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Dr. Claudia Rauhut

Project: Slavery, Liberalism and Historical Responsibility:
Redressing Global-Historical Entanglements between
Europe and the Caribbean

Claudia Rauhut

BIRT, Freie Universität Berlin

Alumni, Postdoctoral Fellow October 2019 to October 2020

As a Social Anthropologist and Political Scientist I have been working at the Institute of Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin for 10 years. Combining micro-level empirically grounded research with postcolonial approaches on global history, I focus on the long-term legacies of European colonialism, transatlantic slave trade and plantation slavery in the Caribbean, Latin America and the US. I`m interested in how this heritage is identified today and turned into a matter of redress by different actors in the field of social movements, politics of memory and history, religion, material and immaterial heritage.

Research Interests

  • Political Anthropology
  • Postcolonial Politics of Memory and History
  • African-Caribbean-European entanglements

Research Projects at Scripts

In my project “Slavery Reparations in the Caribbean: Transregional Perspectives on Actors, Debates, and the Politics of History” I investigate on the current Caribbean claims championed by the Reparations Commission of CARICOM, a regional organization basically composed by Anglophone Caribbean States. It urges European governments to recognize the transatlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity and to engage in measures for reparations. Focusing on Jamaica, I analyse how activists from universities, cultural institutions, museums, journalists and human rights advocates reconstruct the legacies of slavery in order to transform it into a political agenda on behalf of reparations. At SCRIPTS, I work on the ambivalent relationship between liberal norms, slavery and notions of legality/illegality within colonial settings and finally discuss respective reassessments as ground for reparations. By emphasizing an empirically grounded, actor-centered perspective on demands for historical, moral, political and legal responsibility for historical injustices, my study contributes to the research field on restitution, reparation and global justice. It further broadens the academic and public debate about Europe´s colonial past by including the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade and slavery and Caribbean-European entanglements. In 2021, my research at SCRIPTS was published as No. 6 of the SCRIPTS Working Paper series: "Slavery, Liberal Thought and Reparations. Contesting the Compensation of Slave Owners in the Caribbean."

See the publication list of Claudia Rauhut here.

Book Chapters

When the Slavery Past haunts the Present: the Jamaican Redress of a Bank Loan related to the End of Slavery. In: Slavery Past, Present and Future. Edited by Karen E. Bravo, David James Wilkins and Polina Smiragina. Leiden: Brill, Global Slavery Series (forthcoming)


Enfrentando los legados de la esclavitud en el marco de reparación: el reclamo del Caribe anglófono. En: Coloquio de Estudios Afroamericanos, La Habana (forthcoming)

The link of a former British Prime Minister’s ancestor to Caribbean Slavery Economy in the current call for reparations in Jamaica. In: Cherishing the Past, Envisioning the Future. Entangled Practises of Heritage and Utopia in the Americas. Edited by Olaf Kaltmeier, Wilfried Raussert et al. New Orleans: University of New Orleans Press 2021, pp. 77-99.

Mobilizing Transnational Agency for Slavery Reparations: The Case of Jamaica. In: The Journal of African American History 103, no. 1-2 (Winter/Spring 2018), pp. 133-162.

Caribbean Leaders in the Transnational Struggle for Slavery Reparations. In: Reshaping Glocal Dynamics of the Caribbean: Relaciones y Desconexiones – Relations et Déconnexions – Relations and Disconnections. Edited by Anja Bandau, Anne Brüske, and Natascha Ueckmann. Heidelberg: Heidelberg University Publishing 2018, pp. 281–296.

Caribbean Activism for Slavery Reparations. An Overview. In: Practices of Resistance in the Caribbean: Narratives, Aesthetics and Politics. Edited by Wiebke Beushausen, Miriam Brandel, Joseph Farquharson, Marius Littschwager, Annika McPherson, Julia Roth. London: Routledge 2018, pp.137-150.

(with Manuela Boatcă). Globale Ungleichheiten in der longue durée: Kolonialismus, Sklaverei und Forderungen nach Wiedergutmachung. In: Globale Ungleichheit. Über Zusammenhänge von Kolonialismus, Arbeitsverhältnissen und Naturverbrauch. Hrsg. Karin Fischer und Margarete Grandner. Wien: Mandelbaum Verlag, Buchreihe „Gesellschaft – Entwicklung – Politik“ 2019, pp. 91-107.

SCRIPTS Working Paper Series

Rauhut, Claudia (2021) Slavery, Liberal Thought and Reparations. Contesting the Compensation of Slave Owners in the Caribbean. SCRIPTS Working Paper No. 6, Berlin: Cluster of Excellence 2055 “Contestations of the Liberal Script – SCRIPTS”.