W005
Islands of Doom, Islands of Bliss: revisiting maritime places of conquest and exploitation, pleasure and consumption

Convenors:
Heike Drotbohm (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Burkhard Schnepel (Martin-Luther University, Halle)
Stream:
Workshops
Location:
Chem E401
Start time:
20 September, 2006 at 11:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

Islands and their cultures can provide critical anthropological insights into the entanglement of historical and contemporary power relations, gender constructions, ethics of consumption and politics of representation.

Long abstract:

Islands can be understood as interfaces of, as well as points of arrival and departure for, processes of socio-cultural, political, religious and economical globalisation. Serving today as symbols of sensual and aesthetic pleasures and consumption, many islands in the world also embody memories of violent histories such as invasions, slavery and economic exploitation. While a great number of islands are still judged as hot spots of international relations and regional security, they may also face a strong dependence on development aid due to overpopulation and environmental vulnerability. However, post-industrial service industries such as tourism and offshore businesses provide access to financial capital, which may instigate insular development but which may also produce new inequalities between islands or between a given island's coasts and hinterlands. <br/>As a piece of land surrounded by water most islands refuse the political mapping into one of the five continents and prefer to picture intercultural encounters of the past and present. Therefore, cultural areas such as the Caribbean, the Pacific, the Black Atlantic and the Indian Ocean constitute places of growing anthropological interest, where theories of creolisation and hybridisation were generated and meet with current debates over cultural homogenisation versus diversification. Another result of the particularity of their territorial location may be that islanders are often reminded that their cultural identity is linked to insularity and isolation on the one hand and to mobility and migration on the other. <br/>Given these comparable characteristics, the workshop seeks to develop a suitable framework for comparing islands from an anthropological point of view and welcomes proposals on issues such as: <br/> Islands and the European expansion (colonialism, slavery) <br/> Constructions of identities and alterities on and between islands<br/> Migration, transnationalism and globalisation from the island's point of view<br/> Anthropologists and island ethnographies<br/> Anthropology of beaches and beachcombers<br/> The politics and economies of romances: islands and tourism<br/> World culture: music, dance, food and other art forms.