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Dec 13th, 2018: Keynote Speech by Prof. Andreas Eckert on “Decolonizing the Museum? African Objects and the Politics of Restitution”


The Arnold Bergstraesser Institute (ABI) and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) host a livestream of the keynote speech of Prof. Andreas Eckert which will be held in the context of the workshop ‘Restitution and Repatriation of Looted and Illegally Acquired African Objects in European Museums’ at the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies Africa (MIASA), University of Ghana, Accra.

This event will be shown at FRIAS (Albertstraße 19, 79104 Freiburg) in the Lecture Hall (‘Pathologie’) on 13 December 2018 at 4:45 p.m. and will be followed by a short reception.

The restitution of looted art from Africa sent or sold to European museums by agents of European colonizing missions is the black box at the centre stage of the MIASA workshop on ‘Restitution and Repatriation of Looted and Illegally Acquired African Objects in European Museums’ that needs to be interrogated to garner frameworks for resolution. Processual stalemates and the continuing bid by European museums to erase and deny African people’s human rights and direct access to the looted creative and spiritual works of their ancestors, begs for continuous scholarly debates on these issues on the African continent by both African and international professionals and stakeholders. Such a quest is at the core of this workshop being hosted by MIASA in partnership with the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, University of Ghana, Accra. For more information on the workshop and for a detailed workshop programme, please refer to http://www.mias-africa.org/events

Prof. Andreas Eckert is a renowned and popular scientist for history, particularly Africa. From 2002 to 2007, he was professor for contemporary history with a focus on the history of Africa at the University of Hamburg. In 2007, he took over the chair of African history at the Institute of Asian and African Studies at the Humboldt University, Berlin, where he also served for some time as the institute’s director. He has undertaken research as a guest professor at various international universities such as Maison des Sciences de l' Homme, Paris, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is currently the director of the Forum for Transregional Studies and of the International Research Centre “Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History” at the Humboldt University, Berlin. 

MIASA (Maria Sibylla Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa) is an international research centre at the University of Ghana in Accra. The institute facilitates the cooperation of Ghanaian scientists with their international peers beyond disciplinary and geographical boundaries. MIASA is committed to reducing global asymmetries in the production of knowledge and aims to facilitate stronger cooperation among and between researchers in both Anglo- and Francophone Africa. For more information on MIASA, please refer to http://www.mias-africa.org/

April 11-14th, 2019: 43rd Annual Conference on the Political Economy of the World-System

April 11-14, 2019 - Conference Theme: De-Linking: Critical Thought and Radical Politics

Delinking as a counterstrategy in a structurally unequal world-system has featured prominently in different social science approaches to radical emancipatory  politics, from dependency theory and world-systems analysis to decolonial thought. Understood as self-reliance or autonomous development of the peripheries (Amin 1992), as anti- or deglobalization (Bello 2004), as a choice between dewesternization and decolonization (Mignolo 2007) or, more recently, as a comprehensive move to “depatriarchalise, de-racialise, de-tribalise, decolonise, de-imperialise and democratise” (Ndlovu-Gatsheni 2017), the notion of delinking has mobilized critical thought and political imaginations alike. At the same time, an overemphasis on delinking entails the risk of overlooking linkages and multi-directional interactions beyond the modern world-system, or the uneven dynamics of inter-imperiality (Doyle 2014). The 43rd annual conference on the Political Economy of the World-System revisits approaches to (de)linking and the concept’s past and present (re)formulations as economic, sociopolitical, epistemic and cultural paths to pluriversality and a polycentric world. It welcomes both theoretical and empirical treatments of processes of linking and delinking as well as methodological reflections on the terms’ potential for the political economy of the world-system.

Conference organization:
Manuela Boatcă, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany

Further information here.

Increasing critical thinking

Society is constantly changing – how can a subject like sociology cope with the multitude of voices? For three years now, Prof. Dr. Manuela Boatcă has taught at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Freiburg. For Boatcă, who took her degree in English studies and German studies in Bucharest, Romania, before studying sociology in Germany and gaining her PhD at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, teaching means both being aware of one’s own power when conveying knowledge, and learning from the students. Annette Hoffmann spoke to her about an altered conception of sociology, knowledge production and political engagement.

Lecture 25th March 2019: Tankers, Tycoons, and Radical Transformations. The Making of Modern Regimes of Law, Labour, and Finance

Lecture, 25th march 2019, 19 p.m., Uni Freiburg KG I 1015, 

Prof. Dr. Laleh Khalili

Professor of Middle East Politics, Department of Politics and International Studies and Founding Member of the Centre on Conflict, Rights and Justice at SOAS, University of London.

