Professor Erdmute Alber
Universität Bayreuth, Germany
Transnational Care and the Transformations of Intergenerational Relations.
holds the chair of social anthropology at the University of Bayreuth. Her two main fields of interest in research as well as teaching are political anthropology and the anthropology of kinship. Alber´s recent work is dedicated to conceptualizing the relationship between both of these fields of research and thereby rethinking the former distinction between kinship and politics that emerged in the mid-twentieth century when political anthropology became a new sub-discipline of social anthropology. Alber has long done research on the politics and practices of child fosterage in West Africa as well as research on power and chieftaincy, inter-generational relations and changing family relations in Africa. She is co-founder of the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS).
In their joint project "Transnational Care and the Transformation of Inter-Generational Relations", Erdmute Alber and Heike Drotbohm are interested in understanding how the local, trans-regional or intercontinental mobility of domestic workers, elderly care workers and nannies changes generational relations – those of the mobile workers as well as those of the employers. The main aim of this project is a comparative study of global care chains, from an African and a Latin American perspective, in order to develop a theory-based research framework.
Transfers of Belonging. A Social History of Child Fostering in West Africa. Boston, MA: Brill, 2018.
with Tatjana Thelen, eds. Reconnecting State and Kinship. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018.
with Heike Drotbohm, eds. Anthropological Perspectives on Care. Work, Kinship and the Life Course. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Soziale Elternschaft im Wandel. Kindheit, Verwandtschaft und Zugehörigkeit in Westafrika. Berlin: Reimer, 2014.
with Cati Coe, and Tatjana Thelen, eds. The Anthropology of Sibling Relations. Shared Parentage, Experience, and Exchange. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
with Jeannett Martin, and Catrien Notermans, eds. Child Fostering in West Africa. New Perspectives on Theory and Practices. Leiden: Brill, 2013.
‘Schooling or Working? How Family Decision Processes, Children’s Agencies and State Policy Influence the Life Path of Children in Northern Benin’. In African Children at Work. Working and Learning in Growing up for Life, edited by Gerd Spittler and Michael Bourdillon, 169–94. Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2012.
Im Gewand von Herrschaft. Modalitäten der Macht im Borgou (Nord-Benin), 1900-1995. Köln: R. Köppe, 2000.
Last updated: April 17, 2018
Professor Eric Allina
University of Ottawa, Canada
History of Socialist Era Mozambican Labor Migration to the GDR.
is associate professor in the Department of History at the University of Ottawa, where he teaches courses in African history, the history of slavery, and historical methods. Much of his past research examined the history of colonial rule in Mozambique, with a particular interest in the relationship between law and violence, the interaction between colonial and indigenous practices of subordination, and forms of state power.
At the IGK, Eric will be working on a project (entitled, "Tracing African History in the Shadow of the Berlin Wall: Mozambican Workers in East Germany") that grew out of earlier research on pan-African identity among African students in Soviet and post-Soviet Moscow. The project explores the connection between Mozambique and East Germany from the 1960s to 1990s by focusing on Mozambican labor migration to the GDR. This history of an African society’s internal dynamics and external connections shows how workers sought to remake themselves and their place in the world, extracting themselves from older imperial relationships and attempting to forge links within new transnational networks. Seizing on a long-established practice, by which young men and women embarked on long-distance labor migration as a strategy for personal growth and collective solidarity, individual Mozambicans and the state aimed to fashion new selves and new citizens in the post-colonial era. In tracing the history of Mozambique’s connection to East Germany, the project will consider how both the state and individuals saw nationalism, socialist internationalism, and developmental modernism as paths toward a new and just public order, and it will examine how individual Mozambican workers interpreted and remade these narratives.
‘Between Sozialismus and Socialismo. African Workers and Public Authority in the German Democratic Republic’. In Work out of Place, edited by Mahua Sarkar, 77–100. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018.
‘„Neue Menschen“ für Mosambik. Erwartungen an und Realität von Vertragsarbeit in der DDR der 1980er-Jahre’. Translated by Helmut Ettinger. Arbeit - Bewegung - Geschichte 15, no. 2016/III (2016): 65–84.
‘“Captive to Civilisation.” Law, Labor Mobility, and Violence in Colonial Mozambique’. In Mobility Makes States. Migration and Power in Africa, edited by Darshan Vigneswaran and Joel Quirk, 59–78. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015.
