The Indian Ocean: narratives in literature and law

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Faculty of Humanities

Abstract

This project examines how the Indian Ocean has been represented in literary and legal narratives. It begins with the proposal that a high period of legal theorizing began in 1497 with Vasco da Gama's voyage across the Western Indian Ocean. This and subsequent European voyages of the 16th century prompted a search for textual authorities that did not prohibit certain actions, but rather justified any activity that promoted unlimited access to lands, goods and markets - a rhetoric that was more often buoyed by reference to literature and myth than grounded in legal precedent. Permissive rather than forbidding, this nascent international law sanctioned the sporadic oppression of African and Asian coastal peoples and piracy by State-funded adventurers - and from there moved to accommodate the strategic expansion of Dutch, then Portuguese and French colonial rule in the Indian Ocean. From the early sixteenth to the late eighteenth century, the Ocean appeared to represent what might be described as the lawful lawlessness of early capitalism and European colonialism. However, with the decline of the Dutch East India Company in the late eighteenth century and British triumph in the wars against France, a new power moved to dominance over the Indian Ocean - one with an agenda that entailed a desire for moral authority and more complete management of the waters surrounding its dominions. This shift from mercantilism towards the free trade capitalism of the 19th century was registered in legal and literary texts. Within these works, the Ocean as a trope of lawlessness takes on a different meaning. It now reads as a response to the difficulties of administering the Ocean world, of mastering its particular temperament. It points to anxiety about local knowledge that, while altered by the entry of Europeans, continued to traverse the Ocean beyond their apparent authority. Lawlessness comes to signify the unique locality - a worried or exuberant (depending on the writer's perspective) recognition of how the vast distances between island groups, currents and weather connect and periodically isolate diverse ways of living. Rather than describing international law, this trope emerges to confound prominent these of globalization and promote different measures of cosmopolitanism. This might explain why creative works in English that represent the Indian Ocean have not yet been acknowledged as a group or explored as a distinct imaginative tradition.

This project aims to gather narratives from the mid-1600s (when the first fictional imaginings of Indian Ocean locales written in English were published) to the present (in which postcolonial writers are retrieving their Indian Ocean heritage). When placed together, it is remarkable how the pivotal moments of these stories often involve reflections upon the rule of law or the absence of a rule of law. At the same time, investigating how places of the Indian Ocean have been narrated in court-rooms and legislation reveals the ongoing importance of literary notions to the meaning of the Ocean within the law.

This project aims to generate a more imaginatively aware and legally useful understanding of the modern Indian Ocean. The project would generate an interdisciplinary network of scholars and other professionals with an interest in the India Ocean. But the work of this project would also be targeted inwards, at academic practice and curriculum. It is hoped that both the study of the Indian Ocean as a field within the humanities and the inter-discipline of literature and law would achieve greater prominence in the UK academic environment.

This is a unique moment in Indian Ocean studies. Following the tsunami of December 2004, there is a great will for interdisciplinary learning. A new understanding of the Ocean is currently in a fast stage of formation. This project aims to contribute to this better comprehension of the Indian Ocean.

Publications

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Campbell G (2014) Piracy in the Indian Ocean World in Interventions

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Samuelson, M (2014) (U)nlawful Subjects of Company in Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies

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Jones, S (2014) Introduction in Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies

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Deckard, S (2014) 'Could it be Everywhere?' in Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies

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Jones S (2014) Maritime Space as Law and Light: Retrieving William Clark Russell's An Ocean Free-Lance (1882) in Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

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Jones S (2015) The absent pirate: exceeding justice in the Indian Ocean in Journal of Eastern African Studies

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Johnson D (2010) Representing Cape slavery: Literature, law, and history in Journal of Postcolonial Writing

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Johnson D (2010) Historical and Literary Re-iterations of Dutch Settler Republicanism in South African Historical Journal

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Gurnah A (2011) Mid Morning Moon in Wasafiri

