Amelie Hartschuh studied French, Spanish and Art History at the Humboldt University in Berlin. After her studies she worked in an artist-management-agency as an assistant to the management director, as well as in the department of public relations, cultural administration and event management. Since October 2013, she is re:work’s secretary.
At the same time she has been working as a dance instructor for salsa and Latin-American dances.
Dr. Maïté Kersaint
studied business administration at the European School of Business Reutlingen and the Reims Management School as well as international relations at King’s College London. She received a PhD with a dissertation on digital public diplomacy from the European-University Viadrina.
IT Services Coordinator
is born and raised in Taipei, where he is selected for the gifted education program and completes his B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University. After serving the compulsory military service as a telecommunication officer, he relocates to Berlin and receives his M.A. for a double major in Education and Computer Science at Humboldt University. His academic research on the use of information and communications technology in the education sector paves the way for his professional interests in both eLearning and User Experience design. He is a former DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and DFG (German Research Foundation) scholarship recipient.
Ming-Han works as web developer, IT consultant, research assistant before joining the re:work team.
Dr. Julia Tischler
completed her doctorate in 2011 at the University of Cologne, on the Kariba Dam in the Central African Federation. The Kariba Dam is a large construction project located on the borders of what is now Zambia and Zimbabwe. Julia Tischler used the dam as the basis for a case study to investigate various development and state-building concepts and policies during the late colonial period. She has travelled to the UK, Zambia and Malawi to undertake archival research and conduct interviews with people who lived through the corresponding period.
The dissertation was honoured with the Hedwig Hintze Award of the Association of German Historians (VHD) in September 2012. Every two years, this award is bestowed upon an outstanding dissertation in the field of history.
Before joining the research staff at the IGK in March 2012, Julia Tischler led the Junior Research Group “Klima Welten” at the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS) at the University of Bielefeld, and helped coordinate the Bielefeld Cluster of Excellence application in sociology and history.
At re:work, Julia Tischler is currently working on a new project on the relationships between agrarian work and agricultural education in South Africa in the first half of the twentieth century. Her study looks at South Africa’s ‘agricultural revolution’ (c. 1910-40) from the perspective of knowledge and formal education. The different educational services emerging at the time (agricultural colleges, extension services, journals etc.) are analyzed as a form of social-ecological engineering by which state actors tried to navigate through structural change and the perceived crisis of poverty and the rural exodus. The study investigates into the increasing state intervention in rural lifeworlds at the time as well as the responses of the addressees, comparing the Afrikaans-dominated Orange Free State and the African reserves of the Ciskei and Transkei. A core question concerns the role agriculturists – men, women, ‘Europeans’, and ‘Africans’ – were meant to play in the emerging nation of South Africa. At the same time, the study adopts an ‘entangled’ perspective, as South Africans developed educational services in exchange with experts from other countries, foremost from the USA. An overarching question of the study is whether the South African case provides theoretical insights about the significance of agricultural knowledge and work in settler colonialism that could also be applied more generally.
Light and Power for a Multiracial Nation. The Kariba Dam Scheme in the Central African Federation (Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies). Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke/New York 2013.
Grounding Global Climate Change. Contributions from the Social and Cultural Sciences (Hrsg. zusammen mit Heike Greschke). Springer: Dordrecht 2014.
“Negotiating Development: The Kariba Dam Scheme in the Central African Federation”, in: Bloom, P., Manuh, T. & S. Miescher (Hrsg.) Modernization as Spectacle in Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press 2014, 159-183.
“Cementing Uneven Development: The Central African Federation and the Kariba Dam Scheme”, Journal of Southern African Studies 40/4 (2014), 1047-1064.
Whose power? Energie und Entwicklung in der Spätkolonialzeit am Beispiel des Kariba-Staudamms in der Zentralafrikanischen Föderation. In: Bauch, M. & B. Förster (Hrsg.) Historische Zeitschrift, Beiheft 63, „Wasserinfrastrukturen und Macht“ 2014, 266-286.
