Monographs and Edited Volumes by BCDSS Members

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Kristina Großmann: Human–Environment Relations and Politics in Indonesia Conflicting Ecologies

This book analyses how people in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, relate to their environment in different political and historical contexts.

Drawing on multi-sited ethnographic studies of Dayak people, the indigenous inhabitants of Borneo, the book examines how human-environment relationships differ and collide. These "conflicting ecologies" are based on people's relation to the "environment", which encompasses the non-human realm in the widest sense, including forests, rivers, land, natural resources, animals and spirits. The author argues that relationality and power are decisive factors for the understanding and analysis of peoples’ ecologies. The book integrates different theoretical approaches, sheds light upon the environmental transformation taking place in Indonesia, as well as the social exclusion it entails, and highlights the conceptual shortcomings of universalistic concepts of human-environment relations.

An exploration of evolving human-nature relations, this book will be of interest to academics studying political ecology, environmental anthropology, sustainability sciences, political sciences, development studies, human geography, human ecology, Southeast Asian studies, and Asian studies.

London; New York: Routledge 2021.

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Martin Aust: Erinnerungsverantwortung. Deutschlands Vernichtungskrieg und Besatzungsherrschaft im östlichen Europa 1939–1945

Germany's responsibility towards Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia to remember it's NAZI violence continues. This volume sheds light on the developments that led to the crimes, traces the emergence of the culture of remembrance, and gives contemporary witnesses a voice.

Bonn: bpb 2021.

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© book cover: bpb

Reinhard Zöllner: Wahrheitseffekte und Widerstreit. Die "Trostfrauen" und ihre Denkmäler [Truth-effects and differends]

In the early 1930s, the Japanese military established a system of brothels, called "comfort stations", for the use of its soldiers and recruited tens of thousands of women as military prostitutes, called "comfort women". The majority of these women were recruited from the populace of Japan's colonies, in particular Korea, or occupied territories in China and South East Asia. Public discourse about the legality and morality of this system started in 1936 and intensified during the 1990s when Korean and other victims broke their silence.

München: iudicium 2021.

© iudicium

James Harland: Ethnic Identity and the Archaeology of the aduentus Saxonum. A Modern Framework and its Problems

For centuries, archaeologists have excavated the soils of Britain to uncover finds from the early medieval past. These finds have been used to reconstruct the alleged communities, migration patterns, and expressions of identity of coherent groups who can be regarded as ethnic 'Anglo-Saxons'. Even in the modern day, when social constructionism has been largely accepted by scholars, this paradigm still persists.

This book challenges the ethnic paradigm. As the first historiographical study of approaches to ethnic identity in modern 'Anglo-Saxon' archaeology, it reveals these approaches to be incompatible with current scholarly understandings of ethnicity. Drawing upon post-structuralist approaches to self and community, it highlights the empirical difficulties the archaeology of ethnicity in early medieval Britain faces, and proposes steps toward an alternative understanding of the role played by the communities of lowland Britain – both migrants from across the North Sea and those already present – in transforming the Roman world.

Amsterdam. Amsterdam University Press 2021.

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© Amsterdam University Press

Stefan Brink: Thraldom. A History of Slavery in the Viking Age

Abstract: Nordic slavery is an elusive phenomenon, with few similarities to the systematic exploitation of slaves in households, mines, and amphitheaters in the ancient Mediterranean or the widespread slavery at American plantations during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Scandinavians in the early Middle Ages lived in a society foreign to us, characterized by different and shifting social statuses. A person could be at once socially respected and unfree. It was possible to hand oneself over as a slave to someone else in exchange for protection and food. One could be sentenced temporarily to enslavement for some offense but later purchase his manumission. Young men could enter into a kind of "contract" with a king or chieftain to join his retinue, accepting his authority, patronage, and jurisdiction, while at the same time making a quick social elevation.

