The Indian Ocean World Podcast

The Indian Ocean World Podcast seeks to educate and inform its listeners on topics concerning the relationship between humans and the environment throughout the history of the Indian Ocean World. Based out of the Indian Ocean World Centre, a research centre affiliated with McGill University’s Department of History and Classical Studies, under the direction of Dr. Gwyn Campbell, the Indian Ocean World Podcast is part of the Appraising Risk Partnership, an international collaboration of scholars and researchers dedicated to exploring the critical role of climatic crises in the past and future of the Indian Ocean World. With generous support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the partnership seeks to create a comprehensive spatial and temporal database of human-environment interaction and interdependence during periods of climatic change.

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Episodes

6 days ago

Dr. Philip Gooding (IOWC, McGill) welcomes Prof. Ruth Mostern (Pittsburgh) to discuss her 2021 book, The Yellow River: A Natural and Unnatural History. They consider the river’s central role in Chinese history, moving water, sediment, people, and goods, along with the research and publication processes of environmental history.
Prof. Mostern is Professor in Pitt’s Department of History, where she teaches Chinese and world history and is Director of the World History Center. Her first book, Dividing the Realm in Order to Govern:  The Spatial Organization of the Song State (960-1276 CE), was published in 2011. Alongside the research project that lead to The Yellow River, she leads the World Historical Gazetteer project.
Links:
Book: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300238334/the-yellow-river/
University Website: https://www.history.pitt.edu/people/ruth-mostern
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RuthMostern
The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”

Wednesday Jan 25, 2023

Prof. Ruth Morgan (Australian National University) joins Dr. Philip Gooding (IOWC, McGill) to discuss her 2021 article “Health, Hearth and Empire: Climate, Race and Reproduction in British India and Western Australia.” Their conversation covers the nuances of 19th-century British imperial policy in the Indian Ocean World, the shortfalls of contemporary climatic theories of race and health, and the value of gender analysis in climate history as a whole.
Prof. Morgan is Associate Professor in ANU’s School of History, where she directs the Center for Environmental History. She works on the histories of science and climate in Australia, the British Empire, and the Indo-Pacific, and her monograph, Running Out? Water in Western Australia, was published in 2015 to wide acclaim, winning a 2016 Western Australian Premier's Book Award.
Links:
Article: https://doi.org/10.3197/096734021X16076828553511
Website: http://www.ruthamorgan.com/
The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”

Wednesday Nov 02, 2022

Dr. Philip Gooding (IOWC, McGill) is joined by Dr. Julia Jong Haines (Cornell) to discuss her archeological research at Bras D’Eau National Park in Mauritius, a former sugar plantation. Their conversation covers trees as archeological artifacts, Mauritian environmental degradation beyond the dodo, and the palimpsestic legacies of slavery and indenture on the Mauritian landscape.
Dr. Haines completed her PhD at the University of Virginia in 2019, and currently holds Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Anthropology at Cornell University. Her research focuses on Mauritius between the 18th and mid-20th centuries, working with local partners to consider questions of environmental, social, and scientific history.
Links:
Article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10761-021-00629-0
University Profile: https://anthropology.cornell.edu/julia-jong-haines
 
The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”

Wednesday Oct 26, 2022

Prof. Sugata Ray (UC Berkeley) joins Dr. Philip Gooding (IOWC, McGill) to delve into the history of two much-maligned birds of the early modern Indian Ocean world: the dodo and the turkey. As a historian of South Asian art working at the intersection of animal, environmental, and postcolonial studies, Prof. Ray starts with pictures of these birds and expands to discuss their intertwining political, cultural, and ecological roles in the earliest days of the Eurocene collapse.
Prof. Ray is Associate Professor of South and Southeast Asian art in the History of Art Department and the Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550–1850, which was published by the University of Washington Press and won the 2021 Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion and the 2020 Religion and the Arts Book Award. With Venugopal Maddipati, he has also coedited the 2020 volume, Water Histories of South Asia: The Materiality of Liquescence.
Links:
Article: https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691236018/picture-ecology
University Profile: https://sseas.berkeley.edu/people/sugata-ray/
Website: http://www.sugataray.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sugataray1
 
