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Dagat ug Kinabuhi / Maritime Cultures, Spaces, and Networks
Silliman University, Dumaguete City
October 22 to 24, 2015

A joint regional conference of the Ugnayang Pang-Agham Tao (Anthropological Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Geographical Society

Conference Convenor: Cynthia Neri Zayas

Between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, peoples and lands separated by water have also been integrated through the same medium, enabling transit of persons, commodities and ideas by boats bridging the ports and harbors, moorages and river systems serving as nexus for trade and migration, through to inland waters, wetlands and upstream forest, or to lands beyond the horizon. This conference hopes to create an interdisciplinary regional forum to discuss issues and debates revolving around maritime contexts as structured and structuring fluid zones of spatial connection and separation, and within which contemporary insecurities and vulnerabilities communities must find ways to keep afloat—hence Dagat ug Kinabuhi, which means ‘the sea and life [lifeways/strategies]’ in the Visayan languages.

UGAT Foundation invites individual paper, poster, short film/video, and panel proposals relating to the conference theme. Potential subthemes include:

  • Maritime lifeways and histories
  • Blue highway: transport, trade and the region as cultural crossroads
  • Lights on the coastline: cities and settlements, collecting and redistributive centers
  • Exploring littoral networks and waterways; upstream and downstream exchanges; inland seas and inter-island linkages
  • Austronesian and other maritime migrations
  • Waterscapes and maritime places
  • Claims and conflicts over water; map wars and counter-cartographies
  • Sea-change: cultures of disaster
  • Maritime heritage conservation and coastal resources management
  • Navigation, fishlore, boat-building and other local knowledges
  • From barkada to balangay— boat as social metaphor
  • Places and practices of piracy; seafaring; beach tourism, etc.
  • Ethnographies of fishing and coastal communities
  • Issues of MPAs (marine protected areas) vs. native or local entitlements
  • Anchorages and horizons: negotiating oceanic and archipelagic passage
  • Anthropological knowledge and practice(s) borne out of maritime settings
  • Narratives of insularity and ‘tidalectics’
  • Human Use and abuse of aquatic resources
  • Sea- or island-oriented identities
  • Archipelago as nation: anarchic diversity, fragmented geography, and development frameworks

GUIDELINES for abstracts:

Abstracts should be 250 words long and should be written in a style that is accessible to non-academic audiences. Possible subthemes into which the abstract falls may also be indicated.

1) Please include author’s name(s), institutional affiliation, and complete contact information (email-address, telephone number and mailing address).

2) The Deadline for Submissions is June 30, 2015. Please send abstracts by email to

3) Students intending to join the Student Paper competition must indicate this in the submission. Please specify the degree program, year level, and university.

For other inquiries please visit, or contact the Conference Secretariat at +63920-9823179 (Eizel Hilario) or +63917-6270776 (Enrique Oracion), or