Indian Ocean Conference - March 6-7, 2014

March 6th: 10:00am-4:00pm
March 7th: 10:00am-5:00pm

Location: Stanford Archaeology Center, Building 500, 488 Escondido Mall                                                                                                                              


Connecting Continents: Setting an Agenda

for A Historical Archaeology of the Indian

Ocean World


The Indian Ocean has formed an enduring connection between three continents, countless small islands and a multitude of cultural and ethnic groups. However, the region has received little attention within the context of historical archaeology.

This conference emphasizes the strengths of multidisciplinary research, bringing together environmental and historical archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and artists. It aims to address the overarching theoretical issue of research relevance: by creating a space for conversation between disciplines, and addressing issues such as ecological impact and the utility of heritage; how should a ‘historical archaeology of the Indian Ocean World’ fit into research and community interests.



Conference recordings of participants:

Pearling in the eastern IO - Alistair Paterson, University of Western Australia
Colonizing remote islands in the IO - Atholl Anderson, Australian National University
Materiality and the topography of heritage in Mauritius - Diego Calaon, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia
Writing the history of the IO - Edward Alpers, University of California, Los Angeles
Environmental archaeology in Mauritius - Krish Seetah, Stanford University
Themes for a new research agenda in the IO - Paul Lane, Uppsala Universitet
Labour migrations in the IOW - Richard Allen, Framingham State University
Identity negotiation in colonial Mauritius - Sasa Caval, Stanford University


Conference participant info here


  • Richard Allen, Professor; Framingham State University, Dept. of History
  • Edward Alpers, Professor; UCLA, Dept. of History
  • Atholl Anderson, Professor of Prehistory and Archaeology, Australian National University, Dept. of Archaeology and Natural History
  • Nicole Boivin, Senior Research Fellow; University of Oxford, School of Archaeology
  • Diego Calaon, Post-Doctoral Researcher; Università Ca' Foscari Venezia, Interdepartmental Centre IDEAS
  • Saša Čaval, Visiting Scholar, Stanford University, Dept. of Anthropology
  • Diana Heise, Assistant Professor, Kansas City Art Institute, School of Visual Arts
  • Paul Lane, Professor, Uppsala Universitet; Dept. of Archaeology and Ancient History
  • Martin Mhando, Associate Professor, University of Western Australia, School of Media, Communication and Culture
  • Alistair Paterson, Professor and Discipline Chair of Archaeology; University of Western Australia, Dept. of Archaeology
  • Krish Seetah, Assistant Professor; Stanford University, Dept. of Anthropology


  • Thomas Blom-Hansen, Reliance-Dhirubhai Ambani Professor in South Asian Studies and Director of the Center for South Asia, Professor of Anthropology, Stanford
  • Sean Hanretta, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for African Studies; Stanford University
  • Ian Hodder, Dunlevie Family Professor; Stanford University, Dept. of Anthropology
  • Lynn Meskell, Professor and Director of the Archaeology Center, Stanford University, Dept. of Anthropology
  • Grant Parker, Associate Professor; Stanford University, Dept. of Classics
  • Richard Roberts, Frances & Charles Field Professor in History; Stanford University, Dept. of History
  • Sharika Thiranagama, Assistant Professor, Stanford University, Dept. of Anthropology


Conference program here




This conference is sponsored by the following Stanford departments:  Stanford Archaeology Center,  Stanford Arts Institute,  International Comparative and Area Studies, The Europe Center, Department of Anthropology, Center for South Asia, Department of History, Center for African Studies and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. 


Click on flyer (left) to download a PDF version