Slavery was widespread all over Europe during the early Middle Ages and Scandinavians, as Stefan Brink illustrates in this book, became a major player in the northern slave trade. However, the Vikings were not particularly interested in taking slaves to Scandinavia; instead, their "business model" seems to have been to raid, abduct, and then sell captured people at major slave markets. Their goal was not people but silver. Using a wide variety of source materials, including archaeology, runes, Icelandic sagas, early law, place names, personal names, and not least etymological and semantic analyses of the terminology of slaves, Thraldom provides the most thorough survey of slavery in the Viking Age.

New York & Oxford. Oxford Uni Press 2021.

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© Oxford Uni Press

Wolfram Kinzig: Christian Persecution in Antiquity

Translated from German by Markus Bockmuehl

Abstract: For centuries into the Common Era, Christians faced social ostracism and suspicion from neighbors and authorities alike. At times, this antipathy erupted into violence. Following Christ was a risky allegiance: to be a Christian in the Roman Empire carried with it the implicit risk of being branded a traitor to cultural and imperial sensibilities. The prolonged experience of distrust, oppression, and outright persecution helped shape the ethos of the Christian faith and produced a wealth of literature commemorating those who gave their lives in witness to the gospel.

Wolfram Kinzig, in Christian Persecution in Antiquity, examines the motivations and legal mechanisms behind the various outbursts of violence against Christians, and chronologically tracks the course of Roman oppression of this new religion to the time of Constantine. Brief consideration is also given to persecutions of Christians outside the borders of the Roman Empire. Kinzig analyzes martyrdom accounts of the early church, cautiously drawing on these ancient voices alongside contemporary non-Christian evidence to reconstruct the church’s experience as a minority sect. In doing so, Kinzig challenges recent reductionist attempts to dismantle the idea that Christians were ever serious targets of intentional violence. While martyrdom accounts and their glorification of self-sacrifice seem strange to modern eyes, they should still be given credence as historical artifacts indicative of actual events, despite them being embellished by sanctified memory.

Newly translated from the German original by Markus Bockmuehl and featuring an additional chapter and concise notes, Christian Persecution in Antiquity fills a gap in English scholarship on early Christianity and offers a helpful introduction to this era for nonspecialists. Kinzig makes clear the critical role played by the experience of persecution in the development of the church’s identity and sense of belonging in the ancient world.

Waco, Texas. Baylor University Press. 2021.

See full content here.

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© Baylor University Press

Lisa Hellman and Edmond Smith (eds.): Global Border Making and Securitisation in the Early Modern World

Abstract: In the early modern period, borders could be mutable, imprecise, and represent far more than the lines on a map or delineation between sovereign states. In this essay, as well as introducing the eight articles that form the body of the special edition, we set out the key ideas that serve as a common theme and thread across this collected body of work. First, the idea of ‘securitisation’ is examined, and consideration given to how it has been used by both scholars in International Relations and more recently in historical studies. Second, we consider the concept of ‘border making’ and explore how re-examining our preconceptions about the idea of borders can change the way we examine important questions related to state and imperial formation, identity, and the meaning of community. Finally, the possibilities for using borders and security as entry points into asking new questions about ‘emotional global history’ are discussed, and how this could be useful for thinking more carefully about the tensions, frictions and entanglements, as much as connection and exchange, that are at the core of globalising processes that
have done so much to shape the world as we know it today.

London. Journal of the British Academy, volume 9, supplementary issue 4, 2021
Available as Open Source Online Edition

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© British Academy

Rebekka von Mallinckrodt, Josef Köstlbauer und Sarah Lentz (eds.): Beyond Exceptionalism. Traces of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Early Modern Germany, 1650–1850

While the economic involvement of early modern Germany in slavery and the slave trade is increasingly receiving attention, the direct participation of Germans in human trafficking remains a blind spot in historiography. This edited volume focuses on practices of enslavement taking place within German territories in the early modern period as well as on the people of African, Asian, and Native American descent caught up in them.

Oldenburg. De Gruyter. 2021
Available as Open Accesd Online Edition44

Beyond Exceptionalism
© De Gruyter Oldenbourg

Mariana Armond Dias Paes: Esclavos y tierras entre posesión y títulos. La construcción social del derecho de propiedad en Brasil (siglo XIX)

Abstract: The book examines the social construction of legal relations between people and things in Brazil between the 1830s and 1890s. To this end, the research focuses on 74 legal proceedings of the Court of Appeals of Rio de Janeiro discussing dominion and possession over slaves and land. The first chapter assesses the contours that the legal category of possession acquired in 19th-century Brazil. It analyzes the role of social recognition in the configuration of situations of possession. This chapter also describes how interpretations of theories of possession delegitimized acts of land usage employed by certain groups – namely: indigenous and agregados – as possessory acts. The second chapter analyzes the debates over domain titles and the process of document production undertaken by parties in legal proceedings. It also highlights the role of judicial demarcations in this process of production and shows how courts often disregarded titles issued by married women. The chapter closes with a discussion of the new configurations that debates over titles acquired in the last decades of the century. The third chapter focuses on cases of illegal and irregular acquisitions of slaves and land. The detailed analyses of the court cases presented in the book show that during the 19th century the construction of property rights in Brazil built upon the pre-existing structures of ius commune, whose categories were re-signified.

Frankfurt am Main: Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory 2021.
Global Perspectives on Legal History 17. Availabe as Open Access Online Edition222

Bethany J. Walker & Abdelkader Al Ghouz (eds.): History and Society during the Mamluk Period (1250–1517). Studies of the Annemarie Schimmel Institute for Advanced Study III

Abstract: This volume is a collection of research essays submitted by fellows of the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg, an Advanced Center of Research in Mamluk Studies. It covers three themes, which correspond to the research agenda of the final three academic years of the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg. These were: environmental history, material culture studies, and im/mobility. The aim of the contributions is to overcome the disciplinary boundaries of the field and to engage in scholarly debates in Ottoman Studies, European history, archae-ology and art history, and even the natural sciences.

Göttingen. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht / Bonn University Press 2021.

© Bonn University Press

Caroline Laske: Law, Language and Change. A Diachronic Semantic Analysis of Consideration in the Common Law

Abstract: In this monograph, Caroline Laske traces the advent of consideration in English contract law, by analysing the doctrinal development, in parallel with the corresponding terminological evolution and semantic shifts between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is an innovative, interdisciplinary study, showcasing the value of taking a diachronic corpus linguistics-based approach to the study of legal change and legal development, and the semantic shifts in the corresponding terminology. The seminal application in the legal field of these analytical methodologies borrowed from pragmatic linguistics goes beyond the content approach that legal research usually practices and it has allowed for claims of semantic change to be objectified. This ground-breaking work is pitched at scholars of legal history, law & language, and linguistics.

Leiden. Brill 2021.

Stephan Conermann & Michael Zeuske (eds.): The Slavery / Capitalism Debate Global. From Capitalism and Slavery“ to Slavery as Capitalism

The role of the slavery-based plantation economy in the development of capitalism has
preoccupied many generations of scholars. This is related to a number of very important
questions, the answers to which have a lasting impact on narratives about modernity and
the ways it emerged in what is often called the early modern times. Was slavery-based
production good for the initial accumulation of vast fortunes that became the precondition
of modern capitalism, but ultimately incompatible with a capitalism based on the
marketization of labour that is “freely” offered and demanded? Or did the history of
slavery and other forms of forced and coerced labour, regardless of the moral scruples
that became public for religious reasons (in England and the USA) or out of a predominantly
secular-humanist motivation (in France), accompany capitalism until the social
counterforces of decolonization were strong enough to shake off this form of particularly
crass exploitation (even if not inconsiderable remnants persist to this day)?

Leipzig, Universitätsverlag 2020
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© Leipziger Universitätsverlag

Wolfram Kinzig & Jochen Sautermeister (eds.) with Natalie Thies: Rausch. Ekstase zwischen Bacchanal und Cognitive Enhancement

Abstract: Since the beginning of time, human beings have consumed intoxicating drinks and substances. In addition, there are meditative techniques in almost all religions with which one can put oneself in a trance-like or ecstatic state and thus approach the divine. Nevertheless, intoxication, trance and ecstasy are taboo in many societies, unless they are experienced in a limited social space such as nightclubs or declared culturally productive in art, music or literature. The right to intoxication is controversially discussed among lawyers, pedagogues and physicians. Proponents like to point to the religious basis of intoxication, opponents to the moral duty of sobriety. A lecture series at the University of Bonn examined the ambivalence of "intoxication" from an interdisciplinary perspective - as a religious, psychological, social, legal and cultural-historical phenomenon. The results of this sensational lecture series are documented in the present volume. With contributions by Clemens Albrecht, Christoph Antweiler, Andreas Bell, Walter Bruchhausen, Robert Feustel, Dorothee Gall, Albert Gerhards, Tobias Janz, Jörg Kinzig, Wolfram Kinzig, Alexandra Philipsen, Irmgard Rüsenberg, Markus Saur, Jochen Sautermeister, Detlef Siegfried, Christoph Schreier, Birgitta Sträter, Nathalie Thies.

Baden Baden: Ergon 2021.

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Bethany J. Walker & Abdelkader Al Ghouz (eds.): Living with Nature and Things. Contributions to a New Social History of the Middle Islamic Periods

Abstract: This edited volume represents the research results of two international conferences organized and sponsored by the Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg: "Environmental Approaches in Pre-Modern Middle Eastern Studies" and "Material Culture Methods in the Middle Islamic Periods". The following work consists of three parts, which correspond to the themes of the aforementioned conferences (Contributions to Environmental History and Material Culture Studies) and a third which bridges the gap between the two approaches (Practice and Knowledge Transfer). The present contributions cover a wide range of such topics as urban pollution, local perceptions of weather, rural estate economy, Sufi understandings of nature and the body and mind, houses and socialization, text and gardens, local know-how and interdependence in medieval Syrian agriculture, crop selection and the medieval agricultural economy.

Göttingen. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht / Bonn University Press 2020.

© Bonn University Press

Jutta Wimmler & Klaus Weber (eds.): Globalized Peripheries Central Europe and the Atlantic World, 1680-1860

Abstract: Globalized Peripheries examines the commodity flows and financial ties within Central and Eastern Europe in order to situate these regions as important contributors to Atlantic trade networks.
The early modern Atlantic world, with its flows of bullion, of free and unfree labourers, of colonial produce and of manufactures from Europe and Asia, with mercantile networks and rent-seeking capital, has to date been describedalmost entirely as the preserve of the Western sea powers. More recent scholarship has rediscovered the dense entanglements with Central and Eastern Europe. Globalized Peripheries goes further by looking beyond slaveryand American plantations. Contributions look at the trading practices and networks of merchants established in Central and Eastern Europe, investigate commodity flows between these regions and the Atlantic world, and explore the production of export commodities, two-way migration as well as financial ties. The volume uncovers new economic and financial connections between Prussia, the Habsburg Empire, Russia, as well as northern and western Germany with the Atlantic world. Its period coverage connects the end of the early modern world with the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. More Information

Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer 2020.

Stephan Conermann & Gül Şen (eds.): Slaves and Slave Agency in the Ottoman Empire.

Abstract: Slaves and Slave Agency in the Ottoman Empire offers a new contribution to slavery studies relating to the Ottoman Empire. Given the fact that the classical binary of "slavery" and "freedom" derives from the transatlantic experience, this volume presents an alternative approach by examining the strong asymmetric relationships of dependency documented in the Ottoman Empire. A closer look at the Ottoman social order discloses manifold and ambiguous conditions involving enslavement practices, rather than a single universal pattern. The authors examine various forms of enslavement and dependency with a particular focus on agency, i. e. the room for maneuver, which the enslaved could secure for themselves, or else the available options for action in situations of extreme individual or group dependencies. 

Ottoman Studies / Osmanistische Studien, Vol. 7.
Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht / Bonn University Press 2020.

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© EB Verlag

Lennart Gilhaus, Imogen Herrad, Michael Meurer & Anja Pfeiffer (eds.): Transgression und Devianz in der antiken Welt.

