2021: Environmental Crises in the Indian Ocean World since 1800

“International Conference on Environmental Crises in the Indian Ocean World since 1800”
McGill University, 28-29 May 2021

Conference Recordings:

To download a PDF copy of the schedule, click here.


DAY 1: Friday, May 28

Opening Remarks: 7:55am to 8:00am EDT

Panel 1: 8:00am to 9:15am EDT

Themes in South East Asia and Australasia chaired by Gwyn Campbell

  • Ruchie Mark D. Pototanon (University of the Philippines Visayas): “After the Big Storm: An Initial Exploration of Flooding Events in Iloilo City following Typhoon Frank (Fengshen)”
  • Anif E. Trisnadi (Universitas Negeri Semarang, Indonesia): “The 1963 Volcanic Eruption of Mount Agung Bali, Indonesia and the National Response: A Preliminary Research”
  • James Warren & Lisa Woodward (Murdoch University, Australia): “A Rising Wall of Water: Philippine Storm Surges between the 17th and 21st Centuries”

BREAK 9:15am to 9:30am EDT

Panel 2: 9:30am to 10:45am EDT

Themes in South Asia chaired by Archisman Chaudhuri

  • Debojyoti Das (University of Sussex, UK):“The land of Eighteen Tides: Sundarbans Delta and Liminal Ecotone”
  • Ashesh Kumar Dhar (University of Hyderabad, India): “Devastation and Dominion: Reading a Terrain in Natural Disasters”
  • Archit Guha (Independent Researcher, India): “‘A Great Experiment Performed by the Hand of Nature’: Scaling the Cyclone as a Scientific Concept and the Politics of Empire in South Asia, 1839-1876”

BREAK 10:45am to 11am EDT

Panel 3: 11:00am to 12:15pm EDT

Themes in Africa chaired by Philip Gooding

  • Rafaël Thiebaut (Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, France): “The «terrible ouragan» of 1760 in the Southwest Indian Ocean”
  • Matthew Hannaford (University of Lincoln, UK): “Drought and the crisis of the early-nineteenth century in southeast Africa”
  • Yadhav Deerpaul (Iowa State University, USA): “Strands of a Longue Durée Study from the British Government’s Reports of the Sanitary Commission (1884) in Mauritius”

BREAK 12:15pm to 12:30pm EDT

Panel 4 12:30-1:45pm EDT

Themes in South Asia chaired by Nicolas Parent

  • Harminder S. Sran (University of San Francisco, USA) & Navjotpal Kaur (Memorial University, Canada): “India’s agrarian crisis: farmers’ protest and the history of anthropogenic environmental degradation”
  • Donal Thomas (State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA):“Floods in the Western Ghats: A Natural and Man-made Catastrophe”
  • Boris Wille (Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany): “Atoll Engineering in the Maldives: Shifting Priorities in Crafting Archipelagic Landscapes”

BREAK 1:45-2:00pm EDT

Panel 5: 2:00-3:15pm EDT

Themes in the Middle East chaired by Jon Unruh

  • Jeremy Allen (University of Toronto, Canada): Qaḥṭy-eBozorg 1288 ​Qamarī: The Political Ecology of Famine in Nineteenth Century Iran”
  • Isacar Bolaños (California State University, Long Beach, USA): “Drought, Locusts, and the Political Economy of Famine in Late Ottoman Iraq”
  • Scott Erich (CUNY Graduate Center, USA): “Tracing the Emergence of the World’s Largest ‘Dead Zone’: Plankton, Fish, and People in the Gulf of Oman”

DAY 2: Saturday, May 29

Panel 6: 8:00am to 9:15am EDT

Themes in South East Asia and Australasia chaired by Gwyn Campbell

  • Bava Dharani (Independent Researcher, Singapore): “The cruel roots of Singaporean sand: the impact of sand dredging in Southeast Asia”
  • Marco Lagman (University of the Philippines-Diliman): “Typhoons and their Impact on Infrastructure Projects in Six Localities of Northern Albay: A Preliminary Study”
  • Ghamal Satya Mohammad (Murdoch University, Australia): “The Making of an ‘Economic Scape’ in Mt. Merapi, Java, 19th century – c.1940”

BREAK 9:15am to 9:30am EDT

Panel 7: 9:30am to 10:45am EDT

Transregional and South East Asian themes chaired by Philip Gooding

  • Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake (International Center for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka): “‘Zone of Peace?’ TheEnvironmental impacts of the Militarization of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)”
  • Greg Bankoff (University of Hull, UK): “Unsafe harbours: The impact of typhoons on local shipping in the late nineteenth century Philippines”
  • Archisman Chaudhuri (IOWC, McGill University, Canada): “Nineteenth-century colonial science and Franz Junghuhn’s accounts of Java as a source on volcanic eruptions of Mount Bromo”

BREAK 10:45am to 11am EDT

Panel 8: 11:00am to 12:15pm EDT

Themes in the Middle East chaired by Archisman Chaudhuri

  • Steven Serels (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany): “Drought and the Environmental Crisis of Poverty in the Southern Red Sea Region over the Longue Durée”
  • Mustafa Emre Günaydı (Iowa State University, USA): “The Making of a Disaster: Ecologies of Ottoman Recentralization in Baghdad, 1828-1831”
  • Jon Unruh & Nicolas Parent (McGill University, Canada): “Hydropolitics, Middle East Security, and the Reach of the Neo-Ottoman Project in Syria”

BREAK 12:15pm to 12:30pm EDT

Panel 9 12:30-1:30pm EDT

Themes in digital mapping chaired by Nicolas Parent

  • Chris Low, Mustafa Emre Günaydı (Iowa State University, USA), & Zozan Pehlivan (Minnesota Twin Cities, USA) with Luka Miro & Kareem Hammami (IOWC, McGill University, Canada): Microbial Mapping: Toward a Digital Cartography of Ottoman Cholera and Plague”
  • Kareem Hammami, Peter Hynd & Luka Bair (IOWC, McGill University, Canada): “Epidemic Environments: Spatial Analysis of Disease Risk in 19th-Century India and Madagascar”

BREAK: 1:30 to 1:45pm EDT

Panel 10 1:45 to 3:25pm EDT

Themes in Africa chaired by Jon Unruh

  • Gwyn Campbell (IOWC, McGill University, Canada): “The 1863 Regicide of Radama II of Madagascar reinterpreted in the light of Human-Environment Interaction”
  • Philip Gooding (IOWC, McGill University, Canada): “Environmental Change and Political Instability in Equatorial East Africa, 1876-84”
  • Robert Rouphail (Susquehanna University, USA) & Rory Walshe (University of Cambridge, UK): “A Werewolf from Lallmatie: Cultures of Disaster in Mauritius”
  • Jonathan Walz (SIT Graduate Institute, USA) & Rowan Sharkey (Denison University, USA): “Climate Change in Zanzibar: The Outcomes, Factors, and Origins of an Unnatural Disaster”

Closing Remarks: 3:25pm to 3:30pm EDT