The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”

Wednesday Oct 19, 2022

Prof. Franziska Fay (JGU Mainz) joins Dr. Philip Gooding (IOWC, McGill) to discuss two recent publications, “‘Kuishi Ughaibuni’: Emplaced Absence, the Zanzibar Diaspora Policy, and Young Men's Experiences of Belonging Between Zanzibar and Oman” and “‘To Everyone Who Told Zanzis That They Are Not Omani’: Young Swahili-speaking Omanis’ Belonging in Postdiaspora Oman.” These two papers explore the Zanzibari diaspora while simultaneously deconstructing the category of “diaspora” itself.
Since 2021, Prof. Fay has been Assistant Professor of Political Anthropology at the Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz. She completed a PhD in Anthropology and Sociology at SOAS University of London in 2017 and then held a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Goethe University Frankfurt from 2017–2021. Geographically, her research straddles the western Indian Ocean between the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa, addressing a number of themes including diaspora and language, youth and childhood, gender and ethnic identity.
Links:
Website: https://www.franziskafay.com/
University Profile: https://www.ifeas.uni-mainz.de/jun-prof-dr-franziska-fay/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Franziska_Fay
Article: https://jiows.mcgill.ca/article/view/120
Article: https://journals.openedition.org/cy/7304
 
The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”

Friday Oct 07, 2022

Dr. Harriet Mercer (Cambridge) joins Dr. Julie Babin (IOWC, McGill) to discuss her recent article on “Atmospheric Archives: Gender and Climate Knowledge in Colonial Tasmania.” Their conversation and Dr. Mercer’s research delve into the history of “climate history,” challenging established methodologies and epistemologies that exclude certain perspectives along the lines of gender, race, class, and indigeneity.
Dr. Mercer completed a PhD at Oxford University in 2021. She is currently a Research Associate on Making Climate History, a Leverhulme Trust-funded project in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge University, exploring the creation and diverse creators of climate knowledge over the last 200 years.
Links:
Article Link: https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/whp/eh/2021/00000027/00000002/art00003
University Profile: https://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/directory/mercer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarrietJMercer
The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”

Wednesday Sep 28, 2022

Dr. Manikarnika Dutta, a Research Associate in the Faculty of History at the University of Oxford, joins Dr. Julie Babin to discuss her research into the intersection of medical, colonial, and maritime history in nineteenth-century Calcutta. This research began with a doctoral thesis completed in 2019, but today we focus on the peer-reviewed paper, "Cholera, British seamen and maritime anxieties in Calcutta, c.1830s-1890s."
Dr. Dutta holds an MA in Modern History from the University of Calcutta, as well as an MSc in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. Her research examines the interplay of medicine, especially public health regimes, and race in colonial India. Her work has been awarded the Taniguchi Medal (2018) and the William Bynum Essay Prize (2021).
Links:
Article Link: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/medical-history/article/cholera-british-seamen-and-maritime-anxieties-in-calcutta-c1830s1890s-the-william-bynum-prize-essay/7EFD13BEDFFDEE41613D49C51BC4AAFB
Chapter Link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-36264-5_8
University Profile: https://www.history.ox.ac.uk/people/manikarnika-dutta
Twitter: @DManikarnika
The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership “Appraising Risk, Past and Present.”

