South Asia

Organized Panel Session

Ocean Imaginaries and Cultural Heritage

Saturday, July 7
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Silveroak II, Ground Floor

At the heart of Asia and Asian history lies the Indian Ocean, though its centrality has yet to be recognized in the writing of History, especially History of the Ancient period. In keeping with trends of land-based studies, much of the work has focused on Empires, such as the Roman Empire and trade and trading activity initiated by it, in its search for luxury commodities from the East.


A paradigm shift to understanding the history of the sea destabilizes the linear mapping of time and the genealogies of political dynasties and empires. This shift entails viewing the ocean not merely as a space that permits movement, but as a site of intertwined cultural encounters and shared experiences. The sea then becomes the site of crisscrossing surfaces that need to be articulated through histories of coastal shrines, seafaring experiences, narratives relating to the conceptualization of sea spaces, as well as the material remains found at archaeological sites.


This panel underscores the need to celebrate multiple understandings of the Indian Ocean and cultural routes. It makes a case for preservation and protection of maritime cultural heritage through a promotion of the outstanding universal values of transnational cultural heritage as enshrined in UNESCO’s 1972 World Heritage Convention for the protection of natural and cultural properties across the world, including ‘living heritage’ of maritime communities. The endeavor of the panel would be initiate discussion on these issues at the meeting. 

 

Tara Sheemar

University of Delhi, India

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Himanshu Prabha Ray

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, India

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Tara Sheemar

University of Delhi, India

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Murari Kumar Jha

Nalanda University, India

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Salila Kulshreshtha

Independent Researcher, United Arab Emirates

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Uthara Suvrathan

Queens College/Lehman College (CUNY), United States

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Himanshu Prabha Ray

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, India

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Andrew Bauer

Stanford University, United States

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