‘Modern Slavery and Latter-Day Pawns Under Colonial Rule in Central Mozambique’. In Slavery, Migration and Contemporary Bondage in Africa, edited by Joel Quirk and Darshan Vigneswaran, 37–64. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2013.
Slavery by Any Other Name. African Life Under Company Rule in Colonial Mozambique. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2012.
‘“No Real Freedom for the Natives.” The Men in the Middle and Critiques of Colonial Labor in Central Mozambique’. Humanity 3, no. 3 (2012): 337–59.
‘The Zimba, the Portuguese, and Other Cannibals in Late Sixteenth-Century Southeast Africa’. Journal of Southern African Studies 37, no. 2 (2011): 211–27.
‘Resistance and the Social History of Africa’. Journal of Social History 37, no. 1 (2003): 187–98.
‘“Fallacious Mirrors.” Colonial Anxiety and Images of African Labor in Mozambique, Ca. 1929’. History in Africa 24 (1997): 9–52.
PD Dr. Heike Drotbohm
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Freiburg, Germany
Transnational Care and the Transformations of Intergenerational Relations.
teaches social anthropology at Freiburg University. In her work she concentrates on a transnational anthropology with special reference to the historical development and contemporary negotiations of social order in Afro-Atlantic societies. She did her doctoral research on Haitian belief in spiritual beings, its changes in the diaspora and on shifting social and religious loyalties in this transnational social field. In subsequent research she shifted her focus to Cape Verde, where she worked on the intersection between cross-border mobility and ideas of relatedness and moral considerations, this impacting on both social proximities and distances in transnational social networks.
In their joint project "Transnational Care and the Transformation of Inter-Generational Relations", Erdmute Alber and Heike Drotbohm are interested in understanding how the local, transregional or intercontinental mobility of domestic workers, elderly care workers, and/or nannies change generational relations – namely those of the mobile workers as well as those of the employers. The main aim of this project is a comparative analysis of global care chains from an African and Latin American perspective in order to develop a theory-based research framework.
with Ines Hasselberg, eds. Deportation, Anxiety, Justice. New Ethnographic Perspectives. London: Routledge, 2017.
‘How to Extract Hope from Papers? Classificatory Performances and Social Networking in Cape Verdean Visa Applications’. In Hope and Uncertainty in Contemporary African Migration, edited by Nauja Kleist and Dorte Thorsen, 21–39. New York, NY: Routledge, 2017.
‘The Reversal of Migratory Family Lives. A Cape Verdean Perspective on Gender and Sociality Pre- and Post-Deportation’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41, no. 4 (2015): 653–70.
with Erdmute Alber, eds. Anthropological Perspectives on Care. Work, Kinship and the Life Course. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
with Boris Nieswand, eds. Kultur, Gesellschaft, Migration. Die reflexive Wende in der Migrationsforschung. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 2014.
‘The Promises of Co-Mothering and the Perils of Detachment. A Comparison of Local and Transnational Cape Verdean Child Fosterage’. In Child Fostering in West Africa. New Perspectives on Theory and Practices, edited by Erdmute Alber, Jeannett Martin, and Catrien Notermans, 217–45. Boston: Brill, 2013.
‘“It’s Like Belonging to a Place That Has Never Been Yours.” Deportees Negotiating Involuntary Immobility and Conditions of Return in Cape Verde’. In Migrations. Interdisciplinary Perspectives, edited by Michi Messer, Renee Schroeder, and Ruth Wodak, 129–40. Wien: Springer, 2012.
‘Kreolische Konfigurationen der Rückkehr zwischen Zwang und Zuflucht. Die Bedeutung von Heimatbesuchen in Kap Verde’. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, no. 136 (2011): 311–30.
Last updated: April 17, 2018
Professor Henrique Espada Lima
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil
African Trajectories in Southern Brazil: Life Cycles, Generational Transits, and Survival Strategies between Slavery and Freedom (Nineteenth Century).
is professor in the Department of History at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil), where he teaches, supervises and conducts research on historiography and contemporary labor history. His first schooling was in psychology and he has a Masters degree in literature (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, 1993) and a doctorate in history (Universidade de Campinas, 1999). He has done research in the areas of contemporary historiography and micro-history as well as labor history, focusing on the lives of ex-slaves in nineteenth-century Brazil. He was coordinator of the Brazilian Academic Network of Labor Historians from 2007 to 2010.
