Tag Archives: Indian Ocean

Remapping Environmental Histories

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Date: Thursday 25th March, 2010
Venue: Royal Society of Victoria
9 Victoria Street Corner of Victoria St. and Exhibition St.  Melbourne 3000

Monash University Faculty of Arts and School of Geography and Environmental Science invite you to public lectures by two leading scholars of Africa’s social and environmental history

Professor Edwin Wilmsen Centre for African Studies University of Edinburgh

  • Globalization before the globe was known: Asian-African interactions in the 1st century CE
  • Professor Wilmsen will discuss the extension of biological and cultural exchanges between south-central Africa and the Indian Ocean region from ca. BCE 100 – CE 1000.

Professor Judith Carney Department of Geography University of California, Los Angeles

  • Seeds of Memory: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World
  • Professor Carney will examine the inter-continental plant exchanges that took place as a consequence of the transatlantic slave trade and the presence of enslaved Africans in the Americas

RSVP is required by Monday 21st March at: [email protected], or Sharon Harvey on  (03) 9902 0398

Indian Ocean belongers, 1668-2008

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The Indian Ocean and South Asia Research Network invites you to its first seminar in 2009:

Dr. Stephanie Jones, University of Southampton, UK
DATE: Friday, April 3 TIME: 5.30 pm
VENUE: TfC Bagel, UTS, Building 3 (Bon Marche), Level 4, Room 4.02

Indian Ocean belongers, 1668-2008

The paper begins with an exploration of how Henry Neville’s fictional Isle of Pines (1668) plays through ideas of Arcadia, utopia, British colonial ambition, and ideas of belonging towards a critical commentary on government accountability under a constitutional rule of law. The paper then traces how, nearly three and a half centuries later, the real islands closest to Neville’s fictional isle—the Chagos Archipelago—are being defined by a similar interaction of narratives within a line of UK court judgements (Bancoult 2000, 2006, 2007, and the House of Lords decision of October 2008).  The inhabitants of the Chagos islands were expelled by the British government in the 1960s in order to satisfy a lease agreement with the United States government, which required the ‘uninhabited’ islands for the establishment of a military base. In their battle to have their expulsion declared illegal, exiled Chagossians challenged the scope of the government’s prerogative powers when dealing with colonial lands and subjects. This paper argues that the judgments on the Chagos crucially rely on a subdued but at times lyrical, legally-open and provocative evocation of what it means to be a ‘belonger’ of a place. Through a consideration of the legislative histories of this word; through scrutiny of its indeterminate relationship to notions of citizenship, indigeneity, nationality and the language of rights; and through an engagement with broader cultural narratives of belonging, the paper moves towards an understanding of the potential of public law to lend both ethically nuanced and practical meaning to terms of belonging.

Biographic Note

Dr Stephanie Jones (BA/LLB, Australian National University; PhD, Cambridge) is lecturer in 20th Century Literature in English at the University of Southampton, UK. Stephanie is the director of an AHRC funded project on "The Indian Ocean: narratives in literature and law". 

She also researches and teaches more broadly in the field of maritime literatures, and the inter-discipline of law and literature. She has worked on East African literatures, literatures of the South Asian diaspora, and postcolonial theory.

RSVP: [email protected]

Indian Ocean themes

Workshop themes have been released for Intercolonial Networks; Oceanic Circulations: Re-Thinking The Indian Ocean, University Of Technology Sydney
11 – 13 March 2009

  • Subaltern and creole connections across imperial boundaries
  • Islands in the ocean as sites of heightened connectivity
  • The dissemination of knowledges, especially via printing presses using vernacular languages
  • Comparisons and insights from Atlantic studies
  • The validity of terracentric models and themes for oceanic studies
  • Subaltern people at sea and on land: stokers, sailors, wharfies, bar owners, prostitutes
  • The adoption, adaptation and transfer of technologies
  • Patterns of religious connections, and ties to Mecca and Rome
  • New epistemologies for Indian Ocean studies and the ambivalent promise of Cultural Studies
  • Indigenous groups flourishing in the entrails of the ‘British lake’ in the nineteenth century
  • Imperial and indigenous literatures: e.g. Joseph Conrad v. Amitav Ghosh; Wilber Smith v. Abdulrazak Gurnah; Ibn Battuta v. Vasco da Gama

Re-thinking the Indian Ocean

INTERCOLONIAL NETWORKS; OCEANIC CIRCULATIONS:
RE-THINKING THE INDIAN OCEAN

UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY
11th – 13th March 2009

This workshop will mark the inauguration of a new Indian Ocean research network supported by the University of Technology Sydney. It will aim to work collaboratively with the major Indian Ocean centres of research based in India and South Africa, but it will be innovative in two ways.

  • Firstly it will seek to strengthen the active interdisciplinarity of the field, drawing not only on cultural studies, history, economics and politics but on environmental studies, ecology, geography and the material studies of archaeology and the heritage fields.
  • Secondly it will seek to strengthen an active awareness of the eastern and southern quadrant of the Indian Ocean, namely South East Asia, Indonesia and Australia, tracing these lands’ myriad connections with each other and with the peoples on the African and South Asian shores of the Ocean.

This conference follows on from two conferences already initiated by the Indian Ocean researchers at UTS-”Culture and Commerce in the Indian Ocean” (Leiden, The Netherlands, 25th – 27th September 2006) and “Oceans of Story” (Perth, Australia, 5th to 7th February 2008).

This workshop is the first to emerge from our ARC-funded project that seeks to reassess relationships between colonies in the Indian Ocean area. These relationships were far more important than previous imperial (and anti-imperial) studies have suggested.

We hope that this perspective will lead to a significant new field of research, Intercolonial Studies, based not just on a comparison of settler-colonial experience, but also on the sharing of cultural inventions among colonised peoples. We hope to trace the circulation of people, plants and animals, of commodities, technologies and ideas around the Indian Ocean in a way that was relatively autonomous from imperial centres.

Nor is it only imperial-colonial interactions which interest us, for there were also important sub-imperial connections involving more margjnal European peoples. For example, in the early nineteenth century merchants from the vestigial Portuguese areas in India operated in the interstices of the British framework, enabling them to participate fully in the opium trade to China.

We will focus particularly on sea connections between the land masses of the Indian Ocean, and the cultures and histories of seafaring life, particularly those of the subaltern crews and the lower deck passengers, the cargoes, the stowaways and especially the ideas which travelled with them all.

The themes of this workshop may include

  • Subaltern and creole connections across imperial boundaries
  • Islands in the ocean as sites of heightened connectivity
  • The dissemination of knowledges, especially via printing presses using vernacular languages
  • Comparisons and insights from Atlantic studies
  • The validity of terracentric models and themes for oceanic studies
  • Subaltern people at sea and on land:  stokers, sailors, wharfies, bar owners, prostitutes
  • The adoption, adaptation and transfer of technologies
  • Patterns of religious connections, and ties to Mecca and Rome
  • New epistemologies for Indian Ocean studies and the ambivalent promise of Cultural Studies
  • Indigenous groups flourishing in the entrails of the ‘British lake’ in the nineteenth century
  • Imperial and indigenous literatures:  e.g. Joseph Conrad v. Amitav Ghosh; Wilber Smith v. Abdulrazak Gurnah; Ibn Battuta v. Vasco da Gama

More information here.