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Bower R (2011) An Interview with M G Vassanji in Wasafiri

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Hand F (2011) Lindsey Collen THE COURAGE TO BE PAROCHIAL in Wasafiri

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Ali Farah U (2011) Ubax Cristina Ali Farah in Wasafiri

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Chambers, C (2011) The Indian Ocean in the Fiction of Amitav Ghosh in Wasafiri

 
Title Poems 
Description The project commissioned poetry from the Somali writer, Cristina Ubax Ali Farah, for the special issue of Wasafiri (see publications). 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2011 
Impact The poet's work appeared in both the original and in translation in an important journal of International Writing, introducing her work to a new audience of readers. 
 
Title Short Story 
Description This work was commissioned for the project from the leading Indian Ocean writer, Abdulrazak Gurnah (see publications). 
Type Of Art Creative Writing 
Year Produced 2011 
Impact The author writes: The invitation to participate in the Indian Ocean Special Issue of Wasafiri introduced me to Fra Mauro's Mappa Mundi and to the literature around it. It added an important dimension to my thinking and writing about Indian Ocean cultures and histories, and it led, specifically, to the story `Mid Morning Moon` which Wasafiri subsequently entered for the BBC International Short Story Prize, and to a major article on Zoe Wicomb published in Safundi (Vol 12, Nos 3-4, July-October 2011, pp. 261-77). Fra Mauro's map is referred to in both publications. 
 
Description When this project was first conceived, it was described as 'following' the 'great will for interdisciplinary learning' prompted by the tsunami of December 2004. By 2010, the global public's idea of the Indian Ocean was captivated by narratives of pirates working off the coast of Somalia. But threats to the environment and threats to commerce have long dominated widely circulating stories about this Ocean. The work of this project engages, compares, and challenges historic and current stories about the region. It does so by delving into ideas about the geography within literary and legal narratives. Key work includes:



** the recuperation of lost and obscure literature. This is a central part of the project's broader recognition of an energetic and often surprising history of Anglophone writing on the Indian Ocean: a tradition that is deeply marked by concern with issues of law and lawlessness.



** the pursuit of a nuanced understanding of models of governance of the Cape through an analysis of literary, legal and political writing.



** an understanding of the Ocean as a site of Utopian and Arcadian thinking across Anglophone literature, and through current legal approaches to the region, particularly its islands.



** an investigation of a long tradition of 'imagined' and 'real' stories of Indian Ocean pirates that enables an interrogation of current legal approaches to piracy.



This project has generated more imaginatively and historically aware, and more ethically useful ideas of the Indian Ocean. It has formed ongoing and expanding networks of scholars, lawyers, poets, and novelists, and has led to further initiatives: the University of Southampton is emerging as a key forum for the interdisciplinary study of piracy. The project informs teaching and research practice: maritime literature and piracy are now an established feature of the University of Southampton's curriculum and postgraduate research culture in English. It promotes the study of the Indian Ocean within the Humanities and Asian and African Area studies across the UK: in doing so, its outcomes are part of a wider and growing challenge to the dominance of Atlantic and Pacific studies in academia. And the work of this project generally helps the inter-discipline of literature and law to achieve greater prominence and value in the UK academic environment.
Exploitation Route The work of this project has been of direct use to creative writers and artists from both Britain and the Indian Ocean region. Established and ongoing work has the potential to be of further use to literary cultures beyond academia.



More broadly, the project has brought an awareness of the historical, literary and legal significance of the Indian Ocean to museum goers, members of historical societies, and adult learning forums. Public lectures and involvement in education initiatives outside academia continue to be founded on research conducted within the project's framework.



