CfP: Dependency, Inequality and Material Culture

Date of event:   12/12/2018 − 31/12/2018

Call for Papers
Dependency, Inequality and Material Culture

Workshop at the University of Bonn, 12.-14. February 2019

In 2019 the new Cluster of Excellence “Beyond Slavery and Freedom. Asymmetrical Dependencies in Pre-Modern Societies” will be established at the University of Bonn (for more information see

So far, dependency research has almost exclusively dealt with slavery on the American continent or in antiquity. The cluster seeks to broaden this perspective in terms of content, space and time. Within five Research Areas, researchers will explore innovative angles of dependencies. It is its aim to broaden individual scopes of academic training by cooperation across disciplines.

Research Area B: Embodied Dependencies examines primarily non-textual relics of asymmetrical dependencies, which have been ‘inscribed’ in bodies andartefacts. The aim of this research area is to correct the widespread imbalance in the academic evaluation of written and non-written traditions by taking a pre-colonial perspective into consideration and to establish archaeology, art history, and object-based anthropology on an equal level with those disciplines of the humanities that focus on textual sources. In this way, we give actors operating in non-textual environments a ‘voice’. The research will be conducted by PhD students, Postdoctoral researchers and senior academics.

In order to plan the future work of Research Area B we would like to discuss different approaches with specialists and young researchers from the fields of anthropology, archaeology, bio-archaeology and art history who have experience or profound interest in the topic of asymmetrical dependencies and inequality.

Contributions (20-30 min.) based on all kinds of material culture (images of enslavement and dependency, architectural remnants, remains that testify hard physical labor, grave-contexts, skeletal material etc.) from all continents and periods prior to the 19th century are welcome.

Travel and accommodation costs will be covered.

Please send proposals with a short CV and summary (ca. 300 words) until 31st December to: Dr. Dennis Beck (

Event Location