International Conference: Australian Seascapes (renewed CFP)

Eva Bischoff's picture
Call for Papers
February 15, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Australian and New Zealand History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Maritime History / Studies

International Conference:  Australian Seascapes  (30 September to 2 October 2021, Trier University)

Call for Papers Deadline: 15 February 2021

Australia’s past and present are closely connected to the sea: In coastal regions, maritime areas are an integral part of Country and thus play a vital role for Aboriginal communities. The sea also looms large in Australian cultural memory and imagination in general, as a passageway and connection to other parts of world with images oscillating between fear (migration) and longing (postcolonial melancholia). In addition, it is an important economic factor as the maritime industry, from gas and oil extraction to cruise shipping, currently generates 9 billion AUD of the Australian GDP. As a destination for domestic and international tourism (surfing), the seaside and the Australian maritime world (Great Barrier Reef) plays an important role in creating a sense of identity as well as selling Australia as a ‘brand’ to global consumerism. From this multitude of relations, a multiplicity of seascapes emerges – spaces of knowing, of contact, of negotiation and transition, and of movement (of ideas, goods or people).

The 2021 conference of the Gesellschaft für Australienstudien|Association for Australian Studies (30 September to 2 October 2021) will chart the multiplicity of Australian seascapes. Following the work of Greg Dening, Epeli Hau’ofa, and Karin Amimoto Ingersoll, it examines seascapes as socially constructed spaces, constituted by connections, exchanges and entanglements rather than by boundaries or by a separating void. Seascapes demonstrate Australia’s deep connection to Oceania, the Pacific region and the world. However, in the face of climate change and rising sea levels, many of these connections are becoming tenuous.

The conference will discuss Australian seascapes in an interdisciplinary perspective, including (but not restricted to) contributions from the field of Cultural Studies (literature, performing arts, film, visual arts), History, Political Science, Anthropology, and Geography. Accordingly, we invite papers and panel proposals from all academic fields to engage in topics that include one or several of the multiple dimensions of Australian Seascapes:

  • Aboriginal knowledges and practices
  • temporalities and geographies
  • movement and fluidity
  • connectivity and entanglement
  • politics, policies, and economy
  • memory and history
  • corporealities and bodily experiences
  • gender
  • oceanic landscapes and maritime biodiversity
  • roles of human and non-human actors, their relationship and interconnectedness
  • representations and imaginations of the sea and of seascapes literature, poetry, drama, the performative or visual arts or any other artistic form of expression.

Please send paper or panel proposals (20 minutes + 10 minutes discussion per paper) in English or German (200-300 words per paper) by 15 February 2021.

We particularly encourage undergraduate and graduate students to submit proposals for work in progress presentations in our new format “Forthcoming”. Please send all proposals to the contact below.

Due to COVID-19, the conference (originally planned for 2020) had to be postponed. This is a renewed call for the conference’s new date in autumn 2021.  To accommodate travel restrictions and to reduce its carbon footprint, the conference will include a virtual stream. Please note that all proposals previously sent in for the conference’s original date have been collected and are automatically under consideration for 2021. In case you already have submitted a proposal and wish to alter or withdraw it, please inform the organizational committee.

Contact Info: 

PD Dr. Eva Bischoff | International History | Trier University