12th ESfO Conference
Cambridge, 07 December 2018 - 10 December 2018
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Department of Social Anthropology
University of Cambridge
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‘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.