Workshop: Dependency, Inequality and Material Culture

Date of event:   12/02/2019 − 14/02/2019

Workshop: Dependency, Inequality and Material Culture
12.-14. February 2019
University of Bonn, Germany

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 go here).

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 and artefacts. 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.


Tuesday 12th February 2019

14:00 Welcome/Registration

14:30 Introduction (Julia Hegewald – Martin Bentz)

14:40 Introduction Europe and the Mediterranean (Martin Bentz)

14:50 Dennis Beck (Bonn) The ergastulum of Simitthus (Tunisia) and the roles of slaves in the process chains of marble production

15:30 Andrea Binsfeld (Luxembourg) Transcending gender? Masculinity and femininity in the representations of slaves in the ancient world

16:10 —coffee break—

16:30 Irene Högner (Munich), Social Inequality Research and Dietary Patterns: an example from Iron Age Campania

17:10 Nicolò Pini (Cologne/Bonn), Architectural remains and settlement patterns as indicators for asymmetric dependencies

17:50 Matthias Hardt (Leipzig), Iron Shackles in Pictoral Representations and Archaeological Finds. Indicators for Slavery and Captivity in East Central Europe in the Early and High Middle Ages?

19:30 —dinner, Centro Hotel Bristol—

Wednesday, 13th February 2019

9:30 Introduction Central Asia (Jan Bemmann)

9:40 Kristen Pearson (Philadelphia/ Ulaanbaatar), Towards an Archaeology of Hand-Me- Downs: Textiles and Inequality in Nomadic Inner Asia

10:20 Olaf Czaja (Paris), Visualizing Dependency through Tibetan Art. An Investigation into Legitimacy and Authority

11:00 —coffee break—

11:20 Introduction South Asia (Julia Hegewald)

11:30 Gudrun Bühnemann (Madison, Wisconsin), Subjugation, Dependency and Inequality in the Buddhist Tantric Iconography of South Asia

12:10 Tiziana Lorenzetti (Rome), ‘Slaves of god’: extreme religious dependency in South Medieval India (800-1100 AD)

13:00 —lunch break in the AKM—

14:00 Cristina Bignami (Tübingen), Fractal Dependency: devotion, slavery, and love in the temples of South India

14:40 Jahfar Shareef Pokkanali (Bonn), Improvisation through a culture of dependency: Islamic material culture in the South Indian littorals

15:20 —coffee break—

15:50 Introduction The Americas (Karoline Noack – Nikolai Grube)

16:00 Christian Mader (Bonn), Resource dependencies and the formation of social stratification. A view from the pre-Columbian Andes

16:40 Marlieke Ernst (Leiden), The forced multicultural society of early colonial Spanish towns in the Caribbean. A material approach based on ceramic manufacture

19:00 —dinner, Gasthaus Im Stiefel—

Thursday, 14th February 2019

9:30 Daniel Aquino (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala), Rulers and captives: inequality illustrated in the Maya Lowlands during the Late Classic period (550-900 AD)

10:10 Katherine Anne Miller-Wolf (Richmond, Indiana), The Bioarchaeology of Inequality in Mesoamerica from Prehistoric, Contact, and Colonial Contexts

10:50 final discussion

After the conference, we offer the possibility to visit the museums of the participating disciplines: Akademisches Kunstmuseum (AKM), Bonner Altamerika-Sammlung (BASA), Egyptian Museum

See the flyer for the workshop here.

Event Location