Islamic Feminisms and Dependency
Workshop marking International Women’s Day 2024
Viewing & Discussion of “Midwives”
Marking International Women's Day 2024
Thematic focus of 2023/24
On Gender and Intersectionality
BCDSS Heinz Heinen Fellowships 2024/2025
Islamic Feminisms and Dependency
Viewing & Discussion of “Midwives”
Thematic focus of 2023/24
BCDSS Heinz Heinen Fellowships 2024/2025

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.

Impressions from the Annual Conference: Households as Coercive Labour Regimes, IISH, Amsterdam

Annual Conference: Households as Coercive Labour Regimes
Year 2023's Annual Conference was held in IISH, Amsterdam

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.

Exhibition 'Counter Thoughts, Counter Images' by Cheryl McIntosh

Don't miss the upcoming exhibition Counter Thoughts, Counter Images by Cheryl McIntosh, a Jamaican-born artist living in Bonn! The exhibition is the result of the 'Active Remembrance Culture' project, which aims to highlight themes of colonialism, racism, resistance, and recognition, particularly in Bonn's history.

To mark International Women's Day 2024

The Screening & Discussion of the Documentary “Midwives” is part of a two-day event series marking International Women’s Day 2024.

"Without us, where would they go?"

"Midwives", the award-winning documentary by Myanmar film maker Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing is set in the aftermath of the 2017 violent ethnic conflicts between the (Buddhist) Myanmar military and the (Muslim) Rohingya minority in the Rakhine state of Western Myanmar. 

The story follows the fortunes of a Rakhine Buddhist Woman and founder of a rural antenatal clinic and her Muslim Rohingya apprentice. The film delivers a nuanced portrait in which the clinic acts as a microcosm of contemporary Myanmar. With an eye toward peace and reconciliation, the film reveals how categorical markers of social difference, including ethnicity, religion and gender, contribute to forming and perpetuating dependency relations. 

The discussion will explore these intersectional dependencies.

“Midwives”, Myanmar, Germany | 2022 | 89:00 min | Burmese with English subtitles | link to trailer

International Workshop on “Islamic Feminisms and Dependency”

This workshop is part of a two-day event series jointly organized by the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS) and the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn.

The "Islamic Feminisms and Dependency" workshop delves into the intersection of gender, war, and modern Arabic literature, with a focus on Islamic feminism and highlights Prof. Cooke's exploration of "multiple critique" within Islamic feminism, relevant to asymmetrical dependency research. Pre-circulated readings include excerpts from "Women Claim Islam" and an article on "Hijab Activism." Discussions and a coffee break are included in the program.

In essence, the workshop initiates discussions on the relationship between Islamic feminist thought, intersectionality, and asymmetrical dependency research.

Thursday, March 7, 2024 I 13:00 – 16.30 CET

Bonner Universitätsforum, Heussallee 18-24, 53113 Bonn (with hybrid option).

New Article by Christian Mader

BCDSS Research Group Leader Dr. Christian Mader's latest article "An integrative approach to ancient agricultural terraces and forms of dependency" has been published in the journal Frontiers in Environmental Archaeology.

"Africa – Atlantic – America" - New 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, has recently been reviewed in the magazine Francia-Recensio (2023/4, Frühe Neuzeit – Revolution – Empire (1500–1815)) by Robert Heinze.

You can find the article here.

CfA: Bonn-Yale-Anton-Wilhelm-Amo-Fellowship 2024/2025

The BCDSS, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (GLC), accept applications for the Fourth Bonn-Yale-Anton-Wilhelm-Amo-Fellowship for the academic year 2024/2025.

"Voices from the Fire" - film discussion with Anas Ansar

BCDSS PhD Researcher Anas Ansar will lead a post-screening discussion on contemporary slavery / human trafficking on:

Sunday, 11.02.24 - 17:30 PM  at Woki Cinema, Bonn.

Every year, millions of people around the world, mainly women and girls, fall victim to modern-day human trafficking. Over a period of seven long years, Helen Simon researched and listened to people whose stories had previously gone unheard.

This documentary by Helen Simon, Germany 2021, will be screened in the original languages (Afrikaans, Arabic, Czech, Dari, English, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Swahili) with German subtitles.

Duration: 91 minutes
More information about the film on the cinema website.

Please note: cinema ticket fees apply. To book tickets in advance see the link below.

The discussion will be held in ENGLISH.

#ExzellentErklärt Podcast: Sinah Kloß on "Tattoos as Instruments of Power"

Exciting news! The latest episode of the #ExzellentErklärt Podcast is out featuring BCDSS research group leader Dr. Sinah Kloß!

Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture by Stephanie Jones-Rogers
Online via Zoom
04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
What was the crucial and yet overlooked role that British women played in the Atlantic slave trade? While much focus has been on English men involved in the ...
Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture by Nazan Maksudyan
Hybrid Event: On-site in ...
04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
How did the life and work of Johannes Manissadjian, a successful scientist during the Armenian genocide, contribute to understanding the disappearance and ...
Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture by Margaret R. Hunt
Hybrid Event: On-site in ...
04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
How did an alleged sodomy case in 1648 on an English East India Company ship shape social dynamics and attitudes towards homosexuality? Examining the events ...
Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture by Eva Seemann
Hybrid Event: On-site in ...
04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
How did court dwarfs navigate their unique social status in early modern German courts? Despite being perceived as privileged dependents, they served various ...
Conference: Autorität und Soft Power im Judentum und Christentum
Arbeitnehmer-Zentrum ...
06:00 PM
Machtausübung geschieht in Judentum und Christentum auf vielfältige Weise, ohne dass dabei auf rohe Gewalt zurückgegriffen wird. Über Jahrhunderte hinweg haben ...
Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture by Sophie White
Hybrid Event: On-site in ...
04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
How does a new digital humanities project, born from research on the voices of the enslaved in the French Atlantic world, offer insight? Set to launch in ...
Joseph C. Miller Memorial Lecture by Manik Bajracharya
Online via Zoom
04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
What were the intricacies of slavery in 18th and 19th-century Nepal? This talk explores slavery's typology, the role of slaves in social order, processes of ...
Reading & Discussion with Anne Haeming: The life of Wilhelm Joest
Am Hof 1, 53113 Bonn
05:00 PM - 08:00 PM
The next reading and discussion will feature Anne Haeming, the author of 'Der gesammelte Joest: Biografie eines Ethnologen,' published by Matthes & Seitz in ...

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Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS)

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University of Bonn
Niebuhrstraße 5
53113 Bonn  

Center for Advanced Studies (Fellowship Programs)


University of Bonn
Heussallee 18–24
53113 Bonn

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