Abstract: Norms facilitate and regulate social coexistence. Particular actions are designated and sanctioned as transgressive as the result of a process of negotiation. Transgressions and deviance may both stabilize and undermine established norms. The papers in this collection analyze select case studies from Classical Greece to Imperial Rome with the aim to generate impulses for the debate on norm and deviance in ancient societies. They focus on transgressive acts in, respectively, the cult of Artemis, the tragedian Agathon, and the writings of Cicero, Lucan and Tacitus. More Information

Metzler: Berlin 2020.

Katharina Gröne, Boris Braun, Sinah Kloß, Martin Schüller & Michael Bollig (eds.): Fairer Handel: Chancen, Grenzen, Herausforderungen

Abstract: This volume brings together the current state of research in the humanities and social sciences in the German-speaking world on the topic of fair trade. Despite an increased need for ethically responsible consumption, it has so far been discussed primarily in consumer research and hardly at all in the humanities and social sciences. Nine contributions, written by authors from very different disciplines, examine fair trade and its alternatives as a cultural phenomenon, analyze its value chains, and discuss its social, economic, and environmental impacts in a controversial way. In addition, there is a special focus on the Global South, which decisively expands previous research. More Information

[Fair Trade: Chances, Limits, Challenges] oekom Verlag: Berlin 2020.

Adrian J. Pearce, David G. Beresford-Jones & Paul Heggarty (eds.): Rethinking the Andes – Amazonia Divide: A Cross-disciplinary Exploration

Abstract: Nowhere on Earth is there an ecological transformation so swift and so extreme as between the snow-line of the high Andes and the tropical rainforest of Amazonia. The different disciplines that research the human past in South America have long tended to treat these two great subzones of the continent as self-contained enough to be taken independently of each other. Objections have repeatedly been raised, however, to warn against imagining too sharp a divide between the people and societies of the Andes and Amazonia, when there are also clear indications of significant connections and transitions between them.

Rethinking the Andes – Amazonia Divide: A Cross-disciplinary Exploration brings together archaeologists, linguists, geneticists, anthropologists, ethnohistorians and historians to explore both correlations and contrasts in how the various disciplines see the relationship between the Andes and Amazonia, from deepest prehistory up to the European colonial period. The volume emerges from an innovative programme of conferences and symposia conceived explicitly to foster awareness, discussion and co-operation across the divides between disciplines. Underway since 2008, this programme has already yielded major publications on the Andean past, including Lenguas y Sociedades en el Antiguo Perú (2010, PUCP), History and Language in the Andes (2011, Palgrave Macmillan) and Archaeology and Language in the Andes (2012, Oxford University Press).  More Information

 UCL Press: London 2020.

© UCL Press


Reuven Amitai & Stephan Conermann (eds.): The Mamluk Sultanate from the Perspective of Regional and World History: Economic, Social and Cultural Development in an Era of Increasing International Interaction and Competition.

[= Mamluk Studies, Vol. 17]
Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht / Bonn University Press 2019

Stephan Conermann, Albrecht Fuess & Stefan Rohdewald (eds.): Transottomanica: Osteuropäisch-osmanisch-persische Mobilitätsdynamiken. Perspektiven und Forschungsstand.

[Transottomanica: Eastern European-Ottoman-Persian Mobility Dynamics. Perspectives and State of Research.]
[= Transottomanica. Osteuropäisch-osmanisch-persische Mobilitätsdynamiken,. Vol. 1]
Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht / Bonn University Press 2019.

© V & R

Julia Hillner (ed.): Clerics in Exile: Networks, Space and Memory.

Special Issue of Studies in Late Antiquity 3(3).

Mariana Armond Dias Paes: Escravidão e Direito: o estatuto jurídico dos escravos no Brasil oitocentista, 1860–1888.

Abstract: Mariana Armond Dias Paes, Research Group Leader at the Cluster of Excellence "Beyond Slavery and Freedom", has launched her book Escravidão e Direito: o estatuto jurídico dos escravos no Brasil oitocentista, 1860–1888 (Slavery and Law: the Legal Status of Slaves in Nineteenth-Century Brazil, 1860–1888).