Tankers, Tycoons, and Radical Transformations. The Making of Modern Regimes of Law, Labour, and Finance

Excellent recent research on the politics of containerisation and the logic of logistics (Levinson; Cowen; Sekula) has shown the transformations these new modalities of disciplining trade have wrought not only on the circulation of goods but also the processes of production, since the 1950s when containers were invented, and especially after the 1960s, when their usage was normalised during the Vietnam war. However, many of the practices we now associate with containerisation – foremost among them the automation of processes of maritime circulation, and the transformation of urban landscapes around the ports – go back at least two decades before the 1950s, to the legal, engineering, and financial innovations around petroleum tankers. By focusing on the tanker terminals of the Arabian Peninsula since the 1930s and the subsequent burgeoning of tanker-ships plying the trade between the Peninsula and the rest of the world, I will illuminate the radical transformations the particularities' of tanker trade has wrought. This includes early instances of automated workplaces; terminals far enough from port-city centres to isolate them from public scrutiny; and disciplining of workers aboard tanker-ships. Further, the shift in ownership structures and financing of tanker trades over the last one-hundred years either foreshadows or dramatically illuminates the transformations in financial capital itself. Finally, much of lex petrolea, the legal and arbitral corpus that sets the parameter of extraction and circulation of oil, itself provides the ground on which late capitalist legal property regimes are founded.




May 27th, 2019 - Lecture by Indonesian Ambassador Arif Havas Oegroseno

We are delighted to announce that His Excellency, Arif Havas Oegroseno, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Germany, will give a lecture at the University of Freiburg in the frame of the Colloquium politicum.

Ambassador Oegreseno will talk on the subject of “Indonesia's Environmental Challenges: Policy Response - Climate and Energy Management”.

The lecture will take place on Monday, May 27, at 8.15 pm in lecture hall 1199, KG I (HS 1199, KG I).

The lecture is open to the public, no prior reservation is required.

06.06.2019 // 18.15h - First Freiburger Afrikagespräch with Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul (in German)

The Arnold-Bergsträsser-Institute and the Colloquium politicum will host the first event of the series Freiburger Afrikagespräche this Thursday.

The talk and discussion will be held in German.


Donnerstag / 06.06.2019 / 18.15 Uhr / Aula, KG I

Freiburger Afrikagespräche: 
Europa und Afrika: Ein Friedensprojekt auf Grundlage gemeinsamer Interessen und Werte

Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul

(Bundesministerin für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung a.D.)



Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Rektor der Universität Freiburg

Einführung und Moderation:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Mehler, Direktor Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institut


Eine Anmeldung ist nicht erforderlich. Der Eintritt ist kostenlos. Die Vortragssprache ist Deutsch.


Europa und Afrika am Wendepunkt

Die Nord-Süd-Kommission unter dem Vorsitz von Altkanzler Willy Brandt legte vor fast 40 Jahren den sogenannten Brandt-Report vor, der bereits damals eine bessere Integration der Länder des Südens in die Weltwirtschaft forderte und die Industrienationen ermahnte, Entwicklungsländer sinnvoller zu fördern. Bis heute ist der Bericht hochaktuell, gerade auch, weil die Nord-Süd-Beziehungen an einem Wendepunkt stehen: Es gibt neue weltpolitische Akteure, neue globale Herausforderungen, aber auch neue Lösungswege. Entwicklungspolitisch sind die „Sustainable Development Goals“ in den Vordergrund gerückt und bilden eine neue Grundlage gemeinsamer werteorientierter Politik. Der Vortrag von Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul zum Thema „Europa und Afrika: Ein Friedensprojekt auf Grundlage gemeinsamer Interessen und Werte“ findet im Rahmen der Freiburger Afrikagespräche statt. Wieczorek-Zeul war von 1998 bis 2009 Bundesministerin für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung.


Graduation Ceremony - Batch 2017

We are very happy to announce that the Graduation Ceremony of the GSP Batch of 2017 will take place at 07.06 at the Peterhofkeller (Niemensstraße 10) from 15:00 - 17:00. 

As part of the graduation celebration the batch is holding an exhibition on Thursday June 6, 2019 in the STRANDCAFÉ (Adlerstraße 12) to which everyone is warmly invited to celebrate the two years of GSP and have a great time together!

