and have become hot topics for current history – like neoliberalism, radical Islamism, the transformation of socialism, energy problems, and mass movements of refugees. My project analyses the emergence and the transnational impact of such simultaneous events on the Federal Republic of Germany. It researches these changes as responses to perceived crises at the end of the 1970s and as manifestations and practices of globalization.
‘Arbeit, Freizeit, Schlaf. Alltagspraktiken als Perspektive der bundesdeutschen Zeitgeschichte’. In Mehr Als Eine Erzählung. Zeitgeschichtliche Perspektiven auf die Bundesrepublik, edited by Frank Bajohr, Anselm Doering-Manteuffel, Claudia Kemper, Detlef Siegfried, and Axel Schildt, 301–13. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2016.
‘L’année 1979. Transformations globales et bouleversements annonciateurs’. Histoire, Économie & Société 35, no. 2 (2016): 77–92.
Mass Media and Historical Change. Germany in International Perspective, 1400 to the Present. Translated by Freya Buechter. New York, NY: Berghahn, 2015.
‘Zwischen Schah und Khomeini. Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland und die islamische Revolution im Iran’. Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 63, no. 3 (2015): 319–350
‘Energy Diplomacy. West Germany, the Soviet Union and the Oil Crises of the 1970s’. Historical Social Research 39, no. 4 (2014): 165–85.
‘Moving History. Fictional Films and the Nazi Past in Germany since the Late 1970s’. In Popular Historiographies in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Cultural Meanings, Social Practices, edited by Sylvia Paletschek, 103–20. Oxford: Berghahn, 2011.
Last updated: October 01, 2016
Dr. Naveen Chander
University of Delhi, India
Displaced Destinies: Transformation of Working Class Lives in Contemporary Delhi
Naveen Chander completed his PhD in 2014 from the Department of Political Science, University of Delhi. The focus of his PhD was the historical and social context of the debates and movement around the language question with particular focus on the Hindi movement in north India from the early 20th century to the 1960s. In particular, Chander’s PhD research shows the continuities and struggle between different tendencies within the Hindi movement, constituting twin potentialities of the language movement – one hegemonic, the other democratic. He has also worked with the Indian languages programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies to archive and review social science literature in Hindi, most of which was published in the last thirty years, with some dating back to eighty years.
His other core interests have included the city and labour, both in the form of research and activism. His focus has been on migrant construction workers in Delhi, on the displacement of workers and slum dwellers, and the condition and politics of contract labour. As a researcher, Chander has looked at the history of the working class in shaping the landscape of urban politics in Delhi, and the way in which informality has been historically produced. During his ICAS fellowship, his research studied the contemporary history of working class lives in Delhi.
His research project at re:work is titled Displaced Destinies: Transformation of Work and Working Lives in Contemporary Delhi. This project seeks to understand the contemporary history of working class lives by mapping the transformations in the world of work and work relations in the city of Delhi. The project will attempt to do so by focusing on the making and unmaking of the working class neighbourhoods of Sabzi Mandi—Ghantaghar in North Delhi and Karmpura in West Delhi, through an ethnographic and historical study of the locality and the experiences of its denizens. Studying working lives primarily through the lens of the neighbourhood, Chander explores how the city’s vibrant working class activism was produced, challenged and fragmented in this period. During the fellowship at re:work, Chander will be working on a journal article based on oral narratives and life histories from the two field work sites in Delhi, as well as from archival sources, collected during his ICAS:MP post-doctoral project.
Professor Iris Därmann
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Serving. On the Cultural History of Infamy
Iris Därmann is professor of cultural theory and aesthetics at the Institute for Cultural History and Theory at Humboldt-University, Berlin. She studied philosophy, sociology and social psychology at Ruhr-University, Bochum, where she earned her doctorate in 1993 with a study of “Death and Image” (“Tod und Bild”). In 2003, she gained her habilitation for philosophy and cultural history and theory with her work entitled “Fremde Monde der Vernunft” (Foreign Moons of Reason). In 2005/2006 she was senior fellow at the IFK, Vienna; from 2007 to 2008 fellow at the excellence cluster “Cultural Foundations of Social Integration” at the University of Konstanz, and in 2012/13, a fellow at IKKM, Bauhaus-University, Weimar. Since 2012 she has been the spokesperson of the research group “Oikonomia/Ökonomie” at the excellence cluster Topoi and the project leader within the SFB “Transformations of Antiquity”. From 2012 to 2014 she was a member of the research group “Pictograms” at the excellence cluster “Image Knowledge Gestaltung”. Since 2016 she has been a member of the advisory board of the Aby-Warburg-Foundation. Her research interests include image practices and image theories, the economies of gift exchange, and political philosophy in the context of colonialism.
