Inequality has been at the centre of much debate in recent years. A fast growing literature on inequality has revealed a strong correlation between differences in wealth and globalizing forces. One important contribution to this debate has been Piketty’s book which provides an arena for the discussion of economic inequality as measured through differences in wealth and income within and between nations, and paints a historical analysis stretching back to the early nineteenth century. But inequality goes beyond the economic and it has a longer history: technology, education, gender, environment, ethnicity, health, labour and migration also have divided histories of inequality which begin in the early modern period and fully emerge in the eighteenth century.
This conference aims to bring together experts from history, sociology, politics, anthropology, and other social sciences and humanities disciplines. While the discussion will be informed by today’s debates over the subject, the overall aim of the conference is to investigate inequality from a historical perspective and consider in particular the period from the eighteenth century to the present. We embrace a definition of inequality that is understood in terms of economics, education, gender, ethnicity, health, access to resources, the environment, economic and socio-political rights, etc.
Wednesday 19 April
14.00-15.00. Introduction and Plenary Speaker
Francisco Bethencourt (King's College London), The Impact of Colonialism on World Inequality
15.00-16.30. Session 1. Deep and Global Histories of Inequality
Darrin M. McMahon (Dartmouth College), The Deep History of Inequality
Kaveh Yazdani (University of Witwatesrand), India, Modernity and the Great Divergence
Christian Olaf Christiansen (Aarhus University), Amartya Sen's Critique of Global Inequality:a Historical Contextualization
16.30-17.00. Coffee Break
17.00-18.30. Panel 1. Economic Inequality in a Global and Comparative Perspective
Chair: Pat Hudson (University of Cardiff). Speakers: Pat Manning (Pittsburgh University); Pedro Ramos Pinto (University of Cambridge) and David Washbrook (University of Cambridge)
Thursday 20 April
9.00-10.00. Session 2. Poverty, Development and Economic Inequality
Jennifer R. Cash (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology), Hunger or Human Rights? European Perceptions of Poverty as a Social Problem
Pedro Ponte e Sousa (New University of Lisbon), Development Cooperation and Portuguese Foreign Policy: Values, Interests and Practice
10.15-11.10. Plenary Speaker
Isabel Hofmeyr (University of Witwatersrand), Imperial Shambles: Intellectual Property and Inequality - An Attempt at a Global History
11.10-12.10. Panel 2. Inequality and Socio-Economic Rights
Chair: Charles Walton (University of Warwick). Speakers: David James (University of Warwick), and Mark Philp (University of Warwick).
13.15-14.45. Session 3. Gender, Migration and Education
Yue Teng (University of Trento and University of Florence), Educational Inequality at Regional Level and Its Determinants: the Evidence of Latin America in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century
Paul Kramer (Vanderbilt University), The Geopolitics of Mobility: Migration, Inequality and Global History"
15.15-16.10. Plenary Speaker
Wayne Modest (Volkenkunde Museum, Leiden), Ethnographic Museums in an Unequal World
16.10-17.10. Panel 3. The Poverty Research Network: Poverty & Governmentality, the past and future of inequality
Chair: Julia McClure (University of Warwick). Speakers: Kathleen Vongsathorn (University of Warwick) and Jose Bento da Silva (University of Warwick).
17.10-18.00. Plenary Speaker
Andrea Muehlebach (University of Toronto), The Price of Austerity
Friday 21 April
9.00-10.00. Session 4. Inequality and Disability
Paul van Trigt (Leiden University), Which Inequality? The Neglect of the Concept Socio-economic Inequality in the United Nations' Observances Dedicated to Disabled People
Anna Derksen (Leiden University), 'Full Participation and Equality'? Disabled Persons in the Swedish Welfare Society and International Development Projects
10.00-11.00. Panel 4. Inequality and the Meaning of Human Nature
Chair: Claudia Stein (University of Warwick). Speakers: TBC
11.30-12.30. Plenary Speaker
Lily H M Ling (The New School, New York), Ontological Parity with the West: Lessons from Asia for the Twenty-First Century
13.20-14.20. Session 5. Inequality and Social Order
Andreas Exenberger (University of Innsbruck), Inequality, Extraction and Social Order
Eric L. Palladini (Independent Scholar), Time, Institutions, and the Subaltern in Latin American Economic History
14.20-15.15. Plenary Speaker
Dilip Menon (University of Witwatersrand), Is Hierarchy the Same as Inequality? Thinking through Louis Dumont
15.45-16.45. Session 6. Labour and Work
Aneta Tyc, The Linkage Between Labour Standards and International Trade: How to Offset the Global Inequality?
Annapurna Mamidipudi (University of Maastricht), Telling Colour by Smell, Memory and Song: the Revival of Indigo Dyeing in South India