International Summer Academy 2015 in Dakar, Senegal


Deadline: August 15, 2014

Costs: Travel and accommodation costs of the selected participants will be covered by the organisers of the Summer Academy.

The international research center IGK Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History (Humboldt-Universita t zu Berlin) and the doctoral school «Etudes sur l’Homme et la Socie te » – ETHOS (University Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar) will hold a Summer Academy exploring the historical and contemporary meanings and practices of work in relation to gender and generation in post-slavery societies and will take place on the campus of the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, January 26 to February 1, 2015.

In many parts of the world, adaptation to the end of slavery went along with the constitution of new households, the reconfiguration of domestic household labour, new or revived forms of coerced labour, trafficking, conflicts over the control of labour and the emergence of sharecropping, debt bondage, and forced marriages as a form of labour mobilization. These developments had a differential impact on men and women, and on different generations. Moreover, especially in post-slavery societies in Africa, the Americas, South Asia, and the Indian Ocean world, the distinction between “free” and “unfree” became essential in this process. The Summer Academy will therefore focus on the ambiguities of the concept of “free labour” without simply eliminating the distinction between “free” and “unfree” or referring to its “blurred character.” The need for an intensive engagement with these issues arises from a fundamental redefinition of work that has emerged in post-abolition societies that coincided with rapid globalisation.

The Summer Academy shall focus methodologically on historical perspectives that investigate global interconnections and entanglements and/or employ methodologies of comparison. The critical reflection of general comparative notions such as “generation”, “household”, “work and labour,” “freedom” and “slavery” should be part of the individual projects presented at the Summer Academy.

The following aspects, among others, should be central to the projects and discussions: – Languages of free and unfree labour – Slave emancipation – Domestic work – Households and different forms of labour – Control of labour – Debt bondage / pawnship – Forced / coerced labour – Child labour / children’s work – Gender differences in labour experience – Generational differences in labour experience Moreover, the Summer Academy will also provide the venue for an in-depth discussion of methodological issues and the question of sources. The Summer Academy will be led by renowned historians and social scientists from around the world. The language of the Summer Academy will be English. Within its framework, selected participants will present their research (40 minutes) and comment on a project of a peer (20 minutes). Moreover it is obligatory that all participants hand in an essay on specific topics related to the Summer Academy’s theme as well as answers to a set of key texts prior to the event.


The Summer Academy is open for doctoral students working in the field of work/labour from historical as well as other social sciences’ perspectives.  We welcome relevant applications from all parts of the globe. Candidates from Africa are particularly encouraged to apply.


To participate in the Summer Academy research scholars at the doctoral level need to apply with a brief outline of their current project (max. 3 pages) and a two pages essay on how their work relates to the themes of the Summer Academy as well as how they can contribute to it. These should be submitted electronically along with their CV and the names/ email addresses of two referees. Proposed projects should assume a historical perspective and will be particularly pertinent if they take account of connections beyond the nation state and attempt to reflect upon the possibilities of connecting regional and systematic approaches. This does not exclude carefully contextualized case studies. Please use the electronic form on our website:; we can ONLY accept electronically submitted applications! The deadline for applications is August 15, 2014. Application Form – Download Please send your application to: Professor Andreas Eckert IGK Work and Human Lifecycle in Global History Humboldt University Berlin


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