February 17, 2013

The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World

At the Schomburg Center for Black Culture in New York City there is a great exhibit currently running on Africans in the Indian Ocean World. If you can't check out the exhibit, the accompanying website is a beautiful introduction, with stories, images, maps and multimedia. Over forty years after the publication of Joseph Harris's The African Presence in Asia, the study of Africans in the Indian Ocean world has grown in important ways. It has expanded beyond simple vindicationist studies, it has increasingly been driven by its own theoretical concerns, it is more and more grounded in knowledge of local languages and cultures. The African presence in the Indian Ocean can tell us a lot about cultural change and social hierarchy in societies of the Indian Ocean littoral, and has the potential to influence how we conceptualize and perpetuate the study of diaspora itself. If anyone has a bibliography they would like to contribute on the subject, I would love for you to post a link in the comments section. I am currently working on compiling a comprehensive bibliography. Thanks to Ishraq Ali for the link!


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