His project at the International Research Center will focus on reconstructing the trajectories of individuals, families and groups of freed African slave workers and their descendants in a southern Brazilian locality – the Island of Santa Catarina – by delving into notarial and parochial records as well as judicial records (civil and criminal) and postmortem inventories. His research will examine and reconstruct these trajectories, focusing on the numerous strategies employed by these men and women in order to free themselves from slavery and assign meaning and content to the "freedom" they achieved. Special attention will be paid to the generational transits and the various labor and freedom arrangements as viewed through the lifecycles of individuals and families. The period covered by the research goes from approximately 1830 to 1900, focusing on the Brazilian slave system’s long-term process of disaggregation as well as on the first decade after emancipation, which came about in 1888. Finally, inspired by a growing scholarship in the field of labor history that proceeds from a global and transnational perspective and employing a micro-historical approach, his research will discuss a wide array of questions that focus on the blurred boundaries between "slavery" and "freedom".
‘Wages of Intimacy. Domestic Workers Disputing Wages in the Higher Courts of Nineteenth-Century Brazil’. International Labor and Working-Class History 88 (2015): 11–29.
with Alexandre Fortes, Regina Célia Lima Xavier, and Silvia Regina Ferraz Petersen, eds. Cruzando Fronteiras. Novos olhares sobre a história do trabalho. São Paulo, SP: Editora Fundação Perseu Abramo, 2013.
‘Unpayable Debts. Reinventing Bonded Labour through Legal Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Brazil’. In Debt and Slavery in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Worlds, edited by Gwyn Campbell and Alessandro Stanziani, 123–31. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013.
‘What Can We Find in Augusto’s Trunk? About Little Things and Global Labor History’. Workers of the World 1, no. 3 (2013): 139–57.
‘Micro-história’. In Novos Domínios da História, edited by Ronaldo Vainfas and Ciro Flamarion Cardoso, 207–23. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Elsevier, 2012.
‘A família de Maria do Espírito Santo e Luís de Miranda Ribeiro. “Agências e artes” de libertos e seus descendentes no Desterro do século XIX’. In Escravidão e liberdade. Temas, problemas e perspectivas de análise, edited by Regina Célia Lima Xavier, 383–414. São Paulo, SP: Alameda, 2012.
‘Freedom, Precariousness, and the Law. Freed Persons Contracting out Their Labour in Nineteenth-Century Brazil’. International Review of Social History 54 (2009): 391–416.
A micro-história italiana. Escalas, indícios e singularidades. Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Civilização Brasileira, 2006.
Last updated: July 25, 2016
Professor Martin Allen Klein
University of Toronto, Canada
Transformations of Slavery in West Africa.
is professor emeritus from the University of Toronto, where he taught African history. For most of the last forty years he has been doing research on the history of slavery and the slave trade within Africa. His most recent projects have been research into African sources for the history of slavery and the slave trade and efforts to look at slavery in a broad comparative perspective.
His project at the International Research Center involves a comparative study of slavery in West Africa. He intends to start with two questions – first, the different forms of slavery that emerged in the cities and factories that serviced the slave trade and the commodity trade that succeeded it; and second, the way the struggle for the control of labor after start of the emancipation process influenced the life options of former slaves.
with Alice Bellagamba, and Sandra E. Greene, eds. Looking for the Tracks. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, forthcoming.
with Alice Bellagamba, and Sandra E. Greene, eds. African Voices on Slavery and the Slave Trade. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
with Alice Bellagamba, and Sandra E. Greene, eds. The Bitter Legacy. African Slavery Past and Present. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 2013.
‘Slaves and Soldiers in the Western Soudan and French West Africa’. Canadian Journal of African Studies/La Revue Canadienne Des études Africaines 45, no. 3 (2011): 565–87.
‘The Slave Trade and Decentralized Societies’. The Journal of African History 42, no. 1 (2001): 49–65.
with Suzanne Miers, eds. Slavery and Colonial Rule in Africa. Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 1999.
Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Peasants in Africa. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, ed. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1980.
Islam and Imperialism in Senegal. Sine-Saloum, 1847-1914. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1968.
