Ulbe Bosma & Nigel Worden on slave trade – EHESS, May 11th, 2015

The seminar of Aymard, Jean-Yves Grenier, Gilles Postel-Vinay, andAlessandro Stanziani (Critique de l’économie historique) will host two papers on African and Indian Ocean slave trade:

  • Ulbe Bosma (IISG Amsterdam): Shifting patterns of slave raiding and slave trade across Island Southeast Asia, 1600-1900.
  • Nigel Worden (University of Cap Town): Cap Town as an Indian Ocean Slave Port.

Venue: May 11th, room 1, 105 bd Raspail, 5 pm-8 pm.

[Call for papers] Captives, recruited, migrants: Empires and labor mobilization, 17th century to present days.

Captives, recruited, migrants: Empires and labor mobilization, 17th century to present days.

Paris, sept 30-oct. 02, 2015

This workshop starts from the hypothesis that warfare and labor are strongly connected in Empire building and their evolution, to begin with war captives in early modern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas and to continue with the various forms of recruitment in land and maritime empires in all those areas. Captives as well as local peasants were soldiers, seamen, and colonists at the same time.

Vice versa, like soldiers and seamen, since the seventeenth century, immigrants were under strong coercive, military-inspired rules and the word deserter and fugitive was applied to all this wide range of conditions. Soldiers and ordinary population took part to collective work leaded by the village, the state, private companies, landlords, together with recruited and soldiers.

Forms of forced recruitment were still important in the 19th century (the press system in Britain and its variations in the Empire, recruitments in Russia) and continued in the 20th century, in Europe during the wars, outside of Europe during and after colonization and decolonization up through nowadays children soldiers.

Again, the connection between forced recruitment and forced migration is important, but it supposedly takes a new departure in the twentieth century with massive displacement of populations in the Soviet Empire as well as in several Asian and African areas. The boundary between refugees-workers-recruited still is fragile.

Participants are not required to pay a fee, but they are supposed to have funds for their own trip and staying, in particular confirmed scholars. Special allocations are provided for some PHD students and post-docs.

Proposals made of a short cv and one page abstract have to be sent to: tralibre-traforce@ehess.fr before may the 10th, 2015.

Answers by May the 20th.

The coordinator Alessandro Stanziani

Free/unfree Labour Workshop – June 2015


Program has been modified on April 22: Locations have changed

  • June 08-09 : Collège de France, 52, rue du Cardinal Lemoine (Paris 5)
  • June 10 : 96, bvd Raspail, Paris


Tensions between free and unfree labor cannot be resumed to the classical passages from feudalism

to capitalism in Europe, from slavery to freedom across the Atlantic. To the contrary, these tensions

concern all the world regions and on the very longue durée, well before the European expansion and

well after the French revolution and the abolitionist movement. Millions of bonded people in Africa,

India, South-East Asia and China, not to forget Latin America and the “West” itself testify to this


This workshop aims at discussing the tensions between labor and coercion since the 16th century to

present days in multiple, hierarchical spaces over Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Scholars

from different fields –historians, economists, sociologists-, NGOs and ILO representatives will take

part to the discussions.


June 8-10, 2015

EHESS room 015 (first floor, Building B) / “LE FRANCE”, 190-198 AV. DE FRANCE 75013 PARIS

Program (download full program in pdf)

June 8, 9:30-13:00

 Anne CONCHON [Paris 1] : La corvée au XVIIIe siècle : les formes de dépendance à l’œuvre dans la contrainte de travail. / Corvée in 18th century France: forms of dependance and labor constraints.

 Philippe MINARD [Paris 8-EHESS] : Relation salariale et subordination : le régime britannique Master & Servant (XVIIe-XIXe siècles). / Wage relationships and subordination : the Master and Servant regime in Britain (17th-19th centuries)

 Alessandro STANZIANI [CNRS-EHESS (CRH)] : Recrutement forcé des marins, France-Angleterre-Océan indien, XVIIIe-XIXe siècles. / Force recruitment of seamen, France-Britain-Indian Ocean, 18th-19th centuries

 Jérôme BOURDIEU [INRA-EHESS-PSE] et Lionel KESZTENBAUM [INED-PSE] : Dépendance au travail et développement du salariat durant la révolution industrielle. / Control of the workforce and the rise of wage-earners during the industrial revolution.

