Andrew at the University of Cologne

IMG_6298Hi all,

So I just returned from an academic trip to Cologne, Germany, and I thought I’d describe a bit of what I was up to over there.

So late last year I was contacted by a group of scholars associated with the Global South Studies Center at the University of Cologne. This group of scholars is concerned with both the history and current manifestations of coerced, bonded, indentured, and forced labor in our world. They asked me to join them at a small conference at the University of Cologne last week. As part of the conference Transformations in the Global South, I contributed to a panel called Bonds and Contracts. That panel, chaired by Ulrike Lindner, included the following papers:

This was truly a fantastic panel of scholars, researchers, and presenters. Although mine was the only paper that dealt with peoples and migrations in the contemporary world, the parallels between the Gulf migrants’ experiences I track and the historical labor relations described in the other

Andrew Newman (Wayne State), Innocent Mwaka, and me at the farewell dinner. Innocent, a graduate student at the GSSC, hopes to be Uganda's first anthropologist in Ugandan academia!

Andrew Newman (Wayne State), Innocent Mwaka (Cologne), and me at the farewell dinner. Innocent, a graduate student at the GSSC, hopes to be the first anthropologist in Ugandan academia. He has my vote. Do I get a vote?

papers was extraordinary. Indeed, I emerged from this panel less secure than ever about the purportedly unique characteristics of the modern labor migrants I study.

The conference as a whole included six other excellent panels. A portion of the conversation at the conference concerned how applicable and appropriate the concept of a “global south” remains. The fact that the conference included numerous scholars who count themselves of the “global south” only enhanced the conversation.