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Gepubliceerd op 17-12-2018

Call for papers Indian Ocean world in the 18th century

Sovereign Institutions and Migration in South Asia

3 April 2019, Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands)


Organized by: Dries Lyna, Kristina Hodelin-ter Wal (both Radboud University Nijmegen)

In partnership with Alicia Schrikker (Leiden University) & International Institute for Asian Studies

Discussant: Dr. Gagan Sood (The London School of Economics)

Migration over both land and sea within the Indian Ocean world is an age-old phenomenon. During the colonial era it has always been a dynamic process intersecting with sovereign institutions, not only with the British, but also the Dutch, French and other European administrations. However, recent historiography questions if local communities completely, or even partly, fell within the purview of the governing bodies which surrounded them. Local communities and minority groups had the capacity to navigate these rather static bodies for their migratory purposes. But how much influence did these sovereign institutions based around the Indian Ocean rim truly have over the mobilities of local communities? And to what extent did locals actively seek out opportunities to migrate within the institutional framework within which they were situated?

This one-day workshop seeks to juxtapose land-based sovereign institutions with the various kinds of movement that occurred throughout the Indian Ocean during the 18th and 19th centuries. Through the discussion of migration over these centuries, we hope to assess the influence of these governing bodies over local communities, as well as the agency that local communities had in dictating their own mobilities. By focusing on these matters, we hope to recapture the actual power dynamics in play which led migrants to leave one locale and move to another.

Central questions in this workshop are:

  • How freely were South Asian communities able to migrate in the 18th and 19th centuries?
  • Did local communities seek out opportunities to move or were they pushed away from one locale to another by sovereign institutions?
  • How did free migrants showcase their capacity to navigate sovereign institutions so as to gain benefits from migrating within an imperial system?
  • What was the influence of inter- and/or intra-empire migration on local communities in South Asia during the 18th and 19th centuries?

We therefore invite researchers to consider migration of local communities and minority groups in relation to 18th– and 19th– century sovereign institutions within the Indian Ocean World. We welcome proposals from both junior and senior scholars with diverse knowledge of Indian Ocean land- and sea-based movements, and comparative studies are certainly encouraged. Abstracts (max. 300 words) should be sent to k.hodelinterwal@let.ru.nl before 31 January 2019. Decisions on acceptance of presentations will be communicated no later than 15 February 2019. For more information, contact one of the worskhop’s organizers or see updates via the website hereNote: Unfortunately there is no funding available for this workshop, thus participants will have to fund their own travel to and from the workshop.

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