Erik Gilbert

Erik Gilbert is an assistant professor of history at Arkansas State University.

Listed in: African Studies · History · African History

Conventional history assumes that the rise of the steamship trade killed off the Indian Ocean dhow trade in the twentieth century. Erik Gilbert argues that the dhow economy played a major role in shaping the economic and social life of colonial Zanzibar. Dhows, and the regional trade they fostered, allowed a class of indigenous entrepreneurs to thrive in Zanzibar.

“Essential reading for anyone interested in Indian Ocean trade or the limits of ‘modernization’ during the colonial era.”

Laura Fair, The International History Review