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Roundtable: Writing a General Labour History of Africa from the 16th to the 19th centuries

9 June, 2022 @ 5:30 pm 9:00 pm

This event is organised in the framework of Africa 2020 (previously postponed due to Covid-19).

Interest in the history of labour in Africa has experienced a rebirth after a long parenthesis of neglect.  African labour history research enlarged its scope, characterized by a trend to analyse work beyond wage labour and to focus increasingly on different forms of labour relations, from commodified forms of labour relations, typical of the capitalist mode production, to tributary and reciprocal forms of labour relations.

A volume published in 2019, General Labour History of Africa. Workers, Employers and Governments: 20th and 21st Centuries, examines key transformations during the colonial and postcolonial periods and offers the first comprehensive study on labour in Africa within the framework of a global labour history perspective.

Now another volume is under preparation, under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Regional Office for Africa, which will cover the period from the 16th to the 19th centuries. In providing broad and differentiated perspectives on significant developments related to the history of African working people, this new book project is designed to start a fresh discussion on African labour history.

In addition to seeking a gap in the literature, another aim of the second volume of the General Labour History of Africa to encourage historical research on pre-1900 African labour history. The roundtable will present some of the central ideas of the book and discuss its potential and any possible new issues the lounge durée might raise.

The meeting will take place in a hybrid form. Please register at y.s.b.noor@hum.leidenuniv.nl for both the event and the buffet before noon 3 June 2022 (limited seating: first come, first serve).
(FYI: the event might be video-recorded).

Zoomlink for online attendance:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 845 8819 6076

Registration: 17:30-18:00

Roundtable and Q&A: 18:00-19:30

– Ken Chamuva Shawa (ILO, Regional Office for Africa, Abidjan, Ivory Coast)
– David Ehrhardt (LeidenASA, The Netherlands)
– Stefano Bellucci (Leiden University and IISH Amsterdam)
– Andreas Eckert (Re:Work, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany)
– Filipa Ribeiro da Silva (International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
– Samuel Nyanchoga (Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya)
– Katharina Oke (University of Graz, Austria), tbc

Buffet dinner and drinks: 19:30 onwards

The Hague Humanity Hub

Fluwelen Burgwal 58
The Hague, Netherlands
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