The present volume curates papers presented at an international conference organized at OUCIP to engage with the oceanic turn in different fields of knowledge embracing Social Sciences, Humanities and, Physical Sciences to project the Indian Ocean as the new frontier of research across various disciplines.
The papers are divided into four sections: The Oceanic Reach has papers reflecting on the received knowledge regarding the historical role and reach of the Indian Ocean and providing new insights in the evolving dynamics of the region.
The section on Literature and Culture has essays reflecting the different trajectories within Humanities and Cultural Studies through which Indian Ocean has stimulated the imagination of scholars, intellectuals, diasporic writers, and culture historians.
The section on Roots and Routes includes accounts of the historical, cultural, religious, trade and diasporic linkages across oceanic communities inhabiting the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean.
The final section on Power Games includes papers that deal with the increasing interests of various international powers in the Indian Ocean region particularly in the context of the shift from the Asian land mass to the enormous presence of the Indian Ocean, and the economic, political and strategic significance that it has for the entire region.
Taken together these contributions offer both an opportunity and a challenge for interested scholars to engage with Indian Ocean as a new frontier of knowledge with enormous potential for research and exploration.
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Table of Contents
I. The Oceanic Reach 1. Inaugural Address 2. Cultural Dynamics in the Indian Ocean in the Past and the Future 3. Indian Ocean after the End of the Cold War: Emerging Dimensions of a Fascinating Region 4. The Centrality of the IOR to India’s Being 5. India and the Indian Ocean: Old Concerns, New Perspectives
II. Literature and Culture 6. From the Indian Ocean to the Pacific: Missionary Summer Resorts in Asia 7. The Different Destinies of the Indian Diaspora in the Mascarene Islands
8. Epic Writing in Diasporic Mauritian Literature in English with a Focus on Tsang Man Kin’s The Hakka Epic and Lampotang’s The Coral Heart 9. Amitav Ghosh, Indian Ocean and the New Thalassology 10. The Hyperreal Waters of Sea of Poppies: New Perspectives in Reading Ghosh’s Fiction 11. The Emergence of Cricket as an Indian Ocean Game
III. Of Roots and Routes 12. The Muziris: An Ancient City of Global Village 13. Islamicate World System and South Indian Muslim Trading Networks in the Medieval Indian Ocean History 14. Indian Diaspora in the Francophone African Littoral States of Western Indian Ocean: Sources of India’s Soft Power in its Foreign Policy 15. Linguistic Communities and New Historiography: Constructing a Maritime Tradition in Colonial Odisha 16. Bangladesh: Striving towards a Zone of Peace and Prosperity in the Indian Ocean Region
IV. The Power Games 17. The Renewed Geostrategic Significance of the Indian Ocean Small Islands 18. India, China and the US in the Indian Ocean: A Strategic Triangle to Counter Piracy? 19. The Evolving Power Dynamics of the Indian Ocean Region: India-China-US: Conflict or Cooperation? 20. India’s Stature in the Indian Ocean: Emerging ‘Power’ with a Human Face 21. Collective Diplomacy: India’s Role in Indian Ocean Power Dynamics 22. Indian Ocean Warming: Its Extent and Impact on the Monsoon and Marine Productivity
Kousar J. Azam is Professor Emeritus, and former Head Department of Political Science at Osmania University, Hyderabad.