CFP: French Scientific Exploration Voyages

The next conference of maritime archaeology, IKUWA6 ( will be held in Fremantle, WA, from the 28th of November to the 2nd of December 2016, and the theme for this year has been kept very open, looking at « Shared Heritage » in the Southern Hemisphere. In this view, a particular session is organised on the cultural heritage produced by French exploration and scientific voyages in the Indo-Pacific region, titled:

French scientific and exploration voyages in the Southern Hemisphere: the making of a shared cultural heritage.

We would like to call all researchers interested by the issue of this shared heritage between France and the regions visited by these voyages, not only in relation to the material heritage produced through them (such as ethnographical, archaeological and natural collections) but also in regards to intellectual history trajectories, such as the history of representations of indigenous populations and their impact on the development of anthropological disciplines.

The description of the session is as follow:

French scientific and exploration voyages represented some of the earliest and most extensive expeditions conducted by European nations in the Southern Hemisphere. This dedication resulted in numerous discoveries, which progressively constituted a shared cultural heritage.

The first contacts with these regions allowed encounters and exchanges with the local indigenous populations, as well as the collection of scientific information, artefactual relics and natural specimens; which have created a wealth of material and literary heritage that is shared between each of these nations and France. The outcomes of these voyages also had considerable impact on the French intellectual history. Accounts of these expeditions often produced the first descriptions of newly encountered environments and populations, outlining the very first theories about the origins of indigenous people, racial and socio-cultural classifications, together with questions relating to the general development of humanity. These have formed a common heritage for the anthropological traditions that were to develop throughout the 19th century. Additionally, these expeditions have set the scene for vast scientific developments such as the expansion of natural sciences in the wake of the Age of Enlightenment. The observations and records resulting from these expeditions have gathered important information regarding biodiversity, fauna and flora distribution, coastal cartography, and navigational charting that are pertinent to the world we live in.

It is this double set of shared cultural heritage between France and the Southern Hemisphere region – a history of common cultural heritage and intellectual inheritance – that this session wishes to explore, with specific attention to the representation of this legacy in contemporary practices and ideas in fields ranging from Archaeology to Museum Studies.

The call for paper will close on the 29 February 2016, and can be found on this link: 

Please do not hesitate to forward this call to your networks, and to contact us for more information.

Hoping to see you in Fremantle in November of next year,

Emilie Dotte-Sarout and Nicolas Bigourdan, (ANU and WA Museum)

Dr Emilie Dotte-Sarout
Postdoctoral Fellow
ARC Laureate Project
The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific – A Hidden History
School of Archaeology and Anthropology,
The Australian National University

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