at the

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

4-6 November 2024

People, Places, Landscape and Memory

Regional histories require a re-examining of the notion of history itself. It is the sum of innumerable small actions and reactions by ordinary people over centuries as they encountered other different societies. Broadly viewed, landscapes and places can be considered as areas of human connectivity. Landscapes encompass wild, cultivated, urban, feral, and fallow spaces and human and nonhuman entities who inhabit and shape them. Memory refers to the interpretation of experience as it exists in the present, bridging temporally discrete moments through the intentional or unintentional act of remembering. Memory studies, from the example anthropology’s view, include explorations of individual forms of remembrance, and the collective, heterogeneous ways of marking, interpreting, and erasing the past. Taken together, place, landscape, and memory (in written and formally recorded form) co-constitute one another: landscapes store, depict, and evoke memories while memories in places recall, revise, and shape landscapes. There are, and have always been, many kinds of evolutive regions as exposed in many historiographies and in different vocabularies of what a region may be: Not only politically or administratively formed, but also regions formed on basis of landscape, culture, or some functional or economic criteria.

Apart from the possibility of presenting individual/co-authored papers, the International Society for Regional History (ISRH) also welcome submissions for proposals of panels and round tables for its international conference scheduled at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, between 4 and 6 November 2024.  The suggested sub-themes from which must be selected (as outlined earlier), are also welcomed in this submission format. Kindly indicate your sub-theme choice when submitting your abstract (see the guidelines below).

History and any scholars of other disciplines who feel comfortable in this space are more than welcome to submit abstracts!

Sub Themes:

  • Perceptions of Time, Cultural Boundaries, and “Region” in Texts
  • Human and Environment Interaction.
  • Societal Migration, Evolution, Colonial boundaries, Aggression, and Industrialization
  • Landscape, Lifeways (“Home”), and Cultural Associations
  • Region as Memory and a Place for Preserving Legacies in Tourism Recreation
  • Trends in Regional History
  • Other Related Topics on Memory, Place, Landscape in a Regional History Context

Sub Theme-I: Perceptions of Time, Cultural Boundaries, and “Region” in Texts

Time exhibits a unique attribute in history —its progression spawns varied conceptions and perceptions, differing across cultures. Civilizations developed cyclical or linear views, shaping distinctive notions of “good” and “bad” times. The intricate history arises as these varied perceptions rival, influence, and borrow from each other. Similarly, regions, beyond natural entities, are constructed phenomena shaped by time and human cultural intervention. Time, as the incubatory medium, and culture, as the causative agent, profoundly influence the socio-cultural construction of regions. Regions, reflecting shifts in thought and action, also signify distinctions in time and culture perceptions. Understanding this symbiotic relationship across history is a worthwhile intellectual endeavour.

Sub Theme-II: Human and Environmental Interaction

The interaction between humans and the environment within the broader framework of a variety of regions is a compelling and multidimensional area of longstanding historical exploration. The relationship between human societies and their surrounding landscapes is a centuries-old phenomenon. Today, environmental concerns are at the forefront, and understanding how human activities have shaped, have been shaped, have impacted, and adapted to their environments, is paramount. This sub-theme seeks to uncover the intricate and multifaceted dimensions of human-environment interaction in regional history. Interactions are not limited to physical landscape alterations but encompass cultural and social (even social virtual) dimensions in space contexts that influence and are influenced by human-environment relationships, which includes exploring how people’s beliefs, traditions, and practices have evolved in response to their environment, how these interactions have shaped the region’s identity, and how they have influenced present-day practices.

Sub Theme-III: Societal Migration, Evolution, Colonial boundaries, Aggression, and Industrialization

Migrations across cultures have driven societal evolution, with changes in dynamics over time. These migrations often accompanied aggression, surpassing conquests in historical impact. For example: For about three centuries, the Westphalian notion of well-demarcated boundaries for specifically colonized regions and rigidly applied territoriality has shaped human regions and human consciousness.  Industrialization, a distinctly modern force, has catalysed and still catalyses human migration and societal transformation. Factories birth modern working classes, and global capitalist imperialism alters landscapes. Instances of physical and epistemological violence mark colonial conquests, agrarian uprisings, wars of decolonization, and conflicts between migrant and host societies. The interplay of industrialization, migration, and societal change unfolds across centuries, leaving a complex historical canvas in politically established regions and states.  Further understanding and comparing these trends in micro spatial contexts or/and translocally or transnationally will be welcomed.       

Sub Theme-IV: Landscape, Lifeways (“Home”), and Cultural Associations

This theme explores the intricate connections among landscape, living spaces (the real and “imaginary” home), and place-cultural associations, defining their local to global impact on well-being, identity, and sustainable development. Scholars are encouraged to investigate diverse regions, highlighting successful initiatives leveraging landscapes and culture for community well-being and heritage preservation. Landscape and place encompassing natural and built elements that serve as a canvas reflecting cultures. The interplay between landscape, living environments, and cultural practices shapes societies, impacting physical and mental health (well-being), inclusive of a recognised geographical analysis, and has been a valued part of regional history since mid-20th century scholarship.  Recognizing and valuing these elements will be welcomed in this sub-theme.

Sub Theme-V: Region as Memory and a Place for Preserving Legacies in Tourism Recreation

The concept “region” unfolds as a dynamic reservoir of memory and a rich context for possibilities in tourism recreations. Defined by natural geographical, administrative, or political or cultural boundaries, regions preserve historical narratives and cultural traditions, fostering identity. They serve as archives revisiting and reimagining memories, influencing individual and collective identities. This delicate interplay between microspatial to translocal and transregional memory preservation and evolution for particularly leisure and tourism is pivotal. Regions shape identities, evoke nostalgia, and offer new experiences. Examining these trends in regional history becomes a lens to also explore refreshed or adapted methodologies and insights.

Sub Theme-VI: Trends in Regional History

Regional history of the 21st century emphasises the importance of knowledge as context to accentuate its roots and associations with recent developments. It also urges in-depth exploration of micro-spatial histories as a necessity to identify some intricate connections among people, places, and memories. An interdisciplinary approach to regional history is also encouraged, with debates on how geography, sociology, anthropology, and environmental studies, amongst others, challenge and/or enhance the historian’s understanding of the local and the regional. Possibilities for comparative regional studies in memory, landscape and place will be welcomed. Integration of digital technology, GIS, and other tools into regional history studies is a compelling area for investigation. Globally, regional history trends continue to underscore the interplay between micro spatial contexts and their broader impact, driven by forces like the trans-local, transnational and globalization.

Abstract Submissions

The ISRH meeting in New Delhi aims to be as inclusive as possible. We would also welcome proposals touching on the periphery of the main theme. However, they should highlight the richness of regional history and its global influence.

Deadline for abstract submissions (300-word count max in Word plus a bionote of 125 words max of each author or/and discussant): 31st May 2024.

The ISRH Steering Committee will formally respond to each submission before/by 7 June 2024 on whether accepted.

    Please follow the steps below:

    *CLICK on the preferred option below to pay

    (To be paid before 30 September 2024)

    If you encounter any technical problems (forms completion or website connection), kindly contact Mrs Yolandi Strydom at [email protected]

    *Please note: Conference participants must be/become members of the ISRH.

    Conference host:

    Professor Umesh Ashok Kadam,

    Organising Convenor / Coordinator,

    2nd ISRH International Conference 2024,

    New Delhi, India  

    About the conference venue:

    The city of New Delhi is not merely the capital of the present-day Republic of India but has long been the civilized society axis of the entire Indian subcontinent. As such, the metropolis of New Delhi encapsulates centuries of history and cultural heritage, visible in its numerous monuments and alive within its people.


    The international conference shall be hosted at the Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Founded in 1970, the centre has been one of the premier institutions for research on South Asian history and has pioneered research in several areas of the region’s history encompassing all epochs, be it ancient, medieval, or modern history. A nerve centre of bustling academic activity, it is an institution of primary importance in so far as historical research on South Asia within the Asian landmass, and even the world, is concerned.

    Locate the conference venue at:

    Nearest Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI), New Delhi

    Nearest Metro: Vasant Vihar Metro Station.

    Nearest Railway Station: New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS), New Delhi.

    Cab Services: Uber, Ola, Rapido and Blu Smart.

    Conference accommodation (organizers’ recommendations):

    The organisers will unfortunately not be responsible for any accommodation arrangements of attendees.  Kindly ensure that a booking of accommodation after an abstract approval letter has been received, your attention. A list of places for accommodation are provided, but feel free to further explore for accommodation that fits your budget:



    The Grand, New Delhi

    Distance from the Jawaharlal Nehru University  – 5 km.

    Address – Nelson Mandela Marg, Pocket 4, Vasant Kunj II, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi,

    Delhi 110070. Website –

    Contact  – 011 4766 1200


    Jaypee Vasant Continental Hotel

    Distance from the Jawaharlal Nehru University – 2.5 km

    Address – Jaypee Vasant Continental, Basant Lok Vasant Vihar, New Delhi – 110057.

    Website –

    Contact – 011- 26148800.


    Hyatt Regency

    Distance from the Jawaharlal Nehru University – 6 km.

    Address – Ring Rd, Bhikaji Cama Place, Rama Krishna Puram, New Delhi, Delhi 110066.

    Website –

    Contact – 011 – 26791234


    Svelte Hotel

    Distance from Jawaharlal Nehru University – 7 km

    Address – A-3, District Centre, Select City Walk, Saket, New Delhi – 110017.

    Website –

    Contact – Phone Number +91 11 40512000

    Duty Manager +91 88007 82138

    Toll-Free – 1800 112 002.


    For Bus/ Delhi Sightseeing

    Delhi Tourism Transport –

    Contact Details – 9958966566  [email protected]

    Delhi Tourism –

    Contact – 011 – 23752772.


    Private TourismSwan Tours

    Address – Flat No. 6, Shankar Market, 2nd Floor, Above Shop No.1 Shankar Market, Outer Circle, Opposite M Block, Connaught Place, Delhi, 110001, India.

    Website – Contact – +91 11 23415601

    Emergency Numbers:  + 91 – 9810100293, 9910049132, 7042150002, 7042160002, 9910048582


    Note: Air Travel, Taxi, Cab, Hotel Accommodation, Tourism and Dinners are to be arranged by conference attendees themselves.

    ISRH Steering Committee:

    Prof Toyin Falola (University of Texas at Austin, USA) | Prof Umesh Ashok Kadam (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India) | Prof Kenneth Murray Knuttila (Professor Emeritus, Brock University, Canada) | Prof Sulevi Riukulehto (Dep-Chairperson: University of Helsinki, Finland) | Prof Elize S van Eeden (Chairperson: North-West University, South Africa) | Prof Marijn Molema (University of Groningen, Netherlands) | Mr Fumihiko Koyata (Hirosaki University, Japan | Mr Emile Coetzee (North-West University, South Africa).