First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
SUP7079539, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IF0315, Degree course structure A.Y. 2015/16, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination GLOBAL LABOR HISTORY
Department of reference Department of Linguistic and Literary Studies
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge ANDREA CARACAUSI M-STO/02

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines M-STO/04 Contemporary History 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2015 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
3 Commissione 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 CARACAUSI ANDREA (Presidente)
MOLINO PAOLA (Supplente)
2 Commissione 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 CARACAUSI ANDREA (Presidente)
MOLINO PAOLA (Supplente)

Prerequisites: No prerequisite
Target skills and knowledge: Students will acquire knowledge in the global labour history, one of the most dynamic sub-field of recent historiography.
This knowledge will be functional to a better understanding of issues related to past and present societies, placing them within long-term spatial and temporal coordinates and avoiding teleological and (exclusively) Eurocentric interpretations.
At the end of the course the students will be able to plan a research in the field of the global labour history.
Examination methods: 1) preparation of a short written paper (including the translation of one or more texts, for students in foreign languages)

2) oral interview (on the paper and on the topics covered in class)

See also the evaluation criteria.
Assessment criteria: • Class participation (20%)
• Discussion seminar (20%)
• Discussion paper (20%)
• Final colloquium (40%)
Course unit contents: The course aims to analyze one of the central aspects of past and present societies, i.e. work, which will be understood in a broader perspective than we are usually referring today using a twentieth century approach.

The starting point will be the rethinking of some key elements of Western thought on which the analyzes of European and non-European societies have been based (i.e. the dichotomies the slavery / freedom, status / contract, ancient / modern, feudalism / capitalism).

Through the analysis of different "worlds of work", linking together "North" and "South" of the globe, the goal is to reconstruct the material practices and cultural processes by which societies build their relationships of power and subordination, their gender and dependency relationships, inside and outside the workplace.

A rereading of the historical process with which, since the 1400s (but even earlier), capitalism has established itself in different areas of the world, in plantations and factories, in homes and workshops, on squares and on roads, it will help us to understand better the historical phenomena at the base of societies.

The course is divided into three parts.

A first part (21 hours, 3 CFU), entitled "Perspectives on work" will introduce on the main approaches to the history of work. We will present, discuss and criticize the main theoretical foundations of the concepts developed by Western thought between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: capitalism, work and class. We will then analyze the approaches: the labor history of the early twentieth century; the relation between the history of labor and social history between the fifties and seventies; breaking of the categories of gender, race, ethnicity in the eighties; the global history of work and labour relations from the nineties to the present.

A second part (21 hours, 3 CFU), entitled "Capitalism and work", will analyze - through primary sources and case studies - how capitalism has established itself by using multiple labour relations (slavery and servitude, indentured and convict labour, tributary and voluntary labour, reproductive and domestic, autonomous, entrepreneurial and wage-labour) and how the individual and collective agency has tried to reduce the growing inequalities. We will see how these processes contributed - and still contribute - to redefining hierarchies, dependencies, diversity (of gender, race and class) between the different areas of the world and between different social groups.

A third part (21 hours, 3 CFU), entitled "Precariousness" will focus, thanks to a research project with primary sources, on the theme of precariousness in a historical perspective. Through the analysis of different eras, we will arrive at a rethinking of the main postulates of the current social sciences and a different reconstruction of the precarious being and its role in the processes of social transformation.

These are the main topics:

• History of work and global work history
• Free / unfree labour
• Gender
• Migration and mobility
• Forms of resistance
• Global commodity chains
• Precariousness
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Christian G. De Vito, Global labour history. La storia del lavoro al tempo della "globalizzazione". Verona: Ombre Corte, 2012. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Van der Linden, Marcel, Il lavoro come merce. Capitalismo e mercificazione del lavoro. Milano: Udine, Mimesis, 2018. Traduzione a cura di Lorenzo D'Angelo e Christian G. De Vito Cerca nel catalogo
  • Bonazza Giulia, Ongaro Giulio, Libertà e coercizione. Il lavoro in una prospettiva di lungo periodo. Palermo: NDF press, 2018. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Patel, Raj; Moore, Jason W., Una storia del mondo a buon mercato. Guida radicale agli inganni del capitalismo. Milano: Feltrinelli, 2018. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Peer assessment
  • Use of online videos

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
No Poverty Gender Equality Decent Work and Economic Growth Reduced Inequalities Responsible Consumption and Production