At re:work, Iris Därmann is working on the cultural history of service. The service society derives its symbolic credit and its imaginary capital beyond mere economy from a beneficium servi, to which it does not comply. But how could the ethos of service, from which the service society continues to parasitically feed, develop from antiquity’s despised slave service? What transformations and perversions of service supported the economic project of the service society? Central to this is the invention of the “servile man” (Sloterdijk) and reflections on modes of existence and forms of life in light of radical unserviceability.
‘Zur Nummerntätowierung im Konzentrations- und Vernichtungslager Auschwitz-Birkenau’. In Unter die Haut. Tätowierungen als Logo- und Piktogramme, edited by Iris Därmann and Thomas Macho, 231–53. Paderborn: Fink, 2017.
‘„Ein Gott als Dienstbote“. Nietzsches Beitrag zu einer Ideen- und Kulturgeschichte der Dienstleistungsgesellschaft’. Nietzsche-Studien 44, no. 1 (2015): 54–66.
‘Teoria sociale del dono, teoria de dono della cultura. L’Essai sur le don di Marcel Mauss’. In Rethinking Exchange. Itineraries through Economy, Sociology and Philosophy / Ripensare lo scambio. Itinerari tra economia, sociologia e filosofia [= Azimuth. Philosophical Coordinates in Modern and Contemporary Age, III (5)], edited by Federica Boungiorno and Antonio Lucci, translated by Antonio Lucci, 43–62, 2015.
‘Myths of Labour. Elements of an Economical Zoology’. Zeitschrift für Kultur- und Medienforschung 5, no. 1 (2014): 41–58.
‘Zum sklavischen Charakter des Schauspielers. Diderot, Rousseau und die Gladiatur’. Archiv für Mediengeschichte, no. 12 (2012): 39–49.
Figuren des Politischen. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2009.
Last updated: October 01, 2016
Dr. Maria José de Abreu
Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Return of the Retornado: The Lifecycles of Oil and Labor in Portugal and Angola
De Abreu studied anthropology of media at SOAS, University of London, and received her PhD in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Amsterdam in 2009. Her work engages with a range of anthropological, philosophical and literary debates about temporality, personhood, labour economies, and the human senses and their technological extensions. She is currently working on two projects. The first is on the flourishing of Byzantine imaginary in urban São Paulo, Brazil through the practices of a media-savvy urban religious movement; the second focuses on experiences of impasse among Portuguese youth in the context of the southern European financial crisis. De Abreu has published in various journals and edited volumes. She has received grants from the Forum for Transregional Studies (2013-14) and the ICI-Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry (2014-2016) and taught at the University of Amsterdam and Amsterdam University College. In 2017 she will start her position as an assistant professor at the department of anthropology at Columbia University, New York.
In her research, De Abreu has been following the ways young adults structure their present around possibility and improvisation and how they account for their own experiences – of reaching out for (precarious) work, of being discredited, of cutting ties with family and nation through inner (depression) and/or outer migration. Faced with the need to constantly adjust to emerging conditions, the option of moving to Angola/Africa is among the imagined alternatives for Portuguese people in general, and for youth in particular. This predicament is often formulated as a choice between either remaining in Portugal unemployed, or going to Africa as an expert: as returning to their parent’s home and waiting for the crisis to pass, or moving to Africa and being subjected to the contingencies of oil. Inevitably, anxiety and fear creep into decision-making processes providing an effective response that is both discarded and enhanced by the power of social media networks such as blogs and Facebook and shapes public opinion.