Introducing the Gwillim Project

Wednesday Sep 21, 2022

Wednesday Sep 21, 2022

Dr. Anna Winterbottom (McGill) and Prof. Victoria Dickenson (McGill) join Dr. Philip Gooding (IOWC, McGill) to discuss the Gwillim Project, a multinational research project exploring the remarkable artistic and epistolary output of two English sisters, Mary Symonds and Elizabeth Gwillim, living in early-nineteenth-century Madras. Elizabeth Gwillim’s high-quality, to-scale natural history drawings of birds, fish, and flowers are held in the Blacker Wood Natural History Collection at the McGill Library. Along with Mary’s paintings and the sisters’ correspondence, these pictures throw light not just on the history of natural history, Prof. Dickenson’s area of expertise, but on all facets of the life and environment of Southern India at the time. Dr. Winterbottom contextualizes the sister's work with insights from her research into the East India Company European settlements around the Indian Ocean.
Prof. Victoria Dickenson is Professor of Practice, Rare Books and Special Collections at the McGill Library. She serves as Principal Investigator for the Gwillim Project.
Dr. Anna Winterbottom serves as Research Associate and Project Manager for the Gwillim Project.
For more information on the Gwillim Project, see:
https://thegwillimproject.com/
The Indian Ocean World Podcast is hosted by Dr. Philip Gooding and Dr. Julie Babin, produced by Sam Gleave Riemann, and published under the SSHRC-funded Partnership "Appraising Risk, Past and Present."

Friday Mar 25, 2022

What does it mean when we talk about micro-financing the rural economy? And how does micro-financing apply to Cambodia? These questions are explored by Professor W. Nathan Green, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at the National University of Singapore.  Prof. Green’s research critically examines the political ecologies of agrarian finance and infrastructure in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Cambodia. By combining his economic, geographical, and ethnographic study of rural Cambodia, Prof. Green paints us a vivid picture of the development of Cambodian loan and borrowing structures, while delving into the risks associated with having one’s land in collateral. Since the 1980s, micro-financing has been essential to Cambodia’s rise out of the economic and humanitarian turmoil inflicted by the Pol Pot regime. But, as climate change continues to impact the stability of Cambodia and the rest of the world, vulnerabilities amongst those dwelling in this ‘borrowers’ economy have become increasingly noticeable. As is stated by Prof. Green, vulnerability to climate change goes beyond the natural environment to encapsulate structural drivers of vulnerability like political empowerment, the ability to make decisions over one’s own land, entitlements to resources, etc. Rising household indebtedness in Cambodia due to its micro-financing scheme is a major driver of household vulnerability.
To learn more about Prof Green, check out his academic page here: https://profile.nus.edu.sg/fass/geowng/
Publications Discussed:
https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2021.1923007
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.02.001
https://rgs-ibg.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tran.12310
https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-90400-9_4
This podcast was produced with the help of Renée Manderville (Project Manager, IOWC; English Common Law, University of Ottawa) and Philip Gooding (postdoctoral fellow, IOWC, McGill).

Wednesday Feb 16, 2022

In this podcast, Dr. Nuno Grancho, a postdoctoral fellow and Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the Centre for Privacy Studies, University of Copenhagen, discusses his research into the architecture of the island city of Diu, Gujarat, West India. Focussing on the five centuries of Diu’s Portuguese occupation (1514-1961) his work demonstrates the complex nature of overlap between spatial and functional categories in the colonial context. Dr. Grancho approaches Diu as a modern artefact of study, with his research extended beyond the tangible aspects of the city’s structure. In doing so, he argues that the history and theory of architecture and urbanism combined with the history and theory of the collision of Portuguese and West Indian cultures have created an exceptional urban architectural environment. This exceptionalism, as remarked by Dr. Grancho, is marked by the fact that “never again was there a place like Diu in the history of European colonial presence in India, in the history of colonial identity in India, and most of all, in the history of European colonial cities in India.”
By comparing Diu’s structure and organization to other European settlements (English, Dutch, Danish, and French), Dr. Grancho’s research contributes to the historiography of imperial architecture and architectural history. Specifically, it highlights the ethnic, racial, social, and spatial divide between Indigenous and European colonial settlements. With regards to the preservation of the rich history within the parameter of Diu’s urban environment, Dr. Grancho maintains that a balance must be found between what is heritage and what is vernacular, and contemporary building techniques of today must be used to preserve the authenticity of this exceptional city.
Dr. Grancho's article: https://doi.org/10.7480/writingplace.2.2638
This podcast was produced with the help of Renée Manderville (Project Manager, IOWC) and  Philip Gooding (postdoctoral fellow, IOWC, McGill).

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Indian Ocean World Centre

The Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) is a research centre at McGill University studying the history, economy, and cultures of the lands and peoples of the Indian Ocean world – from China to Southeast and South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

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