Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations


27 September 2018 to 28 September 2018

Recent scholarship indicates the importance and widespread character of slave trade and slavery in the Indian Ocean and maritime Asia from the early modern period well into the nineteenth century. This challenges the dominant perception of the singularity of Atlantic slavery and urges us to reassess our perspectives on the history of slave trade and slavery in Asia. Slavery in many parts of Asia was indubitably connected to maritime trade and raiding, but in contrast to the Atlantic region we lack a comprehensive insight in the size, structure and patterns of this slave trade. Some topics and regions are relatively well-researched, such as the slave trade of the French and trade near Madagascar and the Cape of Good Hope, but other regions have remained largely unexplored. It is time to advance our knowledge by collecting and curating existing and new historical data on the slave trade in Asia.​​
The workshop aims to provide the first steps towards the creation of an integrated database on slave trade in the interconnected parts of maritime Asia and their hinterland, roughly stretching from Southern and Eastern Africa to South-, Southeast-, and East-Asia. The aims of the workshop are: to present and discuss existing relevant datasets, to explore sources for future data collection possibilities, to discuss possible methods and to develop ideas on the structure of an integrated Asian slave trade database.
For this purpose, the workshop brings together three groups of scholars: scholars that created (or are knowledgeable about) existing datasets on slave trade in and between Southern and Eastern Africa to South-, Southeast- and East-Asia; scholars that are experts on sources for and the study of slave trade and slavery in Asia; scholars that are experts on slave trade databases in general (e.g. Atlantic).

For the programme see the pdf below.