14th ESfO Conference

Dienstag, 24.06.2025 bis Freitag, 27.06.2025

Lucerne, Switzerland

Connections within and beyond Oceania

Oceania has always been interconnected in a myriad of ways. From the first peopling of Australia and the Pacific to today’s age of the internet, social media, and mobile phones, people of the Pacific have initiated, strengthened, reinforced, and affirmed, but also blocked, interrupted, resisted, and broken off connections with humans and non-humans alike. They have established complex relations within and between communities, societies, and nation states, formed and recognized links with their physical environment, circulated objects, visions and ideas that shape and redefine their worlds, created artistic expressions celebrating all kinds of connections, and continue to be affected by and contribute to global processes that impact us all. This conference opens a forum for establishing which connections are central to the lives of Pacific people, but also which connections are neglected, de-emphasized or forgotten. We invite participants to reflect on the nature, shape, direction, and durability of connections, how they are initiated and maintained, and the goals and aspirations towards which they are established. We seek to explore the complex interplay between the environmental, social, and cultural landscapes of Oceania and their local, regional, and global connections and disconnections in the past, present and future.

The conference is also an opportunity to reflect on future connections in Oceania and beyond. With new and continuing challenges like climate change, geopolitical shifts, migration, pandemics and other health crises, the impact of extractive industries, or enduring legacies of colonialism and racism, what new connections and alliances are being forged, which new pathways created? How do people remain connected with their heritage in an increasingly globalized world? And what are the objects and ideas that continue to connect people within Oceania and beyond?