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Archipelagic Memory: Intersecting Geographies, Histories and Disciplines - 2 August 2022 to 4 August 2022

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Taking the Indian Ocean as a principal site for investigating new meanings and experiences of archipelagic thinking, the interdisciplinary conference ´Archipelagic Memory: Intersecting Geographies, Histories and Disciplines’ aims to explore connected histories across seas and oceans and to instigate a theoretical dialogue on cultural production encompassing the Indian, Atlantic, Pacific and Southern Oceans and their articulated spatiality. Simultaneously, the conference addresses the possibilities offered by an archipelagic approach to memory studies, one that enhances or challenges existing practices of articulating the past by foregrounding ideas of mobility, dynamism and multi-directionality. Researchers, artists and cultural practitioners are invited to participate in the creation of an intellectual forum that will explore practices of memory-making in archipelagic spaces and through archipelagic structures, as well as novel forms of discourse, activism and solidarity in the Global South.

Confirmed keynote speakers

  • Ananya Jahanara Kabir, King’s College London
  • Stef Craps, Ghent University
  • George Abungu, Archaeologist and International Heritage Consultant
  • Anwar Janoo, University of Mauritius
  • Ari Gautier, Novelist

Call for Papers

We welcome paper and panel proposals from scholars at any point of their academic career addressing the theme of archipelagic memory. Suggested topics for papers include, but are not limited to:

Archipelagic epistemologies

  • The memorialisation of transoceanic connections, transnational movements and displacement, and cosmopolitan cultural entanglements in the archipelagic mode
  • New and old meanings of ‘archipelagic thinking’ in the humanities and social sciences and critical archipelagic methodologies for memory studies
  • The archipelago and postcolonial, heritage and memory studies

Archipelagic memory practices

  • The thematic and symbolic dimension of archipelagic memory
  • Performative memory-making in and across archipelagos
  • Museums, mnemonic centres, non-canonical and disobedient archival practices: orality, musicality, embodied knowledge, the senses
  • Textual and symbolical translation, cultural borrowing and divergence

Archipelagic memory spaces

  • Ships, shorelines, port towns and other places where archipelagic memory is inscribed
  • Isthmuses, canals, peninsulas, and their role in increasing the sense of the archipelagic
  • National, ancestral, and imaginary homelands as archipelagic memory palimpsests
  • Trans-oceanic identification across islands and archipelagos; archipelagos as continents, continents as archipelagic

History, trauma, and archipelagic memory

  • Human (e.g. slavery, indenture, genocide, the Holocaust) and natural catastrophes (e.g. storms, cyclones, tsunamis, diseases, climate change) in archipelagic spaces
  • Ways of remembering and moving beyond past conflicts and collective traumas across oceans and continents
  • Vestiges of the colonial past in the postcolonial archipelagic present

Memory and politics in the archipelago

  • Bi- or multi-lateral relations between archipelagic states, small island nations, and established or emerging continental powers
  • Maritime and territorial claims and their impact on regional stability and peace-keeping
  • Activism and its implications in the building of an archipelagic future

We invite contributions in English and French for 20-minute papers. Please send a 300-word abstract, accompanied by a 100-word bio-note, to: We also invite proposals for panels of 3 papers. Panel proposals must include: a panel title and short description; a 300-word abstract for each presentation, accompanied by a 100-word bio-note.


Deadline for proposals: 20 March 2022

Notification of acceptance: 31 March 2022

For more information and regular updates, please visit the conference website, or contact us at

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Event details

2 August 2022 to 4 August 2022