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Nidhi Mahajan: “Moorings: Trade Networks and States in the Western Indian Ocean”

May 1, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 210

Nidhi Mahajan:

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Sailing vessels or dhows have long connected different parts of the western Indian Ocean, transporting goods, and people across South Asia, the Middle East and East Africa. These dhows now function as an economy of arbitrage, servicing minor ports in times of conflict. This talk focuses on the contemporary dhow trade, centered in port cities such as Dubai and Sharjah that have “free trade” policies. I argue that these notions of free trade are entangled with war, conflict, and broader geopolitical concerns across the Indian Ocean region.

Nidhi Mahajan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UCSC and a principal faculty in the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program. Her works examines how vernacular Indian Ocean trade networks articulate with regional and global circuits of capital.

The Center for Cultural Studies hosts a weekly Wednesday colloquium featuring work by faculty and visitors. The sessions consist of a 40-45 minute presentation followed by discussion. We gather at noon, with presentations beginning at 12:15 PM. Participants are encouraged to bring their own lunches; the Center provides coffee, tea, and cookies.

All Center for Cultural Studies events are free and open to the public. Staff assistance is provided by the Humanities Institute.


May 1, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


Humanities 1, Room 210
1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States
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