This book is a multidisciplinary study of the Indian Ocean region, bringing together perspectives from the disciplines of history, defense and strategic studies, cultural and religious studies, and environmental studies. From the earliest exchanges through Sumerian and Harappan trade, to emerging geopolitical alliances in the twenty-first century, this volume demonstrates both the continuity and change of the region as well as its unity and diversity. The expanse of this ocean and its littoral rim is connected through the social imaginary, which enables these processes. It is with the stories of the peoples inhabiting this rim that this book is concerned—told both through micro studies of the everyday lives of the region’s people and through macro studies centered around civilizations, empires, nation-states, and climate change.
Joshua Esler is lecturer and director of the Indian Ocean Research Centre at Sheridan Institute of Higher Education.
Mark Fielding is senior lecturer in education and director of the Indian Ocean Research Centre at Sheridan Institute of Higher Education.
Introduction by Joshua Esler and Mark Fielding
Part 1: Region, Space and Place: Social Imaginaries in the Indian Ocean World
Chapter 1: Imagining the Indian Ocean: Oceanic Spaces, People, and Discourses by Mark Fielding
Chapter 2: Unity and Diversity and Unity in Diversity: People, Time, Space, and the Social Imaginary in the Indian Ocean (World) by Joshua Esler
Part 2: Diverse Identities, Communities and Histories
Chapter 3: Sultana: The Biography of an Indian Ocean Vessel by Jeremy Prestholdt
Chapter 4: Penang and the Maritime Trade of Tamil Muslims, 1778-1800 CE by Sundar Vadlamudi
Chapter 5: Towards a Periodisation of Indian Ocean Maritime History by Peter Ridgway
Chapter 6: The Portuguese Catholic Tradition and its Impact on Portugal’s Colonisation of East Timor: A Critical Appraisal by Augusto Zimmermann
Chapter 7: Perth Undergraduate Students’ Perceptions of the Relevance of History: Ramifications for the Indian Ocean by Jackson Black
Part 3: Island-Nations and Networks
Chapter 8: Shaping a New Strategic Discourse in the Indo-Pacific with Small Island Nations by Arjun
Chapter 9: Indian Ocean Networks: Cable-Laying Companies and the Contingency of Empires by Thor Kerr
Part 4: Environment, Culture and Faith: Case Studies and Cultural Intersections
Chapter 10: “The sterility of the country through which they passed was beyond description or belief”: Evidence of Drought in Early Colonial Sources in the Indian Ocean Zone of Southern Africa by Matthew Hannaford
Chapter 11: Deltas as in between ecotones: The Sundarbans of littoral South Asia by Debojyoti Das
Chapter 12: Dynamics in Indian Ocean Commerce and Culture: Cultural Pluralism in Sri Lanka by Shihan de Silva
Chapter 13: Religious Syncretism: Chinese Immigration and the Development of Folk Buddhayana Buddhism on the Island of Lombok, Indonesia by Ellianna Frame