Aquatic Cartographies: Oceanic Imaginaries, Histories and Identities

Keynote Speakers

Imraan Coovadia

Imraan Coovadia is a writer and director of the creative writing programme at the  University of Cape Town, South Africa. He is the author of several novels including The Wedding (2001), Green-Eyed Thieves (2006), High Low In-Between  (2009), The Institute for Taxi Poetry (2012) Tales of the Metric System (2014) and A Spy in Time (2018). He has also published a monograph Authority and Authorship in V.S. Naipaul (Palgrave, 2009). He is a major figure in Indian Ocean writing as he rewrites his anecestors’ crossing of the kali pani and their arrival in Durban from a critical but also humorous perspective.

Coovaadia’s writing mirrors the ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity that makes up today’s South Africa.  He has been awarded several literary prizes for his work including the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the University of Johannesburg English Literary Award.  He has also won the South African Literary Award for Creative Non-Fiction for his collections of essays Transformations (2012).

Kumari Issur is Professor of Francophone literatures in the University of Mauritius. Her research areas include Francophone Indian Ocean and Caribbean literatures, Comparative literatura (postcolonial writing in English and French) and ecocriticism in Indian Ocean studies. She is the co-founder and coordinator of the research group ReGIOSH (Research Group for IndianOceanic Studies in the Humanities). 

She has published widely on transoceanic  configurations in prestigious journals and publishing houses.  Her academic work has contributed  enormously to the development of the concept of hydrocolonialism. Her recent publications include “Mapping ocean-state Mauritius and its unlaid ghosts: Hydropolitics and literature in the Indian Ocean”,  January 2020, Cultural Dynamics 32(1-2):117-131 DOI: 10.1177/0921374019900703;  “Mauritian Bhojpuri Language and Culture: Ideology and Representations”, in G.N. Devy & T. Vijay Kumar (eds.), Indian Languages in the Diaspora, Hyderabad, Orient Blackswan, 2022: 80-89 and  “A Passage to Mauritius: The ebb and flow of Kala pani in Hindustani cinema”, in Judith Misrahi-Barak & Ashutosh Bhardwaj (eds.), Kala Pani Crossings, Routledge, 2021: 135-147.

Kumari Issur

Tina Steiner

Tina Steiner is Professor of Postcolonial Literatures in the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Her research areas include African literatures, Translation Studies, postcolonial literature, Migration and Diaspora studies and East African and Indian Ocean literatures and cultures. 

She has published extensively on Indian Ocean authors in prestigious journals and publishing houses and her name is, without a doubt, highly significant in transnational figurations of transoceanic connections. Among her most relevant publications we highlight Convivial Worlds. Writing Relation from Africa. Routledge, 2021; In India and East Africa/E-Indiya Nase East Africa. A travelogue in isiXhosa and English. D.D.T. Jabavu. Eds. Tina Steiner, Mhlobo W. Jadezweni, Catherine Higgs and Evan Maina Mwangi. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2020; Translated People, Translated Text: Language and Migration in Contemporary African Literature. Manchester: St Jerome, 2009.