Past Events and News


International Conference: “Disease Dispersion and Impact in the Indian Ocean World”, Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC), McGill University, Canada, 23-24 September 2016

Madagascar Workshop: "The Sacred and the Profane: Society, Cosmology and Environment in Madagascar, from Early Times to the Present Day", Avignon, France, 27-30 May


IOWC Workshop: 10th Madagascar Workshop, 'Language, Land and Labour'

"Leftwing Political Networking in a Global 1960s: Dar es Salaam at a Crossroads" - Presented by Andrew Ivaska

IOWC Conference, "Currencies of Commerce in the Greater Indian Ocean World"

"Ginger, Pepper and Prestige: Spice Transplantation, the Philippine Project and Spanish Ideals of Chivalry" - Presented by Omri Bassewitch Frenkel

"Indian Ocean Worlds: Tracing Anthropological Fluidities between South African Muti and Javanese Jamu Medicine" - Presented by Julie Laplante

"Contra-images of Empires’ Identities: Collectivity and Incongruity in the Commemorative Photography Albums Circulated in the Japanese and the Ottoman Empires at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century" - Presented by Banu Kaygusuz Tezel

"Oceans Apart: Discovering Sovereignty in the Life of Sayyid Fadl b. Alawi" - Presented by Wilson Chacko Jacob

"The Nicobar Islands: The Story of Trade and Growth of a Primitive Tribal Society from Barter to Modern Trading through Cooperatives" - Presented by Sanat Kaul

"Translating Rāma as a Proto-Muhammadan Prophet: Masih’s Masnavi-ye Rām va Sitā" - Presented by Prashant Keshavmurty

"They Don't Have a Word for Entrepreneur? French Mercantilism and the Asia Trade, 1650-1700" - Presented by Junko Takeda

"The Experience of Indian Soldiers in Mesopotamia, 1915–1916" - Presented by Nikolas Gardner

"Cities on a Sea of Grass: Urbanism on the North Asian Steppe" - Presented by Gwen Bennett

"Uneasy Friends in Calm Waters: Anglo-Ottoman competition in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, 1860-80" - Presented by Veysel Simsek

“Bureaucrats, Smugglers, Peons and Preachers – Regulating the Liquor Trade in Late Nineteenth Century India: Local Policy and Global Politics" - Presented by Peter Hynd

"The Eunuch's Galleons: Cultural Exchange, Technology Transfer, and Warfare at Sea between the Early Modern Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean World" - Presented by Giancarlo Casale

"Miklouho-Maclay and the Maclay Coast of New Guinea" - Presented by Rashed Chowdhury

"Girls in Moral Danger: Juvenile Prostitution in Late Colonial Nairobi" - Presented by Erin Bell


"Two or Three Things I Know About Comoran Folktales" - Presented by Lee Haring

"From Surat to Surat: New Evidence for the Transmission of Writing by Early Gujarati Traders in Sumatra" - Presented by Christopher Miller

"Emancipated African Children Under the Care of Private Households and the State in Late Ottoman Izmir - a Comparison (1880-1900)" - Presented by Michael Ferguson

"Transnational Circulations of Urban Policy and Emerging Patterns of Social Exclusion in New Master-Planned Saudi Cities" - Presented by Sarah Moser

"History Explored through Malagasy Phonology, Word Formation, and Dialects" - Presented by Lisa deMena Travis

"Typhoon: Climate, Society and History in the Philippines" - Presented by James Warren

IOWC Conference, "Trade in Animals and Animal Products in the Indian Ocean World from early times to c.1900"

"Land and Conflict in Southern Yemen: History Fought Today" - Presented by Jon Unruh

"Communicative Events in a Resource Frontier: Cash, Commodities and Livelihood Skills among Mobile Fishing People of Southwest Madagascar" - Presented by Frank Muttenzer

"Piracy off the Coast of Somalia: Global Causes and Local Consequences" - Presented by Awet Weldemichael

"Mapping Human-Environment Interactions in the Indian Ocean World: Presentation of the MCRI Web Interface as Tool for Researchers" - Presented by Pablo Arroyo

"Mountain of the Moon: Nation, Masculinity and an Imagined Empire" - Presented by Subho Basu

