2nd International O.S.O.I. Conference

November 20th and 21st, 2019


 The Observatory of Indian Ocean Societies, a Research Federation of the University of Reunion, is organizing its second international conference:

The Indian Ocean in the 21st Century: Transitions and Mutations


The main objective of the conference, which will take place on the 20th and 21st November 2019. is to define and apprehend the major movements that occurred in the Indian Ocean at the beginning of the 21st century. These movements (continuities / accelerations / ruptures ...) can concern individuals, ideas / ideologies, geopolitics, the environment, exchanges, communications, technologies ...

The general context of the conference

Approaching the Indian Ocean and border countries.

 Studies can cover an area from South Africa to Australia, from India to the TAAF, from the east coast of Africa to the Indian Ocean. "The Indian Ocean is now considered a geopolitical area of primary importance "(Grare, 2012). This event will focus on the history of the present time as well as the immediate history of the Indian Ocean in the 21st century. Bearing in mind that "the present often comes from the past", it would be worthwhile to examine the oscillations or ruptures that have taken place prior to the present of the immediate history of the Indian Ocean. It is true that "over the centuries, the Indian Ocean has become a unified and hierarchical space by virtue of its exchanges" (Beaujard, 2009). Submissions can also have a prospective approach and study emerging trends or emerging scenarii. They can relate to knowledge, beliefs or discourses on the present of the Indian Ocean. They may include studies of nations, islands or regional organizations.

The term transition questions the (gradual or brutal) changes of, as well as, - in the Indian Ocean. It engages with movements, passages, and progressive transformations to come.

The analysis of transitions enables the study of the environmental, economic, political, historical, and geographical contexts as well as the processes that make and characterize the variations in formation. The term mutation questions the modifications, the transformations and the periods, the contexts, and the conditions in which they take place. 

These profound changes, often radical and rapid, draw new lines and impose new constraints.

During this conference, Transitions and Mutations will be analyzed through the three main OSOI axes in the study of Indian Ocean societies:

  • Territories and mobility (demography, migration, borders, transport, trade ...)
  • Risks and development (economy, climate, ecology, education, health, digital technology ...)
  • Power and networks (geopolitics, conflicts, law, institutions, religions, nations ...)

The conference intends to question "Movements" and "Risks" that transform the Indian Ocean (maritime areas, land spaces). It aims to understand the transitions and mutations inherent in the positioning of the Indian Ocean at the beginning of this century as an area of exchanges, of communications, of circulation with Africa (Atlantic, Mediterranean) and with Asia (the Pacific).

Proposals for papers on transitions and mutations are open to all fields of the humanities and social sciences. We also welcome all approaches from other scientific disciplines. Proposals can be made at different scales and approaches (local, national, regional, global, etc.) as well as from a comparative angle.

A Session for doctoral students

This conference will include a session specifically designed for PhD students working on the Indian Ocean. They should send their proposals to the website by mentioning their wish to participate in the "Doctoral Session".

Proposals for papers

Proposals for papers should be sent to the website:


Participation is free of charge.

The deadline is set for March 15, 2019.

The proposal must be set according to the following format:

1. The first page (1500 to 2000 characters including spaces) bearing the Last name, First Name/ CV / Bio / bibliography

2. The second page (2000 to 2500 characters including spaces) bearing the submission (in Word format) with the title and the text of the presentation of 2000 to 2500 signs (spaces included)

Contact: osoi@univ-reunion.fr