A co-sponsored event with the South Asia Program
This talk charts out an oceanic microhistory, grounded in the voyages of a dhow from the port of Kuwait, captained by the nakhoda ‘Abdulmajeed Al-Failakawi. It anchors itself in Al-Failakawi’s logbook, and looks out from the deck of the dhow onto a world of texts, letters, accounts, and other writings by nakhodas. The texts they wrote give us a sense of how nakhodas braided together past and present as they moved around the Indian Ocean; the routes they traversed bore the sediments of a long history of trade and empire. By writing from the deck of the dhow, we can gather histories that have been scattered along the coasts of Arabia, South Asia, and East Africa; we gain a sharper sense of how actors understood this world of circulation and inscribed it into their voyages.