Resisting modernisation? Two African responses to the Kariba Dam scheme in the Central African Federation. Comparativ 21/1 (2011), 60-75.
Dr. Nitin Varma
studied history at the University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi). He completed his doctorate in 2011 at the Humboldt University, Berlin on coolie labour in the colonial tea plantations of Assam. “Coolie” is a generic category for “unskilled” manual labourers in South Asia. In the nineteenth century there was an attempt to recast the term in discursive constructions and material practices for “mobilized-immobilized” labour working in mines, plantations and other colonial capitalist enterprises. Coolie labour was often proclaimed as a deliberate compromise that straddled the regimes of the past (slave labour) and the future (free labour). This thesis makes a case for the “production” of coolie labour in the history of the colonial-capitalist plantations in Assam. The findings of the research did not suggest an unfettered agency for colonial-capitalism in defining and “producing” coolies, with an emphasis on the attendant contingencies, negotiations, contestations and crises. This interrupted the abrupt appearance of the archetypical coolie of the tea gardens (i.e., imported and indentured) and situated this archetype’s emergence, sustenance and shifts in the context of material and discursive processes.
At re:work, Nitin Varma is working on a project on ayahs (domestic workers, nannies) in colonial and post-colonial India and beyond. Ayahs along with lascars constituted the early “professional” mobile group of domestic workers who travelled with British families from the late 18th century onwards. The prominence of ayahs in Britain could be gauged from the establishment of institutions such as an ayah’s home from the beginning of the 20th century.
The aim of the project is to bring the rather neglected domestic work and workers into sharper focus and also evaluate the possibilities and limits of transregional networks, connections and histories. The presence of ayahs was not restricted to British families in India, Africa or England but increasingly became a feature of Indian middle class families in the late 19th and 20th century. This project intends to simultaneously focus on the “local” and translocal practices of domestic work through the prism of ayahs along multiple lines of enquiry: How were ayahs recruited? What were their conditions of employment and work? Was working as an ayah a phase in their lifecycle or did workers spend their lives with their employers’ family? How did such practices mutate over space and time?
(2011) “Coolie Strikes Back: Protest and Collective Action in the Colonial Tea Plantations of Assam” in: Biswamoy Pati (ed), Adivasis in Colonial India: Survival, Resistance and Negotiation. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, pp. 186-215.
(2009) “For the Drink of the nation: Drink, Labour and Plantation Capitalism in the Colonial Tea Gardens of Assam in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century” in: Marcel van der Linden and Prabhu Mohapatra, (eds), Labour Matters: Towards Global Histories, Studies in honour of Sabyasachi Bhattacharya. New Delhi: Tulika Books, pp. 295–318.
(2007) “Chargola Exodus and Collective Action in the Colonial Tea Plantations of Assam” in: Sephis, 3, 2 [Special issue on Rajnarayan Chandravarkar].
(2005) “Coolie Acts and the Acting Coolies: Coolie, Planter and State in the Colonial Tea Plantations of Assam” in: Social Scientist, 33, 5–6, May–June, pp. 49–72.
(2002) “Between Gods/Goddesses/Demons and ‘Science’: Perceptions of Health and Medicine among plantation labourers in Jalpaiguri district, Bengal” in: Social Scientist, 30, 5–6, May–June, pp. 18–38 [with Samrat Chaudhury].
Student Assistant, IT
After earning a B.A. in English and American studies and cultural anthropology at the University of Freiburg, Smaran Dayal is now pursuing an M.A. in anglophone literary and cultural studies at the University of Potsdam. His research foci are postcolonial literary criticism and critical race and ethnic studies. His B.A. thesis, “‘Back-to-Bom!’: Urban cosmopolitanism and naming in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children” won the 2013 Graduate Award (complimentary prize) from ASNEL, the Germanophone Postcolonial Studies association.