Established and ongoing research is also potentially useful within legal and policy sectors, particularly organisations involved with Britain's management of its overseas territories, and with its legal and ethical relationship to the Indian Ocean world. Work with legal and policy groups dealing with the ethical implications of piracy is an increasingly important part of continuing research, networking, and outreach.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Environment,Security and Diplomacy

URL http://www.landscape.ac.uk/landscape/research/largergrants/theindianocean.aspx
 
Description Research into narratives of the Indian Ocean has resulted in public events and interactions with individuals and institutions across cultural and legal sectors. These engagements have promoted a detailed and complex understanding of the conceptual significance of this maritime geography. The specific benefit has been in the forging of new cross-cultural links between writers, artists and translators. The specific and strategic impact has been in raising public awareness of the historical and contemporary significance of this geography within Anglophone literatures, global cartographies, and within British and international laws. The general influence of this work has been to encourage non-academics to read complex and unusual texts. Two processes have enabled the research to result in impact: public lectures and publications. The beneficiaries have been visitors to museums, staff of museums, visitors to Southampton, regional community societies, adult learners, a magazine, individual artists and translators, and communities of oral poets. The benefits have been economic and educational, including the promotion of knowledge-exchange between artists, and between academics and artists.
First Year Of Impact 2009
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Cultural,Policy & public services

 
Description British Association of South Asian Studies Annual Conference (25th Anniversary) 
Organisation British Association for South Asian Studies (BASAS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The PI collaborated with a colleague from History and a colleague from Geography to host this large, 3 day, 5-7 parallel panel conference with/for the British Association of South Asian Studies. This is the most important annual gathering of South Asian Studies scholars in the UK.
Collaborator Contribution The PI was co-organiser, and co-organised the publication emerging from this collaboration.
Impact A special issue of the journal Contemporary South Asia: Bodies of power, forms of power: an introduction to the annual conference edition of the British Association for South Asian studies. Issue 20.1, 2012.
Start Year 2010
 
Description Law and Literature (African Studies Association UK/British Institute of Eastern Africa) 
Organisation British Institute in Eastern Africa
Country Kenya 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The PI collaborated with the Director of the British Association of Eastern African Studies to convene a panel on 'Law and Literature' for the African Studies Association of the UK annual conference held at Leeds University, 6?8th September 2012. This panel concentrated on East African/Indian Ocean connections, and was an important insertion of the methodologies of law and literature into an African Studies forum.
Collaborator Contribution The PI co-organised this event.
Impact This collaboration led to the inclusion of the article by Peter Leman in the special issue of Interventions edited by the PI of the grant (see publications).
Start Year 2012
 
Description A desire of seeing other countries and the incalculable advantages there of : a Khoja Muslim commercial tourist's voyage to Australia in the 1880s' 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact The 6th of the project's seminars, this talk offered a reading of a fascinating text that illuminates little known intellectual movement between India and Australia in the colonial era.

Devleena Ghosh is Associate Professor in the Social and Political Change Group at the University of Technology, Sydney. The seminar shared a sense of the state and importance of Indian Ocean studies in Australia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Abolitions in the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Worlds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact A half-day comparative workshop on the legal historical narratives of abolitionism in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, bringing PhD students together with some of the most important professors in the field.

This was an important opportunity for the students to gather feedback on their work, and for their new work to reach key figures in the research field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Between Subjecthood and Citizenship: The Travels of East African Asians 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The RF presented this paper to the History Seminar Series, University of Southampton.

This seminar allowed the RF the opportunity to gather feedback on work towards his monograph, and to present the consolidation of some of the work he completed at the University of Southampton during the tenure of his contract.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Dutch legal and literary discourse of the Cape 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The CI presented this paper at a symposium on Postcolonial Law and Literature at the University of Portsmouth.

This was an academic conference, and contributed to debates in the research fields of law and literature, and postcolonial studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Early and recent works by Amitav Ghosh 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact In the 6th of the project's seminars, Professor John Thieme of University of East Anglia and Dr Claire Chambers of Leeds Metropolitan University discussed the work of the Indian Ocean's most high profile contemporary author.