"Fragmented Sovereignties in the Horn of Africa: Partition and Conflict in the Two Sudans" - Presented by Khalid Mustafa Medani

"The Southeast Asian Galleon Trade: a Process Towards a Re-assessment of Human-Environment Interaction" - Presented by Jennifer Craig and Carl Hughes

MCRI Conference, "Zheng He’s Maritime Voyages (1405-1433) and China’s Relations with the Indian Ocean World from Antiquity"

"Ujiji c.1860-1890: The rise and decline of a Swahili Frontier Town" - Presented by Philip Gooding

"Ottoman Empire, Great Powers and the Roads to India, 1830-1880" - Presented by Veysel Simsek

Seventh Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa

"Between 'Île Deserte' and 'Île de France': Contesting Jurisdiction in Mauritius, 1680 to 1780" - Presented by Laurie Wood

"Governance and Corporations in the Atlantic and Asia: A conversation with Philip J. Stern and Helen Dewar about the role of private enterprise in European empire building"
*Co-sponsored with the French Atlantic History Group

"The 'Scarred' Hillsides of Madagascar: Harnessing Severe Erosion For Agro-Forestry" - Presented by Alizé Carrère

"Strategic Tenure Decisions and Ideologies of Property: Choosing and Refusing to Fragment Pastoral Range-Lands in East Africa" - Presented by John Galaty

"Locating Rhapta: A GIS Approach to Mapping the Periplus" - Presented by Carl Hughes

Book launch for Steven Serels' Starvation and the State: Famine, Slavery, and Power in Sudan, 1883-1956

"Smoke over Waters: Tobacco Cultivation and Trade in 16th and 17th century Spanish Philippines" - Presented by Omri Bassewitch Frenkel

"Independence 2.0?: Considering alternative oil pipeline routes in South Sudan" - Presented by Emily Savage


"Writing the Waves: Chinese Maritime Writings in the Long Eighteenth Century" - Presented by Ronald Chung-yam Po

IOWC Workshop, "East Africa and Early Trans-Indian Ocean World Interchange"

"Disease and Colonialism in Late 19th-Century Africa" - Presented by Facil Tesfaye

Second Annual Graduate Conference on Indian Ocean World Studies

"Entrepreneurship, Gender, and Community in China and India" - Presented by Tonia Warnecke

"Indian Women within Indentured Labour in Mauritius in the Nineteenth Century" - Presented by Lorna Mungur

"Ocean without Boundaries: Dialectics of trans-colonial labor from Mauritius to Trinidad in the late nineteenth century" - Presented by Subho Basu

MCRI Conference, "The European Impact on the Indian Ocean World"

"Port City, Networking and “the Baniyan”: The Kachchhi Bhatiya in Nineteenth-Century Zanzibar" - Presented by Hideaki Suzuki

Madagascar Workshop 2013

IOWC Conference, "Histories of Medicine in the Indian Ocean World"

Sixth Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa

"The Abolition of the Slave Trade in Mozambique in the Nineteenth Century and its Aftermath" - Presented by Lorna Mungur

"Network City: Transnational Left Activism in Nyerere-Era Dar es Salaam" - Presented by Andrew Ivaska

"A Spirited Engagement: Alcohol and Military Life in the British Raj" - Presented by Peter Hynd

MCRI Student Workshop

"Cosmopolitanism, Material Culture, and Medicine in Kandyan-period Sri Lanka" - Presented by Anna Winterbottom

"Mining-Conservation Partnerships in Madagascar: Development opportunity or 'green grabbing'?" - Presented by Caroline Seagle

"'A Question that Brooks No Delay': Russia, China and the Maritime Tea Trade, 1870s-1880s" - Presented by Rashed Chowdhury

"The Exception of Wildlife Increase Amidst Wildlife Decline: The Case of Kenya’s Laikipia Rangelands" - Presented by Christopher Wade

"Shipmasters in the Pre-Modern Malay World" - Presented by Pierre-Yves Manguin

"The Evolution of Cultural Spaces in Iran: The case of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art" - Presented by Yuki Terada

"Family Justice at the End of the Qing Dynasty" - Presented by Johanna Ransmeier


"Geovisualization of Historical Data: The Indian Ocean World Mapping Tool" - Presented by Carl Hughes

