Adaptation and resilience to climatic and environmental changes in the Indian Ocean World, past to present

Philip Gooding's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
May 26, 2022 to May 27, 2022
Location: 
Quebec, Canada
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Middle East History / Studies, Asian History / Studies, World History / Studies

Much of the discourse pertaining to the effects of global climate change has been justifiably negative. Climatic and environmental changes in the past and global warming in the present are associated with a wide variety of deleterious effects for humans, animals, and ecologies. In this context, much has been written on vulnerabilities to the effects of climatic and environmental change. This applies particularly to the Indian Ocean World (IOW), a macro-region disproportionately vulnerable to global warming that stretches from East Africa, across the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia to East Asia, and south to Australasia. While acknowledging this paradigm, which features prominently in the humanities and social and natural sciences, this conference seeks to explore alternative ways of thinking about climatic and environmental change. In some ways, it can be summed up with a simple question: What are the past and current success stories in the face of climatic and environmental changes? Thus, instead of vulnerabilities to climate and environmental change, this conference seeks papers that address examples of successful adaptation, resilience, and mitigation.

Scholars thinking about submitting a proposal, single or interdisciplinary, should bear in mind the following suggestions:

  • Paper proposals may address the theme of the conference at any scale, ranging from individual communities to larger societies, states, and international organisations.
  • We also welcome proposals that explore how non-human animals and other organisms have successfully adapted to climatic and environmental changes.
  • Paper proposals that transcend temporal silos between past and present are especially welcome. Contributors whose case studies lies in the past may think about their potential applicability to present concerns with, for example, global warming and environmental degradation; while those focussing on current issues may also think about antecedents and the longer-term development of adaptive strategies.
  • As this is a conference on the Indian Ocean World, proposals from scholars in the region will be particularly welcome, as will proposals that incorporate perspectives and knowledge directly from the region.

Given current restrictions and uncertainties, it is planned that this conference will take place remotely via Zoom. Please submit paper abstracts (max. 300 words) and an author bio (max. 150 words) to Dr. Philip Gooding (philip.gooding@mcgill.ca), Dr. Julie Babin (julie.babin2@mcgill.ca), and the IOWC (iowc@mcgill.ca) by 30 November 2021. Please contact Gooding and/or Babin with questions in advance.
We plan to publish selected conference papers in a special edition of a peer-reviewed journal or an edited collection.

Contact Info: 

Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin