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Unisa Press

Eyes Across the Water - Navigating the Indian Ocean

Pamila Gupta, Isabel Hofmeyr & Michael Pearson (eds).

Indian Ocean Series: Africa in the Indian Ocean: Cultural and Literary Perspectives
April 2010 Unisa Press & Penguin India
First edition, first impression
ISBN 978-1-86888-572-5
SA price: R210(VAT incl), US$36.59 (airmail incl), GB£21.20, €28.25

SUBJECT FIELDS: Literature, Cultural Studies, Religion, Sociology, Indian Studies
KEYWORDS: Comoros, India, Kenya, Mauritius, Reunion, Tanzania, South Asia, Middle East, film, literature, media studies, tourism, religion, music

About the book

As we head for a post-American world, attention is increasingly turning towards the Indian Ocean as the coming strategic arena of the 21st century.

Audacious Somali pirates astound international media audiences. The new economic super-powers, India and China exert palpable global influence. The two Asian powers squabble for control of shipping lanes and oil supplies and for dominance of African markets and minerals. Al-Qaida continues to operate around the Indian Ocean littoral in Tanzania, Kenya, Comoros, Indonesia and Yemen. As an arena in which these developments intersect, the Indian Ocean offers a privileged vantage point from which to track a changing world order.

This book captures the complexities of these emerging Indian Ocean realities. With a foreword by world-renowned novelist Amitav Ghosh, many of whose novels address the Indian Ocean, this collection of essays asks what the Indian Ocean means now. What are the links, circuits and exchanges that both unite and divide different regions? Is there an idea of the Indian Ocean?

Building on older traditions of studying the Indian Ocean, this book offers new departures. Much Indian Ocean scholarship focuses on South Asia or the Middle East. How does one factor Africa into this Ocean world? Several essays answer this question by examining interactions between Africa and India. Another theme focuses on islands in the Indian Ocean as a way of understanding key themes in Indian Ocean history.

This collection includes prominent scholars of the Indian Ocean and offers rich interdisciplinary perspectives that draw in film, literature, media, tourism, religion and music.

Indian Ocean Series
Africa in the Indian Ocean: Cultural and Literary Perspectives

In the new post-American world dominated by the rise of Asia, the Indian Ocean is poised to re-emerge as a major arena in world politics. This series brings a cultural and literary perspective to bear on understanding the networks of the Indian Ocean.  The series foregrounds Africa in the Indian Ocean world.  These emphases extend existing traditions of Indian Ocean scholarship.


Foreword - Amitav Ghosh

Pamila Gupta

The Idea of the Ocean Michael Pearson 0
Of Fanás and Forecastles: The Indian Ocean and Some Lost Languages of the Age of Sail - Amitav Ghosh
Connecting the Littorals: Cultural Brokers in the Early Modern Indian Ocean - Michael Pearson
Community, Nation, Diaspora and the Public Sphere in the Indian Ocean - Lakshmi Subramanian
What Makes a Carpet Fly? Cultural Studies in the Indian Ocean - Stephen Muecke
In Search of Cosmopolitan Discourse: A Historical Journey Across the Indian Ocean from Singapore to South Africa, 1870–1920 - Mark Ravinder Frost

Africa as a Fault Line in the Indian Ocean - Isabel Hofmeyr
The Unwieldy Fetish: Desire and Disavowal of Indianness in South Africa - Thomas Blom Hansen
The South African Indian Film Industry: New Directions in Indian Commercial and Diasporic Cinema - Stefanie Lotter
Memory, Migrancy and Modernity in M. G. Vassanji’s The Gunny Sack and The Book of Secrets
Dan Ojwang
‘Africa’s Appendix’: Distortion, Forgery and Superfluity on a Southern Littoral Ashraf Jamal
The Role of Africa in the Emergence of the Indian Ocean World Global Economy Gwyn Campbell
Navigating Difference: Gender, Miscegenation and Indian Domestic Space in Twentieth-Century Durban - Jon Soske
Transnational Spaces, Islam and the Interaction of Indian and African Identity Strategies in South Africa During and After Apartheid - Preben Kaarsholm
A Diffused History of Race: The Portuguese Presence in the Indian Ocean - Rochelle Pinto
Oceanic Charades: The Female Figures of  M. K. Jeffreys’s Passage to India - Meg Samuelson 0

Island-ness in the Indian Ocean - Pamila Gupta
Islands in the (Global) Stream: The Case of  Mauritius and Seychelles - Rosabelle Boswell
Cultural Accommodations Through Clothing, Religion  and Language Among South Asians in La Réunion - Christian Ghasarian
A History of Cultural Negation in Indian Ocean Literature:  Julia Blackburn’s The Book of Color and Lindsey Collen’s The Rape of Sita - Ronit Frenkel
Cultivating Human Gardens: Tropical Island Tourism in the South-Western Indian Ocean - David Picard
Grieving Islands: History, Memory and the Chagossian Tragedy - Srilata Ravi

The Limits of Detection in Amitav Ghosh’s The Circle of Reason - Michael Titlestad