Labour, Education and Knowledge: Entangled Histories in 20th Century Capitalism - 2.-3.10.2017

International Doctoral Workshop

Wallpaintings by the All India Students' Association (AISA) at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

Knowledge, education, and labour are central to the historical development of capitalism. However, these three areas are rarely examined within the same framework. At the same time, each of the them has gained new impetus in the context of the so-called “global turn”. Postcolonial and feminist perspectives on the history of labour have shown how much the conception of work common to conventional labour history, one which focuses on employment, offers a restricted view that fails to account for a great deal of historically and currently relevant working conditions. Stemming from this critical trend, a “global labour history” has developed in recent years which pleads for a conception of “work” taking into account the heterogeneity of the term, orientated towards the transnational interdependence of labour organization. This history is central to our understanding of economic globalization and the development of capitalism.

Recent developments in the history of knowledge have also been strongly influenced by a growing interest in the interdependence of global relations. In the last few years, under the umbrella term “colonial knowledge”, different scientific disciplines have each examined the production of knowledge per se, in the context of its transnational and colonial processes of creation and development, and investigated the functions which the production of knowledge has for colonial and postcolonial ruling systems.

These trends form the basis of this two-day workshop, in which we will discuss the work in progress of doctoral and post-doctoral students from Delhi, Göttingen, Zurich and Basel – all of them addressing specific local and at the same time global questions in their fields of research. On the one hand, we want to study the relationship of knowledge, education, and labour in terms of the role they have played in the development of capitalism. On the other hand, we are interested in aspects of entangled history present in each of the three areas.

Organised by Anja Suter 

When & Where

Mon 2 October - Tue 3 October 2017
Departement of History, Hirschgässlein 21, 4051 Basel, Seminar Room 2


For all participants, no later than 15 September:

For doctoral students of the University of Basel aiming to achieve 1 ECTS point: additionally via MOnA.

The workshop is open to all interested people, however, limited to 25 persons.