Rethinking Labour from A Global Perspective

Rethinking Labour from A Global Perspective

The conference will be realized by the joint cooperation between the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and the Wissenschaftszentrum für Sozialforschung Berlin (WZB) under the direction of Professor Jürgen Kocka (WZB) and Professor Andreas Eckert (Universität Hamburg).
From - Until
12.10.2006 - 14.10.2006
Felicitas Hentschke, IGK Arbeit und Lebenslauf in globalgeschichtlicher Perspektive (re:work), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

"Rethinking Labour from A Global Perspective"

To be held in Berlin, October 12-14, 2006

The general aim of the conference is to examine the role of the nation state in labour history from multiple transregional and transcultural perspectives. The conference aims at bringing together younger and senior scholars who relate their work to the field of “Global Labour History.”

Participants of this conference will look at the history and present status of work/labour from a global perspective. The global labour history approach does not represent the search for a comprehensive theory. Rather, this perspective allows for fresh theoretical approaches, which are transnational and transcontinental in the sense that the global context is considered in each local study. In this context, the exclusive concentration on issues and concepts such as industrialization, working society, wage labour, production etc. should be overcome.

The discussions and debates during this conference will focus on the significance of the nation state. Globalization is not displacing the nation state as a dominant spatial category. Quite contrary to this assumption, the nation state today is almost more contoured than ever. Though supranational legislation (economy, jurisdiction, politics, and culture) has more and more influence on national legislation and diffuses through national borders, for many people these borders become less exceedable, especially when it comes to migrant workers.
Research on labour history is still being closely linked to the classical framework of the nation state. This implicates the marginalization of the significance of the multiplicity of “social spaces.” Therefore, the debate about definitions and redefinitions of work in specific localities forms an important example of the struggle against the marginalization of social spaces. The conflict between “national space” and “social space” thus represents a central methodical challenge for the conceptualization of global labour history. To find methodical access to a globally-entangled labour history, it seems useful to examine smaller units within and beyond the nation state and to compare systematically transnational movements.

We welcome candidates from the disciplines of history, anthropology, law, sociology, political sciences, as well as area studies. Applicants should be at the doctoral or postdoctoral level. Ph.D. holders should have received their doctorate in the last five years. Proposed projects should employ a historical as well as a transregional perspective.

We particularly welcome proposals with an emphasis placed on the interaction among non-European societies, Europe, and the United States, as well as on the interactions between non-European societies.

Travel expenses and costs incurred during the stay in Berlin will be covered.

Application procedure:
To apply, please send the following documents in English:
1. A curriculum vitae
2. A brief statement of up to 1,000 words about current research relevant to the conference’s theme
3. The names and addresses (incl. e-mail) of two referees

Application deadline: July 10, 2006

Candidates will be informed in mid-July whether they have been accepted. Participants will be asked to submit the full paper (10,000 words) in English by the end of August to be distributed to the other participants.

The conference is funded by the State of Berlin Senate’s Office for Science, Research, and Culture.


Contact (announcement)

Dr. Felicitas Hentschke
Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin
Wallotstr. 19
D - 14193 Berlin

T. 030 - 89 001 267
F. 030 - 89 001 200
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