CFP EXTENDED March 17: Experiencing Pacific Environments – 11th ESfO Conference (European Society of Oceanists)

Vivien Ahrens's picture

11th ESfO Conference (European Society of Oceanists) to be held at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany, 29 June 2017 – 02 July 2017

Call for Papers – Deadline: 17 March 2017

Conference Theme -- Experiencing Pacific Environments

People in Oceania experience diverse life-worlds undergoing profound transformations. Migration, urbanisation, religious movements, resource extraction, and climate change, as well as new technologies like the internet and mobile phones, are just some of the recent changes that are reconfiguring Pacific environments. Pacific lives have always featured mobilities, networks and relatedness, but the contemporary era lends these experiences new qualities and meanings. Experiencing Pacific environments presents new research challenges: How are Pacific life-worlds created and experienced through interactions between human and other-than-human entities? How are experiences and environments re-constituted in times of spatial and temporal reconfigurations?

The theme of the 11th conference of the European Society for Oceanists encourages participants to discuss these questions by examining the concrete empirical realities of the Pacific. We propose viewing these human and other-than-human ‘experiences’ as embedded in, and lived in relation to, specific ‘environments’. The ‘environment’ is understood in its broadest sense – encompassing land, water, climate, material things, social, political, and economic formations and spaces, or architectural settings, engineered landscapes and urban worlds. In what ways are these environments specifically ‘Pacific’, and are there ‘Pacific’ ways of experiencing environments? To address these questions, the cultural-geographic label ‘Pacific’ is broadened beyond the territorial confines of Oceania to include Pacific interventions and presences in other contexts and regions such as through film, media, museums, performative arts, tourism, or trade and political relations.

We aim to produce innovative insights into experiences of Pacific environments, and to contribute to an adjustment and refinement of our analytical lenses and vocabularies. With this goal in mind, we invite interdisciplinary dialogues between anthropology, art history, archaeology, biology, geography, history, linguistics, media studies, political science, and other fields. With this conference, we hope to shape a better understanding of Pacific life-worlds, and, through this, to make a meaningful impact upon academic theory building and political decision-making. Pacific environments and Pacific experiences, diverse and transformed, homely or risky, are in question.

To read the abstracts of the panels and submit your paper please go to The abstract should include your name, affiliation, a title and a paper proposal that should not exceed 200 words. If you have any questions please email to