Dr. Cassandra Mark-Thiesen
Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin Projekt "Rural Liberia in the Age of Developmentalism"
I am interested in the social and economic history of West Africa. My current project “Rural Liberia in the Age of Developmentalism: Policies, Politics, Imaginations and Constraints, c. 1950 to 1980”, explores the country's policies and practices of postwar state-sponsored agricultural development. It argues that while agricultural development, in particular rural mass education, was a critical facet in the spatial transformation of statehood in postwar Liberia, the development frontier also functioned as a critical space for the professionalisation and career-building of African-American agriculturists leading into the period of decolonisation. The project is being supported by the Marie Heim-Vögtlin Fund of the Swiss National Science Foundation.
My first book, Mediators, Contract Men and Colonial Capital: Mechanized Gold Mining in the Gold Coast Colony, 1879-1909, explores the social and economic history of West African workers in the Wassa gold mines in southwest Ghana in the late 19th and early 20th century. The recruitment of contract men with the help of differently motivated, often marginal, labor agents from various parts of West Africa was a necessary, yet, at times challenging, feature of mobilisation for the mechanised mines. These intermediaries, both male and female, were crucial to the making of an expansive and fluid wage labour market in the region during the early stages of colonialism.
Education: 11/2014, DPhil, University of Oxford, Imperial and Global History (African History) 04/2008, M.A., Florida State University, International Affairs, focus in African Studies 08/2005, B.A. (Hons.), Florida State University, Communications 06/2001, Matura, Gymnasium Leonhard, Basel, Switzerland
Mediators, Contract Men and Colonial Capital: Mechanized Gold Mining in the Gold Coast Colony, 1879-1909 (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, forthcoming).
"African Women and the 'Lazy African' Myth in Nineteenth Century West Africa," in Peter-Paul Bänziger and Michael Suter (eds.) Histories of Productivity: Genealogical Perspectives on the Body and Modern Economy, (New York: Routeledge, 2016).
"Goldminen, Akkordarbeit und weibliche Bergarbeiterinnen – ein neuer Blick durch Global Labour History", ETÜ, 2016.
The “Bargain” of Collaboration: African Intermediaries, Indirect Recruitment, and Indigenous Institutions in the Ghanaian Gold Mining Industry, 1900-1906,’ in: International Review of Social History, 2012, 57, 17-28
History of West Africa, History of Capitalism, History of Education, Labor and Employment History, History of Slavery, History of Development, Precolonial and Colonial History,
Mitgliedschaften und Ehrungen
African Studies Association Swiss Society for African Studies (‘Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Afrikastudien’)
African Economic History Network
African Studies Association (USA)
European Network in Universal and Global History
|Cassandra, Mark-Thiesen: African Women and the "Lazy African" Myth in Nineteenth Century West Africa, in: Bänziger, Peter-Paul; Suter, Mischa (Hg.): Histories of Productivity: Genealogical Perspectives on the Body and Modern Economy, New York 2017, S. 42-56. edoc|
|Mark-Thiesen, Cassandra: The Need to Be Indebted: Political Considerations for the Mobilisation of Mining Labour in Southwest Ghana, c. 1879 - 1900, in: Bhattacharya, Sabyasachi; Behal, Rana P. (Hg.): The vernacularization of labour politics, 2016. edoc|