June 8, 14:00-17:30

 Thomas VERNET [Paris 1] : Esclaves et clients. Formes de la dépendance, mobilités et traites dans le monde swahili, 1500-1820. / Slaves and clients. Dependence, mobility and the slave trade in the Swahili world, 1500-1820.

 Catarina MADEIRA SANTOS [EHESS] : Le pawnship en Angola. Une approche de longue durée. / Pawnship in Angola: a long-term approach.

 Richard ROBERTS [Stanford University] : Changement économique et mobilisation du travail après l’abolition de l’esclavage au Soudan français, 1890-1930. / Economic Change and Labor Mobilization in the Aftermath of the End of Slavery in the French Soudan, 1890-1930.

 Babacar FALL [Université de Dakar] : Premiers grands travaux coloniaux et main-d’œuvre au Sénégal. Étude de cas : Le port de Dakar et le chemin de fer Dakar-Saint-Louis (1855 – 1885). / First colonial works and labor force in Senegal. Case study: the Dakar port and the railway Dakar-Saint-Louis, 1855-1885.

June 9, 9:30-13:00

 Céline FLORY [CNRS] : Mondes américains, « Recapturés », « rachetés », « engagés » : abolitions et « nouveaux » travailleurs africains en colonies. / Re-captured, “rachetés”, indentured: abolition and new African workers in the French colonies.

 Hideaki SUZUKI [School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences, Nagasaki University] Les logiques de la dépendance et de la protection dans le golfe Persique au début du XXe siècle. / Logics of bonding and protection in the early twentieth century Persian Gulf, early 20th Century.

 Kudakwashe MANGANGA [Department of History, University of Zimbabwe] : Debt and Bondage in Colonial Zimbabwe: the Role of the Rural White Petite Bourgeoisie and the Credit System (Chimbazo). / Dette et dépendance dans le Zimbabwe colonial: le rôle de la petite bourgeoise blanche rurale and le système de crédit (Chimbazo).

 Andreas ECKERT [Humboldt University] : Travail forcé et décolonisation en Afrique. / Forced labor and decolonization in Africa.

June 9, 14:00-17:30

 Denis COGNEAU [PSE-IRD] : L’économie politique de la conscription militaire en Afrique coloniale française. / The political economy of military conscription in French colonial Africa.

 Eveline BAUMANN [UMR 245 CESSMA (Université Paris Diderot – INALCO – IRD)] : De la normalité du travail vulnérable au Sénégal. / The normality of vulnerable work in Senegal.

 Karin MARAZYAN [Paris 1] : Child fostering in Senegal. / Le placement des enfants au Sénégal.

 Yuka TOMOMATSU [Tokyo University] : Meaning of labour: contextualizing savanna household economy in northern Ghana. / La signification du travail : contextualisation de l’économie du ménage dans la savane du Ghana du Nord.

June 10, 9:30-13:00

 Isabelle GUÉRIN [IRD-Cessma and French Institute of Pondicherry] : Le travail non libre à l’ère de la financiarisation. / Unfree labor in the financial era.

 Smita PREMCHANDER [Sampark, Bangalore] : Contracting and sub-contracting: how markets work to perpetuate indebtedness and bondage. / Contrat et sous-contrat : comment les marches pérennisent la dette et la dépendance.

 Harsh MANDER : Youth, Jobs and Dreams in contemporary India. Jeu/ nes, travail et rêves dans l’Inde contemporaines.

 Coen KOMPIER [ILO, Delhi] : Stubborn Debts and State Complicity. Bonded Labour in the Indian Ocean Rim for the past 15 Years / Persistance de la dette et complicités étatiques. Le travail forcé sur les rives de l’océan indien au cours des quinze dernières années.

June 10, 14:00-17:30

 Thomas CAYET [EHESS] : Le « travail forcé » à l’Organisation Internationale du Travail, une vision « en creux » d’un idéal de modernisation ? / Forced labor at the ILO, a vision of an ideal of modernization?