ARC/MCRI Conference "The Dimensions of the Indian Ocean World Past: Sources and Opportunities for interdisciplinary work in Indian Ocean World History, 9th-19th Centuries"

"Kenyan Children and Childhoods during the Mau Mau Uprising: Working Towards a Research Agenda" - Presented by Erin Bell

IOWC Conference, "Textile Trades and Consumption in the Indian Ocean World, from Early Times to the Present"

"Missionary Enterprise and English Imperialism in the Indian Ocean, 1818-1869" - Presented by Gwyn Campbell

First Annual IOWC Graduate Conference on Indian Ocean World History

"A Micro-History of the African Slave Trade in the Late Ottoman Empire: The Case of the Mahrousa(1887-1889)" - Presented by Michael Ferguson

"Shiism, Persecution and Integration in the Ottoman Empire" - Presented by Stefan Winter

MCRI Conference, "Crossroads between Empires and Peripheries – Knowledge Transfer, Product Exchange and Human Movement in the Indian Ocean World"

"Resource Access, Political Control and the Militarization of Ethnic Identities: Tracing the local and historical roots civil war in Sudan" - Presented by Matthew Pritchard

"Robert Koch and the Scramble for Africa" - Presented by Facil Tesfaye

Fifth Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa

"Towards a History of Alcohol and Opium in British India" - Presented by Peter Hynd

Madagascar Workshop 2012 - University of Toronto

"'They Objected to Being Handed Over and Sold Like Cows': Negotiating, Influencing and Resisting the Terms of Ethnographic Exhibitions" - Presented by Erin Bell

"The Expanding State in the Indian Ocean World in the Late Nineteenth Century" - Presented by Rashed Chowdhury


"Conquistadores or Merchants? Spanish Settlers of Manila and their Aspirations towards China, 1565-1586" - Presented by Omri Bassewitch Frenkel

"Conversion, Testimony, and Memory in Late Safavid Iran" - Presented by Alberto Tiburcio

"Maritime History and Archaeology: What can these subjects reveal? A Philippine Case Study" - Presented by Jennifer Craig

"'The Inhabitants Might Almost Be Described as Non-Existent' Britain and the Collapse of Northern Nilotic Sudan, 1882-1896" - Presented by Steven Serels

"Finding the Slave-Wives of the Mzab, Algeria (1890-1910)" - Presented by Sarah Ghabrial

"Emancipated Africans and Criminality in Late Ottoman Izmir" - Presented by Michael Ferguson

"Theorizing the Colonial City" - Presented by Katrina Gulliver

Wine in the World: Markets and Globalisation

Workshop on Madagascar

International Conference "Enslavement, Bondage and the Environment in the Indian Ocean World"

Fourth Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa

"Historicizing 'History': The evolution of the understanding of historiography in Muslim India. The cases of Shibli and Barani" - Presented by Alberto Tiburcio

"Robert Koch, Superstar? A reassessment of the second half of Robert Koch's career and his Africa expeditions, 1883-1910" - Presented by Facil Tesfaye

"Modernizing the Muslim Family: Law reform and emancipation in Colonial North Africa, 1890-1930" - Presented by Sarah Ghabrial

"Food Insecurity and Economic Development in the Sudan, 1885-1925" - Presented by Steven Serels

"The ‘African Festival’ of Izmir 1870-1920: New Aspects, New Questions" - Presented by Mike Ferguson

"Sultan Abdülhamid II and the Indian Ocean World, 1876-1909" - Presented by Rashed Chowdhury


"Biodiversity for whom? Analysing new regimes of neoliberal environmental governance near the Rio Tinto ilmenite mine in Fort Dauphin, Southeast Madagascar" - Presented by Caroline Seagle

"Marronage as an episodic adaptive system in the Indian Ocean World" - Presented by Amitava Chowdhury

"The Dutch East India Company in the Indian Ocean Trade" - Presented by Om Prakash

"India in the Indian Ocean Trade, circa 1500" - Presented by Om Prakash

Round Table Discussion: "The Rise and Development of the Indian Ocean World 'Global Economy'"