While at re:work, De Abreu aims to provide an ethnographically informed account of the temporal frames that undergird current practices of labour migration of Portuguese youth who travel to and back from Angola. The project expands on a post-doctoral research ethnography conducted in the last three years in several key cities in Portugal with the aim of examining what, in the midst of the crisis, and with the concomitant blurring of perspectives, allows for the emergence of new configurations of the future among a highly skilled, technologically-connected but unemployed youth. Based on a number of biographical accounts of young migrants to/from Angola, De Abreu pays close attention to the process of construction and mechanisms of emergence that impact on the flow of migration among Portuguese young people. Departing from social studies of migration that describe migration in spatial terms, she emphasizes the theory of time that current labour migration entails. She asks “What are the material politics of resource, media, work and revenue that inform and punctuate the temporalities of migration between Portugal and its former colony with regards to this particular labour group?” Aware of the power of new shifts and circumstances to actually “recreate traditions”, she enquires how, in the stream of current migration and changes to livelihoods, older dynamics have begun to reappear, even if the present circumstances differ dramatically from those of former times.
‘Meso-Thinking. Design, Economy, Infrastructure in the City of São Paulo’. In Aesthetic Practices and Spatial Configurations. Historical and Transregional Perspectives, edited by Hannah Baader, Martina Becker, and Niharika Dinkar. Bielefeld: transcript, forthcoming.
with Charles Hirschkind, and Carlo Caduff, eds. New Media, New Publics? [= Special Issue Cultural Anthropology, 58 (S15)], 2017.
‘Untowardly. Ethnographies of Lived Impasse Among Portuguese Youth’. In Errans, edited by Christoph Holzhey. Wien: Turia + Kant, forthcoming.
‘Still Passing. Crisis, Youth and the Political Economy of Fog in Limbo’. Scapegoat, no. 8 (2015): 60–70.
‘Technological Indeterminacy. Medium, Threat, Temporality’. Anthropological Theory 13, no. 3 (2013): 267–84.
‘The FedEx Saints. Patrons of Mobility and Speed in a Neoliberal City’. In Things. Religion and the Question of Materiality, edited by Dick Houtman and Birgit Meyer, 321–38. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 2012.
Last updated: February 17, 2017
Professor Chitra Joshi
University of Delhi, India
Work, Body and Time: Understanding Labour Regimes Beyond the Factory
After completing her post-graduate studies and doctorate at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, Chitra Joshi was a fellow at the Centre for Contemporary History, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. She has taught history at Indraprastha College, University of Delhi and conducted research on the numerous histories of Indian labour for many years. Her book, Lost Worlds: Indian Labour and its Forgotten Histories (New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2003; London: Anthem, 2005) takes the present context of globalization and the decline of large-scale industry as its entry point into the worlds of labour in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries and examines how cultural pasts were actively reconstituted through worker practices. Other important publications include: Deindustrialisation and the Crisis of Male Identities (International Review of Social History, 2002), Notes on The Breadwinner Debate: Gender and Household Strategies in Working Class Families (Studies in History, 2002), Fettered Bodies: Labouring in Public Works in Nineteenth-Century India (in Marcel van der Linden and Prabhu Mohapatra [eds] Labour Matters: Towards Global Histories, New Delhi 2009); and Dak Roads, Runners and the Re-Ordering of Communications Networks (International Review of Social History 57:3, 2012). Joshi is currently working on the histories of labour beyond the factory, and tracking the lives of those who built roads and communication networks – convict workers, porters, mail-runners, palanquin bearers – in nineteenth-century India.
Her project for her re:work fellowship is entitled ‘Work, Body and Time: Understanding Labour Regimes Beyond the Factory’. Through this project, Joshi hopes to explore the seemingly invisible and small histories of labour involved in the making of communication networks, an exploration that will help develop an understanding of the complicated processes through which capital and labour comes into being as a global phenomenon.
‘Dak Roads, Dak Runners, and the Reordering of Communication Networks’. International Review of Social History 57, no. 2 (2012): 169–189.
‘Fettered Bodies. Labouring in Public Works in Nineteenth-Century India’. In Labour Matters. Towards Global Histories. Studies in Honour of Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, edited by Marcel van der Linden and Prabhu P. Mohapatra, 3–21. New Delhi: Tulika Books, 2009.
Lost Worlds. Indian Labour and Its Forgotten Histories. New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2003 (London: Anthem, 2005).
‘Notes on the Breadwinner Debate. Gender and Household Strategies in Working-Class Families’. Studies in History 18, no. 2 (2002): 261–74.
‘On and the Crisis of Male Identities’. International Review of Social History 47, no. S10 (2002): 159–175.
