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MemberNienke Boer

Nienke Boer is an Assistant Professor of Literature at Yale-NUS College, Singapore, where she teaches courses in the Literature and Humanities sequence, as well as electives on African literature, Indian Ocean studies, and literature and theory from the Global South. She received her A.B. degree from Princeton University and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from New York University, all in Comparative Literature. Her book project, “Indian Ocean Passages,” focuses on the literary, autobiographical and legal narratives produced by and about imperial migrants who travelled between South Africa and South Asia around the turn of the last century. She has published three articles: “Taking a Joke Seriously: Mickey Mouse and William Kentridge” appeared in the December 2013 issue of MLN, “Settlers and Laborers: The Afterlife of Indenture in Early South African Indian Writing,” appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Research in African Literatures, and “Exploring British India: South African prisoners of war as imperial travel writers, 1899-1902” was published online in November 2017 in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature.

MemberThomas F. McDow

I am a historian of the western Indian Ocean with an interest in mobility and social history between Africa, Arabia, and India. My book Buying Time: Debt and Mobility in the Western Indian Ocean captures the dynamism of this far-reaching Indian Ocean world in the nineteenth century.  I was trained as an Africanist with a focus on the Swahiliphone world, and I continued to be drawn to the intersections of African histories and global histories, from ancient trade routes to the human immunodeficiency virus.

MemberNancy Um

Nancy Um is professor of art history at Binghamton University. She received her MA and PhD in art history from UCLA. Her research explores the Islamic world from the perspective of the coast, with a focus on material, visual, and built culture on the Arabian Peninsula and around the rims of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Her first book The Merchant Houses of Mocha: Trade and Architecture in an Indian Ocean Port (University of Washington Press, 2009) relies upon a cross-section of visual, architectural, and textual sources to present the early modern coastal city of Mocha as a space that was nested within wider world networks, structured to communicate with far-flung ports and cities across a vast matrix of exchange. Her second book, Shipped but not Sold: Material Culture and the Social Order of Trade during Yemen’s Age of Coffee (University of Hawai’i Press, 2017), explores the material practices and informal social protocols that undergirded the overseas trade in 18th C Yemen. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, African Arts, Northeast African Studies, Journal of Early Modern History, Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, Art History, and Getty Research Journal. She has received research fellowships from the Fulbright program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Getty Foundation, and the American Institute for Yemeni Studies.

MemberRuth Morgan

Ruth A. Morgan is an environmental historian and historian of science with a particular focus on Australia, the British Empire, and the Indian Ocean world. Ruth holds an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award and is a Research Fellow in the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. During 2017, she is based at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at the LMU, Munich, Germany, where she holds an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Ruth is a member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Historical Association and the National Management Committee of the Australian Garden History Society. She is also Treasurer of the International Water History Association, Vice President of the International Commission on the History of Meteorology, and a member of the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub. She joined Monash in mid-2012 after completing her doctoral studies at The University of Western Australia in Perth.

MemberNathaniel Mathews

I am a historian of East Africa and the Indian Ocean world, with a particular focus on the history and identity of the Swahili-speaking community in modern Oman. My book manuscript, Children of the Lost Colony, explores the modern migrations of this community from East Africa to Oman in the 1960s and 70s, their memories of Africa, especially Zanzibar, and their generative role in the evolution of Omani national citizenship. I have also published on Islamic reform and Arab identity in Mombasa, Kenya, the making of an abolitionist consensus in modernist Muslim thought, and the Ibadhi madhab in modern East Africa.

MemberJohn Mcaleer

I am a historian of the British Empire. My work focuses on the British encounter and engagement with the wider world in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, situating the history of empire in its global and maritime contexts. I am interested in the relationships, interactions and patterns of exchange created by the British Empire, and in assessing the impact of these experiences on both British and colonial societies. Before joining the University of Southampton, I was Curator of Imperial and Maritime History at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. During my time at the museum, I worked on the development and delivery of two gallery projects, focusing on Atlantic and Indian Ocean history respectively. I continue to be interested in the role of material culture and museums in representing the history of empire.