"Indian Ocean Pirates: Myths and Realities?" - Presented by Michael Pearson

Exhibition: "Prescriptions for Healthy Living in the British Tropics, 1897-1913"

"'The Salt in a Merchant's Letter': Early Modern Information Networks and the Global Trade of Armenian Merchants from New Julfa" - Presented by Sebouh David Aslanian

Third Annual IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa


"The Import of 'Black Slaves' (heinu) into China: An Analysis of Chinese Sources" - Presented by Angela Schottenhammer

Exhibition: Philanthropy and Prostituion in Montreal, 1918-1925

"New Plantations for Old" - Presented by Wole Soyinka (1986 Nobel Prize-Winner for Literature)

International Conference "Debt and Slavery"

Second IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa

"India's Engagement with the World" - Presented by Sugata Bose


"The Greeks in the Western Indian Ocean and the Coming of Islam" - Presented by Himanshu Prabha Ray

"Human Ancestries and Migration: The Genographic Project" - Presented by Himla Soodyall

Workshop on Madagascar "Humans Health and Environment in Madagascar"

"The Genomic Landscape of Southern African Populations" - Presented by Himla Soodyall

"Lex Loci meets Lex Fori: Merging Customary Law and National Land Legislation in Madagascar" Mini Beatty Lecture - Presented by Sandra Evers

"Sino-Japanese relations in the 17th and 18th Centuries: Some New Perspectives" - Presented by Angela Schottenhammer

First IOWC Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Africa

"Domestic Slavery in Islam: Theory and Practice" - Presented by Abdul Sheriff

Workshop "Slave Legacy, Identity and Development"

Public Forum "Slave Legacy, Identity and Development in Muslim Africa, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean World"


"Ethiopian History: From the rise of Islam to the advent of Europeans in the Indian Ocean, and on Islam in Northeast Africa" - Presented by Hussein Ahmed

"Typhoon: Climate, History and Society in the Philippines, 1565-2005 - Some Initial Thoughts" - Presented by James Warren

Exhibition "The World of Slavery"

"The Dhow Culture of the Indian Ocean" Maxwell Cummings Distinguished Lecture by Abdul Sheriff

"Slavery, Sex and Dehumanisation" Mini Beatty Lecture - Presented by David Brion Davis

International Conference "Sex, Power and Slavery"



Past News


A new Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies has been launched, with Professor Gwyn Campbell as the General Editor.

Professor James Warren has been awarded the 2013 Grant Goodman Prize in Historical Studies. This lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions to Philippine historical studies was given out by the Philippine Studies Group (PSG), a constituent of the Association of Asian Studies.


The First Annual Graduate Conference on Indian Ocean World History was a great success. Check out the recap to find out what happened.

Michael Ferguson has been awarded a 2012 Turkish Cultural Foundation Fellowship to support his research into the African presence in Izmir in the Late Ottoman period. The Turkish Cultural Foundation sponsors research on subjects related to the art and culture of Turkey, and to studies related to the preservation of Turkey’s artistic and cultural heritage. For more information, see the Foundation's website.


Congratulations to IOWC PhD students Facil TesfayeSarah GhabrialSteven Serels and Michael Ferguson on being awarded the 2011 Graduate Excellence Fellowships by the History Department at McGill University.

Michael Ferguson has been awarded an Arts Graduate Research Travel Award from McGill University. This funding will permit Michael to undertake a major research tip to Turkey in the summer of 2012.

Sarah Ghabrial has been awarded an Arts Graduate Research Travel Award to do research this spring in archives located in France and Algeria. She will explore the development of the French colonial legal regime in Algeria through a study of the sweeping family law reform programs of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Hideaki Suzuki has been awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research Abroad, which he will be taking up at the IOWC in early 2012. These fellowships are awarded to young Japanese postdoctoral researchers to conduct research at foreign universities or research institutions for a period of two years.


The IOWC-based MCRI project entitled, “The Indian Ocean World: The Making of the First Global Economy in the Context of Human-Environment Interaction” commences.

James Warren has been awarded an ARC Linkage Grant.

Facil Tesfaye has been awarded the 2010-2011 Graduate Scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD).

Steven Serels has been awarded a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.