This paper led to the involvement of Dr Chambers in the Special Issue of Wasafiri (see publications).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Fictional Islands, Reproductive Fantasies, Pirate Havens, Mythical Birds, Declining Empires:How the Indian Ocean has been imagined within English Literatures, from the Early Modern period to Now 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A lecture for a public education series entitled 'Voyages of Discovery: navigating the Indian Ocean' at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.

The adult education course of which this lecture was a part explored the geographical space of the Indian Ocean. The particular lecture introduced this museum's diverse audience to literature they had not encountered before.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description French and Portuguese travel writings on the Cape and East Indies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The CI delivered two papers at the University of Cape Town: one on Portuguese travel writings in the Cape and East Indies, and the other on French travel writings on the Cape and East Indies.

This paper took the work of the project to South African universities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description From Camões to Mbeki 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact This paper was presented by the CI at a conference on 'Postcolonial Futures' at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. It illuminated contemporary South African political discourse through a reading one of the iconic texts of Indian Ocean/Cape literature.

The paper positioned thinking on the Indian Ocean world within an important forum on South African literary and political culture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Gorkhaland and the Desai Affair 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The RF presented this paper on a recent and controversial novel from the Indian Ocean world at the British Association of South Asian Studies conference in Edinburgh.

The RF's paper continued the relationship of the project with this important area studies event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Hybrids and anthropomorphs: an interpretative puzzle in Nicobarese ethnography 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The second of the Project's seminars, this paper worked across disciplines to engage with debates over the place of the Nicobarese material culture in Indian Ocean ethnography.

Dr Brian Durrans is a consultant anthropologist and author of a number of publications on material culture of the Indian Ocean. He works closely with museums in the UK and overseas. The talk brought thinking from the museum into conversation with research cultures at the university.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Law and Lawlessness in the Indian Ocean 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact This workshop engaged with the particular significance of the Indian Ocean to imaginative and regulative processes; and concomitantly, to explore how such imaginative and regulative narratives have constructed the Indian Ocean as a particular place.

Papers considered the representation of law or lawlessness in novels/poetry/stories of the Indian Ocean; traced how the development of international and national law has been prompted by events in or the geographies of the Indian Ocean; tracked how ideas of law and lawlessness circulate in the Indian Ocean world; considered the impact of the lawful/lawless nature of the Indian Ocean on other parts of the World Ocean.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Law and Lawlessness in the Indian Ocean 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The workshop was driven by the recognition that oceans are lived and imagined as lawless spaces. But as such, all oceans are spaces that make possible wilder imaginings of new laws and the refinement of old laws. The workshop engaged with the particular significance of the Indian Ocean to these imaginative and regulative processes; and concomitantly, explored how such imaginative and regulative narratives have constructed the Indian Ocean as a particular place.

Papers considered the representation of law or lawlessness in novels/poetry/stories of the Indian Ocean; traced how the development of international and national law had been prompted by events in or the geographies of the Indian Ocean; tracked how ideas of law and lawlessness circulate in the Indian Ocean world; considered the impact of the lawful/lawless nature of the Indian Ocean on other parts of the World Ocean.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Legal and literary discourses of Cape slavery 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The CI presented this paper to the History Department at the University of Cape Town.

This paper allowed the CI to gather valuable on research and writing towards his monograph and journal publication. The trip allowed the CI to conduct further research in South Africa and to disseminate the work of the Project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Literary, legal and historical reiterations of the Graaf Reinet and Swellendam rebellions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The CI presented this paper to the History Department, University of Stellenbosch.

This presentation drew upon the CI's work towards his monograph, and disseminated the work of the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Literature and Immigration Law 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The RF presented this paper to the English Staff Research Seminar Series, University of Southampton.

This paper allowed colleagues at the University of Southampton an insight into the RF's work, and allowed the RF the opportunity to connect to other research cultures within the University of relevance to his work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Literature of the Indian Ocean 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The PI gave this broad lecture at a Lifelong Learning Event.

