The coordinators of the "PORTofCALL" research project have been selected to chair a session at the 2023 Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, taking place in Montreal.
Session title: "Port of Call: The Indian Ocean's Early Modern Landscapes and Heritage"
We invite paper proposals (until 7th June 2022) related to the History of the Built Environment, Heritage Studies, Conservation-Restoration, and other connected fields.
Session CFP: "Recent research has looked at the Indian Ocean rim during the Early Modern period as a place of African-Asian-European cultural encounters and negotiation, in the tradition of earlier trade relations, challenging historiography’s earlier hegemonic views of imposed dominance. These views, often framed by the formal reality of European colonial empires of the 19th and 20th centuries, tended to perceive Early Modern European administered port settlements as self-contained devices of colonial power, cordoned-off from their surrounding landscapes, and impervious to the diversity and influence of their populations.
Looking at aspects such as indigenous agency, settlement patterns, building technologies, spatial traditions, arts, and agrarian customs, recent research has proposed new readings
for the cultural heritage of port-settlements and coastal landscapes as intertwined cultural landscapes of encounters and negotiated interactions.
On the other hand, recent approaches have also considered the multi-layered nature of the cultural heritage of the Indian Ocean’s port-settlements in the context of contested heritage, a growing area of concern in the field of Heritage Studies. Addressing the various issues arising when different societal groups attempt to claim, manipulate, or erase elements of specific heritage sites, issues of contested heritage are critical in South and Southeast Asian contexts - especially considering that cultural heritage can become entangled with the painful realities of post-colonial struggles. In some cases, cultural heritage perceived to be predominantly of European influence can become a vexed issue for states or nations whose governments adopt hegemonic discourses in relation to culture, heritage and history.
This session welcomes papers that question how African-Asian-European cultural encounters and negotiation impacted and shaped the built environments and landscapes of the Indian Ocean’s Early Modern port-settlements, and their respective hinterlands. Studies that intersect these perspectives with issues of contested cultural heritage, heritage conservation and heritage management are particularly encouraged."
Marta Peters Oliveira
Sidh Losa Mendiratta
Sidh Losa Mendiratta
Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra