Legacies of Trade and Empire

Legacies of Trade and Empire
21 April 2021, 1.30pm - 6.30pm
Conference / Symposium

Trade and empire building over several centuries created contact zones for encounters across the oceans changing the landscapes of territories. Historical conditions created diasporic communities that continue to confront challenges as they rebuild their lives. How have the legacies of trade and empire shaped the lives of contemporary diasporic communities? Despite silencing mechanisms, muted voices emerge from the margins. Encounters affected the epistemologies of colonisers themselves, whereas narratives of the colonized reveal subaltern sensibilities. This conference explores the crossing of geographic and cultural boundaries in postcolonial spaces and considers narratives and experiences that draw upon concepts such as epistemology, identity, hybridity, creolisation, silence, resilience and the carnivalesque.


1.30 pm  Welcome – Professor Philip Murphy (Director, Institute of Commonwealth Studies)

1.40 pm Introduction – Dr Shihan de Silva (Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies)


ChairBeheroze Shroff  (University of California, Irvine, USA)

1.50 pm From Glissant to Torabully –   About Creolization and Processes of Learning
Professor Ute Fendler (University of Bayreuth, Germany)

2.20 pm Food practices under slavery and indenture: Indonesian culinary influences in Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Suriname
Dr Tom Hoogervorst (Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies, Netherlands)

2.50 pm Indigenisation of Leonard Woolf’s The Village in the Jungle – Reflections on Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
Dr Shihan de Silva (Institute of Commonwealth Studies)

3.20 pm Not by the Cross Alone: Understanding the Role of Asia’s First Printing Press
Dr Frederick Noronha (Independent Researcher, Goa, India)

3.50 pm Tea Break


Chair: Dr Shihan de Silva (Institute of Commonwealth Studies)

4.00 pm Portuguese presence in India and Siddis of Karnataka
Beheroze Shroff (University of California, Irvine, USA)

4.30 pm Speaking from Silence. The Afro-Canadian writer M. Nourbese Philip’s Looking for Livingstone: An Odyssey of Silence
Dr Xin Li (University of Bayereuth, Germany)

5.00 pm Carnivalesque and associated traditions: Caribbean migration and vernacular  musical dissemination
Dr John Cowley (Institute of Commonwealth Studies)

5.30 pm Sega, Moutya, and Maloya: Music of the Slaves in the Indian Ocean Creole Islands. A Perspective from the Seychelles
Dr Marie-Christine Parent (Independent Researcher, Montreal, Canada)

6.00 pm Concluding Discussion

Conference convenor:  Dr Shihan de Silva (Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies)

All welcome

This event is free to attend, but booking is required. It will be held online with details about how to join the virtual event being circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.


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