1st Edition

Ocean as Method Thinking with the Maritime

    138 Pages
    by Routledge India

    138 Pages
    by Routledge India

    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. 

                                                                                                                                                                              The volume:

    • 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

    Saarah Jappie

    3 Oceanic Encounters With the “Other” in the Age of Empire: late-Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Travel Accounts of Indian Muslims

    Nishat Zaidi

    4 Indians in South Africa Before Indenture: a Story of Deep Oceanic Connections

    Simi Malhotra



    Dilip M Menon is the Mellon Chair in Indian Studies at the University of Witwatersrand, and Director, Centre for Indian Studies in Africa. He was recently awarded the 2021 Falling Walls Foundation Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities.

    Nishat Zaidi is Professor at the Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India.

    Simi Malhotra is Professor and Head of the Department at the Department of English, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi. Her latest publications are the edited books Food Culture Studies in India: Consumption, Representation and Mediation, and Inhabiting Cyberspace in India: Theory, Perspectives and Challenges, 2021 and Terrains of Consciousness: Multilogical Perspectives on Globalization again in 2021.

    Saarah Jappie is Program Officer, Social Science Research Council, New York, USA, and Research Associate, Visual Arts in Identity and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.