Last updated: July 25, 2016
Professor Thomas Mergel
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Die Sozialfigur des Rentiers und das Verhältnis des Bürgertums zur Arbeit im Europa des 19. Jahrhunderts.
has been a professor of twentieth-century European history at Berlin’s Humboldt University since 2008; previously he was a professor of contemporary history at the University of Basel. He was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago und Prague’s Charles University. His research encompasses social history, in particular urban and middle-class history in the nineteenth century; the history of political culture and political communication, particularly in the twentieth century; and the history of theory and historiography. He is a member of the Commission for the History of Parliamentarism and Political Parties.
At the International Research Center, Thomas Mergel will be investigating a hitherto neglected segment of the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie – namely those who did no work and did not therefore fit the definition provided by Jean Jaurès: "The bourgeoisie is a class that works." Those individuals of private means (rentiers, privatiers, or particuliers) who had often become quite rich in the first phase of industrialization, in particular, and who retired at a young age, were an important segment of the bourgeoisie because they had free time and could assume important functions in clubs and societies and bourgeois politics. All this will be placed in a Western European perspective. Mergel will also be reformulating the question as to the bourgeois work ethic: How much did the bourgeoisie work? What was their understanding of work and what value did they place on leisure time?
‘Stressgesellschaften. Europäische Städte im Ersten Weltkrieg’. Geschichte in Köln 61, no. 1 (2014): 185–206.
‘Zeit des Streits. Die siebziger Jahre in der Bundesrepublik als eine Periode des Konflikts’. In Geschichte denken. Perspektiven auf die Geschichtsschreibung heute, edited by Michael Wildt, 224–43. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck + Ruprecht, 2014.
with Nicolas Patin. ‘Introduction. La question d’une « voie particulière » du parlementarisme allemand’. Parlement[s], Revue d’histoire politique, no. 21 (2014): 13–21.
with Christiane Reinecke, eds. Das Soziale ordnen. Sozialwissenschaften und gesellschaftliche Ungleichheit im 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2012.
with Pascal Maeder, and Barbara Lüthi, eds. Wozu noch Sozialgeschichte? Eine Disziplin im Umbruch. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012.
Krisen verstehen. Historische und kulturwissenschaftliche Annäherungen, ed. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2012.
‘Dictatorship and Democracy, 1918-1939’. In The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History, edited by Helmut Walser Smith, 423–52. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.
‘Europe as Leisure Time Communication. Tourism and Transnational Interaction since 1945’. In Conflicted Memories. Europeanizing Contemporary Histories, edited by Konrad H. Jarausch, Thomas Lindenberger, and Annelie Ramsbrock, 133–53. New York, NY: Berghahn, 2011.
‘The Kaiserreich as a Society of Migration’. In Imperial Germany Revisited. Continuing Debates and New Perspectives, edited by Cornelius Torp and Sven Oliver Müller, 267–80. New York, NY: Berghahn, 2011.
Last updated: July 25, 2016
Professor Jamie Monson
Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN, USA
Building a Construction Generation: Labor, Life Cycle and Technology Transfer in a Chinese Development Project in Africa, 1968-1986.
specializes in the history of China-Africa relations during the Cold War era. Her new research concerns the relationship between work, worker consciousness and worker generations in the history of Chinese development projects in Africa. She has a special interest in the social history of railway technology, technical training and the role of the engineer in transnational work.
Professor Monson is currently based at Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota, USA. She has been a research fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and an SSRC Humanities in China Research Fellow, a program that is linked with Beijing University. She has also been a Carnegie Foundation Scholar and has held fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
At the International Research Center, Professor Monson will investigate the experiences and memories of African and Chinese workers who joined the TAZARA railway project (built in Tanzania and Zambia with Chinese development assistance) between 1968 and 1986. Using oral life history interviews among other sources, she will investigate the ways these workers attained to the consciousness of being part of a generation that "made history" through their participation in a pan-African and East-South solidarity project. At the same time, she will use worker memories to show that the formation of a TAZARA worker generation was neither fortuitous nor was the expression of worker consciousness seamless and stable over time. Consciousness was shaped by individual and collective factors; it was also part of the larger historical context in the 1960s and 1970s of building new African nations; and it pertained to pan-Africanism and socialist internationalism as well as concomitant ideologies of modernization.
‘Des « hommes nouveaux ». Mémoires de travailleurs du rail et coopération sino-africaine»’. Translated by Geneviève Knibiehler. Clio. Femmes, Genre, Histoire, no. 38 (2013): 123–49.
