Ocean as Method presents a new way of thinking about the humanities and the social sciences. It explores maritime connections in social and humanistic research and puts forward an alternative to national histories and area studies. As global warming and rising sea levels ring alarm bells across the world, the chapters in the volume argue that it is time to think through oceans to realign discourses which better understand our future.
• Engages with the paradigms of oceanic narratives to identify connections between continents through trade, migration, and economic processes, thinking beyond the artificial distinctions between the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans;
• Discusses oceanic travel accounts by Muslim travellers to counter the idea that the colonial era was marked by European travel to Asia and Africa, without a counterflow of “native travel”;
•Examines the connections between South Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia through histories of Indian indenture and the slave trade, and engages with the idea of the ocean and enforced movement;
•Compares and connects recent scholarship in the social sciences and the humanities centring the ocean to break away from inherited paradigms which have shaped world history so far.
As a unique transdisciplinary collaboration, this volume will be of much interest to scholars and researchers of history, especially oceanic history, historiography, critical theory, literature, geography, and Global South studies.
1 Oceanic Histories: from the Terrestrial to the Maritime
Dilip M. Menon
2 Thinking With the Ocean: a Quartet of Conversations
3 Oceanic Encounters With the “Other” in the Age of Empire: late-Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Travel Accounts of Indian Muslims
4 Indians in South Africa Before Indenture: a Story of Deep Oceanic Connections