Following a BA in history and philosophy, Felix Fuhg is now enrolled on the ‘history of the 19th and 20th century’ master’s programme at the Free University of Berlin. As part of his focus on global history, he is mainly concerned with the networking that took place between anti-colonial movements in the 1920s.
In 2011-12, Stephanie Lämmert taught Swahili as well as a seminar in African History at the Humboldt-University of Berlin. Since September 2012, she has been writing her PhD thesis on "Colonial court culture. Peasant litigation in Shambaa 'native courts' in colonial Tanganyika” at the European University Institute (EUI), Florence. Andreas Eckert is her external thesis supervisor.
Josefine Langer is currently pursuing a BA in history and area studies (Asia / Africa) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She has been learning Arabic and deepening her interest in the Arabic speaking world since 2012. She is particularly interested in the topics of work and gender.
Student Assistant, IT
Since graduating from university with a degree in area studies Asia/Africa, Norman Leymann has been working as a freelance web developer and artist in several projects in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Student Assistant / re:lax massage
is business economist and was studying regional studies (Asia and Africa), with the emphasis on Japan, at the Humboldt University Berlin. Currently he recieves training to become an alternative practitioner and works as freelance massage therapist.
holds an MA in economics from the University of Warsaw (Poland) and a BA in area studies with a special focus on Africa from the Humboldt University of Berlin. During his BA he spent a year at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) where he was initiated into the anthropology of African religions.
Having graduated on the history of economic development under the Apartheid regime in South Africa, he went on to receive an education in applied macroeconomics. His current research conducted in pursuit of an MA in African studies at Humboldt University revisits the question of whether Duala in nineteenth-century Cameroons constituted a society characterized by segmentation.
Starting in September 2016 he is going to attend the PhD program in history at Northwestern University (USA). There, he will continue to investigate West African institutions including initiation societies, public debates, talking drums and the trust system for trade facilitation on the way toward writing a precolonial history of the area around Mount Cameroon.
Nagel, Moritz. 2014. “The Duala Drum Language: What Do We Know from Early Germanophone Sources?” in: Nepomuk Riva (Ed.). Klangbotschaften aus der Vergangenheit: Forschungen zu Aufnahmen aus dem Berliner Lautarchiv. Aachen: Shaker, 119-156.
After working as a student assistant at re:work, he started a PhD at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies in 2013. He works on his dissertation entitled "Geographies of afterlife: the futurist imaginations in the lives of Muslim market workers in Moscow."
Student Assistant, IT
is currently studying History with a focus on the 19th and 20th century as well as Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin.
Since graduating from Free University in Berlin with a degree in History, Rabea Rittgerodt worked as a trainee at h.f. ullmann publishers in Potsdam. Since 2014, she is a project editor History at Walter de Gruyter publishing house.
After graduating from Humboldt-University with a B.A. in area studies Asia/Africa with a focus on Japan, she enrolled in the master's program in Japanese Studies at Free University in Berlin. She currently studies at Tsukuba University in Japan.
studies music and media as a main subject as well as social sciences as a minor subject at Humboldt University in Berlin, with a focus on the changes in history of family and the reconciliation of work and family life. In addition, she has a passion for music from all over the world due to her interest in the cultural and social background of music.
Student Assistant, IT
Since fall 2011, he is enrolled in the master's program in Japanese Studies at Free University in Berlin. He works as a student assistant at the local department for literature and cultural studies.
Student Assistant, IT
Andreas Wagner completed his studies in area studies Asia/Africa at the Humboldt University of Berlin with a bachelor thesis on ‘internal migration and its effect on urbanisation processes in Lagos, Nigeria’. He then completed the master programme ‘POLIS’ in European urban cultures at four European universities, with a focus on urban work. Currently, he is putting theoretical concepts of modern urban forms of work into practice by establishing a coworking space in Tallinn, Estonia.