Transcultural Networks in the Indian Ocean, 15th-18th centuries: Europeans and Indian Ocean Societies in Interaction

full name / name of organization: 
Su Fang Ng / Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture (journal)
contact email: 

We are calling for submissions for a special issue of _Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture_, a general cultural studies journal, on the topic of "Transcultural Networks in the Indian Ocean, 15th-18th centuries: Europeans and Indian Ocean Societies in Interaction."

Reexamining the so-called "Age of Exploration," this special issue aims to consider Europeans not as colonizers but as one of a number of interacting groups in the globalized Indian Ocean world. In this world, trade and diplomacy brought different peoples together, and in doing so, they exchanged ideas, languages, religions, and culture to create hybridized and cosmopolitan cultural forms. In shifting attention to the Indian Ocean, we wish to counter the Atlantic bias in Anglo-American scholarship. The Indian Ocean is perhaps the "oldest" ocean in terms of human activity on it: humans have traversed it for millennia.

We are interested in essays that consider mobility and movement of peoples (both European and Asian) and the routes and networks of connections in and around the Indian Ocean. How can we see non-Europeans as equal partners as well as formidable antagonists of Europeans? How do non-European self-representations balance the numerous accounts of European representations of Others? How did merchants and diplomats, sailors and soldiers, scholars and preachers negotiated foreign worlds in which they found themselves, and how did those other worlds transformed them into transcultural, transnational, or trans-imperial figures? We are interested in essays analyzing the shifting, fluid, and malleable identities in the Indian Ocean world, and the changeable cultural meanings of translated objects, ideas, culture, and religion. In so doing, this special issue will forge new ways of thinking about the transculturated world of the early modern Indian Ocean.

Please email the co-editors a title and a 500-word abstract by May 20, 2011.

Co-editors of the special issue:
Su Fang Ng, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Oklahoma, Norman. Email: ngsf (AT)
Kumkum Chatterjee, Professor, Department of History, Pennsylvania State University, State College.
Email: kkc1 (AT)

(N.B. replace (AT) with @.)