 Laura De LISI [EHESS] : Le travail des enfants en Côte d’Ivoire (1980-2000) : de fortes interactions avec le travail des femmes. / Child labor in Ivory Coast (1980-2000): strong interaction with women labor.

 Michaëlle DE COCK [ILO, Genève] : Forced labour today: the challenges of implementing solid research and data collection. / Le travail force aujourd’hui : les défis de la mise en place de recherches solides et de la
collecte de données.

 TABLE RONDE autour de Prabhu Mohapatra (Delhi University), Richard Roberts (Stanford) et Coen Kompier (ILO)

Two books on microcredit

  • La microfinance et ses dérives. Emanciper, exploiter ou discipliner ? Editions Demopolis, par Isabelle Guérin (IRD-Cessma, associée à l’Institut Français de Pondichéry et au Cermi)
  • La vraie révolution du microcrédit, Editions Odile Jacob, par Jean-Michel Servet (IHEID, associé au Cessma et au Cermi)

The two books will be presented at the Université populaire et citoyenne du CNAM, March 18, 2015, 6 pm.

Isabelle Guérin’s book will be presented at:
-Toulouse, on March 4, 6 pm at the Ombres Blanches bookstore (http://www.ombres-blanches.fr/prochaines-rencontres/rencontre/rencontre/2781/isabelle-guerin/la-microfinance-et-ses-derives.html)
– Nantes, March 17, 6 pm at the Institut d’Etudes Avancées (http://www.iea-nantes.fr/fr/actus/conferences/actualite_543)

[Call for papers] Language, Land and Labour. 10th Madagascar Workshop

Language, Land and Labour / 10th Madagascar Workshop

21 May 2015 / Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC), McGill University

Call for Papers

The Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC), McGill will be hosting the 10th Madagascar Workshop on 21 May 2015 on the theme “Language, Land and Labour.” This interdisciplinary workshop brings together anthropologists, historians and other scholars who share an interest in Madagascar and its diaspora. The keynote speech will coincide with the opening presentation, on Madagascar, of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association Conference (AFLA) which runs from 21-24 May 2015.

Among the themes that might be considered are (but not excluded to):

  • Language, power and ideology in (pre-)colonial Madagascar
  • Discourses of land tenure, land degradation and forest use
  • Language of Slavery
  • Language of Religion / Spirit possession
  • Language and identity (gender/ age / ethnicity… )
  • Language and Colonialism
  • Language of Fady / Taboo in Labour and Land relations
  • Non-Austronesian influences on language in Madagascar
  • Labour regimes and land
  • Health, medicine and forest use
  • Power relations and language / land / labour

Those interested in participating should send a title and one-page abstract to the IOWC (iowc@mcgill.ca ) by 1 March 2015.

[Call for papers] Desertion and Mobility in Global Labor History, c. 1650-1850

Call for Papers:

Runaways: Desertion and Mobility in Global Labor History, c. 1650-1850

22-23 October 2015,

Amsterdam, International Institute of Social History Department of History, University of Pittsburgh

Early modern globalization depended on the mobility and work of millions of workers who were crucial to production, transport, protection, and warfare. Bound by contract, slavery or otherwise, most of the labour relations through which sailors, soldiers, craftsmen, convicts and slaves were mobilized and employed contained elements in which withdrawal from the labour relation was a punishable offence. Though the lives of the working people were ordained by powerful trading companies and state structures, these workers often tried to pursue their own social and economic interests. Walking away from work, often breaching contract or law, was a widespread phenomenon that had a crucial role in this early stage of globalization. ‘Desertion’ – as understood by authorities – was absence from work: a breach of a labor contract or an act of defiance. For this conference, we define desertion broadly (and is thus not limited to the military sphere) as ‘walking away from work where this was a punishable offence in labour relations underpinned by contracts, obligations or coercion’. It will compare different types of workers. The conference will also explicitly engage with perspectives ‘from below’. Walking away from work was perhaps the most common of all forms of quotidian acts of disobedience amongst the early modern workforce. The study of desertion provides information on the workers’ perception of economic opportunity, conditions of work, strategies of revolt and finally, how these practices among workers shaped the (much larger) history of empire and capitalism in the early modern period.