Last updated: October 01, 2016
Professor Lamia Karim
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA
Becoming Labor: Life Cycles of Female Garment Workers in Bangladesh
Lamia Karim is associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Oregon, USA, where she joined in 2003. Her interest is in political anthropology. Her area of research is Bangladesh (South Asia). Dr. Karim is the author of the much-acclaimed book Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women in Debt in Bangladesh (2011) that is a critical analysis of the effects of microfinance NGOs, including the 2006 Nobel Prize Winner, Grameen Bank, on the lives of poor women The book has been translated into Korean (Maybooks 2015). Her research interests are in women, development, the neoliberal state, religious nationalism, labor, and social movements.
At re:work, she will be working on a new book manuscript Becoming Labor that examines how industrial work has transformed rural women’s life cycles in terms of sexuality, marriage, family life, reproduction, health, religious beliefs, autonomy, and political consciousness. She is interested in a comparative analysis of the conditions under which South Asian industrial women workers become political and aspirational subjects.
Her pioneering research on women’s issues have received major national awards and grants from the National Science Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright Fellows Program, and Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Previously, she received two Rockefeller Postdoctoral Fellowship, one at the Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame (2002-2003), and another in Women’s Studies, University of Hawaii-Manoa (2002).
In 2016-17, she will be a Fellow at the Research Centre ‘Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History’ at Humboldt University in Berlin (re:work).
‘Resistance and Its Pitfalls. Analyzing NGO and Civil Society Politics in Bangladesh’. In The SAGE Handbook of Resistance, edited by David Courpasson and Steven Vallas, 461–75. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2016.
‘Disposable Bodies. Garment Factory Catastrophe and Feminist Practices in Bangladesh’. Anthropology Now 6, no. 1 (2014): 52–63.
‘NGOs, State and Neoliberal Development in South Asia. The Paradigmatic Case of Bangladesh’. In Routledge Handbook of Gender in South Asia, edited by Leela Fernandes, 260–74. London: Routledge, 2014.
‘Transnational Politics of Reading and the (Un)Making of Taslima Nasreen’. In South Asian Feminisms. Contemporary Interventions, edited by Ania Loomba and Ritty A. Lukose, 205–23. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012.
Microfinance and Its Discontents. Women in Debt in Bangladesh. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
‘Demystifying Micro-Credit. The Grameen Bank, NGOs, and Neoliberalism in Bangladesh’. Cultural Dynamics 20, no. 1 (2008): 5–29.
Last updated: October 19, 2016
Professor Alex Lichtenstein
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
Making Apartheid Work : Industrial Relations, Black Workers, and the South African State, 1948-1994
Alex Lichtenstein is Professor of History at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he teaches US and South African history. His research focuses on the intersection of labor history and the struggle for racial justice in societies shaped by white supremacy, particularly the U.S. South (1865-1954) and 20th-century South Africa. His first book, Twice the Work of Free Labor examined the role of convict leasing and chain gangs in the remaking of the American South in the half century after the Civil War. Subsequently, he has written extensively about race relations in the labor movement, interracial agrarian radicalism, early civil rights struggles, the impact of anticommunism on the labor and civil rights movements, and comparative U.S./South African history.
His project at re:work forms the basis of a book on South African labor organizing and the state under the apartheid regime, tentatively entitled Making Apartheid Work: Industrial Relations and the South African State, 1948-1994. This research explores the way African factory workers under apartheid used the small concessions granted to them by employers and the state to build shop-floor networks that eventually formed the basis for factory-based anti-apartheid struggles.
with Christian G. De Vito. ‘Writing a Global History of Convict Labour’. In Global Histories of Work, edited by Andreas Eckert, 49–89. Berlin: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2016.
with Rick Halpern. Margaret Bourke-White and the Dawn of Apartheid. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2016.
‘Harold Wolpe and the Labour Question’. Social Dynamics. A Journal of African Studies 41, no. 3 (2015): 597–601.
‘“A Measure of Democracy”. Works Committees, Black Workers, and Industrial Citizenship in South Africa, 1973 - 1980’. South African Historical Journal 67, no. 2 (2015): 113–38.
‘The Other Civil Rights Movement and the Problem of Southern Exceptionalism’. Journal of The Historical Society 11, no. 3 (2011): 351–76.
‘Making Apartheid Work. African Trade Unions and the 1953 Native Labour (Settlement of Disputes) Act in South Africa’. The Journal of African History 46, no. 2 (2005): 293–314.
