Dr. Christian Giuseppe De Vito

Research Area D Speaker and Coordinator of Research Group "Punishment, Labor and Dependency"

Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Adenauerallee 18–24
D-53113 Bonn

Christian Guiseppe De Vito.jpg
© Christian De Vito

Academic Profile

My research lies at the cross-roads of the histories of punishment, labour and the empire. My on-going study – Punishment and Empire – addresses the entanglements between punishment, labour and empire- and state-building in the Spanish monarchy and in post-colonial Latin America and the Philippines (Eighteenth to Nineteenth centuries). The following aspects are especially investigated: the legal, social and cultural processes by which individuals of different social status, gender and ethnic background were turned into convicts; the spatiality of various forms of punishment (banishment, transportation, incarceration) and their relationship with the structure of empires; the employment of convict labour in the construction of empires and nations; and the continuities and discontinuities between the colonial and post-colonial periods.

In my research I adopt a micro-spatial approach that combines the epistemological complexity of micro-history with the spatial awareness of global history.

National Scientific Habilitation (Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale) as Associate Professor in the Italian academic system

Ph.D. in History, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, Italy

B.A. and M.A. in History, University of Florence, Italy

since 2019
Researcher and Coordinator of Research Group "Punishment, Labor and Dependency", BCDSS, University of Bonn, Germany

Lecturer, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands

Research Associate on the ERC project "The Carceral Archipelago: Transnational Circulations in
Global Perspective, 1415–1960", University of Leicester, UK

Honorary Fellow, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Co-supervisor on the project "Four Centuries of Labour Camps: War, Rehabilitation, Ethnicity", International Institute of Social History (IISH) and Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Co-coordinator of the working group Free and Unfree Labour of the European Labour History Conference (ELHN)
  • Co-chair of the Labour Network of the European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC)
  • Editor of the series "Work in Global and Historical Perspective" (De Gruyter), since 2017
  • Vice-president of the International Social History Association (ISHA)
  • Editor asociado of the Revista Brasileira de História
  • Lecturer on the MA course "Global Labour Study", University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy
  • Member of the working group Free and Unfree Labour of the Italian Society for Labour History (SISLav)
  • Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), Free Competition grant
  • Santander Travel Awards

Worlds of Related Coercions in Work

The COST Action "Worlds of Related Coercions in Work" (WORCK) calls for a radical change of perspective in labour history. It links the stories of work and production with those of violence, expropriation and marginalisation.

By studying the persistence and transformations of coercion and bondage across gender orders, geographic regions and historical eras, WORCK shifts the focus of labour history: Neither the male-breadwinner model nor the free wage labourer or the capitalist mode of production can form the blueprint for this new history of WORCK. Instead, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of coercion in all work relations throughout history is the pivot of this endeavour.

Members: Dr. Claude Chevaleyre; Dr. Christian de Vito; Dr. Hanne Østhus

More information

  • 2018. The Spanish Empire, 1500–1898. In A Global History of Convicts and Penal Colonies, edited by Clare Anderson. London.
  • with Anne Gerritsen (eds.). 2018. Micro-spatial Histories of Global Labour. London 2018.
    Convict Labour. In Handbook The Global History of Work, edited by Karin Hofmeester, Marcel van der Linden. Berlin, Munich and Boston, 345–362.
  • 2018. Punitive Entaglements: Connected Histories of Penal Transportation, Deportation and Incarceration in the Spanish Empire (1830s–1898). In International Review of Social History 63, Special issue S26, edited by Christian G. De Vito, Clare Anderson, Ulbe Bosma, 169–189.
  • 2017. Labour Flexibility and Labour Precariousness as Conceptual Tools for the Historical Study of the Interactions Between Labour Relations. In On the Road to Global Labour History. edited by Karl Heinz Roth, 219–240. Leiden.
  • 2017. Connected Singularities: Convict Labour in Late Colonial Spanish America (1760s–1800). In Micro-spatial Histories of Global Labour, edited by C.G. De Vito, A. Gerritsen, 171–202. London.
  • with Helen Grevers, Ralf Futselaar (eds.). 2016. Incarceration and Regime Changes In and Around WWII. New York.
  • 2016. Convict Labour in the Southern Borderlands of Latin America (c. 1750–1910s): Comparative Perspectives. In On Coerced Labour, M. van der Linden, M. Rodriguez García, 98–126. Leiden.
  • with Alex Lichtenstein (eds.). 2015. Global Convict Labour. Leiden.
  • with A. Lichtenstein (eds.). 2013. Writing a Global History of Convict Labour. In International Review of Social History 58/2, 285–325.
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