‘Remembering Work on the Tazara Railway in Africa and China, 1965–2011. When “New Men” Grow Old’. African Studies Review 56, no. 1 (2013): 45–64.
with Stephanie Rupp. ‘Africa and China. New Engagements, New Research’. African Studies Review 56, no. 1 (2013): 21–44.
‘From Protective Lions to Angry Spirits. Environmental Degradation and the Authority of Elders in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania’. Journal of Eastern African Studies 6, no. 2 (2012): 336–50.
with Liu Haifang. ‘Railway Time. Technology Transfer and the Role of Chinese Experts in the History of TAZARA’. In African Engagements. Africa Negotiating an Emerging Multipolar World, edited by Ton Dietz, Kjell Havnevik, Mayke Kaag, and Terje Oestigaard, 226–51. Leiden: Brill, 2011.
with James Leonard Giblin, eds. Maji Maji. Lifting the Fog of War. Leiden: Brill, 2010.
‘Working Ahead of Time. Labor and Modernization during the Construction of the TAZARA Railway, 1968-1986’. In Making a World After Empire. The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives, edited by Christopher J. Lee, 235–64. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2010.
Africa’s Freedom Railway. How a Chinese Development Project Changed Lives and Livelihoods in Tanzania. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2009.
Last updated: July 25, 2016
Professor Martha Mundy
London School of Economics, UK
Nameless Labour: Household and Field Work in the Contemporary Arab East.
studied Greek, Latin, Arabic and geography before completing doctoral work in social anthropology under the supervision of Jack Goody at the University of Cambridge. She has taught history at UCLA and anthropology at Yarmouk University, the American University of Beirut, Université Lyon 2 Lumière, and the London School of Economics. As her publications suggest (see below), her enduring concerns have been with agrarian relations and the changing nature of work in the Arab East, with property and legal form and Islamic jurisprudence as a tradition of debate. Outside her academic work, she served as a founding member of LSEStaffagainstWar, BRICUP (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine), and Naftana (the UK support committee for the Federation of Oil Workers in Southern Iraq).
While at re:work, she will be writing on the transformation of agrarian systems and women’s work in the Yemeni Red Sea coastal plain over the last four decades.
with Saker El Nour, Cynthia Gharios, and Rami Zurayk. ‘The Right to the Village? Concept and History in a Village of South Lebanon’. Justice spatiale/Spatial Justice 7 (2015).
with Amin Al-Hakimi, and Frédéric Pelat. ‘Neither Security Nor Sovereignty. The Political Economy of Food in Yemen’. In Food Security in the Middle East, edited by Zahra Babar and Suzi Mirgani, 135–58. London: Hurst, 2014.
The Solace of the Past in the Unspeakable Present. The Historical Anthropology of the ‘Near East’. Goody Lecture 2013. Halle/Saale: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, 2013.
‘Ethics and Politics in the Law. On the Forcible Return of the Cultivator’. In Isam Konuşmaları. Osmanlı Düşüncesi, Ahlâk, Hukuk, Felsefe-Kelâm = Isam Papers. Ottoman Throught, Ethics, Law, Philosophy-Kalam, edited by Seyfi̇ Kenan, 51–75. Istanbul: ISAM, 2013.
with Richard Saumarez Smith. Modern Devlet’e Giden Yolda Mülk Siyaseti. Osmanlı Suriyesi’nde hukuk, yönetim ve üretim. Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı Yurt Yayınları, 2013.
with Richard Saumarez Smith. Governing Property, Making the Modern State. Law, Administration and Production in Ottoman Syria. London: I.B. Tauris, 2007.
with Alain Pottage, eds. Law, Anthropology, and the Constitution of the Social. Making Persons and Things. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Domestic Government. Kinship, Community and Polity in North Yemen. London: I.B. Tauris, 1995.
