Nidhi Mahajan: "Moorings: Trade Networks and States in the Western Indian Ocean" 5.1.19
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. 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.
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