‘“The Hope for White and Black”? Race, Labour and the State in South Africa and the United States, 1924–1956’. Journal of Southern African Studies 30, no. 1 (2004): 133–53.
Twice the Work of Free Labor. The Political Economy of Convict Labor in the New South. London: Verso, 1996.
Last updated: October 01, 2016
Professor Juan Manuel Palacio
Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Rise of Labor Courts and the Transformation of Workers’ Experiences with Legal Order in Latin America, Argentina, 1940-1970
Juan Manuel Palacio is professor of twentieth-century Latin American history at the University of San Martín (Buenos Aires) and a researcher at the National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET). He received his PhD in modern Latin American history from the University of California at Berkeley in 2000. He was a Humboldt Fellow at the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut in Berlin and visiting scholar at Desigualdades.net (Berlin) and the Max Planck Institute for European legal history (Frankfurt). His research interests are the rural history of modern Latin America, as well as the legal and judicial history of contemporary Argentina and Latin America. He is currently working on the intersection of labour and legal history during the years of early Peronism in Argentina (1943-1955), in particular on the judicial policies of Juan Perón.
At re:work, he is studying the rise of labour courts in Latin America in the context of the appearance of the “social state” during the first half of the twentieth century, with special focus on the Argentinian case. His investigation is particularly concerned with the ways in which the new labour law and courts affected workers’ everyday lives. It holds that the establishment of the new tribunals produced lasting effects in workers’ experiences with the law and state institutions, and was decisive in the incorporation of a legal discourse or “rights talk” into their everyday language and identity.
with Leon Fink, eds. Labor Justice Across the Americas. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2018.
‘El grito en el cielo. La polémica gestación de los tribunales del trabajo en la Argentina’. Estudios Sociales 48, no. 1 (2015): 59–90.
‘El peronismo y la invención de la justicia del trabajo en la Argentina’. Nuevo Mundo Mundos Nuevos. La primera revista evolutiva en la Web americanista, 2013.
‘Ley y justicia en el primer “Estado populista”. Algunas hipótesis para el estudio comparado de México, Brasil y Argentina’. In Cultura, sociedad y democracia en América Latina. Aportes para un debate interdisciplinario, edited by Klaus Bodemer, 161–86. Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2012.
La paz del trigo. Cultura legal y sociedad local en le desarrollo agropecuario pampeano, 1890-1945. Buenos Aires: Edhasa, 2004.
‘Judges, Lawyers, and Farmers. Uses of Justice and the Circulation of Law in Rural Buenos Aires, 1900-1940’. In Crime and Punishment in Latin America. Law and Society Since Late Colonial Times, edited by Ricardo Donato Salvatore, Carlos Aguirre, and Gilbert M. Joseph, 83–112. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001.
Professor Seth Rockman
Brown University, Providence, RI, USA
Plantations Goods and the National Economy of Slavery in the Industrializing United States
Seth Rockman is associate professor of History at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island (USA). Rockman completed his doctoral studies at University of California–Davis in 1999, taught for several years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and joined the Brown faculty in 2004. His research focuses on the United States in the period between the American Revolution and the Civil War, with particular attention to labor history, slavery studies, and the history of capitalism. Rockman serves on the advisory board of Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, and has recently held elected positions in the Organization of American Historians and the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic. In May 2016, Rockman delivered a keynote address at “Free and Unfree Labor in Atlantic and Indian Ocean Port Cities, c.1700– 1850,” a conference at the University of Pittsburgh.
While in residence at re:work, Rockman will complete a book for the University of Chicago Press on “plantation goods”—the hoes, hats, shovels, shoes, and clothing manufactured in New England for use on slave plantations in the US South. Incorporating material culture methodologies into labor history and slavery studies, Rockman explores the making and using of quotidian objects by geographically-remote workers whose lives and livelihoods are rarely understood as linked to one another. By following a blanket or a shirt from a Northern factory to a Southern plantation, this project places wage laborers and slaves within the same narrative of American history. “Negro cloth” and other manufactured goods served as a point of convergence for competing forms of expertise and ambition, activating distinctive political possibilities for those who made them and those who wore them; and bringing the plantation and manufactory into a common frame at a foundational moment in the history of American capitalism.
‘Paper Technologies of Capitalism’. Technology & Culture, forthcoming.
with Sven Beckert, eds. Slavery’s Capitalism. A New History of American Economic Development. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.