This lecture drew together and presented work of the literature of the Indian Ocean for a diverse public audience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
 
Description Passages to Cosmopolitanism 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The REF presented this paper on passports and the Indian Ocean world to an International conference on Diasporic Writing, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi.

This paper allowed the RF to gather valuable feedback on work towards his monograph, and to disseminate the work of the project, as well as gather contacts for contribution to project publications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Piracy and Maritime Law: piracy in the Indian Ocean, 1724 - 2009 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact The PI presented this paper at a multi-lingual (French, Portuguese, English) conference on Hybridity in Indian Ocean Literature at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Both the PI and the RF attended this conference. As well as giving papers at the conference, it allowed them to record a key interview with a leading Indian Ocean writer (Ananda Devi) that later appeared in the Wasafiri special issue (see publications).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Piracy as legal myth and fictional truth: the geography of Madagascar and the fame of Captain Avery 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact The PI presented this paper at a panel organised by the Director of the AHRC Landscape and Environment Programme for the Annual Royal Geographical Society Conference in Manchester.

This paper allowed the PI to consolidate and gather feedback on work towards a journal publication, and to position the work of the project in the context of other projects supported by the Landscape and Environment Programme. This presentation led to the publication of a paper by the PI in a special issue edited by the Programme Director (see publications).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Piracy in the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Worlds 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact This workshop compared the legal and imaginative histories of piracy in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and featured an evening performance of poetic works by Somali poet, Cristina Ubax Ali Farah, inspired by the workshop discussions. It was particularly concerned to bring PhD students together with eminent scholars in the field.

The workshop led to the publication of work by the Somali poet, Cristina Ubax Ali Farah, in the special issue of Wasafiri (see publications).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Pirates and Utopia: How the Western Indian Ocean has been narrated as a Pirate Haven 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The PI gave two, similar public lectures: one at the Tudor House museum in Southampton (15 January 2013) and one to the Plymouth Historical Society (13 February 2013).

The lectures aimed to educate and inform a broad public audience about Indian Ocean literatures and issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Portuguese encounters in Southern Africa, from Luis de Camoes to Thabo Mbeki 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The first of the project's seminars to be held at the University of Southampton, the Co-Investigator on the project spoke about the ramifications through English literature of one of the major literary texts of the Indian Ocean region, The Lusiads.

David Johnson is Professor of English at the Open University. This talk stimulated interdisciplinary work on the Indian Ocean.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Post-Colonial Identities in the Western Indian Ocean: Navy, Nation and the Narratives of Kerala's Maritime Museum 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The 5th of the project's seminars, focused on the profile and politics of a local Indian Ocean museum.

Jesse Ransley is a British Academy Research Fellow in Maritime Archaeology. This was a good opportunity for her to share her new work with other scholars working on the Indian Ocean across disciplines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Questions of Identity: Indians in East Africa 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The RF presented this paper to the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, North Bengal University, India.

This paper allowed the RF to gather valuable feedback on research towards his monograph.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Realism in novels of the Indian Ocean region 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The PI presented this literary paper within the Commonwealth Seminar Series, University of Cambridge.

This seminar paper was part of the lead-up to the visit of a major Indian Ocean writer (M. G. Vassanji) to the University of Cambridge, and drew-on and promoted the work of the PI as a leading scholar of Vassanji's work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Recent novels of the South Asian East African diaspora 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact This paper was presented by the PI at the British Association for South Asian Studies conference at the University of Leicester.

The BASAS conference is the most high profile yearly event in US South Asian studies. The PI's contribution positioned the project's work in the context of South Asian studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Representations of Vasco Da Gama's landing at the Terra Boa Gente in Mozambique 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact This paper was presented by the CI at a conference on Postcolonial Resistances, University of Cambridge.

The CI brought new attention to the Indian Ocean within the field of postcolonial studies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description The Book of Profitable Things (Ibn Majid) : Wayfaring and seafaring in the Indian Ocean 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The 4th of the project's seminars, focusing on one of the most influential travel narratives of the Indian Ocean across history.

