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 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
Pamila Gupta, Isabel Hofmeyr & Michael Pearson (eds).
Indian Ocean Series: Africa in the Indian Ocean: Cultural and Literary Perspectives
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
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
Eyes across the water: Contributors
Rosabelle Boswell is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. She has done field research in South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zanzibar. Her research and teaching interests include heritage management, Creole identity, post-colonialism and globalisation. Her present research is focused on heritage management and corporate social investment in the south-west Indian Ocean islands.
Gwyn Campbell is a Canada Research Chair in Indian Ocean World History and Director of the Indian Ocean World Centre at McGill University. Born in Madagascar, he grew up in Wales, gained degrees in economic history from the universities of Birmingham and Wales, and has taught in India (VSO) and at universities in Madagascar, Britain, South Africa, Belgium and France. He also served as an academic consultant for the South African government in the first phase of intergovernmental meetings leading to the 1997 formation of an Indian Ocean regional association. He has written extensively on the economic history of the Indian Ocean World, including An Economic History of Imperial Madagascar, 1750–1895: The Rise and Fall of an Island Empire, ‘African Studies’ series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005 and 2009). He is currently completing Africa and the Indian Ocean World from Early Times to 1900 to appear in the new ‘Cambridge Economic History of Africa’ series and co-editing (with Suzanne Miers and Joseph Miller) Children and Slavery (two volumes) to appear in the Ohio University Press ‘Slave and Post-Slave Societies and Cultures’ series.
Christian Ghasarian is Professor of Anthropology at the Institut d’ethnologie of the University of Neuchâtel Switzerland. His first research on Reunion Island started in 1982 with the study of everyday life in a village of the Highlands. He then focused on the Tamils’ cultural and social adaptation to the French and local models, and more recently on the identity dynamics in the contemporary society. Among his publications are Honneur, Chance & Destin. La culture indienne à La Réunion (1991) and the edited book Anthropologies de La Réunion (2008).
Amitav Ghosh is the author, most recently, of Sea of Poppies, a novel.
Mark Ravinder Frost was born in the UK and studied history at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. As well as having published articles on Asian history in journals such as Modern Asian Studies and the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, he is the author of the forthcoming Enlightened Empires: New Literati in the Indian Ocean World, 1870–1920, a study of cosmopolitan Asian intellectuals on the eve of the emergence of radical, anti-colonial nationalist movements. Mark has also been involved in various film and exhibition projects as a screenwriter, content designer and producer. Between 2005 and 2007, he worked as Content Designer and Senior Scriptwriter for the National Museum of Singapore’s award-winning Singapore History Gallery. Currently, he is Research Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong.
Pamila Gupta is currently a researcher at WISER (Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research), based at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She completed her PhD in Socio-cultural Anthropology from Columbia University in 2004. Forthcoming publications include ‘The Disquieting of History: Portuguese (De)Colonization and Goan Migration in the Indian Ocean’, Journal of Asian and African Studies; ‘A Voyage of Convalescence: Sir Richard Burton and the Imperial Ills of Portuguese India’, South African Historical Journal; and ‘“Signs of Wonder”: The Postmortem Travels of Francis Xavier in the Indian Ocean World’, in A. Jamal and S. Moorthy, eds, Indian Ocean Studies: Cultural, Social and Political Perspectives (Routledge Press). Her areas of interest include history and anthropology of South Asia; Portuguese colonial history and emigration in the Indian Ocean (India, Mozambique, South Africa); Catholic missionary history, colonial and post-colonial studies; visual anthropology; ritual studies; anthropology of tourism; corporeality, cults and state pageantry; and historical anthropology.
Thomas Blom Hansen was appointed Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam in 2006. He previously held positions at Yale University, the University of Edinburgh, Roskilde University (Denmark) and Copenhagen University. He is currently appointed Senior Research Scientist at Yale University and has held visiting positions at the University of Chicago, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociale (EHESS) in Paris. His publications include The Saffron Wave. Democracy and Hindu Nationalism in Modern India (Princeton, 1999) and Wages of Violence. Naming and Identity in Postcolonial Bombay (Princeton, 2001). He has co-edited a number of volumes with Finn Stepputat, most recently States of Imagination. Ethnographic Explorations of the Postcolonial State (Duke University Press, 2001) and Sovereign Bodies. Citizens, Migrants and States in the Postcolonial World (Princeton, 2005). He has a long-standing interest in urban anthropology and in March 2009 he has co-edited (with Oskar Verkaaik) a special issue of Critique of Anthropology entitled ‘Urban Charisma’. He is currently co-editing a special issue of African Studies (forthcoming in 2009) entitled ‘Portable Spirits and Itinerant People: Religion and Migration in South Africa in a Comparative Perspective’.
Isabel Hofmeyr is Professor of African Literature and Acting Director of the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her first monograph, We Spend our Years as a Tale That Is Told: Oral Historical Narrative in a South African Chiefdom (1994), was shortlisted for the Herskovits Prize. The Portable Bunyan: A Transnational History of The Pilgrim’s Progress won the 2007 Richard L. Greaves Award, The International John Bunyan Society. She is currently working on textual circulation in the Indian Ocean.
