Thematic focus of 2023/24
On Gender and Intersectionality
Upcoming Lectures
ESTA (Exploring Slave Trade in Asia) Database Launch
Collaborated with the IISG, the BCDSS is very pleased to host the launch of the ESTA Database on Friday, 17 November 2023.
Book Launch and Discussion
Join us for the book launch of Prof. Dr. Christoph Witzenrath's latest publication "The Russian Empire, Slaving and Liberation, 1480-1725", followed by a discussion with Prof. Dr. Martin Aust regarding the book's content.
Thematic focus of 2023/24
Upcoming Lectures
ESTA (Exploring Slave Trade in Asia) Database Launch
Book Launch and Discussion

Welcome to the Cluster of Excellence at the 
Bonn Center for Dependency & Slavery Studies 

"Beyond Slavery and Freedom:
Asymmetrical Dependencies in Pre-Modern Societies" 

We are a research cluster within the framework of the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments.

We investigate profound social dependencies such as slavery, serfdom, debt bondage, and other forms of permanent dependency across epochs, regions and cultures. 

Our focus lies "beyond slavery and freedom", i.e. we aim to overcome the binary opposition of "free" and "unfree".

Instead, we propose the new key concept of "asymmetrical dependency" to explore all forms of bondages across time and space. 

Reading & discussion with Mareice Kaiser

What we do with money and what money does to us
Exploring the intricate web of dependencies and emotions woven into the fabric of financial relationship

BCDSS Library of Ancient Slavery

Launch of the BCDSS Library of Ancient Slavery
Get an insight of the launch of BCDSS' Library of Ancient Slavery.

Reading & Discussion with Natassa Sideri

Debt Bondage
Watch what playwright Natassa Sideri thinks about our reading and discussion evening on her play "Gefesselt" 

Impressions from the Reading & Discussion with Mareice Kaiser

You can now watch a short video of the reading and discussion with journalist and writer Mareice Kaiser from 30 October 2023, held in cooperation with the Volkshochschule (‘Adult Education Centre’) Bonn.

We had the pleasure of hosting Mareice Kaiser for a captivating session on her latest book:

"How much? What we do with money and what money does to us"

Money, a subject often shrouded in silence and shame, took center stage as Mareice Kaiser delved into the intricacies of the financial narratives and emotions of individuals navigating the spectrum of wealth (and the lack of it).

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

December 2 marks the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. On this day in 1949, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others. The main objective of this day is to eradicate modern forms of slavery, including human trafficking, sexual exploitation, child labour, forced marriage, and the coerced enlistment of children for use in armed conflict. 

New article by BCDSS Postdoctoral Researcher Josef Köstlbauer

BCDSS Postdoctoral Researcher Dr. Josef Köstlbauer's new article "Subjugation by Labelling: Analysing the Semantics of Subservience in a Fugitive Slave Case from Eighteenth-Century Germany" has been published in the special issue of the ÖZG (Österreichische Zeitschrift für Geschichtsforschung).

Book Review by Anas Ansar

BCDSS PhD Researcher Anas Ansar has recently written a review of the book "Waves of Upheaval in Myanmar: Gendered Transformations and Political Transitions" by Jenny Hedström and Elisabeth Olivius. It has been published by the International Quarterly of Asian Studies (IQAS) Autumn issue. 

"Afrika – Atlantik – Amerika" - Book Review

BCDSS Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Michael Zeuske's monograph, "Africa – Atlantic – America: Slavery and the Slave Trade in Africa, the Atlantic, the Americas, and Europe," was reviewed in the magazine Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift (Volume 82, Issue 2) by Ulrich van der Heyden.

You can find the article here.

P. E. MacAllister Field Archaeology Award for Prof. Dr. Bethany J. Walker

Congratulations to BCDSS Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Bethany J. Walker on receiving the P. E. MacAllister Field Archaeology Award for her outstanding contributions to the field of ancient Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology. The award ceremony will be held at the 2023 ASOR (American Society of Overseas Research) Annual Meeting in Chicago on 17 November.

"The Abolitionist Civil War" - Book Launch

Join us Wednesday, November 15th at 2pm CT (3pm ET) for a Facebook Live discussion and Q&A featuring former BCDSS Bonn-Yale-Anton-Wilhelm-Amo-Fellow Frank J. Cirillo and his new LSU Press book, "The Abolitionist Civil War: Immediatists and the Struggle to Transform the Union."

Facebook Event

Film Screening & Conversation: PARIS IS BURNING

Don’t miss our third and last film screening this year in cooperation with Kino in der Brotfabrik!

Conference: Autorität und Soft Power im Judentum und Christentum
09:05 AM
Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming UpcomingUpcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming Upcoming ...
Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture by Jane Whittle
Online via Zoom
04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
How did Mary Astell question the apparent contradiction between the freedom of all men and the perceived enslavement of all women? This lecture reexamines ...
Joseph C. Miller Lecture by Kate Cooper
HYBRID event: On site ...
04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
How does Augustine's Confessions reveal the often-overlooked lives of women, children, and the enslaved in fourth-century Roman Africa, shedding light on their ...
Workshop: Forms of Freedom during Slavery in Latin America
Faculty of Philosophy ...
09:00 AM - 01:30 PM
As co-organizers, we are delighted to announce an upcoming workshop that delves into the intricate theme of "Forms of Freedom during Slavery in Latin America: ...
Book Talk with Ana Lucia Araujo
Heusallee 18-24
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Join us as historian Ana Lucia Araujo discusses her latest book, 'The Gift: Exploring the Influence of Prestigious Objects in the Atlantic Slave Trade and ...
Dies Academicus: Gender and Gender Ambiguity
Am Hof 1
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
"One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman," Simone de Beauvoir argues in her famous book The Second Sex, published in 1949. This has come as no surprise to ...
Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture by Rachel Sarah O’Toole
Online via Zoom
06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
How did enslaved individuals in the Americas navigate the path to freedom? Focusing on Trujillo, Peru, this lecture contends that legal manumission alone did ...
Plantations: Forms & Practices of Coerced Labor in Global History
Niebuhrstr. 5
09:30 AM - 12:30 PM
This round table event aims at interrogating the concept of the plantation and incorporate emergent theoretical insight on forms and practices of coerced ...

Contact Us

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS)

Subscribe to our email list and get all of the latest news! 
The Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Follow us and stay updated.


University of Bonn
Niebuhrstraße 5
53113 Bonn  

Center for Advanced Studies

(Fellowship Programs)


University of Bonn
Heussallee 18–24
53113 Bonn

Wird geladen