Last updated: July 25, 2016
Professor Alexander Nützenadel
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Genese und Transformation globaler Arbeitsmärkte im 20. Jahrhundert.
is professor of social and economic history at Berlin’s Humboldt University. He did his doctorate and habilitation at the University of Cologne, where he also taught for several years. He has had research stays at the German Historical Institute in Rome, at Columbia University in New York, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Wassenaar. After his habilitation he was professor of social and economic history at the Europa University Viadrina in Frankfurt, and in 2009 he assumed his present position at the Humboldt University. His research encompasses the history of Fascist Italy, the role of economic experts in the information society, corruption and clientilism, and the economic history of globalization. At the International Research Center he will be investigating the transformation of international labor markets in the twentieth century. Using case-studies, he will be focusing on the changing patterns of mobility in agrarian societies, with an emphasis on globalization impulses of the long twentieth century.
with Marc Buggeln, and Martin Daunton, eds. Questioning the Leviathan. The Political Economy of Public Finance since the 1970s. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming.
with Christian Grabas, eds. Industrial Policy in Europe after 1945. Wealth, Power and Economic Development in the Cold War. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
with Cornelius Torp, eds. Economic Crises and Global Politics in the 20th Century [= European Review of History—Revue Européenne D’histoire, 19 (6), 2012]. London: Routledge, 2013.
with Cornelius Torp, ‘In the Wake of Crisis. Bringing Economic History Back In’. European Review of History—Revue Européenne D’histoire 19, no. 6 (2012): 847–54.
‘Der Krisenbegriff der modernen Ökonomie’. In Krisen verstehen. Historische und kulturwissenschaftliche Annäherungen, edited by Thomas Mergel, 47–58. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2012.
‘Die ökonomische Dimension der Globalisierung’. In Europäische Erinnerungsorte. Europa und die Welt, edited by Pim den Boer, Heinz Duchhardt, Georg Kreis, and Wolfgang Schmale, 3:19–26. München: Oldenbourg Verlag, 2012.
with Ruth Jachertz. ‘Coping with Hunger? Visions of a Global Food System, 1930–1960’. Journal of Global History 6, no. 1 (2011): 99–119.
with Frank Trentmann, eds. Food and Globalization. Consumption, Markets and Politics in the Modern World. Oxford: Berg, 2008.
Last updated: December 12, 2016
Dr. Alexandra Oberländer
Universität Bremen, Germany
Work and Dissent: A Cultural History of Socialist Labour in Soviet Russia, 1960s-1980s.
teaches Russian/Soviet history from the seventeenth century to Perestroika. She received her doctorate at Berlin’s Humboldt University with a dissertation on the awareness of sexual violence in later Czarist Russia. Alongside Russian/Soviet history, Alexandra Oberländer is above all interested in the history of subjectivity and gender history. Her post-doc project is on attitudes toward work in Soviet society after 1960. Instead of seeing the last decades of the Soviet Union as a phase of stagnation, Alexandra Oberländer argues that the 1970s in particular should be seen as a phase of normalization. How people perceived their work, how social relations were constituted through work, the role that work played in the lives of Soviet citizens – these are the issues that her book addresses. Whereas in the 1960s supposed work-refuseniks were still being persecuted, attitudes toward work changed drastically in the 1970s. Many Soviet citizens perceived their work as a mere job, as a means to an end, and not as some kind of personal fulfillment, as one’s purpose in life – the attitude desired by the Soviet leadership. Comedies and song lyrics of the 1970s and 1980s reflect this relationship to work. Instead of being the "first need in life", work became a joke, an object of ridicule.
For many Soviet citizens, work and the workplace were neither the occasion for earning one’s keep nor an occasion for self-affirmation. Instead, in their free time, Soviet citizens puttered around their dacha gardens raising vegetables or tinkered in their garages to make tools that they then sold on the black market. Along with a fundamental change of attitude toward work between 1960 and 1980, Oberländer’s project makes the case for a change in the relationship between work and leisure time in the later years of the Soviet Union.
‘Cushy Work, Backbreaking Leisure. Late Soviet Work Ethics Reconsidered’. Kritika. Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 18, no. 3 (2017): 569–90.
‘Courtrooms Most Russian?’ Kritika. Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 15, no. 4 (2014): 902–9.
Unerhörte Subjekte. Die Wahrnehmung sexueller Gewalt in Russland 1880-1910. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2013.
‘Rezension zu: Becker, Elisa M. Medicine, Law and the State in Imperial Russia. Budapest 2011’. H-Soz-u-Kult, 27 March 2013.
‘Shame and Modern Subjectivities. The Rape of Elizaveta Cheremnova in 1882’. In Interpreting Emotions in Russia and Eastern Europe, edited by Mark D. Steinberg and Valeria Sobol, 82–101. DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2011.