The book draws on an extensive archival research on legal doctrine and legal procedures filled before the Court of Appeals of Rio de Janeiro during the last decades of Brazilian slavery. The main argument of the book is that slavery law was not a "law of exception" but was fully in accordance with liberal legal principles and civil law norms. Slavery was not incompatible with liberalism. In order to sustain this argument, the chapters analyze issues such as legal personality and civil incapacity of slaves; the extent of their right of action; the limitations imposed on their capacity to acquire property and make contracts; the issue of slave family; the role of possession in determining people's statuses; the influence of master's will in shaping legal interpretations of civil law; and the existence of legal categories of people in between slavery and freedom.

[Slavery and Law: The Legal Status of Slaves in Nineteenth-Century Brazil, 1860–1888].
São Paulo 2019. 

If you would like to know more about the book, a video is available here.

Karina Kellermann, Alheydis Plassmann & Christian Schwermann: Criticising the Ruler in Pre-Modern Societies: Possibilities, Chances, and Methods.

[= Macht und Herrschaft, Vol. 6]
Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht / Bonn University Press, 2019.

Mader, Christian, Tim Kerig, Katerina Ragkou, Michaela Reinfeld, and Tomas Zachar (eds.): Social Network Analysis in Economic Archaeology. Perspectives from the New World.

Understanding connectivity is a key to understanding decision-making. Social network analysis offers formalized ways of describing and thus comparing attributes of actors related to each other in networks. Using quantitative spatial data, social network analysis promises deeper insights into how social positions are achieved and developed, as mirrored in the ancient flows of materials.
The volume collects contributions of an international conference on network analysis in archaeology, held in 2015 at the University of Cologne as part of the DFG Research Training Group 1878 ‘Archaeology of Pre-Modern Economies’.

Studien zur Wirtschaftsarchäologie 3. Bonn: Habelt Verlag

© Habelt Verlag

Wolfram Kinzig: Christenverfolgung in der Alten Kirche

Persecution of Christians in the Old Church.
[Beck Wissen 2898]
Munich: C.H. Beck 2019.

Michael Zeuske: Handbuch Geschichte der Sklaverei: Eine Globalgeschichte von den Anfängen bis heute. [Handbook on the History of Slavery: A Global History from the Beginnings to the Present Day].

Abstract: Michael Zeuske has completely revised and updated his standard work for the second edition as well as significantly expanded it. The history of slavery is systematically presented in this handbook for the first time in a global historical perspective. The starting point is an understanding of slavery as a capitalization of human bodies. It analyzes the most diverse forms, types and developmental epochs of slavery and human trafficking systems – on all continents, oceans and seas, in their respective names and historical-cultural context. On a broad empirical basis, a history of slavery is thus created, which began around 10,000 BC and continues to this day.  

2 Volumes.
Berlin & Boston 2019 (2nd edition).

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Michael Zeuske:  Sklaverei: Eine Menschheitsgeschichte von der Steinzeit bis heute. [Slavery. A History of Humankind from the Stone Age to the Present Day].

Abstract: The term "slavery" brings to mind African workers on plantations in the Americas. But abduction and forced labor have been part of the human condition virtually from the moment people settled down, occurring all over the globe. In this comprehensive account Michael Zeuske takes us through the entire history of slavery in all parts of the world. He writes about child slaves in China, Ottoman elite slaves, and the so-called "court moors" ("Hofmohren") at the court of Prussian kings. His account includes our own times, where people are still being treated like goods – from forced prostitutes to child soldiers.

Stuttgart 2018.

Reviews on
Review by Tagesspiegel, Berlin

Michael Zeuske: Esclavitud: Una Historia de la Humanidad. 

[Slavery: A History of Humankind from the Stone Age to the Present Day].
Pamplona 2018.


Stephan Conermann (ed.): Sklaverei in der Vormoderne: Beispiele aus außereuropäischen Gesellschaften. Dhau — Jahrbuch für außereuropäische Geschichte.