Desertion of workers thus provides an interesting perspective on early global connections. The mobility and boldness of deserting workers is not surprising. Throughout the world, a vast majority of them were often migrants. From this perspective, desertion can be related to the work place, labour conditions and workers strategies, but also to the opportunities offered by economic and political environments, varying from ‘open’ and ‘empty’ landscapes offering opportunities for settlement and freedom, to ‘urban’ and economically developed areas providing opportunities for (new) work, but also anonymity and shelter. This conference aims to investigate the phenomenon of desertion from a comparative and global (labour) history perspective. In an earlier meeting, some first lines of the history of desertion in the Dutch empire have been explored, comparing cases from Europe, the Atlantic and Asian realms.

This conference aims to broaden the perspective. Therefore, we invite (comparative) case-studies from different regions over the world in order test findings and to uncover new connections. We invite studies related to workers and communities from European and non-European histories. Examples of such cases could relate to:

– Desertion in the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese and other empires
– Desertion in European, Asian or other armies
– Desertion from labour contracts in Europe, Asia and the America’s by contracted wage workers such as sailors, soldiers, maids, crafts men or others
– Escape from coerced labour services, such servants (Europe), herendiensten (Java) or oeliam services (Ceylon, present-day Sri Lanka)
– Escape by convicts from work camps and prisons
– Escape by slaves from slave ships, plantations, households in the Atlantic and Asian world
– Escape by slaves, servants, sailors, and other workers in (West-)Africa
– Histories of maroon communities
– Individual desertions or mass desertions

The conference aims to bring together excellent and innovative scholars working on the history of labour and social history, but will also be open to economic and cultural historians who can provide interesting case studies and perspectives. Covering European, Atlantic and Asian environments, it encourages case studies that focus on one or multiple groups of workers engaged in the global economy. In doing so, this conference will trace and compare acts and patterns of desertion across empires, economic systems, regions and types of workers. In order to study desertion comparatively way, we encourage participants to focus on the common research theme. The aim of the conference is to investigate the patterns of desertion and mobility as both economic and political responses to the processes at play in the early modern worlds of work and globalization.

In order to engage with these patterns of desertion systematically, participants are invited to consider the impact of variables such as the labour relations involved; the definitions of ‘desertion’ for different types of work and workers by authorities, employers and workers; the quantitative evidence for the incidence of desertion (and where possible, to reconstruct ‘desertion rates’); general patterns of work and mobility; mechanisms of control; the economic and political interests at stake for authorities, employers and workers.

Abstracts of maximum 500 words, indicating the proposed topic, sources and research methods, can be sent to desertion2015@gmail.com before 15 April 2015.

Titas Chakraborty, University of Pittsburgh
Jeannette Kamp, Leiden University
Marcel van der Linden, International Institute of Social History
Marcus Rediker, University of Pittsburgh
Matthias van Rossum, International Institute of Social History

One Hundred Years of Servitude

One Hundred Years of Servitude, Political economy of Tea Plantations in Colonial Assam, Conférence de Rana P. Behal (University of Delhi), avec le soutien de l’AFHMT et du CEIAS.

Mercredi 12 février, 14h-17h, EHESS – Salle 662, 190-198 avenue de France, 75013 Paris
Métro : Quai de la Gare (6) ou Bibliothèque (14)

L’ouvrage récemment publié par Rana P. Behal (One Hundred Years of Servitude – Political Economy of Tea Plantations in Colonial Assam, Tulia Books, New Delhi) revient sur un siècle d’histoire dans les plantations de thé de la vallée d’Assam en Inde, durant la domination coloniale britannique. Les six chapitres du livre étudient la période des années 1840 au milieu du XXe siècle. Au cours de celle-ci, plus de deux millions de travailleurs migrants, soumis à un régime d’asservissement contractuel (indentured servitude), produisirent dans ces plantations le thé destiné à un commerce international de plus en plus lucratif.

La présentation sera suivie d’un débat introduit par ALESSANDRO STANZIANI, Directeur d’études, EHESS-CNRS, CRH.

Contacts : Paul Boulland / Vanessa Caru

[Announcing] “Travail libre/Travail forcé” January Conference

heSamWe are glad to announce the first Conference of the NEXT-heSam project entitled:

“Travail libre/travail forcé. Contraintes locales et dynamiques globales. Afrique, Europe, Asie, du XVe siècle à nos jours”.

On : January 9 and 10 2015

At : Institut des Mondes Africains (IMAF) UMR 8171
Centre Malher, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne  (9, rue Malher 75004 Paris)
Amphithéâtre Georges Dupuis (1er sous-sol)

Financed by Paris Nouveau Mundi (http://www.hesam.eu/blog/category/recherche/programme-next/)

Coordinated by : Alessandro Stanziani (EHESS)


click here to download

Vendredi 9 janvier 2015

Matinée (9h30-13h)

9h30 Introduction

Du Maroc d’Al Mansour à la Guinée de Cap Vert; un modèle partagé de captivité pour les nobles à la fin du XVIe siècle?”
Peter MARK (Department of Art History, Wesleyan University, Middletown)

11h Pause-café

Définitions et pratiques du contrat d’engagisme/indentured, du XVIIe au XIXe siècle

Esclavage, servage et corvée au Buganda (1888-1914) : l’invention africaine d’un travail colonial
Henri MEDARD (IMAF-Aix Marseille Université)

13h Déjeuner

Après-midi (14h-17h30)

14h Why Definition matters? The League of Nations and the Fabrication of a Colonial Fiction on Labour in Angola

Between Slavery and Freedom: The First 24 Libertos of the Mixed Commission in mid-Nineteenth century Luanda
José C. CURTO (Department of History, York University, Toronto)

16h Pause-café

L’articulation entre le travail libre et le travail forcé dans les sociétés esclavagistes des colonies françaises
Frédéric REGENT (Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, IHFR/IHMC)

De la civilisation du travail à la loi du travail : Législation et pratiques du travail forcé au Sénégal, 1919-1960
Romain TIQUET (Humboldt Universität, Berlin)

18h30 Cocktail

Samedi 10 janvier 2015

Matinée (9h30-12h30)

9h30 Travail forcé, violence et guerre dans l’Italie occupée : protagonistes, législation et pratiques locales.

Définir l’expérience du travail des Françaises dans l’Allemagne national-socialiste. Variations temporelles et géographiques

10h30 Pause-café

Le travail forcé en URSS au-delà et en-deçà du Goulag: peut-on distinguer travail forcé et travail libre dans le contexte stalinien?

12h30 Déjeuner

Après-midi (13h30-17h)

13h30 La dichotomie travail forcé/libre à l’épreuve de deux études de cas : les ouvrières marocaines sous contrat en Espagne et les prostituées nigérianes endettées en France
Emmanuelle HELLIO & Prune DE MONTVALON (URMIS, Nice),

Enjeux sociaux et moraux de l’introduction de l’expression « travail esclave » pour qualifier le travail forcé rural au Brésil
Alexis MARTIG (CELAT-Université Laval à Québec)

16h Pause-café

Table ronde, autour de Philippe Minard, Catarina Madeira Santos, Thomas Vernet et Alessandro Stanziani.


Comité scientifique et d’organisation du colloque :
Claude Chevaleyre, EHESS (Cecmc)
Coen KOMPIER, ILO (Delhi)
Thomas VERNET, Paris I (IMAF)
Bénedicte ZIMMERMANN, EHESS (Ctre Simmel)

Contact : cchevaleyre@gmail.com 

[Call for papers] Indentured Migrant Labor and Indentured Laborers in the Heart of Colonial Empires

Call For Papers

Indentured Migrant Labor and Indentured Laborers in the Heart of Colonial Empires:
State of the field and research perspectives
17th-21st centuries
Bordeaux, May 11-12, 2015

This international conference will be held as part of the 5th Rencontres Atlantiques (Atlantic conference series) organized by the Musée d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux and the International center for Research on Slavery (CIRESC).