‘Rezension zu: Kowalsky, Sharon A. Deviant Women. Female Crime and Criminology in Revolutionary Russia, 1880-1930. DeKalb 2009’. H-Soz-u-Kult, 6 October 2011.
Last updated: October 04, 2017
Prof. Niels Petersson
Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Generations of Sailors: Maritime Labour and Globalisation in the 20th Century.
teaches international and global history at Sheffield Hallam University in Great Britain. Previously he was a research fellow at the University of Konstance and later was coordinator of doctoral student training within the cluster of excellence "Cultural Bases of Integration".
Among his research interests are the comparative history of European imperialism, the history of globalization processes and the world economy, and more recently the history of work in a transnational and global perspective. His project at the International Research Center will be taking the history of work at sea since the Second World War as the point of departure for research into changes in the working world in the context of the opening and closing of markets as well as the opening up and containment and shock-absorption of global competition.
‘Managing a “People Business” in Times of Uncertainty. Human Resources Strategy at Ocean Transport & Trading in the 1970s’. Enterprise & Society, January 2018, 1–36.
‘Arbeit und Globalisierung’. In Globalgeschichten. Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven, edited by Niels P. Petersson, Boris Barth, and Stefanie Gänger, 259–88. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2014.
with Christof Dejung, eds. The Foundations of Worldwide Economic Integration. Power, Institutions, and Global Markets, 1850-1930. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
‘Die Schifffahrt und die Globalisierung’. Merkur. Deutsche Zeitschrift für europäisches Denken 67, no. 4 (2013): 329–41.
‘Legal Institutions and the World Economy, 1900-1930’. In The Foundations of Worldwide Economic Integration. Power, Institutions, and Global Markets, 1850-1930, edited by Christof Dejung and Niels P. Petersson, 21–39. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Anarchie und Weltrecht. Das Deutsche Reich und die Institutionen der Weltwirtschaft 1890-1930. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2009.
with Jürgen Osterhammel. Globalization. A Short History. Translated by Dona Geyer. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005.
with Jürgen Osterhammel. Geschichte der Globalisierung. Dimensionen, Prozesse, Epochen. München: C. H. Beck, 2003.
Imperialismus und Modernisierung. Siam, China und die europäischen Mächte 1895-1914. München: Oldenbourg, 2000.
Dr. Marina de Regt
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Changing Place of Domestic Labour in Human Life Cycles: Gender, Generation and Ethnicity in Yemen.
is a social anthropologist with a PhD from the University of Amsterdam. Her main interests include gender, labor, migration and mobility in the Arab world. She conducted fieldwork among carpet workers in Morocco and health and migrant domestic workers in Yemen. Her dissertation on women health workers was based on her experience working in development projects in Yemen. In addition to her academic publications, Marina has a short documentary to her credit: Young and Invisible – African Domestic Workers in Yemen (together with filmmaker Arda Nederveen). She was the coordinator of SEPHIS, the South-South Exchange Program for Research on the History of Development, and is chair of the Netherlands Association of Gender Studies and Feminist Anthropology (LOVA).
Her project at the International Research Center is inspired by her long-standing interest in women of African descent in Yemen. Historically there have been close relationships between Yemen and Ethiopia, yet remarkably little research has been conducted on Yemeni migration to East Africa and vice versa, in particular on its gendered aspects. Hence, she will be studying the gendered, ethnic and generational aspects of paid domestic labor in Yemen, focusing on the changing place of domestic labor in the life cycle of three groups of women of African descent. These three groups coincide with particular moments in Yemen's sociopolitical history, with specific social and economic conditions, and they have also produced specific discourses on gender, labor and ethnicity.
‘Noura and Me. Friendship as Method in Times of Crisis’. Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development 44, no. 1–2 (2015): 43–70.
with Bina Fernandez, eds. Migrant Domestic Workers in the Middle East. The Home and the World. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
‘Close Ties. Gender, Labour and Migration between Yemen and the Horn of Africa’. In Why Yemen Matters. A Society in Transition, edited by Helen Lackner, 287–303. London: Saqi, 2014.
‘Ways to Come, Ways to Leave. Gender, Mobility, and Il/legality among Ethiopian Domestic Workers in Yemen’. Gender & Society 24, no. 2 (2010): 237–60.
‘Preferences and Prejudices. Employers’ Views on Domestic Workers in the Republic of Yemen.’ Signs. Journal of Women in Culture & Society 34, no. 3 (2009): 559–81.
