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Forms of Bonded Labour

Conceptual approaches towards a new comparative research framework

Indentured work migration was one of the biggest migration movements worldwide after slavery. Since the 1840s, Asian working migrants, called coolies, worked in the Americas, Africa, Arab countries and sometimes Europe in schemes of unfree labour. Similar forms of work organization and migration can be found until today. The conference aims at shedding light at the phenomenon of indentured labour in the Global South in contemporary and historical settings, bringing together researchers from history, cultural studies, social sciences and anthropology. Its contributions investigate institutional frameworks, migration flows and cultures of coolie labour and contract-workers.

Organized by
Sabine Damir-Geilsdorf
Ulrike Lindner
Gesine Müller
Michael Zeuske

Research Group:
From Slave to Coolie: Migrations, Work and Coolie Culture

Sabine Damir-Geilsdorf (Cologne), Liliana Gomez (Harvard), Alaine Hutson (Austin), Olivia Kilias (Berlin), Ulrike Lindner (Cologne), Gesine Müller (Cologne), Oliver Tappe (Cologne), Matthias von Rossum (Leiden), Michael Zeuske (Cologne)

June 23-24, 2014

Neuer Senatssaal
Albertus Magnus Platz
Hauptgebäude (Main building)