Welcome to ESfO

The European Society for Oceanists (ESfO) was established on the occasion of the First European Colloquium on Pacific Studies in Nijmegen (The Netherlands) in 1992. The society addresses itself to researchers with a regional interest in Oceania.

In the context of an increasingly integrated Europe the Society aims to enhance intellectual exchange and cooperation between individual researchers and between scholarly institutions, both within and outside Europe. This goal is to be achieved by maintaining an information network, by organizing conferences and by other appropriate means.

12th ESfO Conference

Cambridge, 07 December – 10 December 2018

Download Call for Panels ESFO2018

Also check the Conference Website

Conference Organizers:
Nicholas Thomas (Chair)
Rupert Stasch
Anthony Pickles
Joel Robbins
Ali Clark
Erna Lilje
Katharina Haslwanter

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Department of Social Anthropology
University of Cambridge

‘Dealing with Inequality: Pacific perspectives, Pacific futures’

Economists such as Thomas Piketty have influentially argued that inequality has been globally exacerbated in recent decades, and has broad and negative impacts on the environment, human society, governance and well-being. Inspired by Marilyn Strathern’s 1987 edited collection, Dealing with Inequality, and the tradition of ethnographic conceptualisation, contextualisation and critique that that volume exemplified, this conference will address culture, society and history across Oceania, from the vantage point of anthropology’s longstanding commitment to engaging local perspectives and sensitivity to Oceania’s heterogeneity.

The theme of the 12th conference of the European Society for Oceanists encourages participants to discuss these questions by examining concrete empirical realities in the Pacific; by foregrounding local perspectives; and by foregrounding the sheer heterogeneity of culture and society in the Pacific, in diasporic milieux including those across island ‘homes’. As at the 11th conference, the convenors encourage contributions ranging beyond Oceania’s literal regional limits, to include Pacific presences and interventions in other contexts and regions through diplomacy, travel, migration, tourism, trade, art, museums and performance.

The conference coincides with the ‘Oceania’ exhibition at the Royal Academy, the largest exhibition to date responding to art, history and contemporary identity across the region as a whole. The convenors invite artistic interventions that will contribute to a wider dialogue between academia and contemporary practice, and also cross-disciplinary contributions which may range across anthropology, archaeology, art history, development studies, political studies, geography, history, linguistics, and related fields.

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