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Who We Are:

Görkem Akgöz is a historian from Turkey with a particular research interest in factories and industrial labour. Her main areas of focus are the history of labour and political economy along with women and gender history, social movements and cultural history. She founded and has been co-ordinating the Factory History Working Group as part of the European Labor History Network. Currently, she is a post-doctoral fellow at re:work (IGK Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History). Her current project “Gender and Labour at the Margins of Modernity: Representations of Female Factory Labour in Turkey, 1947-1960” is funded by the Gerda Henkel Stiftung. She is also working on her book tentatively titled “Between Nation and Class: Working at a Turkish State Factory, 1932-1950” to be published by Brill in 2021.

Hasan Ashraf, an anthropologist from Dhaka and teaches in the Department of Anthropology at Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. He is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Heidelberg University, Germany. His doctoral research explores the relationship between transnational industrialization and physical and mental health among Bangladeshi garment factory workers. He has held a long-term fellowship at University of Amsterdam and a research position at Wageningen University. His research interests beyond the garment sector are labour history and industrial transformations, mobility and politics of infrastructure, legal anthropology, and anthropology of food

Arnaud Kaba is a social anthropologist who works on labour relations in India and beyond. Starting with Darjeeling plantations, his research topics evolved to encompass the question of globalization and the way it shapes labour relations and skills dynamics in the Indian and French glass industries. He currently works under a Fritz-Thyssen postdoc hosted at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Göttignen.

Bridget Kenny is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. She works on labour, gender, race and consumption with specific focus on service work, precarious employment, and political subjectivity in South Africa. Her books include Retail Worker Politics, Race and Consumption in South Africa: Shelved in the Service Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and Wal-Mart in the Global South, co-edited with Carolina Bank-Munoz and Antonio Stecher (University of Texas Press, 2018). She was a fellow of re:work (IGK Work and Human Life Cycle in Global History), Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany (2017-2018). She is the Secretary of Research Committee 44-Labour Movements of the International Sociological Association (2018-2022) and former President (2014-2018).

Rick Halpern is a social historian whose work has focused on race and labour in a number of national and international contexts. His most recent book, co-authored with Alex Lichtenstein, is Margaret Bourke-White and the Dawn of Apartheid. He also has written about meat and meatpacking, sugar and plantations, and regionalism. Currently he is researching the long interplay between photography, race, and class over the course of the twentieth century. He is the Bissell-Heyd Chair of American Studies at the University of Toronto.

Sandra Lourenço is an art and cultural historian, and a theorist of curatorship. Her research interests engage with questions surrounding the politics of work as intertwined with artistic practice, textile heritage, urban and corporate disruptive environments, and the contradictions of the curatorial as organisational practice. Sandra was trained as an historian and art historian, and she holds a PhD from Goldsmiths College, London, where she investigated changing modes of work within different structures of knowledge production with a grant by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). She collaborates with the European Association for Urban History (EAUH) with a focus on Asian urban social movements. Her current research project “Mapping textile heritage: Re-historicising contemporary art, textiles and curating in Europe and East Asia” (RECREA) focus on former factories converted into new sites of artistic, textile and knowledge production. The project works for centring this thematic beyond national borders and current temporal frames, through a comparative analysis of conceptual, formal and historical cross-influences between local case studies

Asli Odman is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Istanbul. She published on the transnational history of Ford Motor Company during the Interwar period, focusing on the assembly plant in Tophane/Istanbul. As a founder and member of an interdisciplinary platform, Istanbul Health and Safety Labor Watch, she did extensive fieldwork and published on factories and factory-like places like shipyards, construction sites, TV sets, call-centers, hospitals, private universities, organized industrial zones focusing on the effects of working conditions on body, city and environment. She is the coauthor of the book Working Conditions and Serial Occupational Accidents at the Tuzla Shipyards, Istanbul (2008).

Nico Pizzolato is Senior Lecturer in Global Labour Studies at Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom. He is the author of Challenging Global Capitalism: Labor Migration, Radical Struggle and Urban Change in Detroit and Turin (Palgrave, 2013) and of numerous articles that focus on the interplay between race and ethnic relations, working-class self-activity, and political campaigns appeared, among others, in the American Historical Review, Labor History, Contemporary European History, International Review of Social History, International Labor and Working Class History. He has co-edited Antonio Gramsci: A Pedagogy to Change the World (Springer, 2017). His most recent work is on unfree and precarious labour in Twentieth Century United States.

Mariana Stoler is a social historian who specializes in the study of labor and unions in the second half of the 20th century. She holds a Ph.D. in Contemporary History from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Her research focuses on Argentinian unions, factories, and workers' identities in an attempt to understand the processes where subjectivities are built.

Christian Strümpell is research associate at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Hamburg University. He earned his PhD in Social Anthropology at the Free University Berlin in 2004 and has held research positions at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany, at Heidelberg University and at Humboldt University Berlin. His research focuses on work and labour, class and caste in and around industries in India and Bangladesh. His publications include articles in Contributions to Indian Sociology, in Economic and Political Weekly, Citizenship Studies and Modern Asian Studies..