As bonded labor, slavery and the slavetrade were being debated, condemned and gradually forbidden by colonial and imperial powers, projects advocating the use of indentured migrant laboremerged. This was meant to take in the colonies free foreign labor who, before leaving their country of origin, had signed a contractwhich would legally oblige them to work for an employer for a fixed number of years. Though strongly inspired by the indenture system put in place in America in the seventeenth century, these projects must be distinguished from the latter system, notably because they would concern almost exclusively non-European populations. The use of this new type of labor –indentured non-European migrants –kept on growing throughout the nineteenth century and lasted until the aftermath of the First World War.

Thus, for more than a century, thousands of workers, men, women and children, left the Asian and African continents as indentured labor for either the American colonies or the former colonies located in the Indian Ocean, or for the territories recently conquered by imperial powers in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
The departure and the arrival of thousands of indentured laborers had a huge impact on the economies of the colonial societies and their social and racial organizations, as well as on the cultures and lives of indigenous peoples, and those of the laborers themselves. These impacts were all the more significant as for many of the latter, temporary migration became permanent. And indeed, these indentured laborers permanently altered life and traditions in the colonies they integrated. The legacy of this peculiar type of migration is still very much present in today’s post-colonial societies.
Compared to the abundant historiography devoted to slavery, the slave trade and the migratory movements of European workers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and despite its being essential to understand colonialism and imperialism, the indenture system has only been marginally studied. However, in recent decades many researchers have studied these migrations and this system of labor. However, most of the research in this field is generally centered on the experience of a specific group of migrants, defined by continental origin, place of departure or final destination. For instance, because of their longevity and their numerical strength, the indenture system put in place in the Indian Ocean and the indentured Indian population received great attention, especially within the British Empire.

This international conference intends to contribute to a reconsideration of the historiography of the indenture system, the latter having been too often fragmented by Empire, colony, or group of indentured laborers. We thus wish to bring together specialists working on different regions, empires or colonies,on different periods and issues, so as to encourage comparative, cross and comprehensive studies on the many questions raised by the indenture system.

The committee especially encourages the submission of proposals with a comparative approach, or articulating different political and/or geographical scales, or placing indentured laborers or their descendants at the center of the research.
Suggested topics for paper proposals: the genealogy of indentured migrant labor, the various rationales explaining the use of such labor; recruitment conditions; links or interconnections between indentured migration and other types of migration, the construction of the legal tools to manage and control these foreign workers but also their descendants, the demographic, economic, social, cultural and political impacts of these migrations and this form of work on the colonialsocieties and their populations, the social and racial reorganizations that may have resulted from these migrations; the migrants’ motivations when indenturing themselves, reactions and/or strategies of resistance in the colonies; indentured laborers’ strategies for integration, the laborers’ circulations in the various colonies and/or empires; the formation of diasporas; the contemporary legacies, the ways in which the indentured system has been remembered and commemorated, and the identity claims of people defining themselves as descendants of indentured migrants.

Submission guidelines

Please send an abstract (300 to 500 words) in English or French, and a one-page CV to: colloquengagisme@gmail.com
No later than December 14, 2014


Nathalie Collain (CNRS/CRPLC/CIRESC), Céline Flory (CNRS/Mondes Américains/CERMA/CIRESC), Sophie Fontan (Musée d’Aquitaine), François Hubert (Musée d’Aquitaine), Katia Kukawka (Musée d’Aquitaine)

Scientific Committee

Antonio de Almeida Mendes (Université de Nantes/CRHIA/CIRESC)
Laurence Brown (Université de Manchester)
Virginie Chaillou (Université de Nantes/CRHIA)
Céline Flory (CNRS/Mondes Américains/CERMA/CIRESC)
François Hubert (Musée d’Aquitaine)
Katia Kukawka (Musée d’Aquitaine)
Jean Moomou (Université des Antilles/AIHP GEODE)
Alessandro Stanziani (CNRS/EHESS/CRH)
Ibrahima Thioub (Université Cheik Anta Diop/CARTE)

[Update] Project Workshop: Bondage, Rights, and Voice…


Dates : 9-11 October 2014,

Location: EHESS, Paris Sale 8, 105 Bd Raspail. Salle 8, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), 105 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris (Metro Saint-Sulpice, ligne 4)


It is estimated that some 27 million people live in contemporary forms of human bondage, notably in the Indian Ocean World (IOW), a vast region running from Eastern Africa, to the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia to China. This conference will explore the relationship between historical and contemporary forms of servitude and human trafficking in the IOW within the context of socio-economic, institutional and specific environment interaction, from the 17th century to present days.

