Soutenance de thèse D. Burguet

Delphine Burguet, soutiendra une thèse en Anthropologie sociale et Ethnologie de l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales de Paris, dirigée par Philippe Beaujard (Directeur de recherche CNRS) intitulée :

Figures des maîtres rituels

Les devins-guérisseurs dans l’histoire et aujourd’hui :
savoir, action et pouvoir à Madagascar
La soutenance aura lieu le mercredi 1er octobre 2014, 96 bd Raspail, 75006 Paris, salle M. et D. Lombard, à 9h30,
devant un jury composé de :
Madame Faranirina Rajaonah, Professeure des Universités, Paris 7
Monsieur Jean-Aimé Rakotoarisoa, Professeur des Universités, Inalco
Madame Sophie Blanchy, Directrice de recherche, CNRS
Monsieur Laurent Berger, Maître de conférence, EHESS

International Conference, « Currencies of Commerce in the Greater Indian Ocean World »

International Conference, « Currencies of Commerce in the Greater Indian Ocean World

Call for Papers

Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC)
McGill University, Montreal, Canada

22-24 April 2015

*Deadline for Abstracts: 31 October 2014*

Organiser: Dr. Steven Serels (Harvard University)

Establishing and maintaining a national currency is widely perceived to be a central prerogative of modern, independent nation-states. The value of these currencies is recognized as dependent on policies of central banks and on transactions in transnational currency exchanges. Local prices and national economic statistics are commonly presented in terms of the national currencies. However, this has not always been the case. Until the second half of the twentieth century, there were a number of widely-used, competing currencies circulating throughout the greater Indian Ocean world (IOW), including in the western IOW, for example, the Indian rupee, the Maria Theresa thaler, the British pound, the French franc, the East African shilling, the Italian lira, the Turkish lira, the Egyptian pound, the Ethiopian dollar and the Iranian rial. In addition, there were a number of commodity currencies, including salt bars, cloth squares, grain, beads and shells, as well as paper money, promissory notes, bills of exchange and other drafts. Both buyers and sellers had flexibility in terms of determining the currencies used in market transactions. The prevailing currencies in ports, inland depots, trade centres and local markets frequently differed from the official currency used by government officials to chart trade statistics and to record official prices.

Until the post-independence period, market values were often dependent on two simultaneous calculations: the relative demand/scarcity of the good to be traded and the perceived valuation of the set of currencies available in the market, notably in relation to higher value coins as well as their relative gold and silver content. Large-scale merchants, small-scale peddlers and individual consumers had to be knowledgeable about both the local worth of any commercial good and the relative value of currencies locally and regionally. Without formal, regulated exchange markets, merchants, peddlers and consumers were required to both think globally and locally in order to make these simultaneous calculations.

This conference seeks to interrogate the social, political and economic implications of this multi-currency economic system. Papers are welcome on any region of the greater IOW, which is taken to include Eastern Africa, the Red Sea, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, South Asia, East Asia, and the western Pacific Ocean. Suggested topics include:

• The economics of currency exchanges
• The history of individual currencies
• The development and impact of mints
• The role of commodity currencies
• The practice and impact of hoarding
• The social structures that underpinned currency valuations
• Government efforts to control currency flows
• Communities of knowledge around currency values
• The effects of adopting a national currency

Those interested in participating should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words by 31 October 2014. The review process will be completed by 1 November 2014. Papers will be pre-circulated and must be submitted by 15 March 2015. We anticipate that selected papers will be published in a volume to appear as part of Palgrave Macmillan’s Indian Ocean World Studies series.

A registration fee of $200 USD ($60 USD for students) is payable by 15 March 2015. The late registration fee will be $250 USD ($100 USD for students).