All New Items

Why Diversity Matters in Research and Development

All welcome!

The lecture will take place Sep. 15, 2022, from 10-12 CET, at the BCDSS conference room (0.018), Niebuhrstr. 5, 55113 Bonn (coffee included!). Alternatively you can join via Zoom (details below).

Conference: Transforming Spirit Bodies

September 29-30, 2022

Register by: September 15, 2022

Organized by Research Group “Marking Power: Embodied Dependencies, Haptic Regimes and Body Modification” (Sinah Kloß, Lena Muders, Taynã Tagliati), Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS), and kindly supported by Fritz Thyssen Stiftung

Venue: Bonner Universitätsforum, Heussallee 18-24, 53113 Bonn, Germany

Keynote Lecture: Luiz Costa (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Kanamari Shamanism and Relations of Dependency across Generations

Panel I – Religion & Healing
Panel II – History and Memory
Panel III – Ecology & Shared World 
Panel IV – Production & Objects

Annual Conference “Norms, Institutions and Practices of Dependency"

This year's Annual Conference is dedicated to Research Area C: Norms, Institutions, and Practices of Dependency.

It is organized by Research Area C members Josef Köstlbauer, Martin Schermaier, Julia Winnebeck and takes place on September 21-22, 2022.

Please register by September 9, 2022.

Location: Hybrid event: online via zoom and onsite at the BCDSS premises in Heussallee 18-24, 53113 Bonn.

Vacancies for two Website and Social Media Assistants to start in September

They will join the Press and PR Team, consisting of the Press and PR Manager and the above two web and social media assistants. 

Autumn School October 31 – November 4

The Centre for Dependency and Slavery Studies at Bonn University (BCDSS) and the Netherlands Interuniversity School of Islamic Studies (NISIS) are inviting abstracts for an Autumn School, aimed at Master-level and PhD researchers, on the theme of “Coercion, slavery, and relations of dependency in the Islamicate world”, to be held at Bonn University from 31 October to 4 November 2022.

Please register for the Autumn School via or via this form. The registration deadline is on the 16th of September 2022.

For NISIS-members, we aim to make a number of travel and accommodation funds available. For select non-members, we also expect to be able to fund some expenses. Please contact us via for more details.

SEHEPUNKTE June 2022 issue: Slavery in the Context of the Ottoman Empire in Ten Contributions

Recent Research on Slavery and Other Forms of Strong Asymmetric Dependence VI: The Ottoman Empire, edited by the Ottoman Slavery Forum led by Veruschka Wagner.

30 June: We the Cimarróns - Film by award winning director and BCDSS fellow Emma Christopher

Join the screening of We the Cimarróns on Thursday, 30 June 2022, at 20:00 CET by award winning director and BCDSS fellow Emma Christopher. This is the second film in our dependency-related film series cooperation "Who's Got the Power" with Förderverein Filmkultur Bonn

At the post-screening talk, we will get a chance to listen to Emma, the director/producer, as well as Garciano and Efrén, two Yurumanguireño leaders featured in the film. They will provide us with an insight into the making of the film and give us their personal accounts of the threats that the Yurumangui community, descendents of enslaved people from West Africa, is facing today.

To round off the evening: Join our RECEPTION at the cinema foyer for some further talks and networking.

Please scroll down for more details (trailer, tickets, registration). 

“Reshaping Freedom: Harriet Tubman's Abolitionism and the Path to Citizenship”

Join the 2022 Juneteenth Lecture “Reshaping Freedom: Harriet Tubman's Abolitionism and the Path to Citizenship” given by Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens on June 22, 2022 at AmerikaHaus NRW, in cooperation with the Bonn Center for Dependendy and Slavery Studies, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and the Research Unit Voluntariness Erfurt|Jena|Oldenburg.

