1st Edition

Regional Drift Remapping Africa’s Southern Oceans

Edited By Pamila Gupta, Caio Simões de Araújo Copyright 2025
    156 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the Southern Indian Ocean corridor as a geographic, geological, and atmospheric space, taking a critical oceanic humanities approach while never losing sight of the land and water interface.

    Using a range of disciplinary approaches and materials, Gupta and de Araújo hydrate territorial and land-based imaginations of the Southern African region by conceptualizing its oceanicity as a fluid and more than human materiality, synthetic situation, and geopolitical nexus. With a diverse set of case studies, they explore a variety of conceptual framings and methodologies, including science-technology-society studies, tourism and heritage studies, history, and international relations – among others. The contributors cover a complex and vast imaginative geography, cross-cutting Portuguese, German, and British colonial traces in the region, and exploring land, water, and submerged spaces, from coastal towns and bridges to islands and archipelagos.

    A fresh approach to thinking about Atlantic and Indian Ocean coastlines in a relational and scalar manner for scholars across a range of disciplines focussed on Southern Africa.

    Introduction: Regional Drift

    Caio Simões de Araújo and Pamila Gupta

    1. The Socialist Atlantic: Rethinking Luanda from the Prédios Cubanos

    Claudia Gastrow

    2. Imperial Geographies and Precarious Coastal Livelihoods: Lüderitz and Walvis Bay as Extractive Regions

    Ellison Tjirera

    3. The Region and the Shipwreck

    Jessica Lehman

    4. Hydro-de-colonialism and the Cables around Cape Town

    Jess Auerbach Jahajeeah

    5. Polar Paradoxes: Antarctic Borders and the African Conundrum \

    Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh

    6. Bridging the Bay: Infrastructure, Temporality and History from the Maputo Bay

    Caio Simões de Araújo

    7. Porous futures in Indian Ocean Africa: Oceanic flows and insular socio-ecologies in Mauritius

    Pedro Pombo


    Pamila Gupta is Research Professor at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa, affiliated with the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies (CGAS). She has published widely in the fields of historical ethnography, decolonization and the Indian Ocean, heritage studies, design, and visual cultures across South Asia and Southern Africa. Her most recent co-edited volume is entitled Planetary Hinterlands: Abandonment, Extraction, and Care (With Sarah Nuttall, Esther Peeren and Hanneke Stuit, 2023).

    Caio Simões de Araújo is a Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) of the University of the Western Cape, in Cape Town South Africa. His research interests involve the history of cities and built environments in Southern Africa, Afro-Asian decolonization, transnational histories of race and anti-racism, and gender and sexuality in the Global South.