Abstract: The contributions to this edited volume explore forms of slavery and asymmetric dependencies in non-European pre-modern societies. Covering a wide range of societies, all have in common that their focus is on epochs prior to western influence and intervention which culminated in colonial order. Instead this collected volume wishes to provide access to emic concepts of the respective regions, which have not yet been overlaid by colonial conceptions.

While Anna Kollatz presents a study on Mughal India, Michael Zeuske focuses on China and Veruschka Wagner on the Ottoman Empire. Antje Gunsenheimer examines the phenomenon of slavery in Aztec society and Jeannine Bischoff deals with dependent peasants in Tibet.In a didactic article, Christian Grieshaber emphasizes the potential of the subject of Chinese slavery in history lesson. 

[Slavery in the Premodern Era: Examples from Non-European Societies. Dhau — Yearbook for Non-European History].
Saarbrücken 2017.

Suraiya Faroqhi: Slavery in the Ottoman World: A Literature Survey. Vol. 4.

Abstract: After decades of relative neglect, Ottoman slavery in recent years has become a favoured topic among historians. New sources especially on the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have become available, due to the progressive cataloguing of the Ottoman archives, especially the newly instituted secular Nizamiye courts providing evidence of the difficult road toward the abolition of slavery.

As in the later centuries of the empire's existence, Ottoman slaves were so often female the topic has also interested historians of Ottoman women. Given the "literary turn" in historiography worldwide and the critical questioning of – mostly but not exclusively – European primary sources, the reports of liberated former slaves have also attracted historians. Rather than studying slavery per se, this group of scholars investigates perceptions of "the other" and the ways in which ex-slaves who had managed to return to their home countries negotiated patrons and publishers in their attempts to get their stories into print.

The result is a bibliography, dating largely from recent years, with divergent directions and discourses. Perhaps the time has come to pull together the different threads and survey the results, emphasizing at every turn how provisional they really are. On this occasion, we will take the opportunity of identifying questions and sources, which, at least in the opinion of the present author, have not received the attention they deserve.

Otto Spies Memory Lecture. Eds.: Stephan Conermann & Gül Şen.
Berlin 2017.

Winfried Schmitz (ed.): "Die Sklaverei setzen wir mit dem Tod gleich": Sklaven in globalhistorischer Perspektive. Beiträge der Tagung vom 14. Januar 2016 in der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur.

["We Equate Slavery with Death": Slaves Seen from the Perspective of Global History. Proceedings from a Colloquium organized by the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz, January 14, 2016].
Mainz 2017.


Winfried Schmitz (ed.): Antike Sklaverei zwischen Verdammung und Beschönigung: Kolloquium zur Rezeption antiker Sklaverei vom 17. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert.

[Ancient Slavery between Condemnation and Glorification: Colloquium on the Reception of Ancient Slavery from the 17th to the 20th century].
Stuttgart 2016.

Wolfgang Kunkel & Martin Schermaier: Römische Rechtsgeschichte.

[A History of Roman Law]. 14th, revised edition. Cologne & Vienna 2015.  


Michael Zeuske: Sklavenhändler, Negreros und Atlantkikkreolen: Eine Weltgeschichte des Sklavenhandels im atlantischen Raum.

[Slave Traders, Negreros and Atlantic Creoles: A World History of Slave Trade in the Atlantic Area]. Berlin & Boston 2015.  


Winfried Schmitz: Die griechische Gesellschaft: Eine Sozialgeschichte der archaischen und klassischen Zeit.

[Greek Society: A Social History of the Archaic and Classical Period]. Heidelberg 2014.


Stephan Conermann: Mamlukica: Studies on the History and Society during the Mamluk Era. Studien zur Geschichte und Gesellschaft der Mamlukenzeit.

Göttingen 2013.

Michael Zeuske: Handbuch Geschichte der Sklaverei: Eine Globalgeschichte von den Anfängen bis heute.

[Handbook on the History of Slavery: A Global History from the Beginnings to the Present Day]. Berlin & Boston 2013.

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