As a historian of slavery and medicine, drawing on the the life of freedom-fighting abolitionist Harriet Tubman, Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens explores how both freedom and citizenship functioned in the lives of antebellum-era African Americans when most were considered chattel and ineligible for the rights of citizenship. Dr. Deirdre Cooper Owens holds the Linda and Charles Wilson Professorship in the History of Medicine, and is Director of the Humanities in Medicine program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Wednesday, June 22nd 6p.m. at Niebuhrstraße 5, 53113 Bonn, and via Zoom.

New Perspectives on Cultural Heritage and German Global History

The international conference takes place on July 6–8, 2022 at the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies. It is jointly organized by Claudia Jarzebowski, BCDSS, and Pia Wiegmink, BCDSS, Susanne Lettow (FU Berlin) and Heike Raphael-Hernandez (University of Würzburg).

Please register via mail by 1 July 2022.
Contact: Gular Bayramli

Iris Därmann: Reading and Discussion (in German)

Wir freuen uns, am Montag, dem 4. Juli 2022, die Kulturwissenschaftlerin und Philosophin IRIS DÄRMANN anlässlich einer Lesung bei uns zu Gast zu haben. Frau Därmann, Professorin für Kulturtheorie und Kulturästhetik an der Humboldt-Universität Berlin, wird im Festsaal der Universität Bonn zwei Passagen aus ihrem Buch Undienlichkeit, Gewaltgeschichte und Politische Philosophie (Matthes und Seitz, Berlin 2020) vorstellen.

On Monday, 4 July 2022, we have the pleasure of hosting a reading by cultural studies and philosophy scholar IRIS DÄRMANN. Iris Därmann, Professor of Cultural Theory & Cultural Aesthetics at Humboldt University Berlin, will present passages from her book Undienlichkeit, Gewaltgeschichte und Politische Philosophie (Matthes und Seitz, Berlin 2020) at the Festsaal of the University of Bonn.

Im Anschluss an die Lesung werden zwei Vertreter*innen der Universität Bonn, BIRGIT MÜNCH (BCDSS Investigator, Professorin für Kunstgeschichte und Prorektorin für Internationales) und CHRISTOPH ANTWEILER (Professor für Südostasienwissenschaften und BCDSS Principal Investigator) sie zu ihrer Sicht auf die Geschichte der Gewalt befragen. KONRAD VÖSSING, Professor für Alte Geschichte und BCDSS Co-Sprecher, wird durch die Diskussion führen. Das Publikum ist herzlich eingeladen sich zu beteiligen. Kenntnis des Buches wird nicht vorausgesetzt! Im Anschluss an die Lesung findet ab ca. 19:30 Uhr ein Empfang statt, zu dem alle Teilnehmer*innen herzlich eingeladen sind. Wir freuen uns auf einen regen Austausch!

Following the reading, two representatives of Bonn University, BIRGIT MÜNCH (BCDSS Investigator, Professor of Art History and Vice Rector for International Affairs) and CHRISTOPH ANTWEILER (Professor of Southeast Asian Studies and BCDSS Principal Investigator) will question Iris Därmann on her view of the history of violence. KONRAD VÖSSING, Professor of Ancient History and BCDSS Co-Speaker, will lead through the discussion. The audience is very welcome to participate. Knowledge of the book is not a prerequisite! The reading will be followed by a reception starting at around 7:30pm, to which all participants are cordially invited. We look forward to a lively exchange!

Time / Uhrzeit:
04.07.2022,  18:15 - 21:00 CET

Location / Ort:
Festsaal, Universität Bonn, Am Hof 1, 53113 Bonn

Booking / Reservierung:
To secure a place for the reading and reception please register by email (with your name and email address) to:
Zur Platzreservierung für Lesung und Empfang bitten wir um Registrierung per Email (mit Angabe des Namens und Emailadresse):

DIVERSITY: Why Dependency and Slavery Studies Matter

BCDSS showcases exemplary research by four PhD researchers.