Scholars, activists and representatives of international organizations (ILO) and ONGs will interact to set a new research agenda and new policies orientations.
This conference is the conclusive meeting of a France-Quebec program, co-sponsored by the ANR and the FQRSC.
Further information on the program and the team on: http://aiow.hypotheses.org/


8 October – Arrival

9 October
• Introduction: Gwyn Campbell, Alessandro Stanziani
• Xiyang Liu, Simon Fraser University, “Female Domestics and the Neo-Confucian Family Ideal in Ming and Qing China.”
• Claude Chevaleyre EHESS Paris, “From bonded to free labor in late Ming China. A comparison of bondservants and hired-laborers.”
• Margaret Kalacska and Pablo Arroyo, McGill University, “Disease in the 19th Century: Results from the MCRI database on the history of human-environment interaction in the IOW.”
• Ian Breman, University of Amsterdam, “On bondage old and new. unfree labour and the globalization of capitalism.”

13.00-14.00 Lunch

• Gwyn Campbell, IOWC, McGill University, “The Question of Demand for Malagasy Labour in the Mascarenes, 1820-45.”
• Alessandro Stanziani, EHESS Paris, “Post-slavery labor and bondage in the Indian Ocean.”
• Catarina Madeira Santos, EHESS, CEAF, “Servitude par dettes, justice et colonialisme en Angola: crédit africain, traite atlantique et impôt indigène (XVIIIème-XXème siècles).”
• Matthew Pritchard, McGill University, “Perceptions of Slavery in an Independent South Sudan: The impacts of forced migration on contemporary labour and gendered relations in a post-conflict environment.”

10 October
• Smita Premchander, Sampark, Bangalore, “Contracting and sub-contracting: how markets work to perpetuate indebtedness and bondage.”
• Jon Unruh, McGill University, “The Somali Bantu: contemporary attempts at exiting slavery’s legacy.”
• Coen Kompier, ILO, Delhi, “Fifteen Years of ILO Bonded Labor Interventions in India.”
• Tonia Warnecke, Co-Director of the Center for India & South Asia, Rollins College, “Sex and Money: Female Slavery in Contemporary China.”

13.00-14.00 Lunch

• Beate Andrees, ILO, Geneva, Head, “The Price of Having a Job: Labour Recruitment Practises in Global Markets”.
• Sudhir Katiyar, Centre for Labor Research and Action, Udaipur, Rajasthan. “Debt and bondage in contemporary Indian economy. A case study of brick kiln industry’.”
• Isabelle Guèrin IRD-University Paris 7, “Contemporary Bondage in South India”
• Jo Ann Levesque, Directrice du développement stratégique de la recherche, Université du Québec, “Funding Opportunities for Continued International Collaboration.”

11 October
• Margaret Kalacska and Pablo Arroyo, McGill University, “Global Warming and Natural Disasters in the IOW since 1980.”
• Laura De Lisi, EHESS, Child labor and its interaction with adult labor in Ivory Coast (1980-2002)
• Nithya Joseph, EHESS-French Institute of Pondicherry, “The roles of debt in labor contracts in a South Indian silk-reeling hub.”
• David Picherit, EHESS, CEIAS, “Servitude and debt in South India.”

October 12:

Sponsored by the ANR-FQRSC France-Quebec Program

McGill IOWC speakers series (fall 2014)

Dear colleagues,

We have finalized our 2014 Fall Speaker Series at the IOWC and have many exciting talks lined up. All talks occur weekly, every Thursday from 17h45-19h30, in Peterson Hall, Room 116 on the McGill Campus (for more details, please see attached programme), and are followed by a small reception.


To view the program, click here

Chinese Railroad Workers

For those interested in 19th Century Chinese labor migrations to the West, Stanford University has launched a project on Chinese railroad Workers with plenty of online materials and upcoming events in 2015.

