Viadrina Summer University 2013: Unfree Labour Revisited

Call for papers, deadline 30 April
European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder); Hamburg Institute for Social Research 01.09.2013-19.09.2013, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
Deadline: 30.04.2013

Globalization has a dark side - the return and expansion of unfree labour. Regions inside and outside Europe have drawn benefits from political and economic liberalisations of the past decades, but deregulation of labour markets and of financial operations have also widened social gaps and facilitated the expansion of shadow economies.
The acceleration of capital flows has been accompanied by increased efforts of more affluent nations to keep labour migrants at bay.
Irregular immigrants are prone to labour exploitation, while employment of unfree labour on a large scale is widespread in newly industrialising economies.

These trends are reflected by the popularity of a notion like 'modern slavery', used by UN organizations, governments and civil society protagonists, and suggest a sense of historical continuity and current criticism. This course offers room to reconsider historical manifestations of unfree labour - slavery, serfdom, peonage, forced labour in totalitarian regimes - in different cultural contexts (European, African, American, Asian), and to scrutinize coeval concepts and meanings and their transfer into modern public talk. Participants will deal with the often very blurred lines separating free and unfree labour and reflect the discourses justifying or challenging these practises from perspectives of historical and social sciences, economics and law. The comparative and interdisciplinary approach of this course will allow us to put the cherished abstraction 'individual freedom' in contrast with actual forms of labour, which are all ranging somewhere on the continuum between '! free' and 'unfree'.

The issue is high on the agenda of scholars not only from the disciplines involved here. Recent publications have offered substantial overviews of the problem, yet always from the angle of a particular discipline, and mostly with a regional focus. This summer university shall provide an interdisciplinary forum for both younger and established researchers.

Core Course 1 - Prof. Dr. Klaus Weber:
"Historical Practices and Discourse of Unfree Labour"

Core Course 2 - Dr. Norbert Cyrus:
"Current Practices and Discourse of Unfree Labour"

Application form and information about all required documents:



Prof. Dr. Bridget Anderson (Oxford University)

Dr. Steffen Angenendt (German Institute for International and Security Affairs)

Dr. Norbert Cyrus (Hamburg Institute for Social Research)

Prof. Dr. Andreas Eckert (Humboldt University Berlin)

Frank Eisermann, M. A. (University Bremen)

Prof. Dr. Norbert Finzsch (University of Cologne)

Prof. Dr. Andreas Graeber (European University Viadrina)

Prof. Dr. Bernd-Stefan Grewe (University of Education Freiburg, Department of History)

Dr. Kristina Hahn (German Institute of Global and Area Studies - GIGA)

Verena Jaeschke, M. A. (European University Viadrina)

Prof. Dr. Jacek Kochanowicz (Uniwersytet Warszawski / Central European University Budapest)

Prof. Dr. Eva Kocher (European University Viadrina)

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Martschukat (University Erfurt)

Prof. Dr. John O'Neill (The University of Manchester - t. b. c.)

Prof. Dr. Orlando Patterson (Harvard University - t. b. c.)

Dr. Magnus Ressel (Università degli Studi di Padova)

Prof. Dr. Marcel Velázquez Castro (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima)

Dr. Dita Vogel (Network Migration in Europe / Hamburg Institute of International Economics)

Prof. Dr. Klaus Weber (European University Viadrina)

Dr. Jutta Wimmler (European University Viadrina)


Prof. Dr. Klaus Weber
(Coordinator VSU: Mrs Kathrin Goeritz,
Student Assistent: Mr Robert Simon)
Große Scharrnstraße 59
15230 Frankfurt (Oder), Germany
+49 335 5534 2314/2242

vsu [at]

Viadrina Summer University at European-University Viadrina, Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences

[Cross-posted, with thanks, from H-Soz-u-Kult]