02.07.2019 // 18.30h // Talk: The Gender Gap in Asset Ownership in Ghana by Prof. Abena D. Oduro (University of Ghana)

The Arnold-Bergsträsser-Institute and the Colloquium politicum will host the next event of the series Freiburger Afrikagespräche:


Tuesday / 02.07.2019 / 18.30h / Haus zur Lieben Hand, Großer Saal / Löwenstraße 16

Freiburger Afrikagespräche


Prof. Abena D. Oduro

(University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana; Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa-MIASA) 


The Gender Gap in Asset Ownership in Ghana 

Assets confer benefits on their owners. They generate income, can be used for collateral, drawn down to maintain consumption levels when there are negative shocks and can be symbols of status and a source of power. This presentation sets out to do three things. It will present evidence on the gender gap in asset ownership in Ghana, discuss the implications of marital and inheritance regimes for the patterns in asset ownership that have been observed and discuss evidence on the relationship between asset ownership and different dimensions of women’s wellbeing.

No registration necessary. No entrance fee. The talk and discussion will be in English.


12.07.2019 // 17.00h // Talk (in German): "Senegal und Gambia – Migration, Demokratisierung und Wirtschaft" by Thomas Volk

Senegal und Gambia – Migration, Demokratisierung und Wirtschaft

Vortrag mit Thomas Volk

Migration wird zum zentralen Zukunftsthema zwischen Deutschland und den Staaten Westafrikas. Thomas Volk gibt einen Lagebericht aus Senegal und Gambia.

Senegal und Gambia rücken immer stärker in den Fokus der deutschen und europäischen Aufmerksamkeit. Grund hierfür ist vor allem die Migrationspolitik. Mehr als 16.000 Gambier leben in Deutschland, 70 Prozent davon in Baden-Württemberg. Gambia, als kleinstes Land auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent befindet sich seit Januar 2017 in einem anhaltenden demokratischen Transformationsprozess. Das größere Nachbarland Senegal macht durch seine politische Stabilität, die interreligiöse Harmonie und ein starkes Wirtschaftswachstum von sieben Prozent auf sich aufmerksam. Dennoch stehen beide Länder vor enormen Herausforderungen und nehmen die Plätze 173 (Gambia) und 164 (Senegal) von 189 aufgelisteten Ländern des Human Development Index der Vereinten Nationen ein. Die Bevölkerungen beider Länder werden sich bis 2050 mehr als verdoppeln, die Nahrungsmittelsicherheit gerät in Gefahr und geopolitische Entwicklungen in der Region könnten sich auch auf Senegal und Gambia negativ auswirken. Migration - ein in der Region positiv konnotierter Begriff - wird zum zentralen Zukunftsthema in den Beziehungen zwischen Deutschland und den Staaten Westafrikas.

Wir laden Sie herzlich ein, mit uns über die Chancen und Herausforderungen Westafrikas zu diskutieren.

Mehr Informationen und Anmeldung:




Call for applications: Global Studies Programme

The Global Studies Programme, initiated in 2001, is a two-year master’s degree programme. The main objective of the programme is to study various cultures and regions within the social sciences, focusing on the Global South. The Global Studies Programme is conducted jointly by the University of Freiburg (Germany), the University of Cape Town (South Africa), Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi, India), FLACSO Argentina (Buenos Aires) and Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok).

Within the GSP students learn to approach the world and globalization from various regional perspectives and disciplines, comprising sociology, political sciences, anthropology and cultural geography. The programme’s global and multicultural experience is enhanced by the diversity of its students who study at different places around the world together. Each group comprises students from all parts of the world.
The programme received many high-ranking awards including the BMW Group Award for Intercultural Learning (2004) and the Top Ten International Master’s Programme title by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (2006). In 2011 these successes were confirmed again with the reaccreditation of the GSP in Germany. Since 2001, more than six hundred twenty students from over sixty countries on all the continents have participated in the programme.

From mid-April the programme begins every year with the summer semester in Freiburg. In their second semester, students can choose between FLACSO Argentina in Buenos Aires (Argentina) or Cape Town University (South Africa), while for their third semester students have the choice between Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi (India) or Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok (Thailand). In the fourth semester, students return to Freiburg for their MA thesis and final examination.

The application deadline for the GSP class of 2020 is 30.11.2019 (online application). Please note: the online application portal is only open from 15.09.2019 to 30.11.2019.
The Programme Director of the Global Studies Programme is Dr. Caroline Janz.

For further information on the programme and the application requirements please check the GSP-website www.global-studies.com or send an email to info@global-studies.com.