Pioneers or Pawns? Women Health Workers and the Politics of Development in Yemen. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2007.
Last updated: December 12, 2016
Professor Mahua Sarkar
Binghamton University, Vestal, NY, USA
Lives in Motion: Circular Migration and Bangladeshi Contract Workers.
is associate professor of sociology, Asian & Asian-American studies, and the Women's Studies Program at Binghamton University, SUNY. Her areas of research include historical sociology, the sociology of culture, gender/feminist theory, postcolonial theory, qualitative research methods, the political economy of world-systems, states and public authority, and international migration. She is currently working on her new book on temporary contract work involving Bangladeshi circular migrants.
- Work out of Place. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2018.
‘When Maternity Is Paid-Work. Commercial Gestational Surrogacy at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century’. In Women’s ILO. Transnational Networks, Working Conditions, and Gender Equality, edited by Eileen Boris, Dorothea Hoehtker, and Susan Zimmermann, 340–59. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.
‘L’action incertaine. Le contrat de travail temporaire transnational en tant que risque [Uncertain Action. Transnational Temporary Contract Work as Risk]’. In Action et Incertitude. Les épreuves de l’incertain, edited by Marc-Henry Soulet, 457–83. Basel ; Berlin: Schwabe Verlag, 2018.
‘Constrained Labour as Instituted Process. Transnational Contract Work and Circular Migration in Late Capitalism’. European Journal of Sociology / Archives Européennes de Sociologie 58, no. 1 (2017): 171–204.
‘Between Craft and Method. Meaning and Inter-Subjectivity in Oral History Analysis’. Journal of Historical Sociology 25, no. 4 (2012): 578–600.
Visible Histories, Disappearing Women. Producing Muslim Womanhood in Late Colonial Bengal. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.
Last updated: February 5, 2020
PD Dr. Felix Schnell
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
„…to Force Everybody to Work“ – Forced Work, Workhouses and Their Inmates in Tsarist Russia from the 18th to the 19th Centuries.
received his doctorate in 2004 from the University of Bielefeld with a dissertation on the police in the late Russian Empire, and since 2006 he has been a research fellow for the professorship in the history of Eastern Europe at Berlin's Humboldt University. In the summer of 2011 he completed his habilitation with a work on the link between violence and group militancy in the first third of the twentieth century in the Ukraine, and in 2010 he assumed the professorship for the history of Eastern Europe at the Humboldt University. His research interests are the historical sociology of violence, power and domination as social processes, and the history of Russia and the Ukraine in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
At the International Research Center he will be pursuing research on workhouses and their inmates in Czarist Russia. He is concerned with the question as to how this Western European concept was practicably implemented in Russia and how it changed in the course of time, and he is also interested in the scope and effectiveness of the workhouses in the authorities' attempt to improve or discipline society. He will also be looking at the course of the inmates lives and the impact of the institution on their biographies. Along with an examination of the practice of the workhouses, Schnell will analyze the general concept of work as an instrument of social change "from the top-down".
‘Der Gulag als Systemstelle stalinistischer Herrschaft’. In Die Welt der Lager. Zur ‘Erfolgsgeschichte’ einer Institution, edited by Bettina Greiner and Alan Kramer, 154–85. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2013.
‘Die erwartete Nation. Imperien, Bauern und Konjunkturen des Nationalen in der Ukraine (Zarenreich und Sowjetunion)’. Journal of Modern European History 11, no. 3 (2013): 375–96.
‘Gewaltkultur und Kommunismus. Ursachen und Formen in der Sowjetunion’. osteuropa 63, no. 5–6 (2013): 93–106.
Räume des Schreckens. Gewalt und Gruppenmilitanz in der Ukraine 1905 - 1933. Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2012.
‘Ukraine 1918. Besatzer und Besetzte im Gewaltraum’. In Gewalträume. Soziale Ordnungen im Ausnahmezustand, edited by Jörg Baberowski and Gabriele Metzler, 135–68. Frankfurt am Main: Campus, 2012.
‘Zwei brutale Regime. Stalinismus und Nationalsozialismus. Diktaturen im Vergleich – eine Skizze’. Zeitungszeugen 38 (2012): 6–7.
Ordnungshüter auf Abwegen? Herrschaft und illegitime polizeiliche Gewalt in Moskau 1905-1914. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2006.
Last updated: December 13, 2016