John Mack is Professor of World Art Studies, Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, UEA. His talk stimulated thinking about the Indian Ocean across disciplines.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description The Chagos Islanders. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The PI presented seminars at the Humanities Research Centre at Australian National University and to The Indian Ocean Research Group at the University of Technology, Sydney on the current and critical legal position of The Chagos Islanders.

These seminar papers disseminated the work of the project, gathered feedback to sophisticate the work towards publication, and expanded the project's network in ways that fed into project workshops and publications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description The Chagos Islanders: Do they Exist? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Ten years of court action aimed at restoring the Chagos Islanders to their lost homeland in the Indian Ocean were recalled in this public lecture by the Islanders' lawyer Richard Gifford. The Chagos Islanders were evicted from their homes in the 1960s by the UK Government to make way for a US military base on Diego Garcia. Richard Gifford spoke about the lengthy legal battle in the British courts which ended in defeat in 2008, and his hopes that the European Court of Human Rights would make a historic ruling that will allow the Chagos people to go home. The lecture was followed by a response from Dr Mark Elliott, an academic lawyer from the University of Cambridge and a leading scholar on the constitutional situation of the Islanders. The event was organised by the Project in association with the University of Southampton's Centre for Law, Ethics and Globalisation.

The talk led to an open discussion with the audience of students, scholars, media and the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description The Offshore 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact The PI presented a paper on theoretical, political and literary ideas of the 'the offshore' at a conference on 'Salty' Geographies: Subaltern maritime networks, spaces and practices'.

This paper allowed the PI to consolidate her work for a key audience of academics of maritime labour.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description The circulation of Bollywood in the Indian Ocean Region 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact In the 8th of the project's seminar series, the dynamics of the circulation of Bollywood films in the Indian Ocean region was discussed and debated by two eminent scholars in the field.

Makarand Paranjape is Professor of literature at the University of Delhi and Rachel Dwyer is Professor of South Asian Studies at SOAS. This talk brought film into the centre of understanding the flow of cultural products across the Indian Ocean.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description The proposal to create a Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Chagos Archipelago: straining and sustaining fundamental principles of maritime law 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Health professionals
Results and Impact A keynote public address on the UK government's proposals to give high environmental protection status to British Indian Ocean Territory.

The lecture was at the University of Technology in Sydney, and was part of a free, public conference on 'Advancing a sustainable future: strategies for cross-disciplinary practice around the Indian Ocean'. It was attended by public servants, policy makers and professionals from countries across the Indian Ocean region working in urban planning, sustainable architecture, water management, cultural heritage and aid.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010
 
Description Trading Cultures Across the Indian Ocean 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The PI, CI and RF all gave papers at this workshop/conference, which as hosted by the Berlin Zentrum Moderner Orient. This conference was organised by the RF in collaboration with his colleagues at the ZMO (where he held a Research post following his contract under the project).

This meeting disseminated work of the project to a European constituency of Indian Ocean scholars, and enabled further contacts to be made towards ongoing project-related publication plans.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Travelling in the Northwestern Indian Ocean: Narratives and Passports 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact The RF presented this paper on narratives around legal documents of passage within the Indian Ocean region at a conference on 'Connecting Histories across the Indian Ocean: Religion, Politics and Popular Culture' in Goa.

This was an important international meeting at which the RF was able to gather feedback on his research towards his monograph, and meet potential contributors to Project publications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009
 
Description Writing Indian Ocean Best Sellers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact In the third of the project's seminars, Stephen Taylor addressed the historical material and the process of writing his two best-selling books, The Caliban Shore: 'The Tale of the "Grosvenor" Castaways and Storm and Conquest: The Clash of Empires in the Eastern Seas, 1809'

Stephen Taylor is an author and journalist, and the activity took forward relationships between writers and academics engaged with the Indian Ocean region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008