‘What Makes the History of Capitalism Newsworthy?’ Journal of the Early Republic 34, no. 3 (2014): 439–66.
Scraping By. Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
‘The Contours of Class in the Early Republic City’. Labor. Studies in Working Class History of the Americas 1, no. 4 (2004): 91–107.
Welfare Reform in the Early Republic. A Brief History with Documents. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2003.
Last updated: October 01, 2016
Professor Susan Zimmermann
Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
Women and Trade Unions in Europe and Internationally, 1920s to 1980s
Susan Zimmermann is a professor with the department of history and the department of gender studies at the Central European University (CEU). During the 2002/2003 academic year, she was a fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. Since 2014 she has been president of the International Conference of Labour and Social History – ITH (Internationale Tagung der HistorikerInnen der Arbeit- und anderer sozialer Bewegungen). Together with Marsha Siefert, she co-directs the CEU’s research initiative on ‘Labor History for the 21st Century in a Global Perspective’, aiming to stimulate research in labour history in Eastern Europe, written large, and to contribute to on-going scholarly debates on conceptually framing trans-European and global labour history. Her on-going research on the ILO’s international labour policy in the interwar period explores how policies of women’s emancipation and women’s subordination, on the one hand, and progressive class policies as well as politics aimed at improving the position of “native” workers, on the other, became entangled in asymmetric transnational labour policy.
Her research at re:work uses a comparative perspective to simultaneously explore the histories of socialist and communist trade union women and trade unions’ gender policies in the short twentieth century. The focus is on the Women’s Committee of the International Federation of Trade Unions in the interwar period, and activism on behalf of working women, as well as international networking, within the National Association of Trade Unions (Szakszervezetek Országos Szövetsége) in state-socialist Hungary. Trade union women who aimed to combine progressive labour and gender policies often struggled with their ‘troubled’ position in highly masculinist organizational contexts. Being part of organizations that often privileged and contributed to the construction of a core working class, these women aimed to represent and promote the interests of marginalized and particularly exploited segments of the labour force. At the same time, trade unions often functioned as a means to control labour militancy and workers’ resistance. This project explores how trade union women made use of and tried to expand or alter the space of action that was so variably construed. In focusing on working women and trade union policies in different political and economic systems, it aims to develop more inclusive and more reflective conceptualizations of labour history.
Labour Histories Revisited/L’histoire ouvrière revisitée [= DOSSIER in: European Review of History / Revue européenne d’histoire, 25 (1)], 2018.
‘The Agrarian Working Class Put Somewhat Centre Stage. An Often Neglected Group of Workers in the Historiography of Labour in State-Socialist Hungary’. European Review of History / Revue européenne d’histoire 25, no. 1 (2018): 79–100.
‘Night Work for White Women, Bonded Labour for “Native” Women? Contentious Traditions and the Globalization of Gender-Specific Labour Protection and Legal Equality Politics, 1926 to 1939’. In New Perspectives on European Women’s Legal History, edited by Sara L. Kimble and Marion Röwekamp, 394–442. New York, NY: Routledge, 2016.
‘The International Labour Organization, Transnational Women’s Networks, and the Question of Unpaid Work in the Interwar World’. In Women in Transnational History. Connecting the Local and the Global, edited by Clare Midgley, Alison Twells, and Julie Carlier, 33–53. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2016.
‘Klasse – Geschlecht – globale Differenz. Drei Achsen der Ungleichheit in der Gründungsstunde der Internationalen Arbeitsorganisation im Jahr 1919’. Das Recht der Arbeit, no. 5 (2015): 358–68.
‘The Long-Term Trajectory of Antislavery in International Politics. From the Expansion of the European International System to Unequal International Development’. In Humanitarian Intervention and Changing Labor Relations. The Long-Term Consequences of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, edited by Marcel van der Linden, 431–96. Leiden: Brill, 2011.
Divide, Provide, and Rule. An Integrative History of Poverty Policy, Social Policy, and Social Reform in Hungary Under the Habsburg Monarchy. Budapest: Central European University Press, 2011.
GrenzÜberschreitungen. Internationale Netzwerke, Organisationen, Bewegungen und die Politik der globalen Ungleichheit vom 17. bis zum 21. Jahrhundert. Wien: Mandelbaum, 2010.