MAPPING AND UNMAPPING THE PACIFIC:
ISLAND PERCEPTIONS OF AN “OCEANIC CONTINENT"
TAIWAN SOCIETY FOR PACIFIC STUDIES
The Pacific world can be seen as a “oceanic continent," mapped throughout the ages by migrations and exchanges. In its midst, islands are the vantage points from which different mapping strategies have been taking and are still taking place, offering a variety of viewpoints on the Pacific, its contours and its dynamics.
This conference – the first one organized by the Taiwan Society for Pacific Studies – aims at identifying the ways of mapping the Pacific in time and space that have been developed by islanders, especially by Austronesian populations. Such “mapping" has taken place through migration roads, tales, songs and genealogies, as well as by astronomic or geographic charts and artistic renderings. Taking these representations both in their irreducible variety and as an organic whole may help a new generation of scholars to challenges the usual ways of looking at the Pacific world, thus enabling the inhabitants of this “oceanic continent" to enrich and develop the interactive process through which they understand their history and destiny.
本次國際研討會是台灣太平洋研究學會所舉辦的第一次會議，旨在探討各地居民尤其是南島語族如何在不同年代發展出各自的太平洋觀。太平洋探索活動具有諸多樣貌，從人群擴散遷徙的途徑、血緣系譜，到傳說與歌謠，乃至於星象觀察及地理圖冊都是其中的一部分。將這一切視為不可化約且有機的整體來考量，將有助於新一代學者挑戰既有的太平洋觀也有助於這片「海洋大陸」的居民更進一步豐贍發展理解自己的歷史、未來及其與世界其他部分互動的內涵。 Maris Pacifici by Abraham Ortelius
This map was published in 1589 in his Theatrum Orbis Terrarum. It was the first printed map of the Pacific.
Maris Pacifici by Abraham Ortelius
In other words, the objective of this conference is twofold: (a) accounting for the diversity of the “mappings" of the Pacific continent so as to challenge and renew historical, geographical and ethnographic insights on this part of the world; (b) allowing a younger generation of scholars to compare the insights they have gained in confronting local and global knowledge. Researchers from Taiwan the island between the Asian continent andthe Pacific, believed to be the starting point of Austronesian expansion into the Pacific, being the periphery and the core at the same time will also present their perceptions of this oceanic continent as it is observed and imagined from Taiwan.
The conference agenda will be divided into four sub-topics:
– Routes and Migrations
Mapping of the Pacific in terms of itineraries, migrations and spatial dynamics.
– Methods of Mapping
Mapping through tales, genealogies, drawings and pictograms, history of modern mapping, mapping perspectives according to locations…
– Sacred Space-Times
Sacred elements in traveling and mapping, missionary routes and their rationale, conversions, new religions and the blurring of traditional religious mappings…
– Alliances and Conflicts
Maritime Law and the drawing of boundaries, boundaries and conflicts around natural resources, fishing rights, garbage disposal; representations of the Pacific space and diplomatic strategies.
16-17 February, 2011
Pacific Life Sustainability Awards
Four prizes will be awarded at the end of the conference to grassroot leaders or communities that have made a significant contribution to cultural diversity, sustainable development and spiritual empowerment in the Pacific world.
The Conference Agenda is available here
Li-chun Lee 李禮君