Diversity plays a major role at the BCDSS. It is not only an integral part of the cluster's third mission, assuring that diversity is firmly based in the cluster's administrative and teaching set-up. Equally importantly, the topic of diversity is widely explored through research. To illustrate this, the cluster's diversity working group presented a poster to the Rector of the University of Bonn and further University representatives on the eve of the International Diversity Day (30 May 2022). It showcases various aspects of diversity within dependency and slavery studies, represented by four of our PhD researchers:

Luvena Kopp looks at Spike Lee’s cinematic representation of the legacy of slavery in current U.S. social relations.

Mary Aderonke Afolabi-Adeolu explores slavery in selected narratives of Nineteenth-Century recaptured West Africans.

Giulia Cappucci investigates female slave owners and enslaved women in the Ancient Roman household.

Susana Macías Pascua examines the enduring antagonisms experienced by Spanish "Gitanos" in history.


Wissenschaftsrallye 2022 für Schülerinnen und Schüler (13-17 Jahre)

Das BCDSS nimmt am 7. Mai 2022 von 10h-15h wieder an der Wissenschaftsrallye der Universität Bonn teil! Dieses Jahr geht es um den Zusammenhang von Zucker und Sklaverei.

Dies Academicus - Public Lecture by Christoph Antweiler

Christoph Antweiler will address questions of "Human Norms in the Anthropocene" as part of the DIES ACADEMICUS on 18 May 2022.

Application period for Master's Programs about to start

For both, the one-year and the two-year programs, we accept applications between 9-31 May 2022 for national and international applicants and between 22-29 August 2022 for national applicants only.

The one-year Master's program in "Slavery Studies" is offered to students who have completed a four-year BA program (240 ECTS points). The two-year Master's program in "Dependency and Slavery Studies" is open to those who hold a three-year bachelor degree (180 ECTS points). 

Who's Got the Power? Book your ticket now for film series kick-off 28 April 2022

The launch of the film series marks the start of a four-year cooperation between the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS) and Förderverein Filmkultur e.V. With four selected films per year, we will be exploring a variety of scenarios of strong asymmetrical dependency relationships, beginning with "La Pirogue" by Moussa Touré on April 28, 2022 at the Kino in der Brotfabrik, Bonn. The format “screening plus talk” will offer a space for researchers, film makers, and the public to enter into a dialogue.

Guest Lecture by Sruti Bala

On 28 April 2022, at 10-11.30 am (sharp), Sruti Bala (Associate Professor at the Dept. of Theatre Studies and the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam) will hold the guest lecture “The Entanglements of Theatre and Colonialism”.

Venue: In person at Heussallee 18–24 (BCDSS meeting room, ground floor) and Online via Zoom.

To register and for the Zoom link, please contact Jenny Leetsch ( or Pia Wiegmink (

Third-Party Funded Project by Bethany J. Walker

We are pleased to announce that BCDSS principal investigator Bethany J. Walker will hold the DFG fundend multi-disciplinary project “TERRSOC: ‘Reading’ Ancient Landscapes”. The project is funded under the DFG's Middle East Cooperation competition. It is a partnership between the Islamic Archaeology Research Unit of the University of Bonn and the Institutes of Archaeology at Tel Aviv and Hebrew Universities in Israel, and runs from 2022-2025.

More information here.

Congratulations to David Brandon Smith

We are very pleased to announce that our BCDSS doctoral researcher David Brandon Smith is third-place winner of the 2022 Lombard Prize of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) with his essay, “A Liberative Reformed Linguistic: Ecumenical Formation Programs, Gender and Sexuality.” Congratulations!

Call for Papers: Archaeologies of Dependency in Latin America

International Conference on September 7–8, 2023 at the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies, organized by the research group The Archaeology of Dependency (ArchDepth): Resources, Power and Status Differentiation (Christian Mader, Claire Conrad, and Tamia Viteri Toledo).

