25 years of Global Labour History: past achievements and future perspectives

25 May 2023 - 15:00 — 25 May 2023 - 17:00

Interview and discussion with Jan Lucassen and Marcel van der Linden

Twenty-five years ago Marcel van der Linden and Jan Lucassen, successive directors of research at IISH, published their Prolegomena for a Global Labour History.

It was a tentative outline of a research agenda that aimed to make the field of labour history more 'inclusive', to borrow today's terminology. Global Labour History aimed to incorporate the full range of labour relations available across time and space, including unfree labour, household work and rural labour, both in the Global North and the Global South. The Prolegomena laid the groundwork for a flourishing research programme on Global Labour History at the International Institute of Social History, which is still bearing fruit today. Recently, Jan and Marcel published wide-ranging monographs based on the insights they accumulated over a lifelong of research – The Story of Work. A new History of Humankind and The World Wide Web of Work. A History in the Making. Although different in many ways, both books offer a synthesis and an overview of what twenty-five years of Global Labour History has brought.

On 25 May, IISH senior research fellow Gijs Kessler will interview Jan and Marcel. He will speak with them about their books, and about the insights and lessons of twenty-five years of Global Labour History. After the interview there will be a discussion with IISH staff and invited guests, followed by drinks.

Global Labour History