CFP: Early Maritime Cultures on the East African Coast

Akshay Sarathi's picture
Early Maritime Cultures on the East African Coast
A conference organized by the African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


October 23-24, 2015

Call for papers

The Indian Ocean has long influenced cultures along the East African coast. This inter-disciplinary conference on maritime history will allow scholars from multiple disciplines to present work connected with seafaring in East Africa in any era. The organizers will particularly favor paper proposals focused on maritime developments before about 1500 CE.

Themes of particular interest include:

  • Early instances of maritime activity in East Africa.
  • Lines of evidence available for the study of early seafaring along the East African coast.
  • East African maritime cultures and their connections by sea with other lands.
  • The engagement of non-maritime East African peoples, including foragers, farmers, herders, with the Indian Ocean.
  • Indian Ocean migrations to and from East Africa.
  • Indian Ocean trading systems.
  • The Indian Ocean and the contours of East African cosmopolitanism.
  • Maritime technologies, innovation, and change.

Papers on other themes will be considered, especially those that deal in some way with maritime technologies and practices in East Africa before about 1500.

One of our ambitions is to produce an edited volume, but we cannot guarantee publication.

Lodging and support for presenters

The conference organizers expect to be able to provide lodging for presenters in Madison for one or two nights as well as some sociability (a meal or two). Potential presenters planning to come from locations outside the United States, especially Africa, may request additional support, such as help with air fare, but it is very unlikely that we will be able to provide more than $1,000 of such support for anyone, nor can we guarantee it at this time.

How to participate

Submit an abstract of 200-300 words (pdf or .doc preferred) to
Use subject line “East Africa Maritime Abstract”
EXTENDED deadline to submit abstract: August 15, 2015.

By September 1, 2015, we hope to notify submitters whether or not their paper has been accepted.

Conference organizer

Akshay Sarathi, doctoral candidate in Archaeology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Conference sponsor

African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Categories: CFP
Keywords: swahili, East Africa, CFP