This panel probes the parallels and distinctions between those living in coastal regions, and explores the ways in which these influence the political, moral realms, and the shifts in collective and personal memories.
Coastal areas have for long been spaces of encounter, with a range of cultural, economic, and religious exchanges, connected to the wider region/world via trade and travel. They are both spaces of continuity (historical and cultural) and fragmentation, openness to other parts of the world and meeting points of people with distinctive historical experiences and imaginations. Taking up historically and geographically diverse cases from coastal communities around the world, this panel examines recent political, economic, physical and social changes, and the way these are projected onto present politics and demands on the state. By bringing together inquiries into the lives of coastal peoples, the panel probes the parallels and distinctions between those living by the coast, exploring how these influence political, and moral realms, and the shifts in collective and personal memories. We are looking specifically for papers that address the multiple, historically contextualized experiences of life in coastal areas and the experience of change. Some of the questions we hope to address are: In what ways are distinctive memories of the past integrated, valued and commemorated in multiethnic coastal contexts? How are different understandings of the past used to assert political claims in current debates around rights and legitimacy? How is a desire for a better future from outside/within expressed through local idioms of morality and aspiration? What narratives of belonging are being developed? By bringing diverse perspectives into discussion we aim to illuminate shared experiences of life in coastal regions in historically and geographically distinctive contexts.