Job Offer / Stellenausschreibung: studentische (SHK) oder wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft (WHF) (m/w/d)

Für die Unterstützung der Forschungsgruppe „Marking Power: Embodied Dependencies, Haptic Regimes and Body Modification“ suchen wir zum nächstmöglichen Zeitpunkt und für ca. 12 Stunden die Woche eine studentische (SHK) oder wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft (WHF) (m/w/d).

Job Offer / Stellenausschreibung: studentische (SHK) oder wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft (WHF) (m/w/d)

Unser Exzellenzcluster „Beyond Slavery and Freedom“, ansässig im Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS), ist eine seit Januar 2019 im Rahmen der Exzellenzstrategie des Bundes und der Länder geförderte Forschungsinitiative.

Für die Unterstützung der Professur Frühe Neuzeit/Dependency Studies (Claudia Jarzebowski) suchen wir zum nächstmöglichen Zeitpunkt und für ca. 10 Stunden die Woche eine studentische (SHK) oder wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft (WHF) (m/w/d).

Public Lecture Series: Control, Coercion, and Constraint II

We welcome everybody to the second part of the lecture series organized by the Centre for Religion and Society (ZERG) and BCDSS, Research Area C. Once again, will explore the role of religion in both overcoming existing and creating new forms and types of dependencies.

The lectures series will take place Tuesdays at 18:15 CET (Hörsaal XVI in the Hauptgebäude). It is a hybrid event streamed via youtube.

Revista Latinoamericana de Trabajo y Trabajadores: REVLATT

An initiative of the "Red Latinoamericana de Trabajo y Trabajadores" (REDLATT), the "Revista Latinoamericana de Trabajo y Trabajadores" is a journal devoted to the history of labor. It aims to bring together research with diverse views and perspectives about and from Latin America. Among the phenomena covered in the journal are a variety of socio-economic systems, the diverse non-evolutionary continuum of coactive labor and labor regimes, and labor precariousness as a phenomenon with a long history.

Among the articles of the third issue are an analysis of the labor and family conditions experienced by some children of African origin in Spanish America, namely the work and suicide of Diego, an enslaved child from the city of Santiago de Guatemala in the second half of the 17th century.

Other articles focus on the contradiction between the existence of the contract of workers' engagement as an instrument of coercion and the liberal idea of the contract as a free agreement in the 19th and 20th century, or the changes and continuities of the 19th century republican guild system inherited from colonial times.

Call for Applications: The Bonn-Yale-Anton-Wilhelm-Amo-Fellowship 2022-2023

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (GLC), part of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University, and the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies (BCDSS), proudly announce their Second Bonn-Yale-Anton-Wilhelm-Amo-Fellowship.


Freedom, Slavery and Forced Labor - What we can learn from history

A video feature of the BCDSS

Aren't the notions of freedom and slavery a thing of the past? This is the opening question of this video feature. The viewer is carefully introduced to the complexity of questions and concepts of the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies.

The answer is, they are - unless we look beyond the dichotomy of slavery versus freedom and take into account the many other forms of strong asymmetrical dependencies. Forced labor, for example, is something we are familiar with today. It can often be linked to strong asymmetrical dependencies dating back hundreds of years. The Black Lives Matter movement is a very good example, it is part of the genealogy of the transatlantic slave trade. We learn that history is very present at the Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies.

Slavery and Other Forms of Strong Asymmetrical Dependencies
Online via zoom
09:00 - 05:30
The workshop wants to analyze slavery and other forms of strong asymmetrical dependencies in Ottoman South Eastern Europe. We look to the Ottoman Empire from ...
Slavery in Africa: Past, Legacies and Present (SLAFCO)
University of Yaoundé ...
Research on slavery in Africa has benefited from a clear dynamism in recent years, supported, partly, by international research programmes as well as by the ...
Cultural Heritage: Perspectives from the Caribbean
Online via Jitsi
The workshop aims at approaching the contested heritage of slavery and memory politics in the Caribbean states from an interregional and multidisciplinary ...
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