Presentation :

“Between 1865 and 1869, thousands of Chinese migrants toiled at a grueling pace and in perilous working conditions to help construct America’s First Transcontinental Railroad. The Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project seeks to give a voice to the Chinese migrants whose labor on the Transcontinental Railroad helped to shape the physical and social landscape of the American West. The Project coordinates research in the United States and Asia in order to create an on-line digital archive available to all. The Project is also organizing major conferences and public events at Stanford and in China in 2015 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the arrival of large numbers of Chinese to work on the railroad.
2015 will be the 150th anniversary of the introduction of large numbers of Chinese workers on the construction of the first transcontinental railway across North America, a project that culminated with Leland Stanford driving the famous “golden spike” completing the line. The labor of these Chinese workers (who eventually numbered between 10-15,000 at any one moment) was central to creating the wealth that Leland Stanford used to found Stanford University. But these workers have never received the attention they deserve. We know relatively little about their lives. What led them to come to the United States? What experiences did they have in their arduous work? How did they live their daily lives? What kinds of communities did they create? How did their work on the railroad change the lives of their families in China and how did it change the lives of the workers themselves, both those who returned to China or went elsewhere after the railroad’s completion and those who stayed in the U.S.?”

More on the project website

Doc/Post-doc fellowships – Max Plank Institut

The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the world’s leading centres for research in
social anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative
analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to
anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political

The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology has the opportunity to offer 2 PhD grants starting 1st of October 2014 (or as soon as possible thereafter), within the Research Group

“Connectivity in Motion: Port Cities of the Indian Ocean” Headed by Prof. Dr. Burkhard Schnepel (MPI-Fellow)

The Research Group examines the socio-cultural and historical dimensions of movements across the
Indian Ocean. Several paradigmatic port cities of the Indian Ocean are taken as empirical starting
points for social anthropological and ethnohistorical research. The Research Group is guided by the
theorem of connectivity in motion”. Hence, it studies the manifold linkages and networks across the
Indian Ocean, focusing on the maritime movements of human beings, material objects, ideas,
religions, languages, political systems and technologies through which alone such connections come to
life. Taking the Indian Ocean as a frame of reference and applying a transregional perspective on
“connectivity in motion” also seeks to achieve new insights in the problematic of globalization. It adds
historical depth to and “re-orients” common views of globalization, as it is concerned not only with
earlier, but also with eastern and southern forms of globalization.
For further information on the programme, see:

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
We expect successful candidates to conduct intensive ethnohistorical research in one or more port
cities of the Indian Ocean of their own choices, preferably at the East African Coast or in
Southeast Asia.

Your Profile
Good field research skills, the ability and willingness to work in a team, communication skills with
good and written English are required. As a rule dissertations will be written in English. Acquisition of
German language is encouraged and assisted by the MPI.

The curriculum will take place in Halle/Saale and the group will work together also in Halle/Saale.

Our Offer
The PhD grants offered here will be awarded for three years, with the possibility of two six-month
extensions. The grants are not taxed and they are free from social security stipulations.

The Max Planck Society strives to employ more persons with disabilities and explicitly encourages
applications. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society is committed to raising the proportion of women in
underrepresented fields; we thus explicitly encourage applications by women.

The MaxNetAging Research is also seeking applications for doc and post-doc starting February 2015
Details here and here

Ottoman Empire, Great Powers and the Roads to India, 1830-1880

Veysel Simsek, PhD Candidate, McMaster University, will give a lecture on Ottoman Empire, Great Powers and the Roads to India, 1830-1880

Wednesday, 30 April 2014, 4:45 pm, 116 Peterson Hall, at MacGill University, Canada


From the late 18th to the early 20th century, the fate of the Ottoman Empire was an integral part of Great Power politics. Often referred to as the “Eastern Question” by contemporary statesmen and modern historians, the international struggle over the political and economic hegemony in the Middle East was also closely linked to the hegemony over the trade routes between Europe and the Indian subcontinent. In the context of Ottoman centralization and reform in the 19th century, this research seeks to explore the Ottoman policies towards Egypt, Levant and Mesopotamia, areas whose historical significance were re-defined with the growing political and commercial ties between India and Britain. By bringing Ottoman agency into the discussion, something often overlooked, the study will investigate how the “Eastern Question” was linked to the European struggle over securing and shortening the “Roads to India.”