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.

14th ESfO Conference
Lucerne, Switzerland

24-27 June 2025

Organizers: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Lucerne, Switzerland



Connections within and beyond Oceania

Oceania has always been interconnected in a myriad of ways. From the first peopling of Australia and the Pacific to today’s age of the internet, social media, and mobile phones, people of the Pacific have initiated, strengthened, reinforced, and affirmed, but also blocked, interrupted, resisted, and broken off connections with humans and non-humans alike. They have established complex relations within and between communities, societies, and nation states, formed and recognized links with their physical environment, circulated objects, visions and ideas that shape and redefine their worlds, created artistic expressions celebrating all kinds of connections, and continue to be affected by and contribute to global processes that impact us all.
This conference opens a forum for establishing which connections are central to the lives of Pacific people, but also which connections are neglected, de-emphasized or forgotten. We invite participants to reflect on the nature, shape, direction, and durability of connections, how they are initiated and maintained, and the goals and aspirations towards which they are established. We seek to explore the complex interplay between the environmental, social, and cultural landscapes of Oceania and their local, regional, and global connections and disconnections in the past, present and future.

The conference is also an opportunity to reflect on future connections in Oceania and beyond. With new and continuing challenges like climate change, geopolitical shifts, migration, pandemics and other health crises, the impact of extractive industries, or enduring legacies of colonialism and racism, what new connections and alliances are being forged, which new pathways created? How do people remain connected with their heritage in an increasingly globalized world? And what are the objects and ideas that continue to connect people within Oceania and beyond?

Special Invitation to Pacific Scholars: We warmly welcome scholars from the Pacific, recognizing the essential perspectives they bring to the discussion. The organizers are committed to supporting the participation of these scholars, making concerted efforts to facilitate their involvement and ensure their voices are heard prominently throughout the conference. We would also like to ask prospective panel organizers to already keep in mind scholars from the Pacific they might want to invite to submit a paper to their panel.


We invite you to submit panel proposals for the 2025 ESfO conference in Lucerne, Switzerland, scheduled for June 24-27, 2025. The board will consider these proposals in their September meeting. When submitting a panel proposal, please follow the instructions below.

A panel is a series of papers grouped according to a shared theme, topic or scientific question. Note that panels are not papers, for which the call will be published later once the board has decided on the final list of panels. Papers can then be submitted to the respective panel organizers.

Your proposal needs to include the following information:
– Panel organizer(s) names, email address(s) and affiliation(s)
– Title of the panel
– Abstract of the panel (maximum 300 words)
– Estimation of potential number of speakers (if possible)

Please send your panel proposal as soon as possible, but at the latest by September 10, 2024, to bettina.beer@unilu.ch and tobias.schwoerer@unilu.ch.
Call for Panels Deadline: September 10, 2024