Ashraf Jamal is Senior Lecturer in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University. He is the author of Predicaments of Culture in South Africa (Unisa/Brill) and the co-author of Art in South Africa: The Future Present (David Philip Publishers). He is the co-editor of Indian Ocean Studies: Cultural, Social, and Political Perspectives (Routledge).
Preben Kaarsholm is Associate Professor in International Development Studies, Department of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University. He is the editor of Cultural Struggles and Development in Southern Africa (Oxford, 1991), Inventions and Boundaries: Historical and Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism (Roskilde, 1994), City Flicks: Indian Cinema and the Urban Experience (Calcutta, 2004), Violence, Political Culture and Development in Africa (Oxford, 2006) and – with Isabel Hofmeyr – The Popular and the Public: Cultural Debates and Struggles over Public Space in Modern India, Africa and Europe (Calcutta, London and New York, 2009).
Stefanie Lotter holds a PhD in Anthropology from Heidelberg University. As head of the Kathmandu branch of the South Asia Institute, she has been working on Himalayan Elites. More recently, as a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Johannesburg, she has concentrated on visual representations of South Africans of Indian origin. Currently she is working with Robert Thornton on a publication developing the concept of an ‘Anthropology of Loss’.
Stephen Muecke is Professor of Writing at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Recent related publications include (edited with Devleena Ghosh) Cultures of Trade: Indian Ocean Exchanges (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007) and Joe in the Andamans and Other Fictocritical Stories (Sydney: Local Consumption Publications, 2008).
Dan Ojwang is Senior Lecturer of African Literature at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has published widely on the fiction of the East African Asian diaspora.
Michael Pearson is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and Adjunct Professor of Humanities at the University of Technology, Sydney. Among his recent publications are Port Cities and Intruders: The Swahili Coast, India, and Portugal in the Early Modern Era (1998 and paperback edition 2003); (edited) Spices in the Indian Ocean World (1996); The Indian Ocean (2003 and paperback edition 2007); The World of the Indian Ocean, 1500–1800: Studies in Economic, Social and Cultural History, Variorum Collected Studies Series (2005); (co-edited) Metahistory: History Questioning History (2007). He has also published about 70 articles and book chapters.
David Picard holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of La Reunion, Indian Ocean and is currently Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change, Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom. His research interests include historical formations of modernity, tropical island tourism, hospitality and the political magic of strangers, science and magical thinking, and international nature conservation polity. He has carried out research in the western Indian Ocean, mainly in La Reunion (1995--2005) and Madagascar (from 2001). His main publications include Festivals, Tourism and Social Change (Channel View Publications, 2006) and The Framed World: Tourists, Tourism and Photography (Ashgate, 2009), both co-edited with Mike Robinson, and a forthcoming research monograph, Tourism, Magic and Modernity: Cultivating the Human Garden (Berghahn).
Rochelle Pinto is fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, BagaloreSrilata Ravi is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies and is currently Chair of European Languages and Studies (School of Humanities) at the University of Western Australia. She has published widely on francophone literatures, travel literature, and Indian diasporic identities in the Indian Ocean. Her publications include Rainbow Colors -- Literary Ethno-Topographies of Mauritius (2007), Asia in Europe, Europe in Asia (2004, co-edited with Beng Lan Goh and Mario Rutten) and L’Inde dans le genre romanesque français depuis 1947 (1997).
Meg Samuelson is an associate professor in the English Department, Stellenbosch University. She has published widely on southern African literatures, including the study Remembering the Nation, Dismembering Women? Stories of the South African Transition (UKZN Press, 2007), and is currently working on a book-length study of M. K. Jeffreys’s archive, as well as one on South African literatures in English (co-authored with Dorothy Driver) for OUP’s Postcolonial Literatures series.
Jon Soske is a PhD candidate in the Department of History, University of Toronto and a lecturer in the Caribbean and African Studies programmes. He is currently finishing his thesis entitled ‘“Wash Me Black Again”: African Nationalism, the Indian Diaspora, and KwaZulu-Natal, 1945–1979’. His research interests include African intellectual and cultural history, South Asian diasporas in Africa and the Caribbean, and contemporary visual art. He was an editor of the website ‘RaceSci: The History of Race in Science’ (www.racesci.org) from 2003 to 2007 and, more recently, a member of the ‘Markets and Modernities’ project at the University of Toronto’s Asian Institute. In 2009, he co-curated (with Tejpal S. Ajji) the exhibition ‘South-South: Interruptions and Encounters’, which brought together eight artists whose work is situated at an intersection of African and South Asian history, politics or culture. He has published essays in PN Review, Qui Parle and several artist catalogues.
Lakshmi Subramanian is a professor in the Department of History, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Educated in Calcutta, she taught at the Calcutta University and the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. She held a number of fellowships in Cambridge, Oxford, Singapore, Australia and South Africa. She delivered keynote addresses in major history at south Asia conferences in Australia and at the Columbia University, New York. She is the author of several books and publications on Bombay, merchant networks in the Indian Ocean, and music and nationalism in South India. Major publications include Indigenous Capital and Imperial Expansion. Bombay, Surat and the West Coast (OUP, 1996), Politics and Trade in the Indian Ocean (OUP, 1998), Medieval Seafarers (Roli Books, 1999), From the Tanjore Court to the Madras Music Academy: A Social History of Music in South India (OUP, 2006) and New Mansions for